majorchaz (24) - Augusta, Georgia, USA - DEC 20, 2013
3 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
An OK íChristmas Aleí. Though I didnít really get íChristmasí out of it. To be fair they do say on the bottle, that they brew a different Dark Ale each holiday season.
This brew does pour a dark orange-copper, and is very murky, with good head retention and stippling. The smell is somewhat earthy, with some subtle hops in the background. The taste is what threw me off, as it did not hit me as íChristmasí. It would probably be better labeled as íAnnual Dark Aleí, since it was missing the spice that I would normally associate with something labeled as a Christmas beer. Overall, a perfectly drinkable beer, but not what I was hoping for.
Chad9976 (1177) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 18, 2013
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
I poured a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass. It had a best before date of 3/7/14 and cost $2.40 ($0.20 per ounce).
Appearance: Beautiful shade of copper/magenta. Clear with plenty of carbonation visible. Pours to a medium-sized, white, frothy head which laces and retains well.
Smell: Resiny/piney hops. A touch of coffee.
Taste: I havenít had Abita Christmas Ale since 2009. The brewery makes a point of saying the recipe for this beer changes every year, but they donít say if itís the same base recipe with a few tweaks (a la Anchor Christmas Ale), or if they brew to an entirely different style. Though that goes to show the power of persuasion - some say this is an amber, others say itís a brown ale. Frankly, I could go either way, though Iíll probably guess brown ale since thatís what itís been before.
If this is a brown ale, then itís quite hoppy for the style. Surprisingly strong, dank, resiny hops persist throughout the palette, but especially on the finish. Thereís a general earthy quality to the taste here - hints of rustic tree bark and pine needles. Not much in the way of specific malty flavors, other than to say it has a solid malt foundation. I would not describe it as sweet, though there is an interesting flavor of coffee on the finish that seems to bridge the gap between the hops and malts. While I wouldnít describe the beer as being particularly Christmas-y, since thereís no spices, itís more interesting than your usual brown ale.
Drinkability: While the taste to Abita Christmas Ale was surprisingly nice, its delivery was equally impressive. The mouthfeel is medium all around - flavorful yes, but nothing intense. On the thinner side with noticeably crisp effervescence that finishes rather clean considering how bitter the taste is. Iím not sure of the ABV, though most sources seem to indicate itís 5.5%, which seems applicable since itís a flavorful beer, but nowhere near a heavy one.
DocJitsu (949) - Florida, USA - DEC 15, 2013
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Honey amber with a short tan head. Floral, malty nose--in that order. Wet but becoming slightly astringent mouthfeel. Impressive hop quality. Some pine quality that interacts with a toasty, richer malt. The best Abita offering IMO.
gdubu493 (27) - New Jersey, USA - DEC 15, 2013
2.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
Bottle from Quench! Beer in Silver Spring, MD. Poured 12/15/13 into a glass I drink beer in. Appears like a traditional lager. Dark amber in color, almost cloudy brown. Tall, light foamy head. Great hoppy aroma, notes of citrus, orange. Malty taste, burnt, dry. Citrus front end: bitter, spicy back end. Dry palate, more burnt overtones. Overall, mattwilliams81 said it well, "Taste is more malty with just a touch of hop bitterness. Nothing that really stands out about this one." #RespectBeerBrethren
Nightfall (1307) - Hamburg, GERMANY - DEC 6, 2013
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle @ Too many Geuzeís - only one toilet , Ulfborg 2012. Golden amber color, small white head. Sweet malty aroma with lots of spices. Tastes quite spicy, sweet malts , caramel, and a citric hoppy background. Rather dry finish with lots of spices. Not bad, but not my type of beer either.
samsmith33 (375) - - DEC 2, 2013
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Aroma Is Wheat, cranberry, mild spice. Taste is not bad...a tad stale, but mildly sweet. Much better than the abita fall.
mattwilliams81 (33) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - DEC 1, 2013
2.7 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Dark amber. Smell is somewhat skunky/hoppy. Taste is more malty with just a touch of hop bitterness. Nothing that really stands out about this one.
MacBoost (1273) - Pouring Bus, New York, USA - NOV 30, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a dark amber with little head. Aromas of (believe it or not), citrus hops, caramel and cookie dough. Taste is bready caramel with a nice dash of bittering hops. Finish is bitter and semi-dry with a generous amount of hops. This is way better than I expected.
ajnepple (2178) - Conifer, Colorado, USA - NOV 28, 2013
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
12 oz bottle. Amber and pretty clear with a tan head. Toasted malts, caramel, nuts, earthy, toffee, light bitter hops. Medium body, a little thin, with a smooth crisp finish.
Imaena (1823) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - NOV 24, 2013
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bottle. This is a pretty boring amber ale without much really going on. I would give it a miss.