03 Nov Saint Arnold Christmas Ale by Nick B
Saint Arnold Brewing Co.
Packaging: Draft, 12oz. Cans, 12oz. Bottles
Is it too early to talk about Christmas Ale? Halloween JUST passed and The Great Pumpkinator won’t rise out of my sincere beer cellar (errr… beer fridge) until next year. Either way, Christmas Ale has been out for a few weeks and good beer doesn’t “show up too early” to me.
When I poured this beer into a pint glass, it came out a rich copper color with a good amount of off-white head that disappeared quickly. The nose on the beer is holiday spice and sweetness that reminds me of when I’m getting ready to go for a bready dessert after that Christmas meal. The body has a medium mouthfeel and the hop spice is present immediately on my palate until the big malt backbone comes through with a warm sweetness. The flavor is reminiscent of a nut bread with some fruit mixed in. That flavor stays strong for a good amount of time after you finish it.
Christmas Ale is really easy to spot out there right now. Saint Arnold underwent a make-over earlier this year and it seems like they went with a more vibrant shade of evergreen for this ale’s label this season. Saint Arnold finds himself wrapped in a hop and grain wreath with Santa’s sleigh flying in the night background. The design of the can is something I want for a sweater party with its hop, snowflake, and pendant pattern encased by zig-zags.
I would recommend Christmas Ale to drinkers of bocks and ambers because of the similar malty flavor profile. If you need some warming up (who am I kidding? This is Houston) from an easily drinkable ale, this is a good one to pick up. To compare it to another well-known ale that comes out around this time, I think you’ll like this beer if you routinely make your way to the store to pick up Shiner Cheer.
I am giving Christmas Ale 3.5 out of 5 stars because of its easy drinkability and sweet, bready flavor that left me feeling warm inside. If only this beer could usher in some cold weather with its arrival, I would be set.
You probably aren’t ready to put up your Christmas lights (or maybe you are), but this is a solid seasonal to get you into the holiday spirit. Let us know what you think!