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12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

very good
185 Reviews
For Trade:
12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale

Brewed by:
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Ohio, United States | website

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.30%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
This beer's name sums up the idea of bringing the best together to celebrate. It is filled with seasonal flavors from generous amounts of toasted and caramel malts, mixed with equally generous amounts of honey, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. We feel it is the perfect libation, filled with flavors of the season.

Added by imaguitargod on 11-18-2008

User Reviews
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Reviews: 185 | Ratings: 707
Photo of barczar
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

At least six months old.

Aroma is dominated by nutmeg and ginger, with some brown sugar sweetness and cinnamon rounding out the profile. Ginger is a bit strong, but nutmeg and caramel malts balance.

Flavor reveals that honey floral sweetness throughout, with a toasted, lightly bitter, toffee finish. Ginger lingers, but the nutmeg counters well, preventing it from overwhelming. Cinnamon is present, but not overly so. Nice spice balance, with a good amount of malt support and bitterness. Still not a Christmas beer fan, but one of the better of the style.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

an excellent and very original beer here from thirsty dog, i am really enjoying this one right now. its definitely a little something different, despite the seemingly common winter warmer ingredient list with honey and ginger and cinnamon and nutmeg. first thing to notice here is the appearance, in one light its red like a red wine, in another its barely past copper, more orange, with a warming haze and one of the best heads ive seen on a beer all year so far. its foamy and frothing and big, tan, textured like homemade whipped cream, and permanent, not fading even a little, and staying creaming and puffy and satisfying with each sip. it leads to an amazing mouthfeel, its well built and an awesome but all too uncommon feature in this style. really stands out to me. in the nose, the ginger stands far above the other ingredients here, spicy and fresh, intense for sure. that could be a product of age, as this has been in my fridge a few months now, and some of the other spaces may have faded quicker. whats true in the nose is also true in the taste, ginger and honey up front with a deep and sweet malt bill, and no trace at all of its alcohol strength. it might be that we are past the season now and i havent had one in awhile, but this stands out to me as one of my favorite winter warmer/holiday beers of the year. really really good work on this one from thirsty dog, and i will be seeking it out again next year for sure. ginger burps for miles...

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Photo of MikeWard
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a half pint glass.

looks pretty good, amber brown body with a small off white head. the head persists, but leaves little lacing.

aroma is very nice indeed, all the christmas spices, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, dried fruit, etc.

taste is not as strong as the aroma, and that's probably a good thing. mouth is a tad below medium.

overall, an interesting beer, can imagine this would be pretty good on Christmas morning in front of a roaring fire.

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Photo of m_hall
4.57/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a nonic pint. A slightly hazy tea-colored ale, topped by a two-fingers tan head. Light, spotty lacing.

The noise on this beer is spectacular... sweet malts, molasses, heavily ornamented with spices. Ginger and nutmeg especially stand out. If you had a pine tree around this would be Christmas in your nose.

Those spices on the nose continue on into the taste... molasses and a biscuit-like malt character serve
to support the very up-front spice (ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg), leading into toasted nutty notes and dried stone fruits in the mid-palate. The finish is slightly sweet and spicy but dries quickly (possibly from the addition of honey.) Hops are almost imperceptible, mostly masked by the spices...Alcohol warmth is subtle and pleasant.

Mouth-feel is smooth and silky, with light carbonation. This is a pretty big beer, but also a gentle one, very drinkable. I could certainly see the 8.3% alcohol sneaking up on someone.

This was provided to me by a friend, who told me it was the best Christmas ale he'd ever tried, and I'm fully prepared to second that feeling. It's definitely a seasonal-specific sort of taste, but with the spices and the toasted nutty malts, it really is like bottled Christmas. When Santa stops by next year I'd much appreciate him leaving a few of these under the tree.

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Photo of Thomas_Wikman
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I liked this winter warmer but it was not exceptional. The look was OK, brown-amber, a bit like a soda, not much head. The aroma was mild ginger and cinnamon but the taste came through more with ginger, cinnamon, and some spices. Overall pretty good.

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Photo of creepinjeeper
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Even with some time on it, this beer delivers on holiday cheers. Honey amber in color. Not much of a head. No lacing either. The smell is honey caramel swee in the forefront on a background of ginger. The taste is the opposite. Ginger is the first thing to hit your taste buds, followed by a mix of honey and cinnamon. The feel is creamy at the finish clings to your tongue. One of the better Christmas / winter warmers out there.

