TheBeerLover (1026) - DC Metro Area, USA - JAN 28, 2006
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Harvey’s Christmas Ale pours to a beautiful, bright, tawny brown color, with no head formation, and a very soft to almost no carbonation. The nose is the first thing that jumps out at you. Very fragrant spicy/vinous aromas pair with malty/bready aroma and alcohol heat. The palate on this beer is truly joyful. Rich and buttery, the mouth feel on this beer is slick and oily as it slides down the throat. There is a lot going on in this beer. Flavors of sweet malt, raisin, currants, plum, toffee, treacle, a touch of spice, and hints of vanilla coat the tongue. Harvey’s Christmas Ale finishes with more complex malty/spicy flavors up front, then ends with a wonderful, soothing, warming burn. This beer is 8.1% abv, so this is a beer that would even warm Ebenezer Scrooge’s heart.
Stick a stake of holly in this beer, this is Christmas pudding in a glass. Marketed in 9.3 oz brown bottles retailing for $3, with a picture of Santa Claus on the label, this beer brings real Christmas cheer. Its safe to say, I will be going to get some more, and if you can find Harvey’s Christmas Ale in your market, you should buy some too. I would not dare match this beer with anything. Enjoy this beer solo, slowly sipping and savoring it. I enjoyed this beer while reading a few staves of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, and it really put me even more into the Christmas spirit. Merry Christmas from Merry Olde England.
DonMagi (5595) - bantervile, Bedfordshire, ENGLAND - DEC 14, 2007
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle from the cave, BBF may 08. I popped this not expecting much, but thought it would be a nice nite cap. My god what a beer. Aroma is packed with rich toffee malt, packed with a balancing hop resin. The taste is a similar beauty, soo full soo drinkable. Its just the perfect balance between the british hardcore malty barley wine and the american hop resin based barley wine. Mind blowing. Im going to get another case of this straight after i finish uni, even if it means exstending my overdraft.
Ringo (963) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - NOV 26, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2003 Another huge UK Christmas beer. The English do these right, much better than we do in the US. Our Christmas beers are generally overhopped and unimaginative. This one may be heavily hopped, but they are perfectly balanced by malt. This one is good, it is rich, dark, thick, and plummy like a Christmas plum pudding. I can taste the breeding in this brew.
mkobes (2142) - paramus, New Jersey, USA - DEC 6, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Very pleasant and enjoyable beer. Dark mahoghany in color. Lasting white head. Malty and fruity. Good beer.
beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - DEC 26, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Darkest of dark deep ruby red with a chestnut brown tone in color, zero head, nada lace, just the thinnest of thin rings around the edge thats like a string of web. No marks down for that though cuz the color is gorgeous. Aroma is a mass of malts, sweet and tangy, rich and lush, deep and dark, raisin and plum, caramel and toffee, notes of molasses, dark cherry, vanilla, and tobacco. Taste is nice and thick, dopplebock-like through and through, deeply sweet with a certain twanged tangyness of malty fruitness that lends raisin and plum, smoothing out but keeping its thickness with trails of caramel thats slightly burnt and finishes with a nudge more roasty burntness of caramel floating on the roof of the mouth with a crackly smoken caramel chewyness. Unique finish with a burntly mingling maltyness, quite nice and curiously interesting. Feel is pretty full, thick for sure with a nice creamy tone and sweetness with a lingering burnt finish. A nice thick winter sipper & favorably yummy.
GreatLibations (1854) - Last Supper, Arizona, USA - NOV 13, 2006
4.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 20/20
Pours a mud brown amber w/ a few transparent suds, then bam, a shallow pond of semi creamy spatter appears. Never saw that before. A delayed bubble reaction. Aroma is old world and musty w/ a slight rustic sourness. Full nectar w/ few residual effers. Flavors start out w/ a rustic sourness then a honey sweetness takes over. Old world earthy flavors ranging from aged citrus to sour braten. Secondary flavors include molases, maricino cherries, and cramel. Theres a nice bittering that shows up early and sticks around blancing it all out. Finish has perfect bittering w/ a honey aftertaste. Everytime I disturb the glass it sends up a bunch of bubbles from below. Very interesting. Good balance. A classic specimen. Overall: a rustic, semi sweet ale w/ a lightly sour tropshire. Malty backbone ends w/ a perfect bittering. Keep on drinking. This brew has personality.
xav33 (313) - Midland, MI, Michigan, USA - JAN 3, 2007
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Harvey’s Christmas Ale
275 ml bottle
Strong pour in an English pint
Recent brewing, x-massed 1/07
Poured a clear red brown with an average fizzy somewhat lasting yellowish off-white head that settles in a ring of lacing.
Smelt of sherry, banana candy, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, maraschino cherries.
Taste was upfront moderate bittersweet ginger and allspice bread, with hints of banana followed by a strong bitter dark molasses, roasted almost burnt grain taste with light sweetness on a long finish. Palate was medium to full bodied, creamy and velvety, softly carbonated, and moderately astringent.
Overall, this is my favorite christmas beer yet. Good sweetness upfront followed by a nice bitter roasty malt punch at the end.
jayme9874 (756) - Hamburg, New York, USA - JUN 15, 2002
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
(2000)Deep,deep red/copper. Almost no head. Huge nose of dark bready malt,molasses,nuts, sherry and more. Simlar to harvest ale. Medium to thick in body. Damn, mouth is bombarded with sweet heavy malt,nuts,raisons,lightly sour wine notes,caramel, spices and more. Very soft, mellow and rounded. Its 2 years old and I cant see it getting better then it is. Oh yeah its 8% and its blended beautifully. A fantastic beer that should be sipped and savored.
AceOfHearts (1374) - Mountain View, California, USA - DEC 18, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Wow!! I have to say, this is one of the better Christmas ales I’ve ever had. Holiday spice aroma, with some gingerbread qualities. Thick and sweet mouthfeel with some maple syrup; present but not overbearing alcohol (sherry?). Lasting cherrylike and sweet finish. Nicely done.
FROTHINGSLOSH (5513) - GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 29, 2007
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Sampled from a 12 oz brown bottle this beer poured a medium brown color with a small tan head. The aroma was sweet and fruity with notes of cherry, plum and molasses. The flavor was sweetish with notes of cherry, raisin and moderate amounts of molasses. There was a light light fruity hop presence on the finish.