Schlafly Christmas Ale | The Schlafly Tap Room

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189 Reviews
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Schlafly Christmas AleSchlafly Christmas Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Schlafly Tap Room
Missouri, United States
schlafly.com

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:
189
Ratings:
541
Avg:
3.71
pDev:
12.4%
 
 
Wants:
23
Gots:
84
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 189 | Ratings: 541
Photo of Bitterbill
3.99/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of russpowell. Thanks Russ!

It pours a clear red with a 2 finger head of foam.

The smell is awesome. Loads of cloves, oranges, hint or 2 of cinnamon. Now that's a spicy brewski.

The taste follows the nose for the most part. Big cloves, oranges, spiciness from the hops, but no apparent taste of any cinnamon. This is a very tasty Spiced beer indeed.

Medium describes the body and carbonation...very smooth mouth feel and it's a pretty easy drinker. Nicely done.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From bottle to Bruges hybrid class on 2/10/11

*I'm performing a "Spring Cleaning" of sorts, and finishing off the holiday beer in and around my home - this being one of them.

A: Like a shiny, new Christmas ornament. It's simply gorgeous - rich carmine in color, it's slightly hazy and when poured, yields a robust 1.75 finger head with great retention and lacing.

S: Alcohol first and foremost, then undertones of cinnamon spice and orange citrus. I don't detect any hop presence, but I'm certainly not complaining as this is really well done.

T: Extremely well balanced, as the spicy cloves and nutmeg dance ever so gracefully with the 8% alcohol. Coriander and orange zest work their way around the taste buds. It all finishes a bit hot, but isn't that the point on a cold winter's night?

M: Heavy and thank God for it. This isn't a lawnmower beer, it's to be enjoyed by the fire while telling tales of yore. Creamy and inviting.

O: The review above was performed two months after purchase. For as quaffable as it is today, it is simply outstanding when fresh. Most of the lovely spices are still there, but have been slightly muted, even while sitting in my fridge for a couple of months.

Schlafly's Christmas Ale is one the best holiday brews I've encountered. Like their Pumpkin Ale, they really know how to walk the fine between too little and too much. This is so well balanced, and it makes for supremely enjoyable drinking. Like Christmas itself, I'll be looking forward to this one all year.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, bottled on 11/12/2009. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a mostly clear amber color with about a half inch off-white head. Lacing and head retention are both decent. Aroma is very sweet and spicy, I can smell cloves, cinnamon, orange peel, and some ginger. It tastes pretty much the same as it smells, but the clove flavor is the strongest. Also, I think it tastes more spicy than sweet. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating and is well carbonated. Drinkability is good, the alcohol in this brew is well hidden. However due to the amount of spice in this beer, I don't think I could drink more than 2 or 3 of these at a time. With that being said, I think this is a good overall brew, and I'll have to pick some more up next year.

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Photo of tigg924
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: minimal head, hazy, orange-brown in color

Smell: toasted malt, cinnamon, caramel, and clovess

Taste: lots of caramel malt, cinnamon, caramel, and a touch of earthy hops in the middle

Mouthfeel: heavy bodied, medium carbonation, very sweet and spicy with a slight bitter jump in the middle

Drinkability: A nice and malty holiday treat where the alcohol really sneaks up. The combination of spices is good. A sipper that is one I will revisit.

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

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed 1/2" beige head over the slightly cloudy dark amber brew. Thick head lasts nicely, with lasting lace. Aroma is a light popourri, ample spicing, but not over the top. Taste is just what the label indicates, a zesty citrus cut with clove. Again, moderate amounts here, not falling for the overdo that many spiced beers do. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with relative easy drinkability. Not the world's biggest spiced beer fan, but this one pulls it off rather well.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled 01 December 2010, from the Village Pump.

Pouring a beautiful crimson with a dense, off-white head with excellent retention and nice lacing, this is a rather beautiful beer. The nose is a blend of spices and bright orange peel, in some ways, like a holiday candle. The hop character is a little herbal, and has a touch of soap to it as well. The spice character is interesting. A little bit potpourri-like, with some clove, mace and maybe even some grains of paradise? The orange peel is rather dominant here. Solid.

