Brewer's Art St. Festivus Holiday Ale | The Brewer's Art

very good
70 Ratings
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Brewer's Art St. Festivus Holiday AleBrewer's Art St. Festivus Holiday Ale

Brewed by:
The Brewer's Art
Maryland, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by GeoffFromSJ on 12-27-2003

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Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 70
Photo of brentk56
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours coffee brown with a nice bubble show that delivers an inch of foam that fades all too quickly though it still leaves a few strands of lace

Smell: Ginger snap, date and fig, with sugar cookie tones, as well

Taste: Christmas cookie flavors, up front, with the spicy phenols of ginger snap and sugar cookies blending with dark fruit flavors; perhaps a bit of malted milk ball in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate to high carbonation; creamy, too

Overall: Tastes a bit more Belgian than the typical Winter Warmer but whatever this is, this is darn good, even in the summer - best by 10/11/14 on the label and the removal of the term Holiday Ale makes me wonder whether the brewery thinks so as well

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A clear, deep chestnut brown body is capped by a short head of creamy tan foam that holds well and leaves some very nice lacing about the glass. The nose is limited but offers a combination of delicate yeasty fruitiness, an almost burnt-sugar caramelization to its malt, and some noticeable but not discernable spice. The body is medium-full and a bit dextrinous with a very fine carbonation that lends a gentle zest to the tongue before it warms to become smoother. Gingerbread spice and light citrus (orange) hit the tongue up-front, backed by a deeply caramelized maltiness that seems to have a roasted edge to it and some mild dark fruit. It's bitterness is solid despite its spice, and it's far more dry than sugary. Spice lingers in the aftertaste along with a touch of biscuity, subtly roasty malt (like a cookie lightly charred around the edges). Its alcohol never really comes out in the flavor or the aroma, but after a pint you'll feel that there's something there. Quite nice! A welcome treat on a blustery day!

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown pour, some slight haze, looks flavorful. Had this on tap at The Brewer's Art.

S - Not much aroma present in the nose. Mild spiced citrus, sweet orange scents, maybe some clove or other spices.

T - A nice blend of flavors. Lots of orange and orange peel, and some carob. Nutmeg, cinnamon and clove. A combination of sweet, spiced and warming with some bitter notes also.

M - Tingly carbonation lends itself nicely to the flavor of the brew. Soft silky body with a smooth semi dry finish.

O - I like that it's not overly spiced like many winter/holiday beers are. The abv is presented nicely and overall its a well balanced tasty beer.

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Photo of Gavage
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a dark brown color with a 1" head that slowly falls to a thick surface foam. Some big bubbles sit on the surface.

Smell: dark fruit sweetness and a bit of spiciness is detectable.

Taste: nice malt base with dark cherries, orange, a hint of chocolate, a bit of ginger, and a mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Crisp from start to finish. Long lasting aftertaste here.

Overall: a hearty brown ale that has been kicked up for the winter holiday season. Flavorful and goes great while sitting in front of a fireplace on a cold afternoon.

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Photo of ckollias
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this at Brewer’s art in Baltimore, Maryland.

A: Pours dark mahogany hue a tan 1 -finger head that dissipates slowly and leaves a wispy lace.

S: Sweet Belgian candi aroma with burnt caramel in the background.

T: Similar to the aroma the flavor consist of a sweet Belgian candi flavor aroma, with hints of fruits in the background. Slight tastes of curacao orange peel and ginger.

M: Very strong and boozy. Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Nice Winter Warmer – great flavor and enough alcohol to make it interesting.

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Brewer's Art, Baltimore, MD. Served in a Brewer's Art-logoed chalice.

Appearance: A dark, hazy brown-bodied beer with an off-white half-finger head that fades quickly and unevenly. A reasonable attractive beginning to this beer.

Aroma: Spicy phenols and fruity notes are particularly noticeable here. Cherries and faint spices - you definitely get that ginger and orange peel on this one. Some dark notes are present in the background

Taste: Phenolic and fruity, very "high" in the mouth. There's a great deal of spice here and a fair amount of tartness - that citrus zest comes through, though it does feel lighter than orange in places, almost lemon like. You get both roasted and toasted malts, the latter particularly as it warms, and it seems equally sweet and dry. Gingery spiciness is detectable, though not too terribly strong.

