Hoppy Holidaze | Marin Brewing Company

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Hoppy HolidazeHoppy Holidaze
Hoppy HolidazeHoppy Holidaze

Brewed by:
Marin Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our traditional Christmas Ale, brewed with Pale, Wheat, Caramalt and Munich malts, and hopped with Sterling and Styrian Goldings varieties. Delicately spiced with canela, nutmeg, mace, orange peel and pure vanilla extract.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 81 | Ratings: 109
Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.62/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 22 ounce bomber bottle poured into a nonic Imperial pint glass. Appears a hazed medium apricot color with two fingers of off white foam. Nose and flavor consist of citrus such as orange and tangerine, a touch of cinnamon, nutmeg and medium toasted grains, malty sweetness pulls it all together. A notch better than medium bodied and amply carbonated for a winter warmer. Worth trying.

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Photo of paulthebeerguru
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a nice rose colored amber. Nice, big bubbled, off-white head. Great rate of head retention and a nice amount of lacing to accompany it.

S: nice big earthy hop aroma, some flowery notes, with a hint of evergreens. Slight funky aroma, like a wild ale. Light sweetness from the malts in the nose.

T: very unusual ale. Good amount of flavors from the hops, mostly floral. I do pull a holiday flavor out of this, which is nice. I pull some strawberries, light notes of vanilla. Light flavors of orange peel as well.

M: wonderful holiday brew, light, crisp and refreshing. Higher carbonation level than expected. Medium bodied.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.32/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle tried 7 Jan 2009.

Poured in 0.5 L Adambrau becker. Medium white head. Well carbonated. Clear bright copper color. Aroma is light, reminiscent of bananas, rum and brown sugar. Starts sweet and cinnamony with some nutmeg and caramel. Like a spicy christmas cookie. Some hoppy bitterness at the finish. Light body. Ethanol shows up late.

Overall a decent Christmas beer.

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Photo of Grabbin2nd
3.98/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From Notes: 11/18/08
Marin Brewing Co. Hoppy Holidaze 2008 22 oz. Bomber, 7% abv.

Appearance=vigorous pour yields a 1 finger head that quickly dissipated, plenty of lacing and carbonation on sides of glass.

Smell=Hops, smells like Christmas. Can i say that? Can't pick up much else.

Taste= great overall taste, a Hoppy holiday beer for sure. Everything is dialed in, nothing out of balance. If anything is lacking, it's the fact that the taste does not linger in your mouth.

Mouth Feel= Almost perfect, not too think, not too thin. If it was slightly more resinous (thicker) i would prefer it.

Drinkability= highly drinkable. Great "holiday" beer.

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Photo of BrewerB
3.37/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Medium orange color with a thin off-white head that doesn't quite hold together.

S - Orange, nutmeg, and spices. Light hints of cinnamon. Malty sweetness also present. Hops are a bit more difficult to detect but seem floral/earthy in nature.

T - Curious mix of orange and nutmeg with touches of vanilla around the edges. Spice-like quality (nutmeg, perhaps) lingers on into a soft, medium finish. Slight sweetness along with medium-level of bittering. Bottle proclaims to include mace as an ingredient though I am unsure what this would taste/smell like.

M - Medium-bodied with moderate to moderate-high level of carbonation. Smooth.

D - I wouldn't make this a daily beer but it can be nice when looking for something out of the ordinarily. Not brewed year-round and for good reason.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fluorescent tangerine peel with bright banana borders and an appealing light haziness. The creamy crown is the color of white chocolate fudge and looks good in contrast with the beer. Thick sheets of fine dotted lace are being deposited as the foam slowly melts.

For an ale with so many extra ingredients, this winter warmer doesn't smell overly bold or distinctive. Nor does it smell very hoppy, and this is an '08. Each sniff delivers sweetened citrus (mostly orange) and an indeterminate spiciness. Warming opens things up a little.

Hoppy Holidaze is a solid spiced ale that fails to stand out from the spiced ale crowd. There aren't any faults, per se, but it doesn't have much pizzazz either. Adding at least 50% more Sterling and/or Styrian Goldings hops would have given it a needed zing and would have lent some measure of truth to the name. As is, Moderately Happy Holidaze is a more appropriate moniker.

