Christmas Cranberry Ale

Butte Creek Christmas Cranberry Ale (label)A little past the holidays, I know, but I had a bottle of Butte Creek‘s Christmas Cranberry Ale around that time and figured, better late than never to write it up.

I’d had the bottle for a while (since a summertime trip to Portland, I think), and when I opened it, it came off as rather old—like I’d had it too long. It wasn’t terrible, but the cranberry character I had been hoping for wasn’t really there.

Appearance: Clear, light orange with pink tones. Like an iced tea. Tan head.

Smell: Light fruit—cranberry/berry—some malt bitterness or woody aroma. Hops? Musty hops?

Taste: Bitter—age? A pale ale with delicate, sourish fruit. Possibly a hint of spice. A hop flavor that seems out of place. Twiggy. Earthy.

Mouthfeel: Nice and medium—for a pale ale—with a sense of lightness. Old? Bitter coating.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores a relatively low 76 with only—surprisingly—42% of reviewers approving. On RateBeer, it’s a similar story, with 2.93 out of 5 and in the 36th percentile. This makes me wonder if in fact the bottle I had wasn’t too old, just not that good.