1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Christmas Ale - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Christmas AleChristmas Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,279 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,279
Reviews: 564
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 53
Gots: 109 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  7.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-21-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Christmas Ale Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,279 | Reviews: 564 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Chrixsus
5/5  rDev +31.9%

Chrixsus, Dec 13, 2011
Photo of Cam9191
5/5  rDev +31.9%

Cam9191, Feb 10, 2013
Photo of harrylee773
5/5  rDev +31.9%

harrylee773, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of msturek
5/5  rDev +31.9%

msturek, Apr 19, 2013
Photo of spedprof
5/5  rDev +31.9%

spedprof, Mar 25, 2013
Photo of JMBSH
5/5  rDev +31.9%

JMBSH, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of potiusmori
5/5  rDev +31.9%

potiusmori, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of chicagogirlie
5/5  rDev +31.9%

chicagogirlie, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of Schmidts
4.88/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours from the Bottle chestnut brown with a two fingers beigh head. Lots of lacing all the way down.

Smells of Pine fruit, and toasty malts and coffee.
Tastes of Pine,earth,malts and fruits and toffee. Also a nice hit of pure Allcohol.
Finishs smooth and dry and very refreshing in your mouth.
I give it an overall of 5.0.
This is an exceptional Christmas Ale, give this one a try it will be my Christmas Ale of choice from now on! I am very impressed.

Schmidts, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of RBorsato
4.85/5  rDev +28%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Auburn, Bright Red towards any light source. Had a nice light brown head and nice lace. Great hoppy aroma (a bit sprucey hop character) and nice hoppy character (citrusy and sprucey, esp. when fresh)... reminded me of a lighter "SN Celebration". Med/Full bodied and smooth with a nutty(?) character and a nice bitter finish.

Easy to drink more than one of these !!

Label states "Bottle Conditioned"

1. 2001 bottle tasted 10/02:
2. Best Before: 05/19/03 Tasted: 1/17/03

RBorsato, Oct 11, 2002
Photo of reitzbrewing
4.75/5  rDev +25.3%

reitzbrewing, Dec 15, 2012
Photo of Kuhnzie8637
4.75/5  rDev +25.3%

Kuhnzie8637, Sep 14, 2013
Photo of toneigh
4.75/5  rDev +25.3%

toneigh, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of leprechaunandfatman
4.75/5  rDev +25.3%

leprechaunandfatman, Nov 11, 2012
Photo of shockrocker65
4.75/5  rDev +25.3%

shockrocker65, Dec 05, 2012
Photo of Jamison85
4.75/5  rDev +25.3%

Jamison85, Mar 27, 2013
Photo of Toobluetobrew
4.75/5  rDev +25.3%

Toobluetobrew, Nov 30, 2012
Photo of TPONY51
4.75/5  rDev +25.3%

TPONY51, Oct 22, 2013
Photo of Offa
4.72/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an excellent, well-balanced, complex, yet very drinkable ale that packs a lot for the ABV, a big plus in my book. After letting it sit for a year, I had the 2009 vintage today, 23 Oct.2010, a beautifully cold, wet, rainy day here in Santa Rosa.

Slightly cloudy red-orange-brown amber, it has a big tan head, with hints of orange, steadily shrinking to a lasting, thin foamy top and some foamy lace.

Aroma is very nice, full malty, caramelised barley, & bread crust, jammy orange marmalade, leaves, pine,, juicy with yeasty bread.

Taste is similar. Up front, it is a jammy-spicey sweet brown bread with hints of rum, fruit and wood, followed by a drier finish with leafy-woody-toasty-citrusy-spicey bitterness and toasty dryness joining the jammy fruitiness, before becoming a sweet and spicey-bitter aftertaste with a lot of caramelised fruit, toast, and jam with light rumminess. It is balanced, complex, rich, but light, a faint warmth, full-bodied but very drinkable.

Offa, Oct 23, 2010
Photo of wcintula
4.7/5  rDev +24%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage dated 2009 Bottled on Oct 30

Pours beautifully, murky brown like a compote or dark cider. Nice tan head. Smell strong sweet figs, cookies, light spice. Thh taste is wonderful. As my cousin put, "tastes like Christmas."

Tastes like Fig Newtons, but better, or like fruitcake, but better. Sweet , beautiful, velvety, magic.

