White Christmas Spiced Winter Lager
Moylan's Brewery

White Christmas Spiced Winter LagerWhite Christmas Spiced Winter Lager
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Herb and Spice Beer
Ranked #266
Ranked #48,725
3.29 | pDev: 15.2%
Moylan's Brewery
California, United States
White Christmas Spiced Winter LagerWhite Christmas Spiced Winter Lager
Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 81 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.6/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle. Always a bit weird to see a Christmas offering from Cali, but since they have a stellar record of good beer, I'm happy to see what this one proffers.

This beer pours a rather beguiling dark bronzed amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and eventually creamy pale beige head, which leaves a few broad streaks of awkwardly webbed lace around the glass as things slowly sink southwards. One heady-looking amber lager, this.

It smells of bready pale malt, ginger, metallic cinnamon, zesty white pepper, weak dried orange peel, very subtle coriander/clove spice, and the suggestion, rather than the presence, of warming alcohol. The taste is more bready, lightly crackery pale and caramel malt (this is a lager, really?), muddled holiday spices - steely cinnamon, subtle pepper, musty clove - stale citrus rind, and somewhat edgy yeast.

The carbonation is light, and generally just playfully frothy, the body a decent medium weight, and mostly smooth, a certain airiness informing any additional creamy notes. It finishes off-dry, the grainy, crackery malt offset by the lingering staid citrus and blended spice elements.

A nice, gingerbread-adjacent winter spiced lager, the lightness of the yeast choice becoming increasingly evident. Perhaps that is its weakness, as well, my predilection for beer offerings this time of year leaning towards the heavier and heartier of the ilk, but that's just me.

Dec 20, 2013
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Jugs_McGhee from Colorado

2.57/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Acquired for $1.99 at Total Wine Redondo Beach. Reviewed live. Expectations are low given its current ratings. 6.0% ABV confirmed. 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with branded pressure cap served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Label art is mediocre.

Served straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Not paired with food.

No issues with beer surging out of the bottle or anything upon opening. Just a brisk "tsh" indicating slight overcarbonation.

A: Pours a 4+ finger head of white colour, no real cream, okay thickness, and average (~2 minute) retention. Body colour is a clear translucent pale yellow. Weak looking. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. No lacing as the head recedes. Carbonation bubbles are overabundant, indicative of overcarbonation.

Sm: Uh oh. Artificial. Old orange peel, light white pepper, and clove. I look for cinnamon but don't find it. I'm not great at picking out individual spices, especially with my broken nose, but I can tell this is messy. The hot pepper in particular is raising a red flag. I get chili pepper skin off the aroma. No yeast character or alcohol comes through, however. Pale malts. A mild strength aroma. Not real excited to try this one.

T: Ugh. Pepper skin, old clove, faint old orange peel, and bland pale malts. Clean barley. Unrefreshing. Comes off artificial. Balance is quite poor. No complexity or subtlety here. Rather boring and simple.

Mf: Decent softness. Smooth and wet. Unrefreshing. Weak and thin. Carbonation is okay. Poor presence on the palate. Badly executed. Doesn't complement the flavour profile all that well.

Dr: Hides its slightly above average ABV decently. It's just not a very good beer. I like that they're trying things out, but this one really misses the mark. Spicing was badly executed. Really mediocre. Still, it's drinkable. I doubt anyone'd have a problem killing the bottle. I definitely wouldn't get this again, but the price was rather reasonable. Sadly, that may be the best thing about it.


Mar 14, 2013
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scruffwhor from Illinois

3.7/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice pale amber with great bubbling, an awesome two finger head, and a strong layer of foam that lasts all 22 ounces. Definetly looks tastey.

Toasted cracker malt aroma with a light melange of Christmasy spices.

Great toasted cracker malt flavors. Add to that a very mild spice profile. Syrpuy palate with a little orange bitterness on the finish. Pretty easy and fun to drink!!

Jan 19, 2013
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oberon from North Carolina

3.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a 1/2 liter stein a dull slightly hazed lighter amber with a nice fluffy off white crown that was gone pretty quickly.Aromas were on the light side with alot of sweetness,I picked up some brown sugar and candied orange,a little nuttiness as well.I havent to many lagers like this with its hefty dose of spice,clove stands out along with cinnamon,alot of caramel and brown sugar as well,I will say there is a decent drying nuttiness in the finish.This was different but mot horrible,I wouldn't go out of my way to get it again though.

