Christmas in July Cellar Review: Schlafly Holiday Ale – Culinaria

In Cellared Beer Reviews by The Guys


Schlafly says:

“Holiday Ale is a bottle-conditioned, English-style “Old Ale” brewed at the Schlafly Tap Room on 21st Street for Culnaria, 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.”

Schlafly Holiday Ale – Culinaria
Old Ale, 8% ABV

Sayeth the Guys:

Karl: This one is a headscratcher.  Now, this particular brew is not a bad beer.  It’s a good beer.  It’s not a great beer.  It’s not a particularly notable beer.  It’s hard to classify why it’s a holiday beer, aside from the release date.  It’s an example of an Old Ale, which naturally isn’t a Xmas beer, but…well…I liked it?  I mean, I did!  I liked it.  I’d drink it again.  But…that might be it.

Okay, not completely it.  Ruby-brown with a minimal white head, it’s a little malty, light in flavor, medium bodied, with a decent amount of sediment hanging out in the bottle.  Helpful?  Not tremendously?  I guess I still haven’t wrapped my head around the expectations versus the payoff.  The bottle reads that it’s a great pair with meats, cheeses or desserts.  I could concieveably imagine that alongside a hearty plate of ham, beans and potato casserole at a holiday dinner table that this beer really starts to pop, but on its own it failed to measure up.

Ryan: I’ll give it to you, Karl, this beer may not be that notable. I did not run down the streets of Roscoe Village shouting to all who will listen how wonderful this beer is. But it was very good. And it’s a beer I could drink more than one of. And I do mean more than one bomber.

As you can see from the photo above, this beer pours murky brown to copper in color with a some pillowy, fluffy white head.  You’ll also notice in the picture below that there was a good amount of sediment in this beer.  Kind of looked like fish food floating in there.

The smell was unimpressive – but inviting – sweet malts and brown sugar.  The taste was also unimpressive but still good; more like an imperial brown ale than an old ale with a mix of sweet malts and light cherries.  The carbonation was spot on which I think adds to this beer’s drinkability.

I happened to stumble across this at the Schlafly brewery in Maplewood the weekend of my bachelor party.  This was a great find and I would happily drink it again if I could get my hands on it.

Andrew: This offering from Schalfly poured an orange, almost coppery color with just a slight head and lots of flakey sediment.

I really couldn’t pick up a lot going on in the nose, other than sweet malts and some booze.

This is a warm beer with great flavors of malt, some christmas spice and lots of dark fruits, such as cherries. I also noted that I really liked the carbonation as well.  Looking back at my notes, I wrote that this was a fantastic beer, one that I could polish a bottle off without a problem and still go back for more. If you can find this offering from Schalfly, definitely pick it up.

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Written by many, compiled by one, this is a collaborative post with contributions from at least two writers at Guys Drinking Beer.