6 Geese-A-Laying - The Bruery

Not Rated.
6 Geese-A-Laying6 Geese-A-Laying

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

509 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 509
Reviews: 63
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 10.61%
Wants: 20
Gots: 118 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jvillefan on 10-13-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

6 Geese-A-Laying is the 6th beer in our "12 Days of Christmas" series and is a return to the more classic dark and toasty winter ale, following the appropriately blonde 5 Golden Rings. Brewed with cape gooseberries, this malty ale displays notes of plums, dark cherry and bright, citrus-like flavors from the namesake berries. Delicious right now, but suitable for aging up to 6 years, upon the release of 12 Drummers Drumming.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 509 | Reviews: 63
Reviews by Franziskaner:
Photo of Franziskaner
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown in color with a lot of haziness. There's a faint bit of off white head that covers most of the top of the beer. Brussels lacing. Dal malt is prevalent in the nose and a fruitiness that I assume is from the gooseberries. There's plenty of dark malt and caramelized dark candidate sugar in the front of the palate. I get a bit of tartness from the gooseberries to balance things out. The mouth is fairly carbonated and a bit syrupy. There's a bit of earthiness present in the fade either from the spiciness.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tulip glass a hazy medium brown with a tinge of amber,a sticky one finger head atop,wasn't a fan of the hazed murkiness to the color.Aromas have a lactic kick to them from the gooseberries to go along with mild spiced phenols and lemony notes.Again some lactic-like notes imparted from the gooseberries on the palate along with some clove spice with a hint of barnyard in the finish but not real strong.Not a bad beer,lightly acidic and somewhat refreshing even for its size.

Photo of Gmann
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a muddy light brown color with a short dense cream colored head. Looks thick. Some spotty lacing.

The aroma is a bit musty with a sweet spice scent. Musty grape. Pear and juicy fruit provide some sweetness. A bit sugary.

The taste is of musty grape. Tart apple and lemon from oak. Light tropical fruit sweetness. Juicy fruit, pear and a hint of pineapple. Some clove spice. A little brown sugar. Good complexity.

Moderate feel with tingly carbonation. Sweet and tart on the palate. Finishes quite dry.

A tart Belgian brew with good oak flavor. One of the better from the series.

Photo of scootny
3.91/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark rusty and clouded amber with a tan head that leaves some decent lace and slowly fades to a wispy covering. Moderate carbonation shows itself with each sip.

Nice fruity nose offers figs, plums, raisins. I have no idea of what gooseberries smell like but the fruitiness leads me to believe that I smell them too I guess. Some candy sugar and molasses. A light note of alcohol.

Taste is quite good and just a hair away from the next up. Quite flavorful and I would have thought this to be a Quad more than a BSDA but OK. Given that classification I find it a bit sweet but delicious. All the nose fruits are delivered with a sophisticated and refined blending of malted grains, superb Belgian yeast and the cape gooseberries. Alcohol is light and gives no clue to the strength of this brew. Light but firm hop bitterness gives a good clean finish

Feel is velvety and smooth with perfect carbonation and holiday ale weight. Light heaviness with a surprising crispness.

A great holiday brew that I wish I had at Chrtistmas.

Photo of dexterk1
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured with a cloudy reddish color and small head that diminishes quickly.

Odor is sweet and fruity. Some berries and a little bit of malt.
Taste is more fruity than expected. Cherry and some tart fruit as well. A little bit of spice involved as well. The fruit is a little less dramatic and upfront with later tastings as it warmed a bit. Some alcohol towards the end.
Mouth feel is slightly carbonated. Pretty light overall in this department.
Overall a very interesting brew. Good, fruity and well done overall.

Photo of antott0523
4.19/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Opaque light brown with a beige head that settled to a paper thin veil . Virtually no lace.

S: Upfront notes of gooseberry that provide a slightly tart nose. Notes of raisin and fresh apricot. A hint of booze.

T: Not much tartness. Gooseberry comes through as a moderately sweet citrus flavor. Notes of dried fruit including apricots and raisins. Nice finish with some faint notes of chocolate. The booze manifests itself just enough, and the beer is big enough the withstand this.

M: Well carbonated and smooth. Some warmth from the alcohol.

D: Highly drinkable and a nice divergence from the typical "winter warmer" with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. I would characterize this one as less spicy, and more sweet citrus and berry notes backed a solid belgian dark ale.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750 ml bottle, 11/13/13 etched on the bottle so I'll assume that's the bottled on date. Served in a DFH Signature glass, the beer pours a reddish/copper color with about a half inch light tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like dark fruit (plums, berries), peppery spice, cloves, and some toffee. It tastes like dark fruit (plums, cherries), clove, peppery spice, caramel, tart berries and a sweet spiciness. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating and is well carbonated. I thought this was a good brew, definitely worth a try. $10.99 a bottle.

