Schlafly Christmas Ale | The Schlafly Tap Room

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Schlafly Christmas AleSchlafly Christmas Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Schlafly Tap Room
Missouri, United States | website

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Christmas Ale is a warming winter ale that blends the spices of the season with sweet caramel malt. Orange peel, juniper berries, ginger root, cardamom and cloves are added for spiciness. We use honey in the fermentation process, which raises the ABV without producing too much heat from the alcohol content.

Many breweries produce richer, higher alcohol beers for the winter holiday season, bolder than their year-round offerings. The inspiration for this beer came from spiced holiday beverages such as wassail and mulled wines. Around the holidays, the sweet and spicy aromas, not to mention the booze, in such libations tend to smooth the rougher edges of enjoying each other’s company and spreading goodwill.

30 IBU

Added by hopsaplenty on 11-02-2006

BEER STATS
Reviews:
182
Ratings:
518
Avg:
3.71
pDev:
21.29%
 
 
Wants:
22
Gots:
78
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 182 | Ratings: 518
Photo of jeranbrews
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - murky fizzy cedar amber with fluffy cream cheese white head good lacing. 4

S - minty juniper and nutmeg. Spicy banana bread. 4

T - slightly stale rye bread and barley wine 3

M creamy and smooth 4

D surprisingly good even in June 4

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Photo of alarmclock314
3.86/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, bottled on 10/19/15. Pours clear reddish/amber with a large off-white head; some lacing on the glass. Smells of ginger, clove, and sweet malt. The taste follows with spice, malt, and honey; weaker intensity than the smell. Some light sweetness in the aftertaste. Medium body and above average carbonation. Overall, it's a spice-forward and easy drinking beer.

 379 characters

Photo of mdcrouser
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours about the color orange of an orange Christmas bulb, glowing from the glass. Pours with a head that dies immediately. Strangely audibly effervescent too - jumps right out of the glass.

Characteristic holiday spices, but they're fairly muted here. You really have to search to find them.

Holiday spicy on the tongue, with gestures of cloves, cinnamon, and greenery - like noshing on a bowl of holiday spirit.

Decent in the mouth, as the cloves stick around most prominently, holding at the back of the tongue.

A drinkable holiday brew, but nothing exceptional.

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Photo of ianjsullivan
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

ST: 12oz poured into a pint glass. Bottle lists BOD but does not list ABV.

A: Reddish amber with a slight-off white half a finger fluffy head. The beer is very clear with steady carbonation. It leaves average lacing, and the head retention is okay.

S: The clove and orange are very noticeable. There is also some malt and some lemon from hops.

T: Sweet malt with orange and clove along with some bubblegum and spice on the finish from hops. There is slight warming alcohol in the finish.

M: Medium and smooth.

O: The alcohol is blended very well in this beer, but it loses points in a few areas. For a winter seasonal, this beer is a bit too light. It is also on the sweeter side. While the hops are there, the sweetness of the orange combines with the malt to create a beer that can be a bit of a toothache. The warming alcohol at the end does help, but the beer almost reminds me of sweet and sour sauce. This beer screams of fruitcake (which is not the best association).

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Photo of jar2574
2.67/5  rDev -28%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours an orange color with a thin white head. No lacing, no head retention. Average carbonation.

Smells of anise, cinammon, cider, and malts.

The taste reminds me of a Czech herbal lliquor, Becherovka. Herbs, a touch of liquourice, malts, a little sweet fruitiness in the aftertaste. There's a lot going on, and it's interesting, but not something I love. And as I drink the beer, I like it less and less.

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Photo of orangemoustache
3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a reddish/orange amber with a small cream colored head that leaves a little bit of lace as it slides away to a very thin cap. The nose is spicy and smells of clove, pine cones and some very subtle citrus notes. The malt tastes like a mix of pretzel and ginger snap cookies,with a good amount of sweet/sugary hard candy flavors too. Hops are gentle yet assertive and taste of pine sap and greenery. The mouthfeel is not quite full bodied as label suggests,it is well carbonated and has a interesting dry/musty finish that I can appreciate as character. This could use just a bit more hop or a lot more malt and it could be a classic,still a great brew that captures that holiday feeling in a bottle.

Thanks Pmcadamis and Happy holidays!

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Photo of Averwo
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Basically Schlafly Pumpkin Ale but with Christmas spices instead of the pumpkin. Medium mouthfeel. Smell of clove, ginger, brown sugar. Taste is more like the smell.

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Photo of titosupertramp
3.42/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to AlCaponeJunior for the opportunity to try this one.

A: Burnt orange/amber with thin, off-white head.

S: Spices, yeast, maybe a little of the orange peel that was mentioned on the label. Can pick up a little hoppiness when it warms. Pretty good.

