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12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale - Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

466 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 466
Reviews: 165
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 13.6%
Wants: 25
Gots: 33 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: imaguitargod on 11-18-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 466 | Reviews: 165 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jampics2
jampics2

Ohio

3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at Mavis Winkles.

Amber color with little head.

Smells nice - good amount of spices - ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg. Slight trace of yeast on the end.

Taste follows the smell. Spicey ginger and cinnamon proceed a caramel sweetness. Finishes with a bitter balance. Touch of noticable alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel is OK, a bit watery actually in the finish.

Drinakbility is much better than the average spiced X-Mas beer, but is still second to Great Lakes.

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2009 18:24:33 | More by jampics2
Photo of movingtrain
movingtrain

Ohio

4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a Piraat glass.

Pours a reddish-brown with a half finger tan head.

Aroma is of honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, light hops, bitter apple, brown candy sugar, and orange blossom.

Tastes is very spicy, with a thick honey flavor in the finish. Some cinnamon and nutmeg for sure. Malts are heavy in the flavor, with a peppery-sweet spice on the tongue. Hops take a back seat in this one, but play out a nice balance in the overall flavor.

Overall, this is a very good holiday beer/winter warmer. It's up there in alcohol content, but that doesn't really overpower in the flavor. The aroma is good, and much of that is tasted in the flavor. One of the best I've had so far this season.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2009 02:57:44 | More by movingtrain
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-clean, translucent brown in color, almost like a coke, bubbly one finger of white head that dissipates quickly and leaves just a touch of lace on the glass

S-relatively strong smells of holiday spice, cinnamon mostly, hints of nutmeg, and a touch of vanilla blended with some sweet malt and a touch of citrus

T-pretty decent in taste following the nose, cinnamon, nutmeg, some cola taste in there as well and a piney bitter hop touch towards the finish

M-light bodied beer with a slightly biting mouthfeel and a weird blend of carbonation that burns a little at the back of the throat

D-it is an ok beer that doesn't show the high alcohol so it is drinkable, but it is average imo

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2009 01:39:22 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of Bierguy5
Bierguy5

Ohio

4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, 8.3% abv. Pours a dark chestnut color. Some lighter amber edges. Thin tan head disappears immediately.

Pleasant aroma of spices with a caramel background. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and a whiff of ginger. Christmas like spices without being earthy. Just a slight hint of alcohol.

Caramel malt backbone gives way to some of the spices mentioned in the nose. A bit of sweetness up front that dries out near the end. Lingering cinnamon and nutmeg finish.

Medium body, good carbonation. Alcohol is hidden well. Very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2009 23:03:29 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of atsprings
atsprings

North Carolina

3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a DFH Signature glass pours a murky light brown with a decent off-white head. Aroma is burnt caramel malts, cinnamon and slight hops. The taste is burnt caramel malts in front with a slight alcohol presence and mild cinnamon and spice. The beer is medium bodied with a bit more boozy alcohol than I'd prefer, but not too overbearing. This is a decent winter warmer, but not one I'd likely try again.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2009 23:06:20 | More by atsprings
Photo of bamadog
bamadog

Kentucky

4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at The Comet during my first Hopnosis. Review is from notes taken on 12/3/09. Pour is from the tap to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a deep coppery color with a core of deep ruby; body shows strong carbonation and is relatively clear; starts with a thick and frothy one finger head that fades slowly to a full and thick skim; solid curtain of lacing is left on the walls of the glass.

Smell: Lots of warm cinammon dominates the nose; mild piney hop presence; slight sweet malty backing as it begins to warm a bit; frankly, it smells like Christmas ;)

Taste: Tons of the warm cinammon as I would expect from the nose, as well as the mildly sticky and piney hop presence that reminds you that you're still drinking an ale; the slight malty backing brings some balance as well to the warm cinammon and almost provides a bit of a cooling relief; slight twinge of alcohol as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Body is actually a little creamy in the mouth and the gums are left tingly; nice coating is left on the roof of the mouth and the belly is left warm.

Drinkability: Would be great for a cool winter night, probably my second favorite winter warmer/Christmas ale right behind Great Lakes. Not really a sessionable beer, but I would definitely get through a couple of these in a night.

Serving type: on-tap

12-07-2009 04:20:04 | More by bamadog
Photo of mbudner
mbudner

Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. 2009 release.

A- Pours a transparent amber with a 2-finger white head.

S- Granted, I read the bottle before opening, but the ginger and cinnamon/clove are unmistakable in the nose. I get some tobacco as well. The sweet maltiness I get could be the honey used in the beer or simply the darker, caramel-like malts.

