Samuel Adams White Christmas

Ale brewed with spices; unfiltered white ale w/cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange peel.  5.8% ABV

Sam Adams White Christmas seasonal brew

The Boston Beer Co., Boston, MA, Cincinnati, OH, & Breinigsville, PA

When it comes to Christmas and winter seasonal beers, I tend to think of coppery-colored ales, either extra hoppy or else malty with some toasted or roasted flavors, or perhaps spiced ales with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and the like. White beer, or Belgian-style witbier, is not a style I generally associate with this time of year; rather, it more often finds a spot in my late spring and summer beer selections. So White Christmas is a change of pace from the typical holiday offering in some regards, though it does include some of the aforementioned spices. In any case, I find it to be refreshing and another great choice for a seasonal session beer.

White Christmas pours out a bright golden-amber hue reminiscent of orange blossom honey, with a slight haze. A short-lived near-white head leaves a collar behind after its brief visit.

Very appealing aromas waft from the glass: tart, fruity, and spicy. There’s some citrus zest, a coriander-like scent, and a hint of peppery spices.

On the palate, the beer has a very fine, tingly carbonation that tickles the tongue. Body is moderately light. Overall effect is clean and fresh.

On to the beer’s taste. There’s zippy citrus up front with orange and lemon peel, then light, crisp malt, and some coriander and yeasty earthiness. There’s a light bittering with no obvious hop flavor, but some nutmeg and very subtle cinnamon leading into the finish. The flavors crest and then fade smoothly. Refreshing and very quaffable.

Nice riff on the classic Belgian witbier style. The seasonal spices are restrained and well integrated, providing a subtle accent to the base flavors of the ale.

Rating     Appearance: 4/5     Aroma: 8/10     Palate: 4/5     Flavor: 8/10     Overall: 16/20

Dreaming of a White Christmas…


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