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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: roguenationpatriot on December 08, 2010, 06:04:39 pm

Title: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: roguenationpatriot on December 08, 2010, 06:04:39 pm
I don't have a specific favorite, but I was very inpressed with Sierra Nevada's Celebration.
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: geo1267 on December 08, 2010, 06:11:46 pm
I have tried these four so far this year. Sierra Nevada Celebration, Anchor Christmas, Troegs Mad Elf and Rogue Santa's Private Reserve. My favorite has been the Rogue.
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: monomer77 on December 08, 2010, 08:18:02 pm
Sierra Nevada's Celebration isnt really a holiday beer, it's just an IPA. Dont get me wrong, it's one of the best IPAs in the country. Although this years body and mouthfeel seem a bit bigger than usual to me.

Breckenridge makes a good holiday ale. Belive it or not, I was impressed wtih Points holiday beer. That'd be Stevens Point. Malty, Munich malt like, hint of chocolate/roast and just a nip of spice. Very drinkable.
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: Hydro on December 09, 2010, 05:10:07 am
I believe a Pumpkin Ale is an absolute must have for a seasonal October through New Years brew.  I actually look forward to brewing it all through the year.

Pumpkin Ale can be served along with a slice of pumpkin pie and you will truly enjoy the complimentary flavors the beer and pie have for each other.

Here is another way to serve your Pumpkin Ale, that maybe, you have not thought of before.

Get a 13 oz Margarita serving glass.  Nice wide open glass with a thin stem.  You can purchase these glasses at Walmart 2 for $4.99.  Good price, has a great presentation.  Get several for serving your friends and family.

Frost the glasses and fill with Pumpkin Ale within 3/8's of an inch to the top of the glass.
Top with whip cream from the can in a spiraling pyramid shape.   Sprinkle pumpkin pie spice on top and garnish with shaved/grated Hershey milk chocolate. 
My wife absolutely loves this.  You can actually serve this with a meal, along with a desert, or just by itself.   Everyone that I have served my Pumpkin Ale to like this have been totally shocked and truly enjoyed the drink.
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: blatz on December 09, 2010, 08:47:56 am
try rimming those glasses with caramel - I don't like it, but my wife goes ga-ga over it.
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: denny on December 09, 2010, 08:51:57 am
Sierra Nevada's Celebration isnt really a holiday beer, it's just an IPA.

Excuse me, but it most certainly is a holiday beer since it's only available at the holidays!  A "holiday beer" doesn't necessarily have to have spices and stuff in it.  I fond Celebration to be my favorite of all the holiday beers.
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: The Professor on December 09, 2010, 09:02:30 am
Sierra Nevada's Celebration isnt really a holiday beer, it's just an IPA. Dont get me wrong, it's one of the best IPAs in the country. Although this years body and mouthfeel seem a bit bigger than usual to me.

Breckenridge makes a good holiday ale. Belive it or not, I was impressed wtih Points holiday beer. That'd be Stevens Point. Malty, Munich malt like, hint of chocolate/roast and just a nip of spice. Very drinkable.

Why isn't isn't it a 'holiday beer'?   It's one of the very small handful of 'holiday' beers that I actually look forward to.
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: maxieboy on December 09, 2010, 09:15:12 am
+1 Actually, it's the only holiday beer I look forward to...
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: blatz on December 09, 2010, 09:23:16 am
+1 Actually, it's the only holiday beer I look forward to...

agreed - its probably single most purchased commercial beer for me for the whole year in terms of quantity.   I've bought 1.5 cases so far, and I might buy some more  :o

I do look forward to Avery Old Jubilation though. 

Never tried Santa's Reserve - maybe i'll grab a 22ozer.
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: Joe Sr. on December 09, 2010, 09:38:12 am
I haven't seen it this year, but I enjoyed Avery's christmas ale quite a lot last year.  Celebration is good, too.

I also enjoy the Sierra Nevada Merry Christmas Ale (or whatever they call it) that comes in magnums.  I have a small collection of magnums that I will be using for some of my own Christmas Ale.

