Nutcracker Ale | Boulevard Brewing Co.

Nutcracker AleNutcracker Ale
Liked This Beer
3.73 w/ 897 ratings
Nutcracker AleNutcracker Ale

Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Missouri, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.80%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Nutcracker Ale is Boulevard’s holiday gift for real beer lovers. This hearty, warming brew is a classic winter ale, deep amber in color, with hints of molasses balanced by the “spiciness” of freshly harvested Chinook hops.

38 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-11-2002

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 897 |  Reviews: 349
Photo of kylehay2004
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of jaydoc
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by 2/16/16.

Pours a hazy copper with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Tiny particles of sediment are seen suspended in the beer after the pour. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, citrus zest, and earthy hop aromas. Taste is much the same with malt, citrus zest, grapefruit juice, pine needle, and earthy hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with nice flavors, but the aromas on this one work together slightly better to me.

Serving type: bottle.

 722 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.51/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of spycow
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a mellow cherry red color with a gentle haze. huge white fluffy head sits atop this holiday looking beer. smells a but fruity, with plums, cherries, and maybe even figs in the nose. a slight sour smelling as well, which isnt entirely enticing. taste is surprisingly complex for what is billed as a winter warmer. i taste none of the usual alcoholic sweetness i ascribe the this genre of beer. theres a definite malt profile to this one tempered by some fruity yeasty things. mild honey and allspice flavors in the background too. mouthfeel is very nice, with an almost belgian style vibrancy to the feel, with a lovely dried fruit finish. i could wish for a higher abv here, but this one works just as it is.

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Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of djrn2
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice Winter Warmer that doesn't try too hard to do that 'Winter-Warmer' thing. The beer has an inviting hop nose that promotes pine, fresh-cut grass, orange zest and a balance of nutty malts. Based with a mostly barley / partly grain taste, the beer has a firm but crisp backbone of toffee and nuts that never waiver. The hops add intrigue, balance, and contrast without conflict. Nestled somewhere between Great Divide's Hibernation Ale and Sierra Nevada's Celebration the flavors straddle both. However the body is smoother, less creamy, and lighter than either. This is a very nice beer; even 20 minutes after the pour the head still covers the beer with a creamy foam, nice lacing, covering a moderately hazy amber / copper hue. A true pleasure to drink.

Thanks again BlueOkie!

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Photo of kojevergas
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into dinner glass (I know...) in Denver, CO at high altitude.

A: Three finger head of mild cream and thickness. Inviting. Hazy maple-brown colour.

Sm: Nutty, estery. A hint of cream. Hops.

T: Very nutty on the smooth open, which resolves to a heavy grapefruit lacing. Unexpected, but built well for this style (which is quickly becoming a favourite). Balanced but complex. Extremely estery. Holy hops, batman!

Mf: Wet with a dry finish. Adequate coarseness as needed.

Dr: I'd certainly have it again at this price. I'm liking winter warmers more and more. This is no exception.

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Photo of emerge077
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the Brewhaus, Springfield IL.

It pours a deep reddish amber, speckled lacing, with carbonation visible through the haze. Slightly sweet aroma of apricot, some light malty cookie.

Light and dry hop on the back end, a pleasant ale yeast character, and mild hop spiciness to round it out. Doesn't seem like additional spices were used. It's medium bodied with a strong yeast presence. A couple of these would be easy, but not really a session ale to me.

2012: This always seems to be on draft at Northwoods Lodge in Springfield, usually hits the spot and is relatively fresh.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Version (best by 2/15/10; tasted 2/5/10)

Very similar to the 2004 (see below)

2005 Version (best by 2/1/06)

(A: 4; S: 4; T: 3.5; M: 3.5; D: 3.5)

Appearance: Pours a hazy copper with a foamy tan head that leaves some lacing

Smell: Christmas spice (dried orange peel, clove and coriander) aroma backed up by a molasses tone; almost smells like Dr. Pepper, but not as sweet

Taste: Starts with a caramel and fruit/nut flavor; mid-palate, some earthy hop flavors storm in and balance the sweetness; the bitterness continues to grow through the finish, which is spicy, but a touch metallic

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with prickly carbonation

Drinkability: An interesting, but slightly flawed Winter Warmer; not sure how much better this would have been if consumed before the "best by" date

2004 Version (best by 2/1/05)

(A: 4; S: 4; T: 4; M: 4; D: 4)

Appearance: Pours a hazy copper with a foamy tan head that leaves some lacing

Smell: Molasses and dried Christmas spices (orange peel and cinnamon)

Taste: Starts out with a fruity quality on a malty molasses base; mid-palate, the earthy hop flavors kick in and provide a dry balance; the finish has both sweet and bitter elements

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Tastes very similar to the 2005 version but without some of the flaws; a nice Winter Warmer

Thanks, beeryhandy, for the vertical tasting and also to Schmittymack, for the chance to taste the 2009 version within the freshness date (as good as the 2004)

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Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of zeff80
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours out an orange/amber color with a small, white head. Leaves small traces of lacing.