Jan 09, 2013
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superspak from Ohio

3.56/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into lager glass, no bottle dating. Pours slightly hazy golden straw color with a 1 finger fairly dense white head with good retention that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some spotty lacing on the glass, with plenty of carbonation streaming up. Aromas of orange zest, plum, lemon, pepper, clove, cinnamon, toasted malt, biscuit, coriander, and herbal spiciness. Some decent aromas, but they give off a bit of a stale vibe. Taste of orange zest, lemon, plum, pepper, clove, biscuit, toasted malt, coriander, and light herbal spiciness. Lingering notes of citrus peel, plum, pepper, clove, biscuit, and herbal spices on the finish for a good bit. It has some nice flavor balance: spicing is not too overpowering, and the sweetness is not cloying at all. Medium carbonation and body; with a slightly creamy and slick mouthfeel. Very smooth to drink. Alcohol is well hidden with only a very slight warming after the finish. Overall this is actually quite nice and enjoyable for a spiced beer. Nice flavor balance and not cloying with sweetness or spices.

Apr 06, 2012
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Cyberkedi from Georgia

3.18/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber on the dark, orangy side with a fairly decent pale tan head. Malty aroma has a definite hint of spice, mainly cloves and cinnamon, plus a touch of orange. Flavor is mostly malty and has an orange note plus a little bit of spice. It seems a little wan - but according to another website it was last brewed in 2009. Could this be old beer then? Still enjoyable. Smooth texture has a good amount of fizz. Maybe this would have tasted better when fresh, but it’s still worthy of at least a try.

Mar 30, 2012
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rand from California

2.69/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 650 mL bomber to pint glass

A: The brew reveals a strangely opaque apricot color on the pour, with vibrant, soda-like carbonation that leaps to the top of pint to form a quickly dissipating head. No lacing to speak of.

S: The toasty malts ground the bouquet, with subtle notes of holiday spice, coriander in the distance. Smells bready, pastry-like, but with little hop or alcohol presence.

T: Malt-forward as you sip, the subtle spice distantly lingers in the background. Again, slightly sweet bready aspects make up the palate, there's not much else going on in this beer. Some dry, wood notes are detected mid-sip, a little orange zest follows. Tastes like a flat marzen with some spices stirred in after brewing.

M: Light-bodied, and way too much carbonation for the complexion. Looks like soda, kinda feels like it too.

Bland and boring...I'm disappointed. Given the pretty presentation and the appealing list of spices boldly printed on the front of the label, I was looking forward to this one. Winter ales should have some kind of kick, not just a touch of holiday spice lingering in the background. I'm not much of a style-hound, but I think brews that are made to weather the cold season should remind of warm and fuzzies while warming the belly as you sip. This does neither - about as boring as the overrated Sam Adams Winter Lager.

Mar 07, 2012
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly murky honey orange with a 1 inch foamy orange white head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Foamy broken rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus zest, and muddled spices. Taste is of malt, muddled spices, and some citrus zest like hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild spice/hop bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a slightly crisp mouthfeel with a bubbly quality. Overall, this is a pretty good beer all around but nothing too spectacular.

Jan 10, 2012
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mulder1010 from Australia

2.93/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

bomber poured into a wine glass

A-- Poured a darker amber straw color. Pretty straightforward. Half finger of bright white head that went almost straight to film. Wants to be a collar but just a little more than that. Lots of small carbonation bubbles and not a lot of anything else.

S-- Some malt sweetness and then orange and cinnamon. Rather faint and fleeting smells.

T-- More of the above, add in some spicy citrus hops and the added bonus of white pepper. Good touch and like that. Too bad also very fleeting. The citrus hops end up dominating the taste.

M-- Light bodied and medium carbonation. Dry orange and cinnamon finish. That works. Slightly syrupy at times but works well with the spices showing back up.

O-- Better in the feel than in the nose and taste. Well hidden alcohol ut a little all over the place I thought.

Jan 04, 2012
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brotherloco from California

3.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber. 2011 vintage. Served in a tapered 22oz glass.

Pours a mostly clear gold with two fingers of beige foam. Settles to a thin head. Small amounts of lacing in the glass.

Strong lager aroma with bready malt and light citrus hops. Some apple-like fruits and apple cider aroma (cinnamon emerges here). Spices are present but are fairly light.

Flavor is quite similar to the nose, slightly sweet with a touch of sourness of fermented fruit. Spices remain light, but compliment the flavor. Finish is a little drier.

Medium-full bodied with medium-light carbonation. Quite drinkable.

Overall a thicker bodied lager with light spice tweaks to it's flavor. Not a heavy winter beer in any regard, but a nice contribution to seasonal beers.

Jan 01, 2012
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olfolxholme from California

3.72/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


22 oz bottle into a brewery ommegang flute(?)

