kitschy (326) - Nebraska, USA - DEC 25, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
in bottle, thanks to darrell by way of Carl. Yummy aroma of cloves and honey, almost like baklava. Flavor follows suit, and malt smoothes the taste so I was unaware of the high alcohol content until I logged in to ratebeer.
MrRain (472) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - DEC 20, 2008
3.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
12oz bottle poured into a stemmed glass. Schlafly, a home-town favorite, has bottled and shipped the 2008 batch of Christmas Ale. This is not a pretty beer. The medium-sized dirty-linen colored head tops a murky brownish-red ale that reminds me of things that are too impolite to mention here. The aroma is pretty complex with hops, spiced apples and cloves. The aroma alone will give you heartburn. The initial flavors at 39 degrees F. of clove, cinnamon and sugar are harsh and matched with an equally offensive taste of pennies. As the beer warms to a more appropriate temperature the spices mellow out and the pennies go away. I agree with MOboy that this is similar to a spiced saison. This beer reminds me of the Schlafly Pumpkin Ale. The high alcohol content is hidden nicely. An alcohol taste would have ruined this beer due to the spice billet. The body is moderately thick and cloying and the finish is syrupy, spicy and a tad sweeter than appropriate. I give this a solid mediocre which is a disappointment considering the reputation Schlafly has for great beers.
jcr (2221) - Jasper, Indiana, USA - DEC 16, 2008
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle. Light copper body. Small, off-white head that is mostly diminishing. Strong spice aroma of cloves and cinnamon. The spice nose carries over into the flavor which is dominated by clove. The aroma also has hints of pine, caramel and brown sugar. The flavor is moderately sweet and lightly bitter. The finish stays on the sweet side. Medium body with a velvety, slightly sticky texture. Lively carbonation. The strong clove aroma and taste was too overpowering.
MOboy (505) - Kansas City, Missouri, USA - DEC 16, 2008
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Big, full head with a body the color of hazy tea. Hoppy aroma with a faint Belgian wildness. The flavor is evidence of a Belgian yeast strain being used. Almost like a spiced saison. A very well made beer and a nice departure from the typical heavy, overly spiced ale of the season.
theisti (3297) - Leawood, Kansas, USA - DEC 4, 2008
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
12 oz bottle at the Old Chicago in Overland Park, Kansas. 10 29 08. Pour is ruby golden with active carbonation bubbles and an off white 1 inch head. Nice lacing. Aroma of cloves, cinnamon, brown sugar. Maybe some malt underneath all of that. Taste is big clove spiciness, very much potpourri. The brown sugar and cinnamon are present, but mostly taste the cloves. There is a hop bitterness to the finish. Palate is medium and fairly mouth coating. Nice, but a bit overpowering on the spice - though this did relax a bit as it warmed.
sebletitje (6916) - Enghien, BELGIUM - NOV 30, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
courtesy of hwwty4.
Pours orange/brown with tan head.
Aroma was loaded with nice piney hops. It almost felt like taking a walk in a pine forest, the aroma was that strong.
Taste is hoppy, comes off well balanced with the malts and some spices (cinnamon).
Really loved this one.
502Che (999) - @, CAMBODIA - NOV 27, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
12 oz bottle. Nice clear dark amber with fervent rising carbonation and a good creamy head that settles pretty quickly to a thin layer. Nice aroma of doughy cake malt with some nice hops too. Flavor is fine, no flaws, but pretty weak without much character. Amazingly, no trace of alcohol (at 8%) really. Nice mouthfeel but a bit thin on the palate. Overall: dangerously drinkable.
Narnad (1472) - Wonder Lake, Illinois, USA - NOV 27, 2008
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Comes to the table with a caramel orange color, cloudy, and a thin frothy head that diminishes quickly. Aroma has a strong sweetness with spices, some grassy hoppiness and a faint citrus/Cascade hop aroma. Flavor has some clove spice to it, with a slight caramel flavor, lots of alcohol and ends with a great pine bitter. Mouthfeel was med and had high carbonation. Overall, it’s a good beer for the season.
smooch (238) - Sylvania, Ohio, USA - NOV 19, 2008
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pretty darn good. A lot of the flavors of the herb beers are so mild as to be indistinguishable and then others kill the beer. This is a nice original, tempered balanced beer.
Butters (3863) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - SEP 29, 2008
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
2007 bottle. Pours a near opaque burnt orange with soapy sudsy off-white head. Nutmeg, clove, some vegetal in the aroma. Pumpkin in the flavor. Not too bad, but nothing special