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Trafalgar Celebration Ale | All or Nothing Brewhouse

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17 Ratings

Brewed by:
All or Nothing Brewhouse
Ontario, Canada

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-27-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 17 |  Reviews: 16
Reviews by wjimson:
Photo of wjimson
3.17/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

There was a snow squall warning in London Ontario which gave alot of people a difficult time traveling, causing alot of places to be suspended. So, this is one of the bottles I have opened for this occasion.

A brown colour that is almost ruby red, which is nice, but no head, which isn't so good.

The smell is nice, of a smokey and spicy nature.

A basic belgian flavour with hints of clove and spice with a welcoming finish of smoke; however, the smokey taste stop short of a flat and sour aftertaste and finish.

This is very drinkable. Perhpas the best a brewer can do for the purpose of Christmas... keeping people happy. A nice one from Trafalgar Brewing.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Popsinc
3.61/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a medium head and a fair bit of carbonation. The nose is spicey and lightly fruity. A bit of unpleasant tin in the nose as well. Spice leads the way in taste on this brew. Definite clove and some orange peel in there as well as some cinnamon. Decent complexity with mild and light body. Some alcohol warmth on the finish and some dry mouthfeel. Not a bad Christmas beer although i would think it could a little more richness and full body.

Much like their Belgian Spiced Ale however, i enjoyed this one a little more.

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Photo of beerhunter13
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of Sammy
3.82/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2003 was a good batch. A number of bottles released late, better than never. Yeasty date fruit aroma. Pleasant dark. Restrained spice there, decent on a late summer night. Chilled a bit worked for me. However fizzy with syruppy sugar and cinammon,cloves, bit of nuttiness. Way below a Unibroue and in the basement compared to the Belgiums, but decent for a local.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep burgundy color ale with a nice foamy head with average retention. Aroma of sweet malt with dry cranberry. Taste is a nice balance between sweet malt with a nice mix of fruit which may include dried cranberry, orange peel and nice mix of spices. Body is slightly thin with some adequate carbonation. It is my first beer from this brewery but I have to admit that I am quite impressed.

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Photo of baiser
3.97/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, mahogany reddish brown, with a smallish head, but good lacing. Aroma of caramel, fruit, malt and lots of toffee. Taste was delicious. Now, this may not be your traditional belgian ale, but it holds its on in the taste department. Fruity, sweet, with a pleasant sourness. Very little hops, but lots of fruity and malt flavours. Very drinkable, moderate body, good mouthfeel.

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Photo of Derek
3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I popped the cap and it gushed out all over the counter. It produced a rediculous amount of head (had to pour in stages).

A: Dark chestnut-brown, light tan head, some retention & lace.

S: Very spicy (plenty of cloves) with a little earthy-mineral-funk from the yeast. Floral. Their Belgian yeast might be a little 'wild'. I'm not sure if it's supposed to have the funk, or if it's going a little off.

T: Spicy (a little heavy on the cloves but some pleasant nutmeg in the background); orange-peel; nutty/caramel sweetness from the malt balanced with a modest bitterness. Some acidity similar to a farmhouse ale.

M: Well-attenuated in the Belgian tradition, but the modest body seems a little thin for it's weight. Highly carbonated.

D: A bomber is a little much.

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Photo of crwills
3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Yes, that's right, a Christmas beer in May. Well, actually I drank it a week or two ago, so April. And I drank two... TWO Christmas beers in April. Muahaha. Yeah. Well, at least it was a good comparison. So here's review 1 of 2. See my review of Sam Smith Winter Welcome for part 2.

Celebration poured a very dark brown, cloudy with some nice ruby highlights. Dirty white head that fades fast.

Smell is quite pleasant and Christmasy... fresh and spicy, clementine oranges and mint leaves. Fresh earth, and maraschino cherries.

Taste is OK, if a bit overkill. Oranges and Christmas cake, cinnamon, allspice, sugar or jellied fruit. Some mild metallic notes that detract a bit. Overall, not bad, and I preferred it to the Sam Smith.

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Photo of pootz
2/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

I give up on this brewer...the strong ales are consistantly laced with demerara and the same damn shitty yeast in every brew.

This one was no differtent ...much like othe Trafalgar strong ales with some lame attempt at spicing...same slick mouth feel, same vegital notes ( celery/cabbage), same crappy yeast tastes ( musty, mildew tones) and the same weak heading and lack of real protien in the body. Poorly carbonated and stale tasting right from the bottling line.

Done with ’em stick a fork in ’em...there’s no hope....being generous in reviews is wastedon them . I’ll not buy another one of these lame efforts until some real positive changes occur...and they get rid of that crappy yeast strain that leaves these foul tasting by products...and buy some proper lager and ale yeasts.

Of all the Christams special releases from Ontario mico brewers this one brings a new meaning to the concept of perennially sucking!

No more apologies for mediocre and bad beer!

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.62/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This bomber with a painted scene of an Oakville street in Christmas on the label emits a dark red, somewhat hazy beer. The head is pretty much non existent and lacing is pathetic. The aroma is fruity, with citrus, tobacco and chocolate present. The taste is richly malty with a sweet fruity flavor and more chocolate notes. I can taste nutmeg, cloves and cinamon, hops are light though. The mouthfeel is thick and viscous for a beer this (relatively) low in alcohol. The finish is fruity and long. alcohol is well hidden.

