Brewed by Harveys Brewery
Style: Barley Wine
Lewes, England
Serve in Snifter


on tap

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 398   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.46   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 225   ABV: 7.5%
Bottle: 275ml only. Also available on draught throughout December.

Christmas Ale’s popularity made it difficult to restrict its availability to just the Festive Season. Fortunately, the high alcohol level enables us to brew enough to last most of the year so enthusiasts can be kept happy all year round.

It is heavily hopped, dark and strong, like Christmas Pudding in a glass!

Contains: Barley and Oats.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 11/20
Suttree (5638) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - JAN 5, 2003
No head, deep brown color. Smells like butterscotch, nutmeg, and a little gingerbread. Butterscotch dominates the taste, and it actually seems a little greasy on the palate. I ended up not really liking this one much.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 1, 2003
UPDATED: JAN 1, 2004 No head and muddy brownness combined in scariness..the aroma was a spicy licorice infused overripe chocolate covered bananas..the flavors were like banana bread, spiced pumpkin, nutmeg and chocolate soda with hints of ginger and cloves..the carbination was very low and it was very spicy overall re-rate 2003: Licorice notes, mouthfeel not thick enough, still quite spicey...and to tell you the truth, reminds me a little of J.W. lees harvest...but not thick enough...

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
Crit (3605) - Surrey, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 27, 2002
Thick sweet and syrupy.Light fruit notes.Not much else other then the alcohol heat.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
JPDIPSO (5124) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 23, 2002
2000 Version. Light chestnut color with a touch of red. Minimal head. Very vinous with undertones of spice and brandy. Still sweet even after this aging.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
jskendzel (602) - Washington DC, USA - DEC 22, 2002
Quite flat. Tart, fruity notes, maybe some spices as well. Pears, apples, estery flavors. Not a great Xmas ale.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
heykevin (1281) - Decorah, Iowa, USA - DEC 22, 2002
Dark ruby brown, it tried to generate a head, but didn’t have it in it. Hot sweet alcohol aroma. Malt is thick and forbodingly sweet, with an almost teeth-numbingly sweet finish. Some spiciness begins to poke trough the sweet. Not terrible, but definitely not very exciting.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
AustinMilbarge (681) - Denver, Colorado, USA - DEC 22, 2002
Mostly diminishing head. Apple cider color, hazy. Sweet aroma. Flat, no real carbonation. Acidic and tart in flavor.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 9/20
skortila (4867) - Baarn, NETHERLANDS - DEC 22, 2002
Aroma is nice, like pancake-syrup, malts. Appearance is bad; it was very hard to get even a very shortlasting head. Colour dark gold-brown. Syrup, very malty, bit roasted, sweet caramelsin taste. But this beeris way off; there’s no balance. Palate is discusting. Well a 2.5 rating for my #250 rated beer, can’t wait for #500!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
caesar (5877) - Bunnik/Utrecht, NETHERLANDS - DEC 22, 2002
Dark brown color, shortlasting head. Syrupy, caramelly perfume. Caramelly malts in the taste, together with liquorice and syrup. Not the best christmas ale i’ve had, actually one of the worst.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
DavefromChicago (201) - Illinois, USA - DEC 8, 2002
Another one of these syrupy concoctions of the Brits - I poured this one into a snifter...there’s something gross about pouring a full bottle of headless brown fluid into say, a pilsener or pint ale glass. The color is, like peat bog brown. I rather liked this beer. It packs the expected heavy malt punch. Mine must have been old ’cause hops were definitely in the background, whereas the deScription says heavily hopped. Low carbonation. The bottle says to check the bottle cap for dates, etc., but my cap said CKN, not terribly helpful. I bought it in summer so I know its not new. Anyway, I like these sweet, strong English ales to be lightly hopped so I was happy. Aromas and flavors of coffee, chocolate, caramel, prunes (call ’em dried plums), and orange peel complement the maltiness. Finishes w. enough hoppiness to clean the palate. Pretty good.

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