Mouthfeel: Same fantastic fluffy and delicate mouthfeel - I continue to be incredibly impressed by the mouthfeels of each of the Brewer's Art's beers. It's soft, big, even and smooth. Very nice.

Drinkability: An interesting brew, and not necessarily one I'd definitely identify as a winter warmer. It's still noticeably Belgian, and though the additions (ginger and citrus peel) do dominate, there's a lot going on here and it's fairly interesting. The abv% is up there, but undetectable.

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Photo of Foxman
3.66/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It came to me a clear chestmut brown with fetching ruby highlights. There was nothing more than vestigial traces of light tan head floating amiably on the surface. A pretty-enough ediface of fine lacing was left behind.

The aroma was quite sparse, with a fleeting flicker of syrupy sweetness, which combined with a draft of alcohol vapor came off as almost medicinal.

Upon sipping, there came a swell of an earthy blend of malt sweetness, fruity with dark cherries, various berries, and vinous currants, along with the toasted character of caramel and molasses. The sweetness threatened toward cloying before being mitigated by a zap of ginger and the zest of indistinct citrus, not to mention the ever-present current of alcohol. The malt sweetness curled dowanward on the tongue toward the close, leaving a vague sour trace. The finish was lip-smacking and syrupy, but with a hint of spicy bitterness, more bold here than anywhere else. It's a sugary beast, but manageble, and moreso as it warms.

Medum bodied, it is a bit thinner than the heavy sweet character might lead one to expect. A cough-syrup coating lay on the palate and lips.

The key here was in allowing the beer to come down closer to room temperature, and once done, the flavor developed rather nicely, but there was no real change to speak of in the aroma. Taken for its taste, it is quite enjoyable, but with everything else in play, it was a tad disappointing. The ABV is big and obvious, and it works as a fair obstacle in finishing one and considering another. I'm not averse to having this again in the future, but it's not necessarily something that excites me.

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Photo of u2carew
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a goblet. Consumed 11/27/09
A- Creamy one finger head. Lacing is thin and sticky. Dark mahogany in color.
S - The aroma was muted - possibly the goblet serving hindered this. What I did pick up was some caramel. Light graininess. Alcohol.
T - Blast of malty sweetness up front. Slightly smoky. Mellow caramel. Cherry. A subtle hop bite. The malt combinations are fantastic. The added spices are hard to pick out but that doesn't effect the overall taste.
M - Fizzy. Crisp. Medium body.
D - A delicious seasonal brew. I'd definitely have another one.

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Photo of stirgy
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This one poured out a murky burgundy-amber color and was topped off with a creamy thin head that left a delicate lacing on the glass. Interesting aroma with apricots, oranges and licorice. There’s a strong fruity tang in the taste with black currants, fruits and licorice showing through. Alcohol is slightly detectable. This is a very flavorful and tasty brew. Light fruit-malt body makes this one enjoyable and easy to drink, and isn’t heavy at all.

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Photo of vandemonian
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brewer's Art Festivus is a nice, spicy winter warmer. I really enjoyed drinking it on a cold, snowy Baltimore Boxing day.

A: It was server in a nice goblet and had a brown colour and good 3 mm head. 4.5

S: Smells of spicy Ginger. Not a strong smell. 3.5

T: Very malty up front with some hints of ginger. Smooth and super drinable. 4

M: Quite carbonated. Feels good man. 4

O: A very nice brew. 4.5

NOTE: I had this back on Boxing day last year but I didn't bother putting up the review until now.

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Photo of Dithyramb
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed the brew named after the patron saint of Ravens post-season on Friday night at the Brewer’s Art. (Might as well celebrate separately, there will be no Ravens Festivus parties this year…)
Pushed my way past the vodka and tonic Mt. Vernoners to call out my order to the excellent basement bartenders. They served it in a tulip glass, charging me an amazing $3.50. The chalkboard claimed an 8% ABV.

