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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
Ratings: 1,279 | Reviews: 564 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Myst
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Myst, Nov 26, 2012
Photo of RichH55
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

RichH55, Nov 26, 2012
Photo of Darkmagus82
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage poured from a bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – Pours a murky brown color with red highlights showing through. Upon pouring there is a thick two finger cream colored head that has fantastic retention. The head very slowly fades over time, with it leaving some nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is sweet and spicy. It has a large fruity smell consisting of darker fruit aromas of cherry, fig and prune with a good strong dose of apple cider and a caramel aroma. Mixed with the fruit smells are spices consisting mainly of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. These aromas, when mixed with the fruit and a light alcohol smell, give a mulled cider aroma that is quite pleasant.

Taste – The taste begins bready with some lighter notes of fruit sweetness, roasted malt, and caramel. The fruit is largely of an apple flavor up front but is soon joined by some dark fruit flavors as the taste advances and overall sweetens the brew a bit. While the taste is sweetened a bit, it never really gets too sweet. Along with the growth of the fruit flavors also comes the presence of spices of nutmeg and allspice. At the end an alcohol flavor mixed with a clove spice come big to the taste and combined with the fruit, roasted bready and other spice flavors to leave a rather odd roasted, fruity, almost bitter spiced flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is chewy and thick with a carbonation level that is rather on the lower side. The chewy thickness of the brew mixed with the lower carbonation fill the mouth with the bready, spice, and fruity flavors allowing all these tastes to be fully sensed by the tongue. When mixed with the warming alcohol taste, the thick body was great for the brew.

Overall – It was a pretty decent brew. Other than a rather odd spicy aftertaste that the brew leaves on the tongue, all other aspects of the beer are very nice. It is worth a try.

Darkmagus82, Nov 26, 2012
Photo of XavierMuskies
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

XavierMuskies, Nov 25, 2012
Photo of gopens44
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

gopens44, Nov 24, 2012
Photo of BEERMILER12
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled On: 09/18/12

A: Pours a dark amber color with a finger and a half's worth of off-white head that retains fairly well and leaves some nice lacing

S: A solid maltiness along with subtle spices and caramel notes

T: Starts off malty with some caramel notes. Some nuttiness come through after that. Some ginger and other subtle spices come through as well, but don't overpower. Alcohol is well hidden

M: Medium bodied with moderate prickly carbonation

O: Certainly an interesting take on a brown ale. The spices are nice, but it seems like something is off with them. A nice switch up from the usual winter warmer, though

BEERMILER12, Nov 24, 2012
Photo of crcostel
4/5  rDev +5.5%

crcostel, Nov 24, 2012
Photo of philbe311
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A finger's worth of dense ultra creamy rich khaki colored head... Excellent retention... The color is a medium-to-slightly dark brown reminiscent of caramel or molasses... There is a slight cherry hue... A good bit of sluggish to moderate paced carbonation... Gobs of lacing cling to the glass...

S - Caramel... Brown sugar... Toasted malts... Perhaps some fig and raisins... Simple, malt forward and rather pleasing...

T - Toasted malts... Brown sugar... Loaded with nuttiness... Some dark fruit notes... Very light notes of caramel and chocolate... The faintest notes of cherry and spiciness... A very light earthy hop presence on the finish as well... Nice complexity and good balance...

M - Medium bodied... Lush, smooth and creamy to smooth... The bite of the carbonation emerges next and is quite lively... The finish is a touch dry...

D - Very quaffable... Quite enjoyable... A very nice rather unheralded winter seasonal from Goose Island... This one will easily be in the annual rotation going forward... Heck, I may even invest in another four pack yet this year...

philbe311, Nov 24, 2012
Photo of BoOmerG
4/5  rDev +5.5%

BoOmerG, Nov 24, 2012
Photo of gr0g
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, 2012 vintage.
Pours a hazy chestnut-brown color. A tan head leaves just a trace of lacing. The nose is predominantly malty -- some nuttiness atop a bed of caramel. Some slight spice notes... maybe cinnamon and/or nutmeg. It's faint, which is fine by me as I'm not into spiced ales all that much. On the palate, this follows the nose somewhat closely. Rich and malty, bitterness subdued but present enough to lend balance, subtle spice notes that are hard to describe but definitely take the flavor in a different direction than a pure American brown. Mouthfeel features a soft carbonation akin to a good stout, and it works well here too. All in all, this hits all the right marks, but it just doesn't wow me.

gr0g, Nov 23, 2012
Photo of marshmeli
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

marshmeli, Nov 23, 2012
Photo of ShemRahBoo
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

ShemRahBoo, Nov 23, 2012
Photo of mdaschaf
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2012 bottle.

A: A: Pours a brownish color with a very nice tan head on top with great retention. Not much lacing though.

S: Nice aroma of dark stone fruits, some plum, cherries, and raisins mixed with caramel and some light citrus.

T: More dark fruits and brown sugar with a slight nutty flavor on the finish.

M: Medium bodied with light to medium carbonation.

O: A nice beer, would like to give it another go in the future.

mdaschaf, Nov 23, 2012
Photo of DrDemento456
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single of this for $2.50 at the Vintage Estate in Ohio.

A - Murky and hazy amber brown with an impressive 1/2 inch of tanish sticky head.

S - To me it smells of deep licorice which I hate. Brown sugar and peat. Smells different.

T - First taste is very hoppy which surprise. Licorice doesn't seem to transition into the taste but swampy peat and hops are mostly what you get. It does have a decent balance of sweet and after a while the bite of the hops seems to mix well with the brown sugar flavor. Really weird.

M - As a medium bodied and chewy pretty much on par of the style.

Overall the swampy peat taste, possible brown malt and hops clash, and very little sweet malts make me reconsider a second glass. Hell if you enjoy it though drink up!

DrDemento456, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of KidsDoc
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

KidsDoc, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of Cylinsier
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz, 2012 version

Pours a deep reddish brown, slightly hazy, with a yellowish fine head at about half an inch, slow dissipation to a lacing.

Smells of brown sugar, light spice, and sweeter malts with a whisper of hops.

Nutmeg and brown sugar malts with an edge of toastiness and buttered bread and some dry hop bitterness.

Medium body with a stinging carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

A pretty decent and flavorful ale, good balance between sweet and bitter, nice body, all around highly drinkable. Would have it again.

Cylinsier, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of GennyCreamAle
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

GennyCreamAle, Nov 21, 2012
Photo of Yesdog
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Yesdog, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of jbaker67
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

jbaker67, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of kbuzz
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

kbuzz, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

BarryMFBurton, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of mrosenfeld32
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

mrosenfeld32, Nov 19, 2012
Photo of DarthTremens
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

DarthTremens, Nov 18, 2012
Photo of smonice
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

smonice, Nov 18, 2012
Photo of djrn2
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

djrn2, Nov 18, 2012
Christmas Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,279 ratings.