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Photo of classixIII
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Great example of the species! deep red/amber color honey and spices are the first aromas to hit the nose. Wonderful complexity of flavors and just enough alcohol to give you that winter warmer feel.

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Photo of DoctorZombies
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Amber Brown (18) pour with off white, almost beige head; little cap retention and lace; excellent clarity. Bready, caramel malt nose with a suggestion of cinnamon. Flavors of lite spice and slightly sweet caramel malt with a touch of honey. Moderate carbonation and medium lite mouthfeel. Overall well balanced between lite spice and malt linger.

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Photo of Cimperman17
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very nice daek golden pour with an off white head. Tastes of honey and caramel with other various spices. Goes down smooth with a minimal aftertaste. Good beer

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Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is crystal clear reddish amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short off white head that died down, leaving only a thin collar around the edge of the glass and a few patches of bubbles floating on the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of ginger and cinnamon are present in the nose along with notes of nutmeg.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that the nutmeg flavors are stronger, topping the ginger. There are only hints of cinnamon spices. Although no bitterness is present, the hops help keep the malts in check and prevent any sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. No warming is noticeable.
O: This beer seems to be a little easier to drink compared to other beers in the style as it doesn't have a full body and there aren't any warming sensations in the mouthfeel. This is a nice holiday beverage if you like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of TeamMathis
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful reddish amber. Great smell of honey, spice and nutmeg. The taste delivers the same spice goodness with an alcoholic bite, but just a small one. Very delicious. I'd certainly get it again.

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Photo of 57md
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper in color. Bready nose. Malty flavor accompanied with cinnamon, nutmeg and other seasonal spices. There is also a hint of sweetness that is hard to place. The finish is semi-dry.

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Photo of Mavigo
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a pint. Pours a deep, clear copper with a short off white head and minimal lacing. Rich, dulcet aroma, smells of honey, malts, brown sugars. Rich, smooth, mellow and sweet. Slight bitterness and warmth on the follow through. Full bodied, medium levels of carbonation, smooth finish. Overall, this is a jolly good beer and I'll probably have a few more this holiday.

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Photo of dwaters59
4.79/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

My fav winter warmer. Would like to try their wee heavy (Wulver). This beer has a great look, nose, mouth feel and taste. Very well balanced without any dominating flavor. The finish is smooth. Everything a winter beer should be.

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Photo of KnucklesMcFisty
4.74/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is everything a Christmas winter warmer should be...it's naughty (spicy) and nice (sweet) ...you can smell the spices but they really come alive in the taste...nutmeg, clove, cinnamon & gingerbread...she's got a bite! But the malt and honey sweetness balance it all out. This is my new all time fave winter warmer...better than GL Christmas Ale...yup, I said it

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Photo of Immortale25
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Duvel tulip. No readable freshness date.

A- Pours a light brown color with a 1/4 inch light tan head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a small side patch of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a broken ring behind.

S- Clove-y aroma that's slightly sweet. Maybe some ginger.

T- More clove and a solid alcohol presence. Somewhat toasty and a bit sweet.

M- Has a moderate sharpness with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- Was expecting more from this as it's pretty highly regarded in the Winter Warmer category. Has a little too much booze presence for my taste and the spices are kind of one-dimensional.

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Photo of chinchill
3.62/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle served in a Belgian snifter.

Feel: medium-full body with medium-light carbonation. A tiny bite on the tongue, presumably from the 8.3% alcohol. Pleasant, spicy aroma but it suggests that there may be too much spicing in the flavor. Tasting confirms this, with the blame largely on nutmeg. Some medium and dark malt with a hint of toffee does show behind the spicing.

O: a good winter seasonal, but a bit too much nutmeg for me. Improved a little with warming.