T- Disappointingly, the taste is nowhere near the nose. Caramel, sweet malts (but a little too bland). The cinnamon is there, but nothing like the aroma. None of the flavors are bad, it's just a lot more bland than I expected from the smell and less spiced than I like from a winter warmer/Christmas beer (and this says a lot because I do not enjoy overly spiced winter warmers). None of the ginger is coming through in the flavor. Not too sweet, which is nice, none of the cloying flavors I often find in some of the bigger winter/Christmas beers.

M- Nicely carbonated and actually quite thin for an 8%+, not thin in a bad way, but not cloying. Nothing really special about the mouthfeel (good or bad).

D- Easy drinking. The fact that this is 8.3% is pretty impressive. It drinks, in every way, like a 4.5% slightly spiced winter warmer. I don't love this one, but certainly not a bad beer and amazingly deceptive.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2009 04:14:23 | More by mbudner
Photo of mgbickel
mgbickel

Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Reddish amber body; translucent. Very little head formed with minimal lacing.

Very fragrant...lots of spices come through...cinnamon, nutmeg and a hint of orange peel.

The taste is similar to the smell, some ginger and all-spice present around the edges.

Mouth feel is medium with some carbonation. A nice example of a spicy holiday brew!

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2009 18:12:31 | More by mgbickel
Photo of kegger22
kegger22

Michigan

3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 Dogs is a clear red/brown with a modest head that dissipates pretty rapidly. The aroma is dominated by ginger and cinnamon, it made me want to sneeze. The taste is heavily spiced with some malt sweetness thrown in. I don't get any hops at all. The feel is medium bodied with mild carbonation, and drinkability is OK.

The right amount of spice can really add to the taste experience, but over spicing may often detract. IMO, the 12 Dogs of Christmas is over spiced.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2009 19:25:06 | More by kegger22
Photo of BeerVikingSailor
BeerVikingSailor

Ohio

4.58/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this one recently, bottle from a 6'er....great to support my local Akron area brewers!!

Appearance is good, nice amber with decent head and lacing on the glass

Smell is great, decent spice mix, cinnamon and ginger upfront, some nice background spice notes of allspice and nutmeg in there, nice holiday smells

Taste is yummy, I like this one a lot, it is definitely a Christmas beer, you will have no doubt on that! If a well balanced and nicely spiced brew, with high and hidden abv does it for you, you will love this beer!

Mouthfeel is good also, lots of carbonation and easy on the palate, not overwhelming at all.

Drinkability is also very good, on a cold Ohio night with snow coming down, if you are lucky enough to have one of the 12 Dogs of Christmas, your night will be improved markedly! Highly recommended, as good or better than GLBC Christmas Ale IMO, priced about the same in NE OH...go for this one if you have the chance!

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2009 13:37:16 | More by BeerVikingSailor
Photo of blackie
blackie

California

4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: snifter serving, deep pecan brown in color and topped with a coat of carbonation that's replenished with each tilt of the glass

s: ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon over a mellow nutty brown malt body, spice dominant but in generally good harmony with the malt, reminiscent of a spiced holiday bread, after warming I can pull out some buttery honey - one of those "if you know it's there" deals, the beer guy recommended this as "the old GLBC Christmas recipe", and there's an obvious parallel between the two

m: carbonation around medium, only a touch fizzy, and a light-medium consistency

t: huge spice character - equal parts ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon over a dry brown malt body that shows glimpses of honeyed complexity but quickly moves to more nutty, dry malt flavors in the finish, hop flavor is low but a moderate bitterness closes things up as the spices linger on

d: no evidence of the abv, a little spicy for heavy drinking, but a comforting sipper on a cool Ohio night - one that I'd initially shied away from given the B rating but was thankfully given a push by the beer staff

six-pack from Heinen's in Chagrin Falls

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2009 01:37:11 | More by blackie
Photo of GordonQuid
GordonQuid

Michigan

4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a English dimpled pub mug.

Clear copper with a redish hue and one inch sustaining dense head; thick lace.

Smells like hard belgian christmas candy, cinnamon cloves and fresh cookie dough.

Taste is a full bodied complex blend of Marris Otter malts, cinnamon, belgian candy, and mulling spices. Not too overpowering in the blend of spices makes this drinkable and satisfying.
This is not a holiday brew for the meek but rather a BIG offering of holiday flavors. I have to mention that this brew is close to a GL Christmas Ale but a bit over-the-top with the mulkling spice. This is not for everyone but I find it very pleasant and appetizing.

Get one and sip by a nice winter fire or chug it whilst shoveling the driveway. It's all good!