The palate opens with a mild medicinal sweetness along with a blend of spices and herbs. Again, this really is like potpourri, with a melange of flavors present. Pine and citrus from the hops, an herbal character that I can't entirely describe, and a blend of spices with clove, cinnamon and a little nutmeg. Orange peel isn't as noticeable here, for some reason.There's a bitterness present that reminds me of grains of paradise for some reason. The alcohol is rather noticeable, even when cold, making this harsher than it needs to be. The booze also makes this more noticeably medicinal, which isn't entirely appealing. Medium in body with a high level of carbonation that is surprisingly creamy, this feels decent on the palate. Mildly bitter and mildly herbal on the finish, this is decent. Ultimately, not terribly enjoyable, but I don't regret buying a single.

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

Nice looking scarlet red hue. Glows in a way. Pretty hazy. Thin off white head. Sporadic lace is left behind. Nose is very spicy. Get the cloves bigtime. And some orange notes. Caramel malt notes are evident as well. First sip is not bad, which is good because I'm not a big fan of cloves in beer. But it's not overpowering in this one. And the orange notes blend nicely with the crystal malt in this brew. Hops add some nice spiciness as well. Body is about medium to medium-full. Carbonation is appropriate. This is a nicely balanced spiced Christmas beer that is quite enjoyable. It's the type of beer I'd hit up for a 6er or 2 around Christmas if it were available around here.

Thanks Hopsaplenty.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.24/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, "bottled with love on 11/14/2013"
A - ruddy brown color with a very thin ivory head
S - cinnamon, spice, bread, caramel, earth
T - gingerbready, cinnamon, clove, ginger, caramel, molasses, warming booze
M - creamy, a bit chalky, medium-full body
O - ok spiced winter warmer

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Photo of Suds
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%

Brownish red with a moderately fizzy head, this beer is an attractive pour. The aroma is a mix of malt, spice, and wood. Full flavor, well balanced, and a spicy,ms harpness in the taste. Full bodied.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.04/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Clear ruby, some carbonation, one finger head

S-Spices galore, cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel, malt, all balanced nicely together.

T-Not as good as the nose, still good though. Spice heavy, cinnamon, less malt than the nose.

M-Light, some carbonation, tad watery though.

O-A nice spiced Christmas brew, a good one, not the best, but good.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark chestnut color. The head is a finger high, with a khaki shade and a soft texture. Retention isn't great, though. Small patches of thin lacing are left on the glass. (3.5)

Smell: The spices here do a good job of invoking Christmas, bringing nice savory qualities such as ginger, clove, and juniper. Just like as advertised! In addition, the malt brings some notes of nut, caramel, toffee, and even roast. It smells like a fruit cake without the moronic sweetness. While the nose isn't really my thing, I can't deny it's executed extremely well. (3.5)

Taste: It's weird...because just as the nose suggested, it's a savory brew instead of a bitter or sweet one. The spices end up initially dominating with notes of clove and spruce, before transitioning to notes of caramel, chocolate, and brown sugar. At times, it's faintly roasty. Hell, even some hints of honey and coffee (!) pop up on occasion. While it's not the most cohesive brew in the world, it's still quite complex and even nicely balanced. (3.75)

Mouthfeel: Honey gives it a subtle sweetness...and a nice finishing dryness that makes it go down easily for 8%. Carbonation is gentle, but helps ease this beer down well. (4)

Overall: Wassails can be hit or miss with me. This is a hit, thankfully. Admittedly, the subjective qualities of this don't really appeal to me, so I won't go looking for it again. However, it's superbly made and loaded with complexity, and that means I'm still going to give it a higher score. (3.75)

3.71/5: Really well made, even if it isn't my favorite kind of beer

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Photo of n2185
3.96/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear red-orange with a finger of off-white head that fades into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: Lots of nice spice aromas with cinnamon and nutmeg notes with sweet caramel and bubblegum aromas mixed in. There are vanilla and floral qualities to it as well.