The lightly toasted malt backbone is nice and sturdy, with sweet staying ahead of bitter at all point along the flavor arc. The extra ingredients (nutmeg, mace, cinnamon, vanilla and orange peel) are relatively well-balanced, although nutmeg is beginning to assert itself as the beer gains a few degrees.

If you like well-spiced, pale malted winter warmers, the drinkability score is a 4.0. If you're ambivalent, subtract a half point. If you aren't a fan, subtract a full point. The mouthfeel is a highlight. It's a fraction more full than medium and has an impressive smoothness born of perfect carbonation.

Even though Hoppy Holidaze isn't the best thing since sliced bread, it's a well-brewed winter warmer that does what it's supposed to do. Note to Marin: delivering on the Hoppy will make future Holidaze much brighter.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.67/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pretty amber, not much head, reduces to ring fast. Thin sudsy lacking.

S - Almost Belgian at first thought, but no, Christmas spices dominate.

T - Taste follow smell. Malt sweetness is there but accented with the type of spices associated with hot Christmas drinks.

M - Good coating, fair carb, good balance.

D - I think this just isn't my cup of beer.

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Photo of rossthefireman
4.55/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Nice hazy orange brown color
S- Malty smell with some vanilla notes
T- Great malty taste, some vanilla, hint of cinamon
M- Great mouthfeel, great carbonation and balance
D- Easily drinkable

I really enjoyed this beer. The one thing that threw me of was that it didnt taste like a holiday ale. With holiday ales I expect a big beer with juniper berry and hop flavors but this didnt have it, it actually confused me at first. So even though it threw me off, I still really liked it and gave it favorable reviews.
After drinking it I dont consider this a holiday ale/ winter warmer, but this would make a great every day ale produced by Marin brewing due to its easy drinkablility and great flavor.

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Photo of Tdizzle
3.56/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A winter warmer brewed with spices and pure vanilla extract.

A- Poured into an imperial pint glass, this beer pours a clear yellowish-orange color with a white head that settles to a thin cap over the beer. Minimal lacing is left behind.

S- Citrusy and floral. Sweet malts, oranges, and honey with indiscernible spices in the background. A bit chemically smelling though, which might be the vanilla.

T- Sweet and malty, with spices like cinammon and nutmeg followed by a flavorful finish. The vanilla comes through in the flavor profile.

M- A very pleasing mouthfeel. Smooth and velvety, with medium-light carbonation that feels just right.

D- Good tasting beer, good drinkability, good night. Kudos to Marin on the 7% ABV.

An all-around good winter warmer. I would have this again.

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Photo of magictrokini
2.26/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Expecting an IPA, but got something I really did not like. Pours gold with a minimal white head. Dusty, dank aroma. Taste was not good. Mix of apricots with spice and vanilla. Hops were undetectable until the end of the bottle, and then they tasted like vegetables. Blech.

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Photo of bbothen
3.16/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear light orange color with a 2 finger deep head of creamy white bubbles.

Smells of holiday spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, orange as well as a bready, bakery aroma.

Slighty spicy from the holiday spices, caramel like maltiness, zesty orange, vanilla in the finish.

Feels nice. Smooth, creamy, lush, medium bodied, lingering vanilla extract flavor.

The whole bottle was a chore. Not bad by any means, I just dont particuarly care for these flavors in my beer. Kudos to Marin for brewing this though.

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Photo of gpogo
3.79/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Opaque orange with off-white head.

A- Citrusy hop aromas with spices. Cinnamon and nutmeg seem to be the most prevalent.

T- LIght malty sweetness backed with citrusy hop flavors and spices. It was a very enjoyable taste, not overly spiced.

M- Medium-light body and low carbonation. Not much of an alcohol warming though.

D- Very drinkable holiday beer. Admitedly I acquired this one on holiday clearance, though I'd love to try it again closer to when it is brewed.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.82/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I am sampling a 22 oz bottle poured into a snifter at cellar temp.
The brew pours a clear copper hue with a fizzy off white head of 2 cm foaming up and receding quickly to a thin edge layer. No streams of carbonation rise to refresh the head.
Aroma is fruity and spicy with some caramel and cinnamon mixing with cloves and nutmeg and perhaps vanilla. Overall a sweet nose but not over done or imposing.

