In a great example of supply and demand and how that can change even the best laid plans, Saint Arnold's has run out of one of their seasonals and had to release another one early. Even though the folks at SA brewed more of their Octoberfest than they ever have, they still ran out halfway through the month of October. This led to SA going ahead and releasing their Christmas Ale. With their shuffling I was able to buy a 6 pack of both and decided to do a tasting.
Octoberfest: This is actually one of my favorite Octoberfests, and one of the only ones made in Texas (the other is from Rahr and Sons). I've had this many times in the past and its pretty consistent across years. This one pours a slightly cloudy orange amber with a thick off-white head. The nose is sweet caramel, malts, burnt sugar, and some bitterness. The mouth is effervescent with a great body, sweet but not cloying. Some notes of caramel, butterscotch, a little bitter kick at the finish. Overall a nice silky honey like texture, creating a very smooth very solid beer that gets a B from me.
Christmas Ale: Its actually been a couple of years since I last posted on this fine beer (well during Christmas that is). The beer pours a reddish copper brown with a thin head that dissipates into a film on top. The nose is malty (as it should be, its made with five different malts). Roasted malts, caramel, brown sugar and a cinnamon-y scent. The mouth is smooth up front before bringing a spicy character. Its malty, bready, brown sugar, and spices. It reminds me of a Christmas cookies. Extremely tasty. This one gets a B+ from me.