T: Nutmeg, cloves and a general spiciness kind of dominate. There is a hoppy bitterness in there that I quite like.

M: I really like the mouthfeel here. Spicy, bitter, a little dry. Alcohol warming. In my opinion, the highlight of the beer.

D: For me, this would probably be a one and done.

Pretty good beer that I think a lot of folks would enjoy, but not something that I would typically seek out.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
4.23/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Actually looks like the 2009 release, an extra from great trader Brian44556...Thanks mate, and cheers...Pours a rusty amber. Two to three-fingers of marshmallowy head adorn this-a-here brew. Sheets of pleasant lacing fall down the glass like snow. Good carbonation. Actually a beautiful looking beer so far. Huge, robust aromas. I get a lot of interesting notes. Yes, some orange peel. Yes some clove. But the nose is more and better than the sum of the parts. It comes off also having an egg nog note to it, as well as some banana. Sweet smelling and very robust. Wow on the flavor...This is more than I expected. A blizzard of sweet, malty, egg-nog like flavors burst over you. Truly amazing, as I expected a much maltier, more effervescent beer given the carbonation and typical versions of the style. Carbonation actually helps to subdue these Winter flavors and balance it out nicely, otherwise they might be cloying. The initial burst of flavor slowly fades into a nice, malty middle that features a lot of banana flavor, and closes out with a orange peel/hop melding of flavors that lasts a while. This is actually an exceptionally good beer. Very tasty and highly surprising to me. The only flaw appears to be a weird bitterness in the finish, but it's a minimal flaw to be sure. I can only assume this beer is well-priced, and I'm going with that assumption. I would definitely suggest trying to tracj down this wonderful and unique version of the style.

What I like most: Pretty much everything, but mostly the robust, unique and expressive flavor profile upon first taste.

What I like least: The pithy, off bitterness in the finish.

Verdict: Really excellent and wonderful beer. Worth tracking down.

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Photo of wnh
3.82/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.
Bottled with love on 11.10.09

Pours a crisp, bright orange-tinted copper with a smallish and fleeting off-white head. Beautiful color, disappointing head retention.

Nose is packed with baking spices, predominately cinnamon and clove. Accompanying is a strong pepper and citrus peel combination that's reminiscent, oddly, of a saison, with a lightly funky earthiness. Spicy, and yet mouthwatering. (Seems to be quite similar to the Schlafly Pumpkin Ale, only without the big and bold canned pumpkin note.)

Spicy and fruity on the palate, showing clove-studded orange slices up front. Cinnamon comes in mid-palate, subtle and mild yet relatively easy to pick out, and brings with it a powdery feel, dry and somewhat prickly, as though there was actually powdered cinnamon on my tongue. Finishes with a touch of hoppy spiciness, decidedly differentiated from the cinnamon and clove spice. Relatively short and surprisingly clean finish; a few very faint lingering flavors remain, but only if I look for them.

Not the most unique beer in this general style, nor the most flavorful, but I am favorably impressed.

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Photo of hopsaplenty
3.28/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. brown bottle, bottled with love on 25Oct2006.

The label included this quotation from Sir Walter Scott: “Twas Christmas broached the mightiest ale, ‘twas Christmas told the merriest tale…”

Clear, burnished amber. Short persistent head of loose, small tan bubbles punctuated by steady columns of carbonation. The head falls to a thin skim leaving a few spots of foam. Sweet orange and spicy clove aromas are brushed with the smallest hint of spicy hops. Orange peel, more fleshy than rind meshes with a strong clove presence that finishes with more cloves lingering a long while. There is a modest amount of toasty malt, but it is dominated by cloves and orange. Medium body that feels thin at times, the carbonation is fine bubbles. Relatively singular in its spice focus, I would have enjoyed a wider flavor range and a slightly bulked up body.

 860 characters

Photo of naterock
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep Amber in color with a decent head that doesn't lace.

smell is rich malt and brown sugar, cinnamon and cloves. definitely a christmas aroma.

tastes very well blended on flavors, spicy cloves and cinnamon, nutmegy undertones. Rich malt with a slight hop bote in the back.

mouth is thick, oily and very candy-like. medium carbonation and easily drinkable. Way to go Schlafly!

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Photo of foureyedgeek
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle brought back home by a friend who now lives in St Louis.

Pours a dark reddish brown, very clear and a little rising carbonation. Small finger of off-white head that fades quickly to a very light ring of bubbles, not much lacing.

Aroma is nice and spicy, as well as a little sweet.

Tastes of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, the citrus from the orange peel, accompanied by a fairly biting piney hop bitterness. Fairly sweet as well, this is kind of an amber ale for the holiday season.

