overall
24
29
style
RATINGS: 569   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
Shrews629 (193) - Kentucky, USA - DEC 28, 2010
Dark red/amber/copper color with a nice thick off white head. Hung around for a few minutes to leave a small film across the top. The beer is mostly clear with burnt orange highlights at the bottom. Some lacing left on the glass. Some floral and citrus hops strike me first in the nose. Picking up some peach and what smells like cinnamon and gingerbread. A bit of orange in there also. The malt is of a darker tone. Some of the citrus hops at first with the flavor followed by the cinnamon. Ther gingerbread melds nicely with another sort of spice that I can’t indentify right off. Seemingly well balanced and enjoyable. Medium body mouthfeel. A tad bit watery. Was smooth and relatively crisp. Left a little to be desired on the palate. This is an easily drinkable beer. Worth a try if you get the chance. I did like the taste very well and it seemed to hit the spot, as far as for Christmas spirit. This would be nice with sugar cookies I think. Glad I got to sample it.

3.9
ads135 (5207) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - DEC 4, 2011
A great session beer. This was actually one of the first beers I ever drank in 2007. I had it at a restaurant in Louisiana and had to wait until 2010 to find it again in Kansas. Medium body, not particularly spicy, but a good dose of sweet and bready malts. (10/10/2007)

3.9
Kco (53) - USA - APR 9, 2012
Medium amber color, week head minimal lacing. Good balance of hops and malt. Crisp clean finish.

3.9
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.

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
MarkSachon (1062) - 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.


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