Christmas Ale | Olde Hickory Brewery

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Christmas AleChristmas Ale
86 Ratings
Christmas AleChristmas Ale

Brewed by:
Olde Hickory Brewery
North Carolina, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Loki on 12-29-2003

Bros Score:
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 86 |  Reviews: 25
Reviews by Loki:
Photo of Loki
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 64oz growler fresh from the brewpub.

Appearance: Slightly cloudy, cinnamon color with a nice white head. Some lacing on the glass, but nothing special.

Smell: Roasted malt, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice, and some very soft, floral hops. More malty, than spicy, but nice.

Taste: Solid roasted malt that gives way to a bevy of well balanced Holiday spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and more. Very subtle hops help finish the taste and give a balance to the sweet malt.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, with mild carbonation and a clean, crisp finish.

Drinkability: Very good, compliments the holiday meals and could easily stand on its own.

 669 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first CHRISTmas/winter seasonal beer of 2010.Poured into a imperial nonic clear rich bronze with a thinner but well defined white head,a mix of cinnamon and ginger spice along with a subtle British style hard water element.A good does of ginger and cinnamon hits the palate up front with some candied orange peel,I like the crisp crust flavor in the finish.A little thin but its a good way to start the winter seasonal beer off this year,a nice beer.

 453 characters

Photo of Jason
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz brown bomber with a drink before date on the side of the label.

Brassy golden color, very clear with a thin lace on top. Lemony, spicy, malty, honey aroma. Modest crispness shows some slickness in the mouth. Some pie spice, biscuity malt, slightly buttery and a faintness of honey hit the taste buds. Very light on the hops, spiciness lingers for a little while, honey flavor and maltiness bring a sweet finish.

A sweeter Winter Warmer, not half bad.

 457 characters

Photo of HopsForBrains
4.06/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

22oz bottle served into a Green Man pint glass.

A- Its a clear copper color that has a soapy white head that holds nicely. The lace retention is very sticky and thick. I like the look but it seem a little to filtered for me. I can see right through it, like a x-mas Vienna lager.

S- Very well blended. Nothing is dominate on this one all the right smells are here and are balanced well just rather faint. I like the cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and all spice on the nose. The honey blends well with the malts to make this a great smelling beer. Saying that its a faint smell and would like more of it.

T- Honey and crystal malts make this one nice and smooth with a faint sweet flavor. While the spice is on the other side evening it all out to create a nice blend of what we know as Christmas flavors. Still faint and wish it was stronger. Not much in the way of hops here but for the style i feel that's ok.

M- Good but complements my opinion on the appearance, it drinks like a lager. I want a winter warmer to warm me up due to the fact it's a nice hearty beer, not a light crisp lager.

O- A nice beer but faint in its stance. I feel a heavier ABV and ingredient load would benefit this one. I love Old Hickory and again they did a good job.

 1,246 characters

Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -14%

Photo of tdm168
3.46/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - dark orangish amber with a big frothy, white head that has good retention

S - a bit soapy, a hint of yeast, all around unusual aroma

T - nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, caramel, faint orange peel

M - medium bodied, good carbonation

This is an all-right beer. There isn't anything to separate it from the dozen other beers out this time of year with the exact same spice profile. In the end this is a decent beer but boring. It was nice to try once, but I won't be buying it again.

 482 characters

Photo of dirtylou
3.17/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

on-tap at Mac's Speed Shop on South Blvd

I do not understand breweries like Olde Hickory that seem to crush the more challenging styles (barrel aged beers, imperial IPA's, etc) but consistently trips over themselves when crafting more basic beers. Christmas Ale is just the latest example - a crappy and muted winter warmer at best. Bland spicing, 'off' malt profile, artificial ginger. Not good.

 397 characters

Photo of KYGunner
3.81/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This comes out of the bottle like a carbonated bomb with a rush of bubbles that built a huge head of fizz and then a ton of tiny bubbles racing throughout the body. The color was a ruddy brown with dashes of orange in it.

The aroma is fruit cake that has been spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon. Very nice, very Christmas, I just wish the candy dried fruit was a little more segregated.

This is Christmas on the tongue with a malty, fruity body but tons of spicy nutmeg and cinnamon. Really like the flavors.

The feel is a bit airy, but exceedingly crisp. Maybe not a winter sipping beer but a rather refreshing Christmas Day drink.

 632 characters

Photo of dvmin98
3/5  rDev -14%

Photo of CooperEllis
3.26/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not a bad bottle overall but a bit disappointing as it is very thin in the mouthfeel and the flavor is dominated by the two added favors: honey and "spices" here nutmeg.

Redish amber, thin bubbles, no lacing.

Nose is honey, nutmeg, ginger and clove.

Thin mouthfeel, a thin bit of malt but taste is dominated by the cinnamon, nutmeg, clove. Crisp ending helps but I think this misses the mark a bit.