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Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
4.14/5  rDev +6.7%

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. A reddish-brown color with a slight bubble to it. Minimum head. The smell is that of gingerbread, cinnamon and pinecones. The taste is quite sweet, so if you like your christmas beer on the hoppy side, this one may not be for you. The overwhelming taste, just like the smell, is the gingerbread, a touch of honey, & lots of spices present. My palate not being the most defined in the world tastes cinnamon with a mixture of other tastes that i can't quite pinpoint. No matter your palate though you can't get much closer to a taste that reminds you of Christmas. at 8.3% it's an easy drink and in my opinion is the most versatile "winter warmer" around, drink it Christmas morning as your family opens presents, enjoy it as a dessert beer after a holiday meal, or simply drink a couple to yourself as you watch a great sports game/movie/tv series etc on a cold winters day. Cheers

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Photo of nicholas2121
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale brewed by Thirsty Dog Brewing Company, with an ABV of 8.30% This brew pours out a light brown color with an off white head. The smell is rich with spices and sweetness. 12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale put you in the mind set of Christmas cookies. You also pick up a hit of grains and malts in the smell of this brew. The taste is rich with flavor, you pick up on the spices in this brew. There is cinnamon and a hit of pumpkin spice. This brew has a nice balance to it, there is nothing overpowering in it. The mouthfeel is nice and clean. 12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale is a great drinking brew. Thirsty Dog Brewing Company did a nice job with this one. I would buy this brew again. Overall I'm giving this brew a 4.25 out 5.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a shaker pint at approximately 45 degrees F.

A: Pours a clear copper color, almost exactly the hue of a penny that's been handled for 3-4 years. Forms a pale white head, which fades swiftly into a patchy cap with ring. So many bubbles stream nonstop from the bottom of the glass - it's not unlike hipsters heading for a record store on Free Vinyl Day.

S: Spice dominates the aroma, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice, blending with the underlying sweetness to smell something akin to a gingersnap cookie with a snickerdoodle dusting.

T: As with the scent, spice also dominates the taste profile. Cinnamon, ginger, and allspice grab hold of the tastebuds, and they don't relinquish that hold anywhere in the tasting process. There's a sweet caramel malt backbone underlying the spices, though the spice is clearly the star. As it warms, some other spices join in the chorus, ranging from cloves to a white pepper. Overall, however, this is a liquid ginger snap with cinnamon, and not much in the way of bitter or dryness. The finish does leave a lingering leafy sort of bitterness, though that is the only vaguely hoppy flavor I can identify.

M: Light in body and sharply carbonated, this goes down quickly and effortlessly. It's not a thick, warming brew.

O: Not a bad winter warmer, well spiced and refreshingly lacking in the hop arena. Just malt and spices, with some slight bitterness to the aftertaste. I am a fan.

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Photo of Glanzman
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle served in a pint glass.

Pours a nearly clear, deep caramel color with a 1 finger head and medium lacing.

Smells of dark roasted malts and Christmas spices.

Taste like dark roasted malts... caramel... holiday spices.

A great winter warmer and worthy of a six pack or 2.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Receive as a trade from a non BA member. Sampled on July 24, 2014.

It pours a medium amber-copper color with a long lasting off-white head and great clarity. It looms like it should and nothing more.

It is the aroma that really jumps out at me with a wide variety of pungent herbs such as Ginger and Rosemary. Some toasted malts and mild earth.

Medium body.

The taste has many of the same herbal characteristics with the added touch of nutmeg, which I did not get in the aroma. Thin hop finish. Overall, not a bad beer.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.42/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Got this a couple months ago. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

a - Pours a murky, mahogany brown color with one to two inches of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of spices, honey, dark fruits, wheat, bready malts, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

t - Tastes of spices , pepper, coriander, bready malts, wheat, fruits, dough , gingerbread, and light cinnamon. Too much spice for me, a step down from the nose for me.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall a decent nose but way too much spice going on in the taste for me. Not my favorite holiday beer.

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Photo of bushbeer75
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz brown bottle - no dating noticed

Thirsty Dog 12 Dogs of Christmas Ale filled my pint glass with a dark amber body producing a 1-1/2 finger bubbly off-white head with good retention. Off-white lacing clung to the pint glass as I consumed the ale. The nose was hit with a blend of spices with cinnamon and nutmeg the most recognizable. The taste was right from the holiday season. First up was toasted and caramel malts followed by and dominating were the nice spices of cinnamon and nutmeg. A light touch of honey and ginger played a secondary role. Mouth feel was almost creamy with laid back carbonation and a pleasant warming finish.

12 Dogs of Christmas is just what the holidays ordered or for that matter anytime. I will have another!

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Photo of kdlz
4.55/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - deep amber.. Heads up nicely but falls too quick

S - nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger

T - same as smell.. Follows the feel of literally drinking Christmas

M - a bit bity IMO, very very spiced

O - much better than most winter warms I've had. But reader beware if you don't want lots of spice, avoid.

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12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 185 ratings.