S - Smells nutty and a little citrusy.

T - Very malty and nutty. It has a sweet citrus kick as you drink it down.

M - It is soft and dry. Light to medium-bodied.

D - This is a pretty good winter treat and a very good offering from Boulevard.

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Photo of largadeer
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 2/15/2017. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy deep orange/amber/light copper color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange peel, caramel, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, cherry, plum, apple, pepper, pine, light nuttiness/toffee, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus/pine hops, fruity yeast, brown sugar, and moderate dark/bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, orange peel, caramel, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, cherry, plum, apple, pepper, pine, light nuttiness/toffee, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Light-moderate pine/grassy/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, orange peel, caramel, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, cherry, plum, apple, pepper, pine, light nuttiness, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/pine hops, fruity yeast, brown sugar, and moderate dark/bready malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light dryness from lingering bitterness, increasing through the glass. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, and moderately bready/grainy/creamy/sticky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Minimal warming alcohol for 7.8%. Overall this is a great English strong ale. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/pine hops, fruity yeast, brown sugar, and moderate dark/bready malt flavors; very smooth and easy to drink for the ABV. Really well balanced and not overly bitter for being fresh. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Boone757
3.62/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mothman
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my New Belgium Globe Glass. No freshness date on bottle.

2008 Edition (if that matters)

Color is a copper/ruby brown. Thin off white head. Very slight lace.

Smell is of cinnamon and roasted nuts. Taste is malty. A lot of spices and earthy floral hops are present.

Mouthfeel is just slightly bitter, but then is smooth and creamy.

Overall, this is a really great winter beer and easy to drink. I'd recommend this for a nice session beer.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Best enjoyed at cellar temperature (not right out of the fridge!), Nutcracker pours a beautiful chestnut body with a reddish cast beneath a short cap of creamy light beige foam. The nose reveals a combination of light spice and delicate spruce or pine wrapped in a caramelish and slightly biscuity malt. It's medium bodied and its median carbonation lends a gentle zest to the tongue. The flavor is slightly richer than the nose suggests, but delivers the same basic profile with hops arriving up front and giving way to it's maltiness towards the finish. Cellaring this beer for a year, however, softens the hop presence and allows the malt to become more dominant.

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Photo of chinchill
3.62/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Deep red-amber with a weak head.

Aroma is a mismash of components that don`t gel at first: spices, caramel, earthy hops ... But this improved with some warming or just the repeated tasting. The flavor was initially better than the aroma but as the latter improved they became more similar in both quality and character.

O: an interesting and distinct winter ale. Not challenging although it took me a little while to warm up to it.

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Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a rich tawny color with a huge billowing crown that held for a very long time,finally settling into a frothy mass after leaving globs of soap scum lookin stuff behind.Spicy hop and caramel malt come together well,it has to be chinooks to give off such a spicy note in its hop profile,very nice.A nice mix of winter spice,clove,cinnamon,nutmeg,candied orange peel,and again that hop spiciness,a sweet but not overly sweet caramle base holds true to the finish.Each year I say Iam gonna get some of this stuff,this year I finally did and Iam glad I did,this for my money is one of the best winter warmer's out there.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass.

Pours a moderate brown color with a bit of light cloudiness. Big light tan with great retention. A good amount of lacing throughout. The nose is a bit plain with a bit of caramel and toffee plus some very light spicing.

The taste is a bit sweet with some brown ale characteristics. The spicing is there a bit and there is some mild earthiness to this. The spicing doesn't come through too much until the back end and especially in the finish. Medium body with good carbonation. A bit drinkable, but the finish is slightly off-puting in juxtaposition to the flavor and I don't quite need all that much of this.

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Nutcracker Ale from Boulevard Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 58.5% out of 100 with 897 ratings
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