A - pours with a nice finger of eggnog white foam. Beer is golden orange with hints of amber. Fairly clear. Minor head retention, hints of lacing. Bottle artwork is typical for this brewery. Kind of busy, kind of nineties, lots of informative text. The information I like most is their reminder to keep this beer refrigerated because it is a live ale. Hmmm, this one is actually a lager so the reminder is probably even more important. Also, label says this beer is brewed with orange zest (curaçao), mace, cinnamon, coriander, and white pepper. Fun blurb about the beer as well. Better more info than not.

S - clean smell of lager yeast and hints of holiday spices. As you get into the beer, a nuttiness appears in the flavor that then becomes unmistakable in the aroma as well. It's nice.

T - this lager almost comes off like a nutty ale. Nice round flavor of classic pilsner(?) malts blended with nuttiness. Was surprised to find it tastes a lot like peanut butter. It's pleasant and subtle, though. Some spicy fruitiness is there, but it's not as pronounced as the malt and the nuttiness.

M - mouthfeel is good. Surprisingly medium when I feared it could be thin and astringent.

O - of the Christmas lagers I've had, this is among the best. For fans of the genre, holiday beers, or even just lagers I'd say give this a try. I can see this being a hit at any holiday dinner. Cheers!

Dec 05, 2011
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Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

3.21/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This sounded impressive on the label. I took it home and chilled it and then proceeded to pour it into a glass. The color of the beer was hazy and golden. The head with fluffy and white. The smell was spicy and relatively floral. The lacing was decent around the glass. The taste has some decent spices in there too. I found it to be a decent winter spiced beer but I think it'd be better as a summer brew. That's just my opinion.

May 13, 2011
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TMoney2591 from Illinois

2.83/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Let's let one of the last vestiges of Winter be a revisiting of a beer I remember having whilst in NoVa but don't remember much else about. It pours a clear golden straw topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises orange zest, coriander, light pepper, and a rather light touch of honey. Things would be quite nice, but everything's rather meek and subdued (as opposed to subtle and whatnot). The taste increases the orange intensity, which brings with it a stronger sense of the peel's bitterness. There's also more pepper, some clove, and a sense of woody flowers. Things don't come across as nicely spiced, but rather as overly spiced in a fragmented way. The body is a rather light medium, with a moderate carbonation and a pretty dry finish. Overall, I'd call this one a decided miss. The spices just don't work as intended, and the base isn't assertive enough to make up for this shortcoming.

Apr 12, 2011
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gobigrant from Tennessee

3.97/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tulip glass, 55F.

A: glowing gold-amber, Produced a finger and a half of white foam with ok lacing

S: coriander, belgian yeast, CO2, citrus, and light malt

T: more coriander and other spices, pilsner and slight toasted malt

M: medium

D: Very drinkable

Feb 13, 2011
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matjack85 from Illinois

2.62/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I found this 22oz brown bottle at the Binny's store in Plainfield, IL for $5.49. 5 spices listed on the label, so I was anticipating a spicy, flavorful beer.

The beer poured a clear golden color and made a nice 1½ finger white head that lasted a few minutes and left some good lacing.

As for the smell - what smell? This is the weakest smelling spiced beer I ever put my nose into. If you breath in heavy and swirl it around a bit, you might find a hint of malt and some white pepper, but that's it.

The taste is a bland as the smell. Nothing offensive, but not the spicy Christmas beer I was hoping for. It's OK for a lager but disappointing as a spiced beer.

The body is light to medium with moderate carbonation.

Easy to drink but so is water. This beer needs more flavor!

Jan 27, 2011
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zeff80 from Missouri

3.7/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Poured out a clear, light orange color with amber highlights. It had a one-finger, white head of bubbly foam that left minimal lacing.

S - It smelled peppery and spicy. A mild caramel aroma.

T - It tasted of orange, coriander and caramel. The peppery flavor was much more mild than the aroma.

M -It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied lager with a somewhat dry finish.

D - This is a nice winter lager. It is very unique and very tasty.

Dec 11, 2010
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Frosty80 from Michigan

3.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color: pours a clear, light golden straw. sits clear, slightly burnished gold

Smell: lots going on. coriander definitely stands out along with a little bit of pepper. just a hint of cinnamon. not able to isolate and identify every spice used. it might be the combination of spices or perhaps some DMS, but there is a little bit of a corn smell

Taste: initial corn flavor up front, then some coriander and a hint of cinnamon. think i also get a little bit of that mild nutmeg from the mace

Mouthfeel: smooth, heavy-low body with moderate carbonation

Notes: here i think less would be more. seems there are just too many things combined here to be able to pick most of em out.

