overall
26
29
style
RATINGS: 566   WEIGHTED AVG: 2.86/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 184   ABV: 6.13%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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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3.9
Kco (51) - USA - APR 9, 2012
Medium amber color, week head minimal lacing. Good balance of hops and malt. Crisp clean finish.

3.9
ChadPolenz (1816) - 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.

3.8
Gusler (2653) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - NOV 22, 2000
Look forward to this years brew, last years was good, nice and malty, with a underlying hop floral essence.

3.8
nearbeer (5413) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - NOV 10, 2007
12 oz that has a shiny silver label, I assume this is the 2007 version. Medium-sized and lasting head on this uncloudy, dark copper-brown beer. Aroma is spicy wood and slight cocoa. Flavor is unsweetened cocoa, toasted nut, dried wood, fruity and piney hops, and some unidentified dry-earthy herb-spice(s). The hops combine with the subtle spice to give a nice bitter-fruit, deep woody finish to this beer. Palate is almost medium bodied, smooth and dry. Haven’t had the previous versions, but this year’s is unique and flavorful.

3.8
FishManLA (337) - Abita Springs, Louisiana, USA - DEC 23, 2008
2008 recipe. Perhaps due to the popularity of Jocamo IPA, this years Christmas Ale offering from Abita appears to be based on a modified recipe of Jocamo. Its a similar deep red/amber color with a medium sized tan head. Nose is of caramel and rich malts. Taste is malty with a slight hint of nuts. Where it differers from the IPA is that the hops are dialed way back in this one by comparison. The flavor of the hops begins to peek through in the finish, leaving a nicely bitter sweet aftertaste.

3.8
beerandbeyond (708) - ISRAEL - JAN 24, 2013
12oz bottle poured into a wine glass. Clear mahogany color with some red hues and a decent beige head. Slightly spicy nose, with caramel malt, faint piney hops, oranges and ginger. Pleasant malty flavors, with lots of spices (ginger, allspice. clove), some dried fruits and nuts, candied citrus peels and medium bitterness (with some medicinal notes). Medium bodied, pretty balanced, satisfying and quite wholesome. Nice.

3.8
mikedR (1561) - Gilbert, Arizona, USA - APR 8, 2013
Very meh. Pours a nice dark color, and the malty backbone and mouthfeel are good, but the spices are quite lacking. There is some kind of spice that's trying to assert itself, but it never breaks through. No discernible nutmeg, cinnamon, etc., as you might expect from a Christmas ale. Decidedly average. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

3.8
MarkSachon (1023) - Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 13, 2014
2013 vintage. 12 oz bottle from Giant Eagle on Route 8 in Pittsburgh. Red hues and a small head on the first sip. Some scents of spice and exotics. Could have been better lacking a few things common to this type.

3.7
SudsMcDuff (8428) - .....Manchester United.........., Texas, USA - DEC 6, 2006
2006..Pours with a great head!...and the lacing is swell...very nice people-pleasing taste!...light brown...some sweet subtle aromas!...is a nice simply made brew! ..again...simple beer can be great beer!

3.7
gws57 (1276) - Saint Charles, Illinois, USA - DEC 30, 2007
Found this one at Binny’s in St. Charles, Illinois. Nice ruby red, clear pour with a medium tan head. A sweet nose with some spiciness, follows into the taste, balanced with a sharp, hoppy finish. Pretty good. I am enjoying this season of Christmas brews.


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