Mouthfeel is crisp and lightly warming, maybe a product of the highish ABV. I can also feel a little warming from the spicing, kind of like the feeling you get from a mouthful of cinnamon, a la Big Red chewing gum.

Drinkability is good, a little high for more than a couple but one I could have a few of on a cold winter's night.

Pretty interesting interpretation of a winter warmer, I like the spiciness and the clean bite added by the hops. Good brew, Schlafly.

 974 characters

Photo of CMW
3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a crystal clear dark amber color with minimal head and retention. Although the head is small there still is a little soapy lacing on the side of the glass.

S - This is a heavily spiced Xmas beer. Big time cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. There is a nice malt base and very little hops present.

T - Sweet upfront with the cinnamon and nutmeg doing most of the work. It fades to a sweet malt backbone. Not as well balanced as I would like but there is something there to balance the sweetness.

M - Carbonation is on the high side and gives the beer a little chewiness that is needed.

D - Although this is April this is still drinkable. However, it really hits the spot on those cold winter nights as the 8% can warm you up a little.

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Photo of chilly460
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a hazy amber with orange tones. Two finger head with decent retention, some spotty lacing.

S- Plenty of spicing as expected, get cloves predominantly, with cinnamon and orange peel coming through. Backed up with sweet caramel malts, and some warming alcohol.

T- Light pale malts form the bod of tasts, with some orange peel sharpness coming through. Transfers to the cloves and cinammon that I picked up in the smell. A bit of white pepper gets in at the end. Bit of grassy hops at the end.

M- Thought this was pretty nice, smooth and a bit chewy.

D- Nice solid winter seasonal, flavors are balanced and appropriate.

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Photo of beerphilosopher
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a gorgous and lively amber red color and produces a nice, bubbly off-white head that dissipates fairly quickly. The beer is just slightly hazy, but very rich in color. This beer just looks good. Spotty lacing is left inside the large snifter I'm using for this beer. The nose is the Holidays in a glass. Strong aromas of holiday spices (cloves, cinnamon and citrus). Behind the spicy notes is a very pleasant roasted malt character. Smells festive in every way. The palate doesn't disappoint either - spices up front, intermixed with aggressive floral hops and dominant citrus notes (bitter orange peel, mostly). Due to the liberal use of hops in this beer, you get an over all dry taste with a lot going on in the back of the mouth. The finish is very herbal and citric, without being medicinal or cloying at all. Beautifully crafted. The mouth feel is medium and very fluid. The 8% ABV is well-masked in my opinion, but opens up a bit as the beer warms. I believe this to be one of my very favorite Christmas beers. It's very well balanced, incredibly tasty te. This is a nicely balanced spiced Christmas beer that is quite enjoyable. It's the type of beer I'd hit up for a and a nice departure from the typical winter warmer. For me, the citrus and bold hop presence makes this beer. These characteristics could well be why some won't like this beer, but it's what makes it stand out of the crown for me. Absolutely excellent and one of my favorite beers from Schlafly this year ... and that's saying a lot.

 1,516 characters

Photo of gpcollen1
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rec'd from Vancer - thanks again...

Poured into an Imperial Pint yielding a dark coppered color brew with a 3/4 inch head, slowly settling down nicely. Aromas mostly of spice - alll across the board. get hints of clove, cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg. Taste follows through on the nose with a bit of clove and a touch of citrus in the flavor - hints of cardamom on the finish with a bit of hops here and there.

I am a winter/spiced beer fan to an extent. This one is pretty good and I would drink a few if available locally.

 531 characters

Photo of tykees88
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- reddish gold color. Two finger lingering head. Lacing is nice.

S- Smells alot like the pumpkin ale. The spices are very nice. Cinnamon and nutmeg. But there is nothing that separates it from that spice smell wise.

T- There is where the taste differs. It has an orange flavor in place of the pumpkin flavor. The spices are the same. I think the graham cracker crust flavor is there just like the pumpkin. I think this is almost the same recipe just swapping out the orange for pumpkin.

M- Creamy and pie like.

O- Good beer. I loved the pumpkin ale, so why wouldn't I love this

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Photo of BrownAleBollocks
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep garnet color with a one finger khaki color head. Aroma is a blend of seasonal spices and malt sweetness. Taste follows with seasonal spice, caramel, toffee, biscuit, and a solid malt presence. Mouthfeel is thin to medium and nicely carbonated. Overall a very good winter spiced beer that is reminiscent of Christmas cookies, gingerbread houses, and spiced holiday cake.

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Photo of OldSchoolGamer
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have had a few Schlafly beers before, and they have all be surprisingly good. This is one of their winter seasonals. Here is my review:

A: Pours a deep orange-amber color. Head is very minimal with no lacing.