One of the people I had this with felt it was the "tastiest" of the bottles we sampled tonight.


 508 characters

Photo of KevinGordon
4/5  rDev +14.6%

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

22 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. "To ensure brewery fresh taste keep me cool, serve me cool, and enjoy me before" M [May] 11" notched.

This one was contained in another badass box of beer sent from a great trade partner, Onenote81. Thanks Jon!

A - Beautiful color and clarity, it's a vibrant, brilliant orange with golden highlights and amber low-lights. A finger of foam rests on top lightly with a ring of bubbles trailing in the wake.

S - While the Christmas cookie-like nose is mild, it's certainly inviting. Raw honey sweetens the amber malt and cinnamon and nutmeg dashed in. A pinch of yeast appears on the finish. Low presence leaves me wanting.

T - Toasted amber malts push past the mild spice and raw honey sweetness to leave a bready flavor offset by earthy Willamet hops that are very slightly noticeable.

M - Spritzy carbonation is well-balanced but doesn't do much to mask the thin feel of this brew. Light-bodied, it falls flat mid palette through the finish. Moderately dry ending.

D - The aroma needs elevating as well as the body, and the flavor could use more in general. I like subtlety in brews, especially winter sippers, but this is just lacking a bit. Another bottle I find myself wishing I opened with company.

 1,248 characters

Photo of cantfindme
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

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

22oz bottle poured into a Pint Glass.

A - Pours a dark amber with a fluffy off-white head that settles to a slight haze.
S - Sweet, malty aromas of caramel, honey, baked bread, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Smells like a Christmas cookie!
T - The Christmas cookie comparison is pretty apt for the taste as well, more amber malt, caramel, honey, and spices. The honey is much more noticeable then in the nose, really lightens the body and contributes to the overall drinkablity.
M - A bit thinner then I expected, but not a huge complaint overall. Probably around medium-bodied overall, with a nice creaminess and good carbonation. I suppose I'm used to big, syrupy Winter Warmers, the drinkability of this one is a refreshing change.
O - I really like this Winter Warmer, solid brew from a solid brewery!

 805 characters

Photo of jmarsh123
2.46/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a reddish brown with a small off-white head and good lacing down the glass.

Smells like nutmeg with some malty sweetness.

Starts off slightly spicy then recedes into a honey sweetness with a little nutmeg. Definitely malt forward.

Too thin for my taste. Carbonation level is good.

Usually like Olde Hickory, but this one doesn't do it for me. A bit too sweet without the backing mouthfeel and kind of bland overall.

 425 characters

Photo of tclapper
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of blackie
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bomber from Bottle Revolution

a: poured into a wide piraat snifter, this christmastime drank is a light amber maple in color, supporting a tight off-white head with spotty retention

s: some amber malty sweetness in the form of caramel, bready, a nice, modest spice presence - the cinnamon, fresh ginger, and orange peel blend together nicely; nice earthy/sweet honey aroma - that doesn't hold up too often in the final product, lightly hopped with a subtle dried grass aroma, smells like holiday cookies

m: lightly dosed with smooth carbonation, body around medium

t: malty caramel with tastefully applied holiday spice combine to create a flavor reminiscent of holiday baked goods, the cinnamon comes out most with ginger just behind, good dark honey flavor, the malting here is on the lighter side for a holiday ale - which works well as it leaves room for the spice and honey to really round out the flavor, only slightly sweet to start - soon swept up by a moderately acidic but benignly flavored hop profile, the bitterness is a little dry and metallic and maybe a little off kilter - but not a major issue, lingers nicely on the tongue

o: while I'm a fan of spiced Christmas ales - even the fairly extreme ones - I enjoyed the restraint used in spicing this one, it's easily noticeable and a prominent feature, but nicely balanced with lightly sweet amber malts

 1,372 characters

Photo of CBlack85
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of jerefreakinmiah
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of cwguy5
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of bcp5296d
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of mwbrady12
2.75/5  rDev -21.2%

Photo of dbrauneis
3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours an extremely lightly hazy medium amber in color with some ruby red and copper highlights and moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a two to three finger tall dense foamy beige head (with a little bit of sudsiness near the surface) that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of caramel malts with some honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Overall the aroma is slightly sweet.

T: Overall this beer is lightly sweet but not cloying in any way, upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of caramel malts with just the lightest touch of honey. There are some slightly stronger flavors of spices - cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and a touch of clove.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Slightly creamy but perhaps a little bit thinner than expected for the style.

O: This beer has a really nice holiday flavor - similar to a sugar cookie or snickerdoodles. I found it to be pretty enjoyable but I might have preferred it to be a little more cloying and a little heavier in body.

 1,194 characters

Photo of Lantern
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Christmas Ale from Olde Hickory Brewery
Beer rating: 3.49 out of 5 with 86 ratings