1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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

1,245 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,245
Reviews: 562
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.4%
Wants: 37
Gots: 103 | FT: 1
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: 1,245 | Reviews: 562 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thecheapies


3.95/5  rDev +4.2%

Goose Island Christmas Ale. Bottled 9/9/12.

Brown with a magenta hue. Lacy bone-colored head. Looks regal.

Malty and near-fruity. Spicy in the nose showcasing clove, coriander, and light nutmeg. Cherry and a hint of raisin are apparent.

You have got to love what this brewery does with English malts. Tea-like tannins, star anise, medium roast, alcohol, dried fruits, dark bread, and a swig of pomegranate juice. Has a dry acidity to it, not unlike the flavor of acai. The spices work well and the potency is appropriate. Tasty Xmas Ale.

Feels decent. Has slow-drinking qualities in its pudgy strength that I accept, but also goes down easy without too many obstacles in the thickness of the body. The bubbles are coarse and a little prickly.

First year enjoying this... and that's exactly what I'm doing.

11-14-2012 15:18:39 | More by thecheapies
Photo of cmoody91


3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

11-14-2012 04:04:01 | More by cmoody91
Photo of leprechaunandfatman


4.75/5  rDev +25.3%

11-11-2012 20:59:20 | More by leprechaunandfatman
Photo of SawDog505

New Hampshire

4.4/5  rDev +16.1%

Poured 2012 ABV 7.3% bottled 8/31/12 into a 13 oz tulip. Confused as to this being called a brown ale, seems more like a Old Ale to me. Pours a deep mahogany, lots of floaties, and a nice really off white head, that leaves lots of lace. Smell is carmel, nutmeg, toffee, and bready. Taste is much stronger, very little nutmeg with loads of carmel and toffee and some dark fruit, this is going to be a staple this Holiday season. Body is on the larger side, plenty of life, not dry, and really drinkable. This beer is really special, drinks much bigger than its ABV and it is really more complex than its size would have expect.

11-11-2012 16:08:37 | More by SawDog505
Photo of jsurfs82


3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

11-11-2012 13:40:16 | More by jsurfs82
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.58/5  rDev -5.5%

Thanks to Tieman for sharing this one at his tasting.

2009 vintage. Bottled 10/9/09.

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy orange-tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, citrus zest, and a slightly funky aroma. Taste is much the same with a mild hop bitterness with each sip, but there is no funk that comes across in the flavor. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but it seems to be show some age at this point.

11-11-2012 07:43:30 | More by UCLABrewN84


3/5  rDev -20.8%

11-11-2012 02:52:02 | More by IMSPEAKNOENGLISH
Photo of steve8robin


4/5  rDev +5.5%

11-11-2012 02:34:55 | More by steve8robin
Photo of jkane101

New Jersey

1.75/5  rDev -53.8%

11-10-2012 18:59:47 | More by jkane101
Photo of ubenumber2


4.03/5  rDev +6.3%

2012 edition from bottle

Dark stained wood color with one finger tan head with good lacing

Very good smelling beer to me , malty and sweet

Tastes malty and I can really taste the alcohol in this beer which is good , very full bodied beer

I enjoy this and will purchase more , I am going to put 2 away for a year and try them again next fall , they say they age well for up to 5 years

11-10-2012 01:07:04 | More by ubenumber2
Photo of justintcoons


3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

2012 Vintage, 7.3%
Poured into a tulip.

Mahogany brown with red highlights. Has 2-3 fingers of fluffy tan head with decent retention. Good clarity and has tiny little yeast particles suspended throughout. Very low carbonation.

Caramel, bread, brown sugar, candy sugar, Tootsie Roll and a lemon/pine hop character.

Caramelized candy sugars, Tootsie Roll and bready malts as well as pinches of brown sugar and molasses. Very light touches of cherry, raisin and char. Pine, grapefruit pith and lemon zest. This is a pretty well hopped Brown Ale.