T: Similar to the aroma, lots of sweet spicy flavors. Cinnamon dominates with nutmeg and vanilla flavors also present. Some caramel flavors are also present.

M: Medium body with medium carbonation, this beer is creamy at first with a nice carbonation bite toward the end to accent the spices.

O: A surprisingly good beer that avoids being overly spiced. It definitely tastes like fall and winter in a bottle. It's not extremely complex, but still enjoyable.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Party Source. This beer is a hazy amber color with a medium thin light beige head. Spotty lacing on the glass. Aroma of citrus peel, coriander and sweet cookies. Light-bodied with a sweet spiced character. Flavors of clove, caramel malt and mild hops. The finish is citrusy with a lingering sweet spice aftertaste. Slightly above average overall.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Sammy.

Beer is murky caramel brown in colour, with a smallish tan head.

Nose contains spices strongly, as well as sweet malt.

Flavour strongly contains sweet malt and caramel. as well as a variety of spices. The spices are not quite as prominent as I expected, which is nice.

Moderately carbonated, medium bodied.

Overall. quite nice. I have a low tolerance for spices in beer, but this one works.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated 10/20/2015:
Beautiful dark ruby color with a lasting pink-tinted white head that lasts all pour and laces the glass. Clarity of beer is evident.

Amber/red ale malt with a fruity nature - cherry and apple, or maybe cranapple-like. The spices are present, but meld with the fruit notes-an amalgam of berry, allspice, spruce, cider.

A little sweet to open, with the fruit juice notes from the nose. Spice notes take a second to grab, but wrest control from the fruit about mid taste. A little bitterness hits before the spice fades to end with a nice balance of the two notes by the end. I noticed the bitterness later in the beer.

A refreshing, clean, easy drinking beer. Hits the notes but doesn't excite me.

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Photo of jsh420
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottled 11/25/09

pours clear amber orange with a 1 finger head that left no lacing

smells very fruity - peach orange some malt - reminds me of a saison

taste - just like the smell big fruity hops and earthy spices with just a little bit of funk

mouthfeel is a light body beer with lots of carbonation that gives it a crisp dry finish

drinkability - for a beer @ 8%abv i sure drank it fast

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Photo of birchstick
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark orange color, with a small head

S: it has an orange and hoppy/piney aroma

T: tastes hoppy, gingerey, citrusy, and spicey

M: a little too carbonated, burns a bit going down

D: very good beer, one of the better holiday offerings I have tried

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with bottled on date 10/20/2014 printed on the label. My first beer from Schlafly, their seasonal Christmas ale. "Ale brewed with natural flavors and with spices added". That's fairly indistinct. Expectations are about average, per the style.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - It pours a coppery caramel body, appears with a slight ruby tinge in the glass with about one finger of frothy khaki-tan head.

S - The nose is fairly bland. Some distinctive orange peel & juicy ginger notes are noticeable. Slightly herbal, but again it is indistinct. Very mild alcohol content is noticeable, but not distracting. I'm not really pulling out any sweetened caramel malt from the nose. Becomes slightly more nutty as it warms.

T - Taste follows the nose - a cherryish / berry (from the juniper) flavor seems dominant, with subtle notes of raisins, & caramel malts in the background. The ginger and orange peel flavor is very recognizable, when you look for it. Again, not nearly enough caramel / nutty malt flavor for my liking.

M - The feel is sticky, fairly smooth, but a hefty medium-fullish body. Very drinkable, however, despite the moderately high 8.00% abv. Lightly warming.

Overall, a fairly average holiday ale from Schlafly; but very drinkable one at that. Representative of the style, and recommended for what it is.

Schlafly Christmas Ale -----4/5.

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Photo of Boto
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle: This one pours a cloudy amber color. There was a big frothy head on it that took a little while to recede. Leaves a little lacing. Nice aroma. A little lighter, but definitely Christmas: clove, cinnamon and nutmeg. Maybe a hint of orange. Taste if pretty good. Malt, clove, cinnamon, a touch of orange and pine. This is actually just a touch bitter, with just a hint of sweetness to start. Lots of hops to balance the malts. A decent winter beer.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very light brown coloring yielded a relatively tight knit group of small bubbles that lifted to a finger width head of foam.