I remember reading the article in BA in '10 about how this wasn't going to be brewed that year. This beer needs to come back, with the SAME recipe it is delicioso, magnifique!!

EDIT: and I would never guess this beer is only 5.6% ABV. Seems a tad stronger.

wcintula, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of kmpitz2
4.7/5  rDev +24%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Wrigleyville location. Definately my favorite winter warmer I've had to date, and I've sampled a few in my day. The beer poured a dark brown with ruby hues and just a coat of head over top of the beer. The nose was very deep caramel with notes of coffee. There was deep, deep hop in there. Damn it smells good. The flavor was great. Full of huge flavors, big well blended hop, big caramel sweetness and hints of coffee. I love it. The feel was big and thick, coating my mouth. The beer is overall very good. Its easydrinking and smooth. Goes down without hesitation. Just like I want it to be.

kmpitz2, Dec 05, 2004
Photo of MaxFenig
4.69/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This was the best seasonal, in this case a special Christmas variety, I have ever had! It had a touch of Christmas spices and provided a very pleasurable taste on my pallate. I had it on tap and the glass came with a nice foamy head, was served quite cold and it required a second glass to confirm the experience.

MaxFenig, Feb 06, 2013
Photo of marcpal
4.68/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into flying fish tulip glass. Thank you jtrockchalk for these.

A: Dark amber beer with a white foam one finger head that filtered to a finger but held on throughout the beer. Reiminscent of an anchor christmas, continual bubble on carbonation.

S: Caramel, biscuity and malts. Woodsy hop appearance.

T: Sweetness combined with a malty hop presence. The fruit flavors really caught up in the back end with the nutty caramel again. A really good tasting beer for the season and good representation of nuts and hops- terrificly balanced.

M: If any fault for the seasonal, a little bit heavy on the carbonation. Hops stuck a bit too but in a good way.

D: Tremendously drinkable on a freaking cold night. Pleasant in every way. Good job GI.

I hope to trade for some more of these before the season is past and I miss the chance. Between this anchor and mad elf, need to hold me off until late 08.

marcpal, Dec 16, 2007
Photo of elNopalero
4.68/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled on 11/11/11, enjoyed during the winter holidays of 2013.

I have no recollection purchasing this but found it tucked away in the basement of my parents’ house. Thought it would be fun to enjoy it.

This pours a ruddy raisin-color with thin foaming. It’s murky in appearance, like a poorly filtered French press cup of coffee.

The bottle calls this a American Brown Ale but honestly it pours more like a Belgian spiced dubble. There’s a light, low aroma of dried stone fruits, raisin and dates, with a sweet and sweetly-spiced flavor of cloves and allspice blended with the raisin and dates. I found it a delicious and welcome surprise.

elNopalero, Jan 02, 2014
Photo of fx20736
4.64/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2011 edition reviewed on 11/24/13
Appearance: 4.5 Aroma: 4.5 Mouthfeel: 4.25 Taste: 4.75 overall 4.75

I am now reviewing the 2011 edition 2 years after it was brewed as I scored a whole case for $ 20.

Served in a pint glass, served at cellar temp.

appearance: beautiful burgundian reddish brown with a sticky thick creme brulee head.

aroma: aroma: sweet dark fruit yummy

mouthfeel; good, soft and sinuous

taste: toe curling raisiny goodness with some brown sugar sweetness and some oak tannin like bitterness.

notes; a Grand Slam of a beer. Unbelievable


2012 edition. 4.43 reviewed on 3/10/13

Appearance: 4.75 Aroma: 4.5 Mouthfeel: 4.75 Taste: 4.25 overall 4.50

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, served at cellar temp.

Gorgeous tawny port reddish brown with a thick, sticky creme brulee head that leaves nice lacing.

aroma: ripe dark fruit with some cocoa

mouthfeel: silky, soft and smooth

taste: plums, richly toasted malt, cocoa, maybe some diacetyl, with some woodiness, walnut and herbal bitterness.

notes: quite impressive. this is like a ramped up version of their brown ale with much higher hops and some dark fruits. It is complex with multiple layers of flavor. Yet another great beer from Goose Island.

fx20736, Nov 24, 2013
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Christmas Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,279 ratings.