Nutcracker Ale | Boulevard Brewing Co.

very good
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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 897 |  Reviews: 349
Photo of match1112
3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: pours out the color of liquid caramel with alot of floaties in there, guess that's the unfiltered part. a thin tan head left within seconds and just a small thin layer is left on top.

s: rather inviting. hints of roasted nuts, spice, malts and hops.

t: a nice spicy and nutty taste before it gives way to a well blended hop finish.

m: full body and a little chewy. carbonation tickles the tongue and the hops provide a nice dry finish.

o: not a big fan of winter warmers, but this is one i can and will drink more of. everything is well blended and balanced.

 565 characters

Photo of HoistinBrews
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Yesdog
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of meeekyh
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I have found that I like this brewery for the solid offerings they produce and the occasional stand-out (Boss Tom's comes to mind) and so I figured this would be worth a try, even without knowing if it would be the spice4d variety or not (it isn't).

Color is a cloudy deep-copper with a modest light tan head. Smell is a bit astringent-esque with undercurrents of raisins and pine. Flavor is a compact mouthfull of bitter and sweet with dried fruit and citrus-rind overtones. The feel is on the light side with good carbonation and a bit of a lingering, dry finish.

This is interesting beer, and cheap(ish), which merits a second look. I like it for not being spiced and for being a simple but not pedestrian ale. There is plenty of flavor and balance without being reminiscent of any particular other style. It is robust and bitter, sweet and refreshing. I like it and will surely get more to enjoy this year.


 922 characters

Photo of LDemarais
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of Evilyak
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of theminutemen
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of sacullen
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of campofapproval
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of gatornation
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

from 12 0z bottle ,BB 02/28/12

A-pours a slight hazed bright copper color with a light tan 2 finger head and nice clingy lacing on glass.. looks good

S- a roasted nut aroma with citrus and pine a bit of spice/hops

T- citrus hops, with a nutty and spicy taste, sweet caramel with baked bread malts, some nutmeg/cinnamon

M- a tad thin in the mouth for a WW, a little bitter with a washed out dry finish,

O- a session-able WW very easy to drink but lacked the punch and taste profile, more spice,hop,malt,toffee

 514 characters

Photo of BigD44
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of duff247
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of breclark
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of lawlerj
3.47/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Pours a semi translucent brown w/ a three finger off white head that dissipates to a thin layer of foam. Doesn't appear to be overly carbonated. Not much in the way of lacing.

S - Big piney hop aroma backed up with a toffee and caramel malt. Some fruity notes as well - specifically, I'm getting a bit of pineapple in the mix.

T - The taste primarily follows the nose - the hop profile dominates with citrus and floral hops, backed up by some very sweet maltiness. There are toffee and bready notes, mixed in with juicy flavors as well.

M - Medium bodied, moderately carbonated. Fairly standard.

O - This an OK winter warmer. I was hoping for a bit more complexity, but definitely a decent brew.

 757 characters

Photo of jak
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of davidthebruce
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Jason
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date.

LOOK: Muddled tawny hue, great lacing

SMELL: Christmas pudding, candied fruit, alcoholic esters, toasted bread, herbal hops.

TASTE: Smooth, medium body, raw, rustic, bready, hop bitterness, leafy, ripe oranges, papaya, brown sugar, esters, spicy, grainy, bittersweet finish.

Lot of complexities here, don't rush this beer ... let it warm up slowly and sip it and the flavors will unfold. This ale has more than enough going to put a grin on just about any beer geeks face.

 518 characters

Photo of coldriver
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into Sam Adams glass. Decent head and lacing, pours a cloudy deep amber. Spicey, fruity, and caramel aromas, like a fruit cake that doesn't suck. Taste of spicy hops, vanilla, bready malts. Medium carbonation with moderately dry finish. I like this, it's a subtle sessionable winter warmer with a nice malt/hop/spice balance.

 345 characters

Photo of goates
5/5  rDev +32.3%

Photo of Stouttyme
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of wchasejr
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of blakelive784
2.63/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz bottle served in a pint glass (a winter warmer at 5.9%? I'm skeptical) :

A - Pours a deep, orange amber color with a tall 2.5 finger head. Retention is very good and the head is decently creamy.

S - Grassy lemon, caramel, grapefruit, and musky hops. Really pretty muddy, though, I hope the flavors are more defined.

T - Overbearing citrus hops open and stay throughout. There's a buried caramel and toasted malt foundation, but it's hard to find. Even with the low abv, it finishes with an ethanol aftertaste. Uninteresting and uninspired.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and wet. Meh.

D - It's not bad, but far from anything good, especially when there are many, many better choices in this style.

 710 characters

Photo of zdk9
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a medium brown color hued with orange. With an aggressive pour I get about a finger of head, which doesn't last a ton of time. No lacing.

S- An uncoordinated force of grapefruit, sweet orange liquor, green grass clippings, and caramel in the distance. There are some nice aromas, but also some blah aromas and the whole thing doesn't really mix well.

T- Hoppier in the taste than the smell. There's a good amount of gripping bitterness especially in the back corners of my mouth. Some sweet bread flavors, like a candied fruit bread. Hop flavor stretches from grassy and vegetal, like pea pods, to pine sawdust, with a slight mineral aspect.

M- Very bitter, especially for a beer of this alcohol.

O-Hmm...the aroma on this beer I can leave it. The taste isn't bad. Where's the winter warmer? I get some caramel and dark sweet bread stuff, but it's almost like they went with that plus the IPA type winter seasonal that other breweries had and ended up with a slight mess. I'm not a huge fan of this beer.

 1,017 characters

Photo of boilermakerbrew
3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a hazy copperish color. Three finger foamy head with good retention and lacing.

S- Slight hoppy aroma of pine and floral notes. Underlying nutty aroma with hints of brown sugar sweetness.

T- Like a mix between an American Pale Ale and a brown ale. Definite hop character of slight bitterness intermingled with sweet notes. Some caramel malty tones under the hops. Finishes with primarily hops bite. Very crisp and little aftertaste.

M- Similar to most pale ales. Very carbonated and fairly light. Somewhat silky on the way down. This is a fairly sessionable beer.

Overall, nothing special, but an interesting experience. I like the idea of the hops and sweeter malts together, could use a little more of the sweet to balance it out.

 745 characters

Photo of rhartogsq
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Nutcracker Ale from Boulevard Brewing Co.
3.78 out of 5 based on 897 ratings.
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