Schlafly Christmas Ale - The Saint Louis Brewery, Saint Louis
I've had Schlafly's Christmas Ale a number of times over the past couple of years and I've come to an important conclusion, this beer is a million times better on tap. I don't want to make it sound like the Christmas Ale is bad when it's poured from a bottle, that isn't the case. What I mean is this beer goes from good to amazing when you have it direct from a keg. Schlafly's Christmas Ale is a great example of how a Winter Warmer can be spiced without tasting being too harsh on the palate. Whether you have this beer from a bottle or a tap, it'll have the same malty base with cinnamon spice.
The noticeable difference in this beer when it's fresh from the keg is that the cinnamon is a bit more mellow, so much so that you get more nutmeg and citrus. That sweetness goes a long way to balance out the spice. Even though this beer is 8% you don't really taste any alcohol flavor. Schlafly's Christmas Ale is also remarkably easy to drink considering the strong spices that have been brewed into it.
If you've tried this beer before and found it too spicy or harsh, you should try and find a bar or restaurant that has it on tap. The fresher this beer is, the smoother and more blended it's flavors will be.