First sip reveals a lite body with very fine tingly yet spacious carbonation. Almost under carbonated and the texture is a little thin but so far so good.

Flavor is sweet through and through. Caramel and cinnamon intertwine and dominate but hints of nutmeg and cloves and some vanilla poke through. The beer is easy to drink and festive for sure. Not a bad beer, but it would be more fun with a little more body to it.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.37/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice looking golden-orange with a sticky, foamy white head. The smell is an intriguing mix of floral, cinnamon, nutmeg and hops. It tastes like a weaker version of Anchors Christmas Ale. The smell is really good. The taste is decent but not something I would drink again. I would go for Anchor if I wanted a similar warmer with a zing.

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Photo of JDV
2.8/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared at tasting with Fly, Dewbrewer, Humulone_Red and others. Thanks guys!
Some apple juice like maltiness in the nose and taste. Somewhat oktoberfest like taste to it. Nice musty maltiness predominantly and I didn't pick up on the spices or vanilla really. Just ok, I thought.

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Photo of t0rin0
4.04/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm going to have to disagree with the majority of the reviews here. I've had this from the bottle a couple times and more recently from the brewery. I really enjoyed it each time.

The beer pours a light orange color that is pretty hazy. There is a decent amount of head but not much in the way of retention. Plenty of bubbles coming up the whole way through the glass. Not really an impressive beer to look.

The smell is complex to say the least. It's classified as a winter warmer here but I'd say its got a lot of white ale elements to it. Definitely some orange and/or lemon peel. Not sure on the other spices but I wouldn't doubt that theres a bunch of different spices in there.

The taste is very smooth, almost wheat like. Don't have a bottle laying around anymore to verify that. Very smooth and despite the name there isn't much hop bitterness. There is however some hop flavor mixed with the spices. Can't taste much malt other than some sweetness. From the tap I didn't get any alcohol flavor. I rather enjoyed the flavor of this beer and if its like their other beers it should age just fine so maybe next year I'll buy some extra to last through the summer.

The body is moderately heavy and pretty carbonated. Very drinkable in my opinion.

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Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy apricot color with a foamy head that retains well; not much in the lacing department

Smell: Peach, toffee and vanilla; some of the spices are also in there, such as cinnamon, nutmetg and orange peel

Taste: Opens with a bizarre fruity flavor that contains peach and holiday spicing, where the bitter orange peel dominates but the nutmeg and cinnamon are apparent; after the swallow, the bitter orange peel dominates the hop flavor which has an English earthiness at the very end

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I would characterize this as an interesting but failed experiment; very different but it just doesn't come together

Thanks, tangfoot, for the opportunity

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Photo of Floydster
3.67/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bomber purchased from Cooke's Family Market for around four dollars, split with my dad last night

Poured into my Firestone pint glass with a golden orange color and that was more on the lighter side, 1/2 soapy white head that stuck around for a few minutes, some retention and small amounts of lacing

Smell had lots of different spices, some orange peel, coriander, ginger, faint hoppiness, and caramel

Taste was very spicy and full of different herbs, good amount of hoppiness, strong cinammon and nutmeg flavors, some malt but not as much as most winter beers, mostly bread and toffee, very faint milk chocolate flavor, but mostly spices overall, got sweeter as it warmed and became easier to drink surprisingly, the bitterness in the finish made the spiciness bearable for me, complex brew that will give your tongue some different sensations

Body was pretty good and there was just the right amount of carbonation, taste lasted a pretty long time too

Could drink another bomber of this probably, but the spiciness would get to me after a while even though it is relatively light on the stomach and it has a pretty low ABV

Another above average brew from Marin, cannot wait to try their White Knuckle double IPA, this was one of the better winter warmers I had this holiday season and I am usually not a fan of them, recommended, but I would probably age it for at least a year to see if it would mellow a bit

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Photo of Viggo
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Christmas tasting with biegaman and grub. biegaman brought this one back from Cali!

