As I mentioned, we’re in St. Louis, visiting my parents for the holidays, and I brought a few beers with me. I bought this one a couple weeks back on another visit here, but after reading the last line on the label, I just knew I had to bring it back for this visit. The bottle says, “Holiday ale is a bottle-conditioned, English-style “Old Ale” brewed at the Schlafly Tap Room on 21st Street for Culinaria, a Schnucks market. This ale is a collaborative effort by the Brewers of Schlafly beer and our friends at Schnucks to celebrate the ongoing revival in the city of St. Louis. The Schlafly Tap Room opened in 1991 and was one of the first efforts of the modern revival. Culinaria, opened in 2009 on 9th Street, brings a fine food and beverage market back to downtown St. Louis. Our holiday ale is a rich, amber-colored ale that will pair well with the meats, cheeses and desserts that accompany the holidays. Celebrate the season in St. Louis and best wishes from your neighbors at Schlafly and Culinaria.” The champaign style and sized bottle had a bottle cap and says that it is 8% ABV.
It was clear and had a brown/amber color. There was a lot of carbonation in it and there was a nice malty and raisin-like aroma. There was a huge creamy, light-tan colored head on it.
The body was medium to full, and the head gave it a nice creamy, smooth mouthfeel. It had a brown sugar, caramel-malt and a bit of a boozy flavor to it in the middle, and there were some dark fruit and raisiny flavors in the finish and aftertaste. There was a bit of an alcohol warmth as I continued to drink it.
While I was reviewing this, I decided to have a slice of pecan pie for dessert. I’m almost certain that this was a nearly perfect pairing for this beer. The brown sugar and caramel flavors in the beer matched those in the pie quite well, and the boozy, raisiny, and fruity flavors added a nice complexity to it.
Overall, this was a nice winter warmer of a beer. I enjoyed the bit of alcohol warmth it provided, but the boozy flavor could have been a little more muted. I guess I could have saved it until next year for a smoother flavor. Overall, it was a fairly good beer to enjoy on a cold, snowy, Christmas eve.