On a lark, I picked up a couple bottles of Trader Joe's X-Mas Ale (or whatever they call it). It's contract brewed by Unibroue (one of my favorite breweries) so I figured it should be decent, particularly at only $5 a bottle.  It's OK, not great.  Strong all spice, perhaps.  Reminds me of a spiced Chambly Noire or perhaps Maudite.  Unibroues dark beers are not my favorites, but I can't get enough of La Fin Du Monde.
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: blatz on December 09, 2010, 09:49:24 am

I also enjoy the Sierra Nevada Merry Christmas Ale (or whatever they call it) that comes in magnums.  I have a small collection of magnums that I will be using for some of my own Christmas Ale.

I think you mean Anchor Brewing?
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: tumarkin on December 09, 2010, 09:58:01 am
+1 Actually, it's the only holiday beer I look forward to...

agreed - its probably single most purchased commercial beer for me for the whole year in terms of quantity.   I've bought 1.5 cases so far, and I might buy some more  :o

I do look forward to Avery Old Jubilation though. 

Never tried Santa's Reserve - maybe i'll grab a 22ozer.
+1 on the Celebration. Years ago, it used to be one of the few highly hopped beers. I always looked forward to it's release & bought a case each year. I'd drink most of them, but would always hold on to a six-pack to age. Very nice to sit down to a vertical tasting of multiple years of Celebration. Now of course, there are many hop monsters out there, some of them quite good, but Cekebration still holds up as a well-balanced IPA. Don't always buy a case anymore, but at least a sixer or two.
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: Joe Sr. on December 09, 2010, 09:58:41 am
Yes.  Anchor.

Multi-tasking at the office this AM.
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: davidw on December 09, 2010, 10:28:21 am
Summit's Winter Ale is a great beer. But then, all of their beers are, other than the Imperial Pumpkin Porter which I personally didn't care for very much.
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: euge on December 09, 2010, 10:42:34 am
I've been working on a 6-pack of Celebration- pretty good thankfully there's no spices in there. I also had a Rogue's Santa's Private Reserve last night. Very good as anything from that brewery always is. I do detect some metallic notes which isn't pleasing but overall a nice beer.
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: hermsman on December 09, 2010, 12:02:13 pm
+100 Sierra Celebration is a fav of mine 2 cases so far this year and counting.

I also enjoy Anderson Valley Winter Solstice very much. I have even tried to clone it. I'm pretty close.
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: jaybeerman on December 09, 2010, 12:05:35 pm
Hibernation Ale, Celebration, Isolation Ale in that order
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: tubercle on December 09, 2010, 12:15:19 pm
A holiday beer is one that is enjoyed while sitting by a warm fire.
Hmmm...that's actually a very long list. 8)
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: dtblank on December 09, 2010, 12:58:49 pm
Goose Island Christmas Ale, too bad it wasn't produced this year.  Second place would have to go to Celebration Ale.
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: ethalacker on December 09, 2010, 01:08:21 pm
I always look forward to Sweetwater's Festive Ale. 
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: gordonstrong on December 09, 2010, 02:58:23 pm
Sierra Nevada's Celebration isnt really a holiday beer, it's just an IPA.

Excuse me, but it most certainly is a holiday beer since it's only available at the holidays!  A "holiday beer" doesn't necessarily have to have spices and stuff in it.  I fond Celebration to be my favorite of all the holiday beers.

