George999 (292) - Colorado, USA - DEC 22, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 12/20
Aroma from the bottle is spiced, taste is malty roasted notes and spiced, finish is clean smooth and a little sweetened, overall solid flavor not too spiced our sweet, good balance
Sledutah (6256) - Utah, USA - MAR 27, 2014
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
22oz bottle picked up at Supermarket liquors
Pours clear dark mahogany with a small beige head and some lacing. Aroma of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Taste is sweet malts, cinnamon, ginger and herbal bitterness
A good Christmas ale, lots of aroma but the taste is kind of muttled together.
maltdog (621) - Colorado, USA - JAN 10, 2014
1.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 2/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 5/20
2013 bomber. Clear teak pour, thin tan head. Smells of clove and red hots; also hints of butter flavored crisco, rose petal and brettanomyces. Malty-ish flavor at first with just a little bit of spiceÖ then a really weird, rough bitter taste. Soapy. Astringent. Some tarry licorice/molasses in the finish. Tastes a whole lot like rust, even into the long-lasting aftertate. Clove is the dominant spice throughout, but itís actually not overpowering. Palate leans toward watery and has almost no carbonation, plus a gritty-chalky texture. This nasty beer ruined Christmas.
nickel (775) - - OCT 14, 2013
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
By this time, best spicy bouquet i tried. Incredible strong aroma right away you open the bottle. Medium carbonated, tender fruity flavor with unbelievable mix of spices.
DenverLogan (961) - MileHi, Colorado, USA - JUL 20, 2013
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: DEC 28, 2014 From 22oz into a Corsendonk chalice.
Pours a light brown with modest head.
Aroma of cardamon, sage, clover, anise and dark malts.
Significant mouthfeel and modest carbonation.
Flavors of amber malts, burnt malts, sage, cardamon, rosemary, and other herbs. Iíve had this various times over the past six months and thought time might mellow out the spices, and it has a bit, but they are still big! Overall flavorful and tasty but a bit too heavy on the spices and herbs.
DEC 28, 2014 Update ~ OK, this beer is now 2 years old. Some of the spice has mellowed out but itís still big, but now the malts have also been reduced, but the carbonation is still big! Overall Iíd say two years of aging has helped and Iím raising the overall a tiny bit.
BMan1113VR (7914) - Los Angeles, California, USA - JUN 21, 2013
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle thanks to ratman. Pours with a clear deep bronze hued body with a tan head. Aromas are of gingerbread, nutty cookie, biscuity malt, eugenol, cinnamon and a lot of spice. Flavors are lightly metallic, thin, bitter, spicy tannin, gingerbread, spice, clove and nutmeg. Very thin bodied and spicy, lively bubbles.
bhensonb (12968) - Woodland, California, USA - MAY 8, 2013
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle shared by Irishboy. Pours darkly ruddy with little or no head. Aroma is spicy - but perhaps more towards pumpkin pie than Xmas. Med + body. Flavor is so pie spice. It works, but itís a rather different Xmas ale. Judged without regard to season, itís a nice spiced ale.
IrishBoy (4002) - Bakersfield, California, USA - MAY 7, 2013
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bomber from Ratman!!! Nose is pumpkin pie, with all the cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger even lacking the pumpkin. Cherry brown with a small beige head. Flavor is very spicy with a light bitterness.
UncleKorm (1142) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - MAR 8, 2013
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bomber poured a clear deep reddish brown w/ a frothy off-white mostly diminishing head and excellent lacing. Med to big aromas of ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, caramel, and dried fruit. Initial flavor is a light sweet to a moderate bitter finish. Taste is a spicy mix of Christmas with toffee, cinnamon, ginger, clove, cardamom, star anise and toasted cereal. Medium bodied, dry texture, soft carbonation, and a lasting spice in the finish.
GarrettB (1281) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 31, 2013
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: OCT 21, 2015 December 17th, 2013 - I must have really liked Bristolís Christmas Ale, because by the time I had the wherewithal to take a picture of the beer for my records, there was a small centimeter or so left in my sampler glass, barely a flicker left in the candle, with a used, tired top (no head) and a chocolate labrador brown puddle, quivering near the bottom. But the tasting notes were taken when the beer was closer to mint condition, and there I caught heavy scents of pumpkin spices: cinnamon and brown sugar dominate, but thereís some vanilla notes too once I give it a swirl and a cautious shake. Also, and this comes with two-raised eyebrows worth of surprise, I smell some egg egg, the creaminess and the spice combined in a seasonally decadent drink, and evident here in a beer. The beerís taste is defined by the heavy palate, thick and bubbly. Once the carbonation lifts I detect almonds and hazelnuts. Closer study of the foretaste revealís the nose sweeter elements like the brown sugar. Leaning back, it seems that this beer is neither a Christmas Ale nor a pumpkin ale, but something that spans the Autumn and Winter culinary traditions, rounding up a chefís shelf worth of spices and tastefully seasoning a beer with them.
January 1st, 2012 (3.2) - A Christmas beer after Christmas is an instance of poor timing, but the style lasts long after the holiday season. As long as the ground is covered in Colorado snow and the Rocky Mountains are saluting with their snow capped peaks off to the West, these dark and malty beers still make for a great nightcap on a cold night. With its soft, pillow head and light brown color, Bristolís Christmas Ale looks ready for a a quiet winter night, with a fireplace providing the soundtrack. Christmas desserts unfurl from the top of the beer - cinnamon and clove, and a dry banana ester too, giving this a dry and raspy sweetness. The flavor is dry too, reminiscent of the neighboring Venetucci Pumpkin Ale. Itís dry and vegetal, like a gourd that was cut and then regrettably left out on the counter, forgotten for a day. Another strange flavor addition: shabu-shabu dipping sauce. Itís not quite soy sauce and itís not teriyaki sauce either, but itís packed full of umami side, and lends this Christmas ale some welcome depth of flavor. The aftertaste is spicy but short, and that odd shabu-shabu note simplifies down to a simple light soy sauce taste. Vegetal and deeply flavored, this is a brew that is curious for its lack of sugars and sweets. But I like this break from tradition. Indeed, thatís part of why Iím drinking a Christmas beer after the holiday period has expired. The taste isnít spectacular, but Bristolís Christmas Ale isnít typical either.