RATINGS: 561   WEIGHTED AVG: 2.86/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 184   ABV: 6.13%
As befits any Christmas present, each years offering is a unique product crafted with special care. Generally, this beer is a dark ale, however, the recipe changes each year. Available November thru December.

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jkwood04 (5463) - Connecticut, USA - JAN 3, 2014
2013 12oz bottle in a tulip. Pours amber with a beige head. Aroma of pale and caramel malts, some floral and citrusy hops, light spices, and light dough. Flavor the same. Average texture. Not a bad beer at all.

jkwalking05 (4743) - Arlington, Texas, USA - DEC 31, 2013
(Backlog) 12 oz botle. Amber in color with a small beige head, and clear. Aroma is carmel, brown sugar, and dried fruits. Taste is watered down, caramel, and soapy.

matthewjk (1125) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 30, 2013
An altogether unremarkable, but drinkable ale. I wish I had anything else to say about this, but I don’t.

mansquito (6784) - Nueva York, New York, USA - DEC 29, 2013
Heavy Woods, Brooklyn tap ($6): Pours light amber with a white head. Mild amount of caramel malt, and some floral hops. Taste is similar. Lightly bitter. A wee bit sweet, but mostly forgettable.

k0mpsa (3040) - Tuusula, FINLAND - DEC 27, 2013
Almost clear reddish brown color, light brown head. Aroma is roasty, malts and spices. Quite nice taste, little roasty, spices, some hops.

5000 (6862) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - DEC 26, 2013
Bottle:   Deep and dark amber, strong ruby hue, large frothy head, soft beige, fairly nice lacing.   Sweaty aroma of grains and stale bread.   Not all that appealing on the nose.   Very grainy and mealy on the tongue.   Moderate sweetness.   Some biscuit notes bring up the backside.   Body and mouthfeel are moderate.   This one is husky, a bit rough, grainy, not all that smooth.   What about this says Christmas to the folks at Abita I have no clue, as its not spicy.   A grainy Amber Ale = Christmas?   Oye Vay!

Campy877 (189) - Michigan, USA - DEC 24, 2013
Bottle. Was hoping for a bunch if Christmas flavors but found a pretty average amber ale. Pours a dark chestnut color with a medium head. But then does not deliver on the taste. Disappointing. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

majorchaz (24) - Augusta, Georgia, USA - DEC 20, 2013
An OK ’Christmas Ale’. Though I didn’t really get ’Christmas’ out of it. To be fair they do say on the bottle, that they brew a different Dark Ale each holiday season. This brew does pour a dark orange-copper, and is very murky, with good head retention and stippling. The smell is somewhat earthy, with some subtle hops in the background. The taste is what threw me off, as it did not hit me as ’Christmas’. It would probably be better labeled as ’Annual Dark Ale’, since it was missing the spice that I would normally associate with something labeled as a Christmas beer. Overall, a perfectly drinkable beer, but not what I was hoping for.

ChadPolenz (1847) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - DEC 18, 2013
I poured a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass. It had a best before date of 3/7/14 and cost $2.40 ($0.20 per ounce).

Appearance: Beautiful shade of copper/magenta. Clear with plenty of carbonation visible. Pours to a medium-sized, white, frothy head which laces and retains well.

Smell: Resiny/piney hops. A touch of coffee.

Taste: I haven’t had Abita Christmas Ale since 2009. The brewery makes a point of saying the recipe for this beer changes every year, but they don’t say if it’s the same base recipe with a few tweaks (a la Anchor Christmas Ale), or if they brew to an entirely different style. Though that goes to show the power of persuasion - some say this is an amber, others say it’s a brown ale. Frankly, I could go either way, though I’ll probably guess brown ale since that’s what it’s been before.

If this is a brown ale, then it’s quite hoppy for the style. Surprisingly strong, dank, resiny hops persist throughout the palette, but especially on the finish. There’s a general earthy quality to the taste here - hints of rustic tree bark and pine needles. Not much in the way of specific malty flavors, other than to say it has a solid malt foundation. I would not describe it as sweet, though there is an interesting flavor of coffee on the finish that seems to bridge the gap between the hops and malts. While I wouldn’t describe the beer as being particularly Christmas-y, since there’s no spices, it’s more interesting than your usual brown ale.

Drinkability: While the taste to Abita Christmas Ale was surprisingly nice, its delivery was equally impressive. The mouthfeel is medium all around - flavorful yes, but nothing intense. On the thinner side with noticeably crisp effervescence that finishes rather clean considering how bitter the taste is. I’m not sure of the ABV, though most sources seem to indicate it’s 5.5%, which seems applicable since it’s a flavorful beer, but nowhere near a heavy one.

DocJitsu (2024) - Pensacola, Florida, USA - DEC 15, 2013
Honey amber with a short tan head. Floral, malty nose--in that order. Wet but becoming slightly astringent mouthfeel. Impressive hop quality. Some pine quality that interacts with a toasty, richer malt. The best Abita offering IMO.

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