Sunday, November 23, 2008

Christmas Ale by Breckenridge Brewery - My Microbrew Review

Here I am on a lazy, cold and sunny late November afternoon. Thanksgiving is just a few days off and Christmas just around the bend. Snow is in the forecast this week. What a perfect day to imbibe in a bottle of Christmas Ale by Breckenridge Brewery.

Breckenridge Brewery is a Colorado brewery located in Denver. They've been around the block in the microbrewing arena, and I've been fortunate to sample a few of their craft beers even though I'm located way out here in Pennsylvania. I'm anxious to try the Breckenridge Christmas Ale however so I'm not going to waste any time in getting started with my microbrew review. Let's go, shall we?

First of all, the beer bottle label is festive for the Christmas season no doubt about that. Makes you want to grab the bottle right out of the sixpack shop cooler.

Pouring the beer into my unchilled glass, it pours a fairly dark ruby red in color with just a tinge of rusty copper on the edges. The head of the beer welled up to about a week one finger head and quickly dissipates to a mild glaze of tan cream on top.

The aroma of the beer is sticky and sweet with a punch of alcohol to boot. I detected a smoky dark coffee scent with some brown sugar presence, maybe a bit of raisins way there in the background. Smells pretty decent but nothing totally intriguing or complex in character.

Breckenridge Christmas Ale sips rather thin in the mouthful for as rich and sticky as it smells and appears. There's alot of alcohol in the mouth and alcoholic burn in the swallow. First impression in drinking this microbrew is that it's more of a brown ale than a winter warmer style. Although it is rather malty, there's a fair deal of hoppy bitterness that lies on the tongue and it finishes somewhat crisply. The mouthful was just a little too thin for my liking however.

Breckenridge Brewery's Christmas Ale is not a bad beer. It's respectable and looks good in a glass. It would look festive having a few bottles lined up in the fridge too given the label design. I've had better winter warmers though and there are many other microbrews and craft beers out there that better represent Christmas beers and Winter Warmers in particular. Given the 7.40% alcohol beer content for Christmas Ale, it does leave a warm feeling in the belly however.

If you've had alot of experience with winter warmer beers, you may not find Breckenridge Christmas Ale all that exciting. If you'd just like to try a craft beer for the Christmas season, this is a fair one to experiment with and share with a few friends around the Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner table this season. Breckenridge Brewing Christmas Ale gets a 5.75 out of 10.00 micro brew review points.

I've got quite a few more microbrews on my list of Christmas beer to sample before the holidays and I'll be posting again shortly, so stop back soon and thanks for reading this microbrew beer review!


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Enjoy, and always remember to drink responsibly!

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