poured a 12oz bottle into my official Saranac shaker glass. It came as
part of a mix pack for $14.28. ($1.19 per bottle, or $0.10 per ounce).
There was no discernible freshness date.
Appearance: A pretty shade of honey-like amber/gold. Crystal clear with
plenty of carbonation visible. Pours to a fairly large, white, foamy
head which mostly dissipates and leaves trace lacing.
Smell: The usual amber ale malt base plus some generic Christmas spices (ginger and nutmeg mostly).
Taste: I’m usually not a fan of amber ales and I usually dislike ginger
as a spice in beer, so I should probably detest Saranac Rudy’s Spiced
Christmas Ale because it’s an amber ale spiced with ginger. On the
contrary, I find it pleasantly surprising. While it’s far from a great
beer, it does what so few beers can do: make an amber spiced with ginger
There’s a certain malty taste nearly all standard amber ales tend to
have. It’s slightly sweet, but not in a confectionery sort of way.
That’s what’s going on throughout most of the palette here. The taste is
best described as mild and clean. A hint of cinnamon spice is
detectable throughout the beginning of the swig, but then followed by a
strong surge of ginger and possibly nutmeg. The label description is
"This amber ale’s ingredient list reads like a Christmas cookie," but
does not mention the ingredients. The brewery’s website only indicates
which malts and hops used, but not the spices, so I can only guess.
As it warms, the ginger becomes more prominent and upstages the other
ingredients. Not being a fan of ginger I was a little put off by this,
but at no point was the beer as a whole unlikable. It’s not especially
Christmas-y, but it’s a nice attempt at originality.
Drinkability: Rudy’s Spiced Christmas Ale is a rather big brew for
Saranac as it weighs in at 6% ABV. It doesn’t seem to have the body to
back that up, though. The mouthfeel is rather calm with medium to light
weight. There should be more flavor for the strength to this beer. Then
again, its mildness makes it drinker-friendly and appealing as it’s
comfortable on the palate and smooth going down. Take what you can get I