The aromas were a touch boozy but the malted structure won out. A less sweet caramel malt scent coincides with some fruit cake like scents such as date and prune.

The flavor is very light, not necessarily light as in weak but more to light as refreshing. Not really a winter warmer sipping beer it had a crisp Christmas spiciness. Nutmeg and cinnamon, with a tinge of peppercorn, the base of this beer tends to the fruitcake malt.

The feeling is so easy, very refreshing and moderately carbonated.

This reminds me of the Pumpkin Ale, to an extent, but it simply doesn't measure up in the thickness and robustness.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stumbled onto four bottles from 2007 recently.

Poured from the bottle a cloudy amber gold with a sea of tiny floaties. I assume those are from aging a year. The beige head is creamy but small.

Aroma of sweet malts, Juicyfruit gum, orange peel, ripe orchard fruits, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves.

Tastes of sweet malts, candy sugar, cinnamon, cloves, apple, and just a hint of spicy hops. Not overly sweet or fruity. Finishes quite clean.

Light-to-medium bodied, slightly dry, and lightly carbonated.

A fine ale for the Christmas season, indeed. A great drinker.

Now to pick up some 2008.

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Photo of hophugger
2.8/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Deep amber-gold color with small head and average lacing. Aroma is full of nutmeg and other dry spice. Taste is similar with a mouthful of dry spice, especially nutmeg, alittle too much. Feels ok on thr palate and definitely has an alcohol burn. Overall, not that pleasant of a beer, maybe just my taste...

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Photo of tpd975
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sea Bass for sharing this one during a wonderful night of tasting at the Oldsmar Taphouse.

A: Pours a nice light golden hue with tones of amber showing thru. 1/2 finger creamy head with okay retention. No real lace noted.

S: Very green aromas, almost a marijuana type quality. There are hints of spice behind, but not the entire spice rack.

T: Nice sweet malt flavors with a big pine hoppiness for the style. Hints of cinnamon and nutmeg poke thru. I like this one.

M: Medium in body, soft and creamy.

D: Not bad, a nice take on the xmas offering.

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Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer typifies what a spiced holiday beer should be - lots of spice but doesn't taste like someone stuffed a mincemeat pie in a bottle. Cloves and nutmeg are nicely integrated into the sweet-ish malt, but are well moderated throughout the draft and don't become cloying. Within this class, I think this is a very good example.

For folks who have criticized this beer for having a lot of spice, that is like criticizing an IPA for having a lot of hops.

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Photo of siege06nd
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass...

A: Mostly clear copper color. This beer has a thin quarter-finger ring of very crisp white head resting on top. Pretty good lacing on the sides. Solid retention.

S: Allspice, cinnamon, some clove, and orange citrus. Not a lot of complexity in this bouquet. Smells a lot like a gingerbread cookie....

T: ...and tastes a lot like a gingerbread cookie. Lots of cinnamon, allspice, clove, and even a little bit of caramel. A bit of an odd tang on the mid and the finish detracts from this one a touch. Tastes a little bit like orange or lemon rind, possibly hops. It emerges just as the palate is settling into the bolder and heartier spiced notes and is somewhat disruptive to the flavor profile.

M: This is a medium bodied brew with a moderate carbonation. Maintains a pretty good lightness considering the 8.0% ABV. Main problems are the spices being somewhat overwhelming (my tongue was scorched by this one) and that odd metallic tangy flavor that shows up for a split second on the mid. Decent overall.

O: Drinks like a lesser version of Great Lakes Christmas Ale. It's a spice bomb without a lot of complexity or character. Goes down easy like Sunday morning and is almost as forgettable as that one girl you hooked up with in college after 20 games of beer pong. It's certainly not bad, though, and holds its own with most of the entries in the "let's drink clove and call it a Christmas Ale" category.

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Schlafly Christmas Ale from The Schlafly Tap Room
3.71 out of 5 based on 541 ratings.
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