This is the best Trafalger beer Ive tried yet. The spices arent as overpowering and its not cloyingly sweet like the abbey spiced ale they make. This is worth a try for sure.

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Photo of DrJay
3.87/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear light brown with dark amber highlights. The off-white head was a little thin, but head moderate retention and average stickage to the glass.

Smell: Heavy malt aromas of caramel and toffee along with some floral hoppiness. Spices come through as a light orange citrus and cloves.

Taste: Rich malty base with some roastiness with a subdued but balanced bitterness. Starts out sweeter, but the cloves, cinnamon and citrus comes out in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium/full body with moderate carbonation. Texture is slightly grainy and the finish was on the dry side.

Drinkability: Not a bad offering, and definitely one of the best from Trafalgar in my opinion. I'd pick this up again if I found it in a bar or liquor store. The body keeps it from being a good session though.

650mL brown bottle with best before date stamped on the label.

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Photo of brucepepper
3.28/5  rDev -6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I tried this beer a few weeks ago and when I poured it there was absolutely no head. I drank it anyway but decided not to review it. Last night I gave it another chance and again there was no head.

A - No head. Zero. Dark ruby/brown

S - raisons and prunes

T/M - Full, reminds me of those chocolate oranges. By the end, it was quite cloying. Very little carbonation.

D - I would not drink more than one because the mouthfeel is to syruppy/cloying.

By the end it was completely flat. Overall it has some decent flavour but the lack of carb./head has turned me off. I'm pretty sure I'll never buy this beer again.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.12/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ale poured a hazy, amber color with white foam that settled. The smell was nutty and lightly fruity (oranges) with some coriander and black pepper. A very pungent and appealing aroma. The taste was lightly tart and sweet up front, followed by an incredible peppery flavor. Coriander and orange peel rounded out the flavors. The mouthfeel was very dry with a light airy quality filled with spice. The body was medium and the carbonation was good. This was a very interesting beer. Not really a session beer, though, with all the pepper.

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Photo of sstackho
3.22/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

650mL bottle purchased from the LCBO. Pours a ruby red-brown, not quite opaque. Some head that quickly fades. Carbonation evident. Faint aroma of spices. The taste has some spice to it and a slightly tart flavour. My understanding from the brewer was that their Celebration Ale was a simple relabeling of their Belgian Wheat. If so, it just shows how far this beer has fallen. In fact, I don't really sense a wheat feel to this beer at all. Trafalgar's Belgian Wheat on tap at C'est What in Toronto was one of the beers that encouraged me to start rating beers on the web - it was so different and delicious. Well, they changed the Wheat somewhere over the years and it actually isn't very interesting at all these days. This one beer still has some redeeming qualities, but is skippable. It makes me sad that one of my favoured brewers has become so less interesting over the years - so much so that I don't bother stopping in at the brewery on the rare times that I am passing by. They have tried to do some interesting very-high-alcohol beers within the last year - I tried one of them but I found it unpleasant, and it fared quite poorly in the aggregate ratings on a sampling night.

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Photo of bobsy
3.18/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I used to like this beer, and after tasting my way through far too many Trafalgars I couldn't helpl but look back at this early rating of B+ with a mixture of shock and incredulity. Then one frigid December day my boss gives me a Christmas gift, which contained a bottle of the beer I thought had long since been retired. He'd picked it up from the brewery, so it was nice and fresh, which helps it evade the spoilage issues that plague these guys.

Pours a rich ruby red, with a frothy off-white head. Decent retention and lace, especially for this brewer, so kudos for that. Spiced aroma, with cinnamon and other mulling components, lots of raisins and a dose of candy sugar. Malty bready sweetness in the flavour, again with the spices, and a nice dose of cocoa. However, there's not much complexity to this one at all, and it falls a little flat for a winter warmer, which is what the brewery seems to be pitching this as. Talking of flat... here's the signature low level of carbonation. Fortunately the body is a bit fuller, so it partially overcomes this.

On the plus side, its not infected.

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Photo of TerryW
3.44/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not a big fan of common Trafalgar's beers, but I must concede they've done a decent job with this one.

Medium mahogany beer with a short lived head and no lacing.

Dates, oranges and noticeable alcohol in the nose, but still pleasant enough.

Lots of orange and some spice to taste. Slightly spritzy in the mouth making it feel quite light to drink. The alcohol kicks in to give a quite nice mouthfeel. Lingering orange flavour.

Must try some of their other seasonals to see how they fare.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.2/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Clear, dark ruby red. 1.5 inch head drops quickly and is only moderately creamy. Decent lacing.

S - Very malty, with metallic notes.

T - Slight tartness and toasted graininess - almost like a light porter. Hints of fruit and coffee. Finishes with a mild bitterness.

M - Quite creamy in the mouth. Moderate body.

D - Not bad, not my favorite. A little too tart I think, and light on the flavour.

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Trafalgar Celebration Ale from All or Nothing Brewhouse
Beer rating: 3.49 out of 5 with 17 ratings
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