bmerz (741) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - DEC 15, 2012
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Draught. Clear amber. Aromas and flavors of spruce, light sour funk, spices, malt. Mostly sweet with a tight herbal bitterness. thin but sticky. Not into it but maybe that is just because of the style.
BREWMUSKCLES (2558) - New Jersey, USA - DEC 13, 2012
4.1 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
beautiful aroma from can of egg nog and vanilla pudding right out of the foam. shake the beer and it will continue to release it. fresh flavor of Christmas right from the can muted after some time when i thought i tasted a sugar plum! solid 4 xmas brew. big cinnamon and nutmeg allspice sets itall off. quite a feat!
ChadPolenz (1690) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - DEC 9, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Iíve often said Iím not a big fan of Christmas beers because they tend to be spice bombs. Iíve figured out the key to a good one, though: if I can drink an entire serving without it wearing out my palate. Some have me calling it quits after a few sips, but good ones like Sly Fox Christmas Ale are well balanced enough to endure for me. Plus itís got the right combination of spices.
I poured a 12oz can into a snifter.
Appearance: Beautiful red hue, transparent with some carbonation visible. Forms a large, off-white, frothy head which mostly evaporates but does lace the glass rather well.
Smell: Gingerbread, shortbread cookies, and fruitcake.
Taste: It seems like all Christmas beers use essentially the same spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice and ginger. Iím not sure whatís the right amount of each that satisfies my palate, but in the case of Sly Fox Christmas Ale they seem to be proportioned correctly. I actually can distinguish all these individual flavors while at the same time appreciating their homogeneity. The balance is perfect as none seem to overshadow the other, while the intensity is kept low enough that it doesnít feel overwhelming.
Slightly mild up front with a shortbread cookie-like sweetness, followed by a quick hoppy bitterness, which is then outshined by the collective spices. Each swig I concentrate on a different spice and itís amazing how well each one works on its own and how well they work as a team. The aftertaste is akin to that of a gingersnap, but I wouldnít call it cloying at all. Itís not a perfect beer, but itís definitely one of the better Christmas ales Iíve had.
Drinkability: While not exactly a guzzler, Sly Fox Christmas Ale has impressive drinkability. Usually, spice bomb palates tend to be sippers, but the body here is a bit lighter than youíd expect. Plenty of energy while in the mouth, with the right amount of carbonation and a tolerable aftertaste. Itís not exactly refreshing, but itís surprising smooth to get down. At only 5.5% ABV, this is a highly efficient brew and something Iím likely to drink multiple servings of.
gripweed57 (1365) - Hamilton Square, New Jersey, USA - DEC 7, 2012
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
12 ounce can. 2012 vintage. Deep amber red color topped by a rocky beige head. Lioght toasted malt aroma with lots of Xmas spices, including cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Flavor is malty with lots of spices. Not a lot of depth, just a sh*t-load of holiday spices. Medicinal bitter hop finish.
Nephilium (1694) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - DEC 5, 2012
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
(2012 Vintage, from a can) Big spice aroma to this one, with cinnamon and allspice being the most predominant. Pours a clear reddish-brown, with a thin off white head. The spice flavor continues, with the allspice, clove, and cinnamon being predominant. Long lingering finish, and easy drinking. Itís nice to have a Christmas ale that is a low ABV one.
pilgrimoutlaw (888) - Wayne, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 28, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle pours dark amber with odd sudsy tan head. Aromas of toffee, clove, ginger, nutmeg, cinammon, bread, earth. Moderately bitter and sweet. Lively, medium body.
NikkTwist (2714) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 17, 2012
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: JAN 5, 2014 Draft at Sugars. Dark copper pour with an overflowing head. Lots of sugary malt. Maybe too much. Some Christmas spices as well. Nutmeg. Cinnamon. Cloves. Pine needles. But mostly just a ton of thick dark sugar. UPDATE: Gave it a second try at Tattooed Mom. Liked it better this time. Seemed more balanced. There was no particular head at all this time. Not sure to blame it on the keg or the pour. But apparently, the less the head the better the beer. UPDATE: Having a 2007 bottle in Jan 2014 thanks to Chris Topham at Eulogy. Aged very well! Cloudy copper pour with an unexpected fizzy body. Spice and malt flavors have fused and become better than the sum of their parts.
tcane7 (1670) - Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 16, 2012
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bottle. Cork shot to the ceiling as soon as I undid the cage. Poured a reddish amber with thick fluffy off white head. Light spice aroma - cinnamon and nutmeg. Less spice in the taste, mild malts. OK
boxofrane (2553) - Spring City, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 29, 2012
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Draft at lucky lab. Pours copper with a small white head. Aroma is spicy with cinnamon, clove, and a little banana. Taste is lighter with a lot of cinnamon.
TURDFERGUSON (4045) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - MAR 19, 2012
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bottle, thanks emacgee for sharing. Typical spices, some doughy yeast, light citrus. Flavor is lightly spicy, some hops. A little overcarbonated. Meh.