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12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale - Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

Not Rated.
12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

177 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 177
Hads: 655
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 26.87%
Wants: 44
Gots: 140 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  8.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: imaguitargod on 11-18-2008

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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of 12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 177 | Hads: 655
Photo of Cimperman17
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
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 +2.1%
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 +3.4%
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 +1.6%
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 +3.1%
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 +23.8%
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 +22.5%
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 -3.1%
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 -6.5%
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 +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 +9.8%
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 -2.1%
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 +16.3%
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 -2.3%
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 -11.6%
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 +4.7%
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 +17.6%
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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Photo of whiterabbit
3.47/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice deep dark amber bordering brown, light head that disappeared almost immediately. Looks ok, nothing to impress, but nothing wrong here either.

S - Wow. Blast of liquid gingerbread. Smells of molasses, ginger and clove. Very inviting, very holiday.

T - Follows right along with the smell, strong spice. In my opinion too over the top.

M - Not a lot here, relatively thin, just over bearing on the spice note. Good, but cannot drink more than one of these.

O - The thought is Christmas, and it achieves. Just a bit too overbearing for my tastes, good but a one and done for me. I would have another, just not in the same night. Cannot see this anytime but the holidays, would have a far different take in May.

Try one, but if you can pick up a single in doing so, I would recommend that.

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Photo of CMUbrew
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Review from 12/18/13

A: Rich mahogany color in the glass. Whitish head forms nicely but disappears quickly

S: Spices obviously. Ginger and nutmeg are most prevalent.

T: Ginger and nutmeg mostly, but the spice presence is nice and not overpowering.

M: Maybe not quite as full bodied as I was hoping, but not bad.

O: A very enjoyable spiced beer, though I was hoping for more spices, especially the cinnamon, to stand out.

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Photo of johng
2.47/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

First time I ever drank this, could not find any Corsendonk Xmas this year so tried something new. Overpowering taste of ginger with some heavy clove action. Liked the mouthfeel. No real scent to it but a bit of sourness. Better as it got warmer like most Xmas ales but wouldn't recommend it. Disappointing effort from Thirsty Dog in my opinion.

Read on another beer site that this was similar in formula to Great Lakes Xmas Ale. Not even close.

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Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a tawny brown with a tinge of amber,a thinner slight off white head atop.Aromas of nutmeg,mace,allspice,and some honey makes for a very spiced brew.I like the warming spiced notes on the palate,candied ginger and nutmeg notes stand out most along with a sweet honey-like finish.The sweetness is big but for me it never gets overly sticky.Solid.

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Photo of tillmac62
4.34/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear medium amber with a dark ruby hue. Nice head and lacing that retains well. Brilliant nose of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg spice, over a light dark malt sweetness with just a hint of honey. Creamy almost medium body with average carbonation that imparts a bit of effervescence in the finish. The taste is like the nose - spice against a dark malt sweetness base. An exceptionally well balanced brew that covers the 8.3% alcohol very well. Finishes slowly with a nice spice flourish, just a touch of alcohol bite and a nice burst of honey sweetness. An outstanding winter offering.

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Photo of CloudStrife
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a hazy brownish red with a slightly yellowed head on top. Leaves some nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Loads of spices up front on this one. Nutmeg, cinnamon and clove all come to mind. Roasted malts add some sweetness.

T: As with the aroma there are a lot of spices in this beer. A well rounded sweet blend that doesnt overpower in any one direction.

M: Medium body with mild carbonation. Isnt too sticky on the tongue and has a fairly clean finish. Alcohol is well hidden.

Overall this is certainly a winter warmer that defines the style. Great spice profile and very smooth body. Has the oomph of a strong winter beer with great drinkability.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 release. 12oz bottle into a stemmed chalice.

Pours a dark red color with an appropriate inch this head. Great aroma of nutmeg, cinnamon and other similar winter spices. The taste has a big amount of spice but no single spice dominates the palate... i get cloves, cinnamon, honey, nutmeg, coriander, ginger.. lots of toasty malts. Heavier side of medium bodied with mild carbonation. Definitely a slow drinker that would go great by the fireplace on a cold night.

Overall an excellent winter warmer that you should seek out if youre a fan of the style. Liked it a lot.

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Photo of philbe311
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - Two and a half fingers worth of crisp tightly packed fizzy light khaki colored head with a slight rose colored tint... Excellent retention... The head turns denser and creamier as it the head begins to the settle... A rather unique color that is equal parts bronze and brown... A good bit of briskly paced carbonation with some bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass... A good bit of lacing clings to the sides of the glass...

S - A strong whiff of honey right off of the bat... Some light dark fruit notes... Bursting at the seems with toasted malts... Brown sugar... Some subtle spice notes in the form of cinnamon and ginger... Warming, pleasant and satisfying...

T - The spice component is kicked up a notch on the palette as it takes center stage... The ginger and nutmeg are prominent and the cinnamon is a bit subdued... Then it's the honey... Some dark fruits... A hint of dark sugar... Beings to round out very nicely as it warms a bit, but there's still something slightly off that doesn't quite work for me...

M - Medium bodied... Fairly dense, yet a bit thin... Brisk carbonation... Starts lush and quickly turns dry...

D - An interesting Winter Warmer... Lots of satisfying and redeeming qualities, but in the total this one is a bit less then the sum of its parts... Not a bad beer, but there's something subtle that doesn't quite compute with my palate... Perhaps it's a combination of a bit too much ginger and a mouthfeel that is slightly off... Again, not a bad beer, but far from my favorite winter warmer...

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12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 177 ratings.