+1

A holiday beer is something that is a special season gift from the brewery to its customers.  SNCA certainly applies.  In Belgium, many of the seasonal offerings are just cranked up versions of their flagship beer, often a bit darker or fuller in body as well.  The BJCP guidelines cover a certain subset of these type of beers that fit a well-defined profile, but that doesn't mean that's all there is to those type of beers.
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on December 09, 2010, 03:50:13 pm
To be honest, my winter warmer is my favorite!  But I really like Summit Winter Ale, SNCA, and Ridgeway Brewing's Bad Elf series. The latter of those are not spiced beers. Rather, they are moderate to high gravity English winter beers (think strong brown ale).
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: roguenationpatriot on December 09, 2010, 05:13:47 pm
The reason I discovered SN celebration was b/c in was in a specialty beer store, and some guy walked in and ask the clerk if they had any in stock.  They didn't have of it in stock and the walked out looking very disapointed.  Five minutes later another guy that had nothing to do with the first person walked in and asked for it again and reacted in much the same way.  Me and the clerk looked at each other and we were both thinking we needed to try some soon.
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: Hydro on December 09, 2010, 06:25:35 pm
I have never had the Celebration, and may not ever; although it amazes me that someone would consider an over hopped IPA the best Christmas ale. 

Not to ruffel any feathers.  It just does not compute!!!!

Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: denny on December 09, 2010, 06:27:37 pm
I have never had the Celebration, and may not ever; although it amazes me that someone would consider an over hopped IPA the best Christmas ale.  

Not to ruffel any feathers.  It just does not compute!!!!



Why not?  I'd much rather have that than the weirdly spiced Anchor OSA.  And if you've never had it, how can you say it's over hopped?
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: Hokerer on December 09, 2010, 06:29:15 pm
Blue Mountain's Lights Out is a nice holiday ale
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: jaybeerman on December 09, 2010, 08:42:43 pm
I have never had the Celebration, and may not ever; although it amazes me that someone would consider an over hopped IPA the best Christmas ale.  
Not to ruffel any feathers.  It just does not compute!!!!
Why not?  I'd much rather have that than the weirdly spiced Anchor OSA.  And if you've never had it, how can you say it's over hopped?

Not to harp on robertwoodson (because I think I know what you're saying) but I did want to mention that this overhopped beer (Celebration) is hop perfection whereas I agree that some of the new overhopped beers have traded their flavor/drinkability for bragging rights (i.e. mine has more hops than yours).  If you haven't had celebration you should try it.  That said, I like OSA usually.
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: beersk on December 10, 2010, 08:30:00 am
Sierra Nevada's Celebration isnt really a holiday beer, it's just an IPA.

Excuse me, but it most certainly is a holiday beer since it's only available at the holidays!  A "holiday beer" doesn't necessarily have to have spices and stuff in it.  I fond Celebration to be my favorite of all the holiday beers.
I wasn't aware that there was any excuse for you   ;D

Celebration is damn good stuff.
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: euge on December 10, 2010, 11:58:11 pm
I just found out 2-Below isn't the best...

Just a hoppy Fat Tire.
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: tschmidlin on December 11, 2010, 12:22:04 am
I'm really enjoying Winter Fish right now.  The other night it was Alaskan Winter.  Last week or two it was Doggie Claws.  Celebration is great, but I haven't this year's.  Which is best?  I don't know, it depends on my mood. :)
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: dmtaylor on December 11, 2010, 07:13:54 am
It may not be categorized as a "Christmas style beer", but my favorite beer to drink at Christmas time is Gulden Draak.  Try it and you'll see exactly what I mean.
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: tumarkin on December 11, 2010, 07:19:32 am
Delerium Noel.... if nothing else, it's got the best Xmas glass of all!
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: gordonstrong on December 11, 2010, 07:20:17 am
Stille Nacht.
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: beersk on December 11, 2010, 10:24:50 am
I just found out 2-Below isn't the best...

Just a hoppy Fat Tire.

I had a couple last night at a bar and was underwhelmed.  Just not that great of a beer.
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: denny on December 11, 2010, 06:54:43 pm
No reason to be disappointed by the facts.
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: chezteth on December 12, 2010, 06:56:41 am
SN Celebration Ale is definitely one of my favorites.  I also like the Bad Elf series when I can find it.
Title: Re: Whats the best christmas ale? Thoughts anyone.
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on December 12, 2010, 09:28:20 am
No reason to be disappointed by the facts.

Hey, when did Denny St. Hubbins come along?  I liked the old hippie photo better.   ;D ;)