S/T: The aroma is both fruity and spicy. Hints of toasted malts in there as well. The taste is very unique and unlike any other Christmas Ale I have had. The taste upfront it quite fruity and slightly citrusy, which gives way to a very interesting and complex spicy palate. The spice character is a combination of both traditional Christmas Ale spices and spice commonly found in Belgian style ales. They are very well blended, so it is quite a challenge to pick out specific flavors, however, there is definetly clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg present. The toasted malts also come through in the finish, as well as a bubblegum character. Not the best Christmas Ale, but very different and well worth trying.

M/D: Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Finish is pretty crisp. Very easy drinking beer, but not quite as sessionable as something like Great Lakes.

Schlafly doesn't disappoint with its Christmas Ale. Probably the most fruity of all the Christmas Ales I have had, this is one almost anybody could enjoy.

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Photo of rundocrun
4.02/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a snifter.

A - Comes out of the bottle a coppery orange-brown color. Faint rose highlights. Has a 1/4 inch of coarse white head that fades fast.

S - Has a definite aroma of cloves, spruce and banana-like esters.

T - Sweet and caramely up front with more banana and a noticeable spicy nutmeg character. An almost bubble-gum like sweetness comes in toward the middle. Mild hop bitterness on the sides of the tongue that lasts through the finish. Some mild alcohol bite and orange peel in the finish as well.

M - Has a nice hefty body to it with good carbonation. Sweet and syrupy residual mouthfeel. The 8% ABV leaves a pleasant warmth in the chest.

Overall: a sweet, spicy, and warming winter beer. Not exceptional but definitely above average.

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Photo of jokelahoma
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very bright and clear amber, with minimal head. Very nice looking beer.

Spices come through nicely in the nose. Not exactly pumpkin pie, but very "country kitchen"-like, with a good deal of cinnamon, ginger, clove, and a bit of citrus. A touch of sweet caramel adds to the complexity. Very, very, appetizing!

A bit of fruity sweetness up front, followed almost immediately by the spices. Note this doesn't taste hoppy. I'm getting no perceptible hop flavor. But there's bitterness here to balance the sweetness. The clove really comes through in the flavor, giving it a spicy burn that I found very appealing. Almost a cinnamon roll flavor, but nowhere near as sweet. Unsweetened cinnamon rolls? Nah... not even sure if there's cinnamon in this. But it is spiced nicely, and tastes very good.

The mouthfeel is well done as well. Not watery, but you don't have to shew it, as you do some winter beers. That makes this one a lot easier to drink than many others.

Overall, I found this to be surprisingly good. Easy to drink, with nice "holiday" spiciness that is balanced by the sweetness of the malt. I could drink many of these, I'm sure. Nicely done!

 1,171 characters

Photo of jw4free
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured a 12 oz bottle dated 10/14/2015 into a Weizen glass. L: dark Amber to red color. Clear. 1/2 finger of head that fades moderately. Good lacing. S: complex bouquet of orange, juniper, clove and other spices (cardamom, maybe not..) . Aroma fades quickly after the first couple drinks and into a nice malty sweetness. Let this one rest midway through. T: strong clove and citrus. A bittered malt comes out about halfway through the glass. F: flavors linger in the mouth a bit, not too thin nor too boozy for 8.0%. O: Starts out spicy, but it does settle in the belly.

 571 characters

Photo of eclaycamp
3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a basic tumbler glass. Aroma is primarily orange and clove - not surprising considered those spices are used in the brewing of the beer. First taste yields a surprising amount of bitterness followed by a hefty and clear amount of alcohol warmth. Heavy handed carbonation keeps things from getting overpowered. Graham cracker sweetness starts up front, giving way to a cinnamon bitterness. Reminds me of their Pumpkin Ale, though with a slightly different spicing regimin. If I had to choose between the two I'd go with the Pumpkin, though this certainly isn't bad by any stretch of the imagination. The high alcohol and heavy spicing make this one a bit tougher to drink however.

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Photo of westweasel
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a Sam Adams tasting glass.

The beer poured out thickly, with no splashes. The beer is a hazy copper color with almost no head. The smell is dominated by a malty sweetness, but also contains caramel, oranges, and sweet flowers.

The taste contains caramel, toffee, cinnamon, oranges, and tangerines. It has more of a bitter finish than I expected. It also has a strong carbonic bite.

The mouthfeel is on the high-side of medium, getting close to full. There is also carbonation fizziness on the tongue.

This is a very drinkable Christmas beer. Understated spices, a nice orange flavor, and enough bitterness to make it very palatable.

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Schlafly Christmas Ale from The Schlafly Tap Room
84 out of 100 based on 182 ratings.
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