Pours a hazy orange/brown, thin off white head forms, leaves some lace spots, nice ring, looks okay. Smell is caramel, some spices, oranges, ginger, bready malt, citrus, interesting, very spicy. Taste is similar, heavy on the ginger and oranges, some vanilla, cinnamon, caramel, bread, touch of alcohol, very spicy, bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Not too bad, little bit unfocused though. Thanks Jan!

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.28/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2006 release, Sampled December 2007
Very well carbonated as a careful pour produces a four-finger thick, light tan colored head that sits a top a brilliantly clear amber hued beer that is just filled with excessive carbonation bubbles. Aromas of spices dominate the nose; nutmeg is the most persistent, but a backdrop of cinnamon is also noticed. Not much else is noticeable in the aroma, though there is perhaps a touch of herbal hop character here.

Lightly sweet, yet with a sharpness that is a combination of spice notes as well as a slight sourness. Dusty nutmeg flavors and flavors of muted cinnamon turn a bit astringent and almost woody as one gets towards the finish. Fairly light, especially for a 7% alcohol beer, this would definitely be an easily quaffed beer if not for the excessive spice notes. Some fruit flavors are noticeable under the spices, with touches of apples and perhaps a hint of pear flavors. Hop flavors add some bitterness as well as some herbal notes that become muddled together with the more powerful spice notes.

This is not a bad beer, it is just not my cup of tea. Too spice dominated, even after a year of age.

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Photo of grub
3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

christmas tasting hosted by biegaman on dec 15/07. he contributed this one. thanks jan!

22oz bottle.

pours a nice reddish amber colour with a bit of very fine white head. no lace.

aroma is nice. light alcohol. bit of caramel. big floral character, but not quite as dominating as in the moylan's we had before it. bit of pepper. hint of pine. cinnamon and nutmeg.

taste is ok. medium bitterness level. grapefruit. orange peel. bit of caramel. pepper. cracker malt. lots of flowers and spice again.

mouthfeel is ok. low carbonation level. medium body.

drinkability is not great. the spice and floral character are overpowering and not pleasant. no balance.

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Photo of largadeer
2.79/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Amber-colored with a slight haze. Very foamy with good head retention.

Smell: Slightly funky - the nose is a mishmash of various spices, the dominant aroma being orange peel. Not entirely enjoyable.

Taste/mouthfeel: Very dry. The spices are dominant, primarily orange and vanilla, with malt taking a backseat to those flavors. Hops come out more in the finish, leaving a pleasantly bitter aftertaste. Sits well on the tongue with moderate carbonation and a medium body. Not bad, but the spices seem to overwhelm the malt. A less dry foundation would support the spices better.

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Photo of Murchmac
2.6/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer this year pours with a big head. Watch out pouring it.

Smells of slight hops, but more of a macro smell than anything.

Tastes like a Mr. Potato Head at Guernica. Some vanilla notes, some hop notes, some malty caramel, but just all over the place, not very uniform.

Good alcohol content is present, good beer to drink a lot of to get drunk if you like vanilla. If you dont like vanilla in your beer. Stay away.

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Photo of
3/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz. bottle

Slightly hazy, light gold in color. Large, white head. Brewed with Sterling and Styrian Goldings hops.

Aroma was floral - lavender? Nutmeg and oranges, some vanilla.

Taste was much too dependent on spice, in my opinion. Not the same flavors as Weyerbacher's Imperial Pumpkin, but the intensity level was similar. Hops push through as citrus & floral. Some pepper in there.

Medium + in body. Carbonation was fairly high, but well integrated. Quite dry, almost astringent.

Not my cup of beer. Too spicy. It improved as it warmed, but not enough for me to want to go here again.

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Photo of hoppymeal
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours honey gold with some cloudiness and a massive size off white head that recedes fairly quickly. Tart apple, lemony-orange, honey sweetness, some soft sweetness like belgian sugar and a bit of nuttiness in the aroma. taste shows some lemony tartness, a bit of grassiness and straw, and a soft bready sweetness. Mouthfeel is soft and fluffy up front with some decent dryness and bitterness in the finish. Much like a biere de garde, nice level of spicing, not overpowering, a nice mild tartness and soft creamy sweetness. Refreshing and enjoyable.

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Hoppy Holidaze from Marin Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.55 out of 5 with 109 ratings