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2009 23:31:26 | More by GordonQuid
Photo of hosehead83
hosehead83

Ohio

3.28/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a standard pint glass
Copper/ruby in color with a short one-inch head of foam
Aroma-cinnamon, nutmeg, malt
Taste-Big onrush of spices, mostly nutmeg, some honey sweetness and caramel-Abit heavy on the spices, leading to a rather acidic, unbalanced finish. Definite sipper.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2009 17:22:02 | More by hosehead83
Photo of Natural510
Natural510

Ohio

3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber color but with minimal head & lacing. Does appear to be carbonated well enough for consumption, however.
Scent is promising; sweet with honey and maple, spicy with nutmeg and a heavy dose of ginger.
Flavor is similar to the aroma; sweet and spicy. Malty on the palate, with the ginger and hops pairing with a nice reverberation. Cinnamon, nutmeg and cane syrup notes round out the flavor.
Feels good in the mouth, as the body belies the flaccid appearance when poured.
Drinkable, as much as any beer with this much going on. A sipper, not from the ABV but due to spiciness and ginger bite.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2009 14:59:25 | More by Natural510
Photo of Frosty80
Frosty80

Michigan

4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: pours light brown. sits deep copper with a ruby hue

Smell: sweet spices and obvious honey soul. nutmeg and cinnamon clearly dominate the malty sweetnes.

Taste: taste translates well from aroma. very low hop presence. alcohol is well hidden. slight toasty presence. finish is clean and lightly sweet

Mouthfeel: medium body. smooth with low carbonation

Notes: very tasty brew reflecting the spirit of the season. light, sweet and spicy.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2009 05:30:47 | More by Frosty80
Photo of beerman207
beerman207

Kentucky

4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my first christmas beer. Great beer to start out with!

A: Pours a copper color with decent head

S: nutmeg comes through dominant on this and also some cherry?

T: Spices are great and the balance is perfect with some hoppiness in the back.

M: Very smooth. Goes down easy.

D: Wow. The alcohol is very well masked. You will feel it but you won't taste it.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2009 02:23:11 | More by beerman207
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, scooped a sixer at city-wide in downtown south bend. 4 of these were consumed from the cooler pre-ND/BC

appearance: served in an unmarked chalice, deep dark crimson body, light beige ring with minimal retention...plus a neat little label

smell: a heavily spiced ale - fresh grated ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, honey. there is also a fair amount of pine and some nice caramel

taste: not sure i'm on board with all the poor ratings of this one - this a very nicely spiced winter warmer. Loads of pine, excessive ginger, a bunch of cinnamon, allspice & nutmeg. the alcohol is really nowhere to be found other than the nice warming provided after consumption

mouthfeel: active spicing keeps the palate lively, medium body with hidden abv

drinkability: very nice - even worked as a tailgater!

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2009 02:22:51 | More by dirtylou
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ferric oxide orange with a hint of brick red, crystalline clarity and very few visible bubbles. That hasn't stopped the creation of a thick chunk of ecru colored froth. The head doesn't have a great deal of character, but it's decent where glass decoration is concerned.

The nose is typical for a spiced winter warmer. Cinnamon is dominant, followed by nutmeg. I'm not sure that I could have idenfied the ginger and honey on smell alone. All in all, the aroma is balanced and good enough to make me want to upend the glass without further delay.

12 Dogs drinks lighter than the ABV would suggest. That probably has more to do with the mouthfeel than the flavor. My first impression is that this is a fairly well-crafted example of the style that gets the spice load just about right... if you like spiced beer.

Ginger is now appreciated and is almost as prominent as cinnamon and nutmeg. The honey (and some caramel malt) adds a background sweetness that smooths things out and keeps the spices from being palate fatiguing. Still, a single bottle in one sitting should be more than enough. Well-buried alcohol is a plus.

Although it does fill out a bit with warming, the mouthfeel isn't up to the task, especially considering the style and the ABV. I have no complaints about the laid back carbonation.

Thirsty Dog 12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale isn't as good as Great Lakes Christmas Ale, but it's a pretty good effort all the same. If I still lived in the Buckeye State, I'd probably buy a sixer of this and two sixers of GL's version every December. Definitely worth a look.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2009 13:21:49 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer holds pretty true to Christmas-ey beers. It's just good to see a new beer from the brewery.

Dense aroma of molassas, caramelized malts, dark (fruit cake) fruits, and a hearty dosing of cinamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove, and corriander. Throw in some piney hops and we have a beer that rides the fence of complex vs. muddled.

Dark brown with some burgundy highlights. A clean, clear appearance with outstanding head formation and retention. Light tan laces on the glass- an inviting look.

Flavors get back on track with the nose- malty rich and molassas up front with a lot of sweetness (unresolved malts and sugars). Piney, grassy hops quickly rise to balance (doesn't quite achive it). Additional spices (see nose) thrown in to decorate the taste. The spices seem to scatter the beer too much.

Full, rich, and sweet body fits for the Winter season. Bitterness is primarily acheived with the hops but compounded by the spices (nearly astringent). Finishes quite sweet and with a lot of residual sugars on the mouth.