Nov 18, 2010
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beer2day from North Carolina

3.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pale, pale gold color. Very light. Some active carbonation. 2-finger light fluffy head. Faint retention but decent lacing.

Weak nose. Faint malt aroma, but little else. Not picking up any spice here, maybe a little pepper.

Really just a basic lager taste. Not much up front, strong malt finish, and a peppery ending. Decent, but nothing to get excited about.

Feel is about right for the style.

Not what I expected from Moylan's.

May 29, 2010
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Hunter from Arizona

2.83/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pale copper colored brew that manages a fairly decent head of white, but one that fades quickly. Notes of iced tea and hay in the nose, faint malt. Taste is rather bland - tea, some spice, little else. Drinkable, but given the usually heavy and complex nature of most holiday ales this one is rather featureless.

May 18, 2010
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ReDave from California

3.6/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very hazy orange amber color with a viscus head that almost looks like a real ale.
pretty lacy that fades slightly.

aroma is spicy [duh] some musty and orange.

Flavor is spicy and malty with some hops?
not too bad. peppery?

pretty dry finish good carbonation, low.

was this bottle conditioned?

Nice Winter approach.

Feb 02, 2010
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BeerFMAndy from Wisconsin

3.72/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada Imperial Pint. "Live Ale! -Keep Refrigerated" 6% ABV, No date.

A - This Christmas beer pours a clear yellow goldenrod color with a fair amount of bubbles lazily going up to a low white head. Mediocre retention to the dense layer but good lace left on the glass afterward.

S - The spices slowly trickle fourth from the beer which opens up with warmth. An interesting blend. A bit of coriander with a little citrus zest like a wit but with cinnamon and nutmeg on the finish giving it a funky scent. A little pine is in there too. It's all backed up by a low dry wheat nose and some light malts.

T - The same interesting spice blend makes its way into the flavor. Cinnamon and nutmeg give it a Christmas quality while coriander and a low citrus hint help in giving it a wit feel and drinkability. It's all grounded by light wheat and malts. No hops seem to be present in the flavor as the spice addition overwhelms all.

M - The spice kind of attacks the tongue and leaves a lingering aftertaste but it's medium-bodied and crisp with a refreshing finish. Slightly dry too.

D - Could become a bit cloying (we'll see towards the end of glass number two) with all the spices but otherwise a decent offering. Not one I'd jump at picking up again but I wouldn't turn it away.

Jan 09, 2010
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brewcrew76 from Wisconsin

3.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear golden with a small white head that fades to a thin layer of foam. Tight bubbles rush to the surface.

S - Grainy pale malts, coriander, orange zest and white pepper. Fairly light on the spicing.

T - Mace, coriander, orange zest and pepper. Grainy malts with some lager yeastyness. The spicing is more noticeable than in the aroma.

M - Light mouthfeel, lots of carbonation, dry finish.

D - This might be the first lighter style winter spiced beer I have had. Lightly spiced but I assume for such a light beer more spice would be overwhelming. Not bad.

Jan 05, 2010
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Beerenauslese from California

3/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a golden amber with small amount of head that quickly dissipates. No lacing.

Smells of hay and hops.

Tastes of malt, hops, ginger, coriander. That's about it. Not much of anything Christmassy about this one. Tastes are not well-integrated, comes off harsh.

Feels like a lager, not much carbonation.

Nothing special, not sure I'll get to the end of the bottle.

Dec 29, 2009
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magictrokini from California

3.1/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bought this on a whim, not a huge lager guy, but like the brewer. Poured hazy yellow-gold with a fizzy white head. Okay lacing. Spicy nose with that sugary-sweet lager smell. The orange peel and coriander are predominant. Bubbly mouthfeel. The lagery base hits hard up front, but fortunately, the mishmash of spice save you. Its the same blend used in the wit, with the curacao added, and it works. The white pepper is always welcome, as it balances the incense-like feel of the beer. Worth a try, not really my bag overall.

Dec 18, 2009
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Bighuge from Minnesota

3.94/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy yellow orange. Thin dirty white head. Lacing is minimal. Smells pretty good. Like a spiced lager. I'm getting corriander and curraco the most on the nose. I'll tell you what...for what it is...it is. Spicing is not overboard. Rather, quite enjoyable. A little more mace and white pepper coming through on the palate, but also the corriander and curacoa. Nice bready malt base and a very slight hop presence. Good stuff.

Dec 16, 2009
White Christmas Spiced Winter Lager from Moylan's Brewery
Beer rating: 76 out of 100 with 81 ratings