Legacy Sleighwreck Holiday Ale

Legacy Brewing Co. - Sleighwreck Holiday Ale

Brewed by: Legacy Brewing Co.

Beer Classification and Specs

  • Style: Amber / Red Ale
  • Variation: Spiced
  • Seasonal: Winter
  • ABV: 6.78%
  • IBU: N/A

Notes: Bottled for the first time in 2015

Brewer’s Notes and Ingredients

This holiday seasonal is a mulled ale with cinnamon, cloves, allspice and orange peel, mulled into a blend of the Chesty Red and the Clan Ross Scotch ale. Make the holiday season a tasty one with a pint of Sleighwreck ale, it works for Santa!

Hops: N/A

Malts: N/A

More Legacy Sleighwreck Holiday Ale Images

First Impressions

Artwork: Drunken Santa Claus, wearing only boxer shorts, partied too hard and got in a sleigh wreck.

Color: Mahoghany, dark brown.

Aroma: Clove and gingerbread.

The Tasting

Arrived in: 22oz. Bottle

Served in: Snifter

Obviously we are huge fans of hop forward beers, but we also love a good winter ale when the season arrives. During San Diego Beer Week (SDBW), we had Legacy Brewing Co circled on our beer menu printout in excitement of getting a taste of their Sleighwreck Holiday Ale. But unfortunately they ran out, and we had to wait a few more weeks to try it. It was well worth the wait.

Oceanside can be a bit of a trip, so luckily Legacy’s Tap & Kitchen in Mira Mesa had bottles for sale, with a more convenient drive. We went there specifically for this beer, but if we were browsing in a bottle shop there was no way we could pass up on this hammered St Nick on the label. (take a closer look at this disheveled Santa Claus in the close-up above.)

This holiday ale packed quite a bouquet, but Legacy must have also realized less can be more when it comes to a spiced a holiday ale, since the aroma was not too overdone. Sleighwreck delivered pleasing notes of fig or plum underneath, with pre-dominantly clove, followed by freshly baked gingerbread.

Sleighwreck poured with barely any effervescence. There were a few bubble-ups, otherwise a razor thin sheet of head hung on for a few minutes. After a few sips, there were no signs of froth, and this ale looked like a cup of coffee in a beer glass. So with not much carbonation, you would be correct in assuming this beer had a criminally smooth mouthfeel.

As referenced in the official tasting notes, Sleighwreck was a blend of Legacy’s two red ales — their award winning Clan Ross Scotch ale (wee heavy), and their Chesty Irish Red. This ale fusion also resulted in two surprises: its color, and body.

Sleighwreck was the darkest red ale we have ever seen, and assume the mulling process must have have darkened things up. Also, any wee heavy ales we’ve drank have been much thicker, so it seemed like some body got lost when the two reds were combined. Not like there is anything wrong with either of those things — just wanted to point those observations out.

Sleighwreck Holiday Ale’s flavor was mild vanilla and clove up front. The finish was where the ale became more gingerbready, but like its aroma — not too overpowering. It delivered those holiday flavors we were after, without feeling like too much spice was left clinging to our palates.

Sleighwreck had a very clean finish for a dark ale, and especially for a winter spiced ale. We wished it was a little more viscous for a holiday offering, but it was also more drinkable in that lighter regard.

Final Score: 3.5/5

3.5 Stars

Sleighwreck Holiday Ale was a delicious, yet gently spiced winter ale. We will definitely be adding it to our “nice” list of holiday ales to enjoy in years going forward.

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