Sounds a bit harsh, but most Winter Warmers fall into this overly-sweet, artificially-spiced catagories. The beer is par of the course and delightful when in the mood for heavy sweetness and varying spices.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2009 17:51:26 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of neenerzig
neenerzig

Ohio

3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank this one several months ago now with my friend Passow. This review is being written from notes. A 12 oz bottle was poured into my pint glass. This beer is a red color. Head was a decent size but settled to not much pretty quickly. Ok lace. Aromas of caramel malt, honey, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Flavors of sweet caramel malt along with hints of nut and a touch of honey. Rounded out with a bit of hops. Has a crisp, smooth medium bodied mouthfeel. Easy to drink in a good way I suppose. Easy to drink but certainly nothing special here.

Eric

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2009 04:23:01 | More by neenerzig
Photo of CaptCleveland
CaptCleveland

Ohio

4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single 12oz pour into pint glass from cellared 6-pack from 2008-09 season.

Dark, mahogany-colored liquid with thin white foam; white lace covers the inside of the glass as the beer is consumed. Nutmeg predominates, tempered by the sweet fragrance of ginger and mild honey. Well-balanced combination of seasonal spices, but not too sweet. Just enough honey to reign in the nutmeg and ginger. Aforementioned spices mix with cinnamon to bring forth a nicely seasoned ale. Sweetness is tempered and the overall flavor is kept tight and dry, eliminating that sticky, sugar-cookie cloying flavor that is typical of these offerings. For a high ABV brew, the alcohol is nicely balanced, testament to the brewers skill.
Overall 12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale presents the seasonal category well but also is versatile to be sipped on any occasion.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2009 21:22:49 | More by CaptCleveland
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pleasant aroma, some dissipitating white cloudy head on cloudy yellow body.Mouthfeel is a tad above average, although tingling from carbonation though it was not apparent or obtrusive. Honey and some spices, nothing too much. Spice and lagerish taste really.Pleasant.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2009 03:35:25 | More by Sammy
Photo of sjohansen
sjohansen

Pennsylvania

2.85/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 Dogs pours a pretty clear amber; almost copper in color. There is very little head from a pretty rough pour, and what was there disappeared quickly. No visible rising bubbles.

The nose is off. It smells like a wild field. I don't want to say salad, because it's not the standard DMS, but there is a leafy green scent. It sweetens up to a Splenda like sweetener as it warms.

Hops come to the forefront (herbal bitterness,) but get smashed in the aftertaste by sweet caramel. The caramel turns to honey as it warms. Has a syrupy aftertaste, slightly cloying.

Medium bodied, smooth, slick.

It was ok. Winter beers have to come with something special, especially because of what's available. This one didn't cut it. As a side note... for as sweet as it was, I really wish there was more to the nose.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2009 00:18:50 | More by sjohansen
Photo of CrellMoset
CrellMoset

Virginia

3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle as an extra from thehand - thanks!! Split w/ dkachur, w/ my portion poured into a 12 oz. snifter.

Appearance: Pours a largely transparent, crystalline reddish copper colored brew with not-so-great head retention. Lacing is erratic, sort of thought-bubble-esque scattered all over the sides of the glass. The collar is off-white, and the effervescence is tight, clustered, fine, and fairly fast.

Aroma: I'd like some beer with my ginger, please, kthx. It absolutely dominates everything here, though some earthier, more neutral nutmeg, and perhaps a few light fruity esters.

Taste: Overripe bananas esters in a sea of caramel and spices - festive bananas flambe? Ginger is the most prominent spice here, the most prominent note in fact, though the roasted malts - caramel, maple syrup, toast - aren't far behind, followed by banana and other light fruit esters, with some very obvious nutmeg in the finish. Faint, faint hop bitterness. It's nice, but perhaps a little spice heavy.

Mouthfeel: Probably this beer's best quality - medium thickness, largely even, with enough crisp, fine-to-medium sized effervescence to cut through it well. Pleasant.

Drinkability: A solid if slightly overly-spiced winter warmer. The constituent parts are good, just out of balance. Cut the ginger back a few notches and you'd have a really good beer, perhaps not quite sessionable at 8.3%, but a good in-front-of-the-fire, Christmas-time sorta beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2009 05:31:17 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of BeTheBall
BeTheBall

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

During this time of year I like to drink an occasional Christmas ale. Had only tried this brewery's stout before, so why not.

Poured a dark brown with a decent head that quickly dissipated.

Smelled of nutmeg, cinnamon and roasted malt.

Taste had hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger? Very tasty indeed; pleasurable for the entire glass.

Mouthfeel was average; nothing great, or bad.

Drinkability was good, light on the ABV, nice and tasty, although I would not drink more than one or two fo these.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2009 13:14:17 | More by BeTheBall
12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 466 ratings.