Medium bodied, smooth, silky and clean.

The malts are sugary sweet and candy-like. There is some slight booze apparent which is disappointing at only 7.3%. This is a little too hoppy for the style (although I understand that this is probably what they were going for this year). Chill out with the hops, America! Not bad, but I expected more from Goose Island.

11-08-2012 18:19:50 | More by justintcoons
Photo of joesc230

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +5.5%

11-08-2012 02:19:53 | More by joesc230
Photo of ChrisL24481

New Hampshire

3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

11-07-2012 18:12:19 | More by ChrisL24481
Photo of JSchock7


4/5  rDev +5.5%

11-07-2012 06:28:23 | More by JSchock7
Photo of chad2774

4/5  rDev +5.5%

11-06-2012 20:07:23 | More by chad2774
Photo of thegerm87


3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

11-06-2012 00:21:58 | More by thegerm87
Photo of goblue3509


4/5  rDev +5.5%

11-05-2012 17:40:15 | More by goblue3509
Photo of blackcompg


3.93/5  rDev +3.7%

Poured from a 12oz bottle from their seasonal 4pak...

Appearance - Poured nearly 3 fingers of tan mocha head with slight reddish hilights - this eventually reduces to a solid 1/4 finger cap that remains for the session, body is a slightly opaque deep red amber, leaving very nice tan lacing rings inside the glass.

Smell - Ripe dark fruits, slight fruit cake, dark cherries, slight whiff of ginger bread, and slight white and milk chocolates. Really smells good, like a kitchen at Christmas.

Taste - Wow, spiced rum fruitcake! Seriously, begins with spicy yeast flavors of slight allspice, a sweetness of dried fruits, figs, plums, a touch of molasses, and there is an earthy herbal flavor - very much like like tea, the finish is definitely more tea with a touch of allspice and molasses sweetness. Nice balance and complexity.

Mouthfeel - Nearly medium, carb is medium but smooth and slightly foaming, finishes just dry and is very drinkable.

Overall - This is my very first Christmas ale, and I am quite pleased with it. This is not overly sweet by any means, and has a nice transition with a dry and lightly bitter finish - begging the next sip. I'm intrigued by the tea flavor, but find it very familiar and enjoyable. Check this one out, I found this at my local Walmart!

11-05-2012 04:47:20 | More by blackcompg
Photo of TonyTalon


3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

11-04-2012 23:53:07 | More by TonyTalon
Photo of CloudStrife

New York

4/5  rDev +5.5%

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled 09/07/12. 7.3% on the bottle

A: Pours a hazy ruby copper with a 2 finger off white head. Hard to see any carbonation through the haze. Leaves a lot of lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: At first I get a lot of dark fruits in this. Almost like a doppelbock. There is a certain breadiness to it as well as a carmel malt. Yeast certainly plays a factor.

T: A very nutty brown ale with lots of dark fruit. Also has a tea like spice to it which is very pleasant. Almost seems to have a belgian/german twist to it this year.

M: Medium body with average carbonation. Has a fairly crisp finish. Real high drinkability and the ABV is well hidden

Overall a christmas ale I look forward to every year. Has an interesting flavor this year which is certainly suitable for the season.

11-04-2012 21:23:25 | More by CloudStrife
Photo of mcss

New York

2/5  rDev -47.2%

11-03-2012 20:55:54 | More by mcss
Photo of DrunkinYogi


4/5  rDev +5.5%

11-03-2012 16:25:23 | More by DrunkinYogi
Photo of bacher468


3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

11-03-2012 16:04:52 | More by bacher468
Photo of Eaglefan344


2.75/5  rDev -27.4%

11-02-2012 18:30:40 | More by Eaglefan344
Photo of skaboom420


3/5  rDev -20.8%

10-31-2012 22:08:48 | More by skaboom420
Christmas Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
85 out of 100 based on 1,245 ratings.