Didn’t get much of a head with the pour, but there was a sticky ring of lacing that stayed throughout.
Nose was very faint, but there was some light malt. (Not sure if this was the non-headed pour, smoky surroundings, or my earlier Indian meal…)
Ooh yeah! Mr. Festivus is a very tasty and drinkable beer. I had several that night. No real hops to speak of, but it does have a dry finish. A very well done malt backbone (caramel and biscuits) has a fruity and spiciness with it. Just like a lightly citrus tinged gingerbread cookie. Mmm, I should have stopped by earlier in the season.
8% didn’t warm the mouth, but did warm the head and left the face and cheeks glowing. Had just the right amount of carbonation for the medium bodied brew. Yet again, another incredible beer from Brewer’s Art.

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Photo of Fish113d
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served chilled from a tap, this poured a cloudy chestnut brown color w/ a slight surface layer of head and nice edge lacing on the glass that did dissipate rather quickly. Smell was harder to distinguish, but i got tones of ginger and nutmeg w/ brown roasted malts and a little almond nuttiness. Sweet ginger and nutmeg were apparent on the first sip along with some sugary caramel malts on the finish. Sharp carbonation across my palete w/ a nice little alcohol burn and a spicy (ginger) aftertaste. Overall, a nicely crafted beer.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had the great pleasure of having this on-tap at the Grey Lodge in NE Philly. Since this beer does not lend itself to be categorized, I called the brewer. This beer consists of 5 different malts and contains ginger. There were 5 batches and each contained a different amount of ginger. The brewer told me I had the best batch. Good for me.

Let's start with the only bad point. It didn't have much of a smell. Since my sense of smell is not accute, I had my wife confirm this. Not much going on.

This has a very nice color and was poured with a nice frothy head. It has a very smooth taste, even though its alcohol content is on the high side (I think).

The taste was very good. It had a complexity that you don't find in many holiday beer. It reminded me very much of a Belgian brew.

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Photo of fourstringer
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 mL corked & caged bottle into a Brewer's Art goblet and a Duvel tulip. Moderately gentle hand. 2012 vintage - cellared since last year.

A: Very dark ruby-tinted brown with 1 finger of tan head. Good retention. Light lacing.

S: Sweet dark malts, raisin, cherry. Lighter spice notes. Chocolate is present. Nice.

T: Great dark, roasted malt flavor up front with dried fruit sweetness, although not nearly as saccharine as the nose suggests. Caramel and toffee. Dark chocolate on the semi-dry finish. Mild hop bitterness develops for balance. Light alcohol, fairly low for 8% ABV.

M: Moderate carbonation, a bit high for the flavor profile, with a nice full-ish body. Light creaminess. Did smooth out as it warmed in the glass.

O: Very nice brew. Full flavored and drinkable. The term "Winter warmer" doesn't mean much to me, but I'd say this drinks much like a doppelbock with a little dubbel and Scotch ale mixed in. I believe this aged quite well since last year - seems like more complexity and depth this time around. BA continues to do a bang up job.


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Photo of rdrummer
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a clody amber with a brownish head. It had long-lasting, but light lacing. The aroma is an almost overwhelming spiciness that consists of ginger, clove, and nutmeg. The taste though is almost all malt, a blend of malts at that. There is also that hint of ginger that keeps the spiciness going. It is lighter in the mouth than I expected but it was a beer that cried for more than one. A very good effort for the boys in Baltimore.

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Photo of garcia2a
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just got back from a meeting in Baltimore and as always, traffic seems to push me to Charles Street.

This tasty poured a nice deep amber color, cloudy with a nice quarter inch off white head. Nice carbonation.

The nose had a nice mix of warm spices and rich malts. I get a hint of cherry as well as alspice on the backnose.

The taste is warm and welcoming. The malts are well in balance on the tongue. There are hints of clove, alspice, fruit and chocolate.

With the malt combination in this brew, one would expect it to heavy on the mouth. The malts really work together and don't make the beer a viscous cloying monster. Instead the beer was slightly lighter in body than I expected, which in my view made this a tasty for in front of the fireplace.

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Photo of Scoats
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An interesting Christmas seasonal. It's a spiced ale, in the holiday traditon but instead of a medley of spices, this one appears to be spiced with ginger only. The base of the beer is a nice brownish malty taste with a nice just-the-right-amount of ginger aftertaste. Not a session beer, one a night is good for me, but definitely a beer worth trying.

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Brewer's Art St. Festivus Holiday Ale from The Brewer's Art
4.03 out of 5 based on 70 ratings.
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