Photo of TruePerception
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Bruery's 6 Geese-A-Laying, a Belgian-style Dark Ale brewed with Cape gooseberries. 11.5%

A: Almost a finger and a half of head. Some decent lacing. Nice amber-brown, with yellow in the dimple at the bottom of the glass.

S: The first thing I get is a lighter rye, which I was not at all expecting. Slight funk or, perhaps, horse blanket. Touch of leather. I'm not sure I smell any fruit, yet. Darker honey notes, as it warms.

T/MF: More rye on the palate. Some kind of tree-like notes. Not quite pine, but something festive. It took me several sips, but there is a fruity upturn of sweetness towards the back. And, a more forward sweetness I'm still struggling with... Something like a caramalized sugar/sap/molasses. ...wait! Fir! The tree note is fir, like a Christmas tree. Interesting. Slightly creamy on the palate. Head has a very sweet, tree sap quality to it. A very nice holiday beer. Too bad I didn't have it at Christmas; I could see it going great with turkey and gravy! Or perhaps, a nice brie. Dammit, now I'm getting hungry!

Certainly does not come across as ten-five, but does seem like a slow sipper, taste-wise.

Poured from a 750mL bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.49/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

750 ml capped bottle poured into a Bruery tulip.
11.5% ABV, Bottled 09/19/13,

Review #2000.

A - Dark, muddy amber brown in color, 6 Geese-A-Laying is crowned by a short-lived off-white head that leaves dots of lace circling the tulip.

S - Rich Belgian yeast character offers a plush aroma of dark fruits in conjunction with the Cape Gooseberries, developing around the soft dark malts and underattenuated dark sugars. Pure maple, molasses, and brown sugar open up to the lightly spicy notes drifting through the beer while soft alcohol evaporates in the nostrils as it warms.

T - Sweet dark fruitiness resembling candied plum, fig, and sticky raisins over-arches the full maltiness and sugar sweetness in the background. Brown sugar and molasses are dissolved into the smooth Belgian yeast flavor, beautifully coming together for a nice holiday flavor!

M - Big and voluptuous, 6 Geese-A-Laying is a full-bodied beer with plenty of residual sweetness to tickle the tongue with sugar, finishing dry from the remarkably transparent alcohol. Smooth across the board, this spicy beer finishes wonderfully!

O - Half way through The Bruery's "12 days of Christmas" beers, 6 Geese-A-Laying is a holiday masterpiece, smoothly incorporating dark malt and dark fruits with lingering sweetness and surprisingly transparent-yet-warming alcohol for a beer that beautifully facilitates holiday cheer!

Photo of Greywulfken
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: deep amber brown ale, slightly hazed with a creamy white head a finger or two high; lace motes adorn the glass

S: deep toffee malts and sweet dark fruits, sweet holiday spice

T: a basic dark Belgian ale, with candi sugar, chewy dark malts, and some rich, boozy fruit flavors brightened and improved upon with Cape Gooseberries, which add a sweet and tart bright, light character - almost like a jam preserve of gooseberries, and in this particular ale, delicious

M: medium body, slightly sticky, tart tingles, smooth and coating

O: a very nice and enjoyable ale - the gooseberry tartness is really great - made the beer, and its why I'll recommend this beer - 'specially if you like tart dark berry flavors in beer, or if you like holiday-themed dark Belgian-esque ales.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.96/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark ruddy orange with a half finger light tan head with excellent retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of sweet caramel malt, plums and cherries with a bit of darker dried fruit and Belgian yeast. Flavor is caramel malt, estery cherry, berry and plum; lightly tart, but still quite sweet. Belgian and holiday spices (cinnamon and clove). Medium bodied with pleasant active carbonation. An interesting and flavorful holiday ale. Rather on the sweet side, but balanced by a light tartness. Probably too sweet for anything except a holiday offering. I would like to see this in a small bottle to be enjoyed as an apertif. One of the better offerings from this series.

Photo of Immortale25
3.96/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium goblet. Bottleneck says 11/13/13.

A- Pours a light reddish brown color with a 1/2 inch light tan head that retains a bit before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a large center patch of surface foam. Non-resilient lacing leaves a jagged ring behind.

S- Spicy, somewhat boozy Belgian yeast aroma with lots of candi sugar, raisin and a bit of a glassy smell.

T- Pretty straightforward for a dark Belgian with some toasty malt flowing along with the yeast and spices. Definitely on the sweeter side which I attribute to the gooseberries and the alcohol is nicely hidden.

M- Also standard for a BSDA but it's a bit syrupy. Medium carbonation and a body leaning toward thew fuller side.

O- Fairly well done. I'm interested to see how age treats this one since I have another bottle I'm sitting on until next Christmas.

Edit: Better after a year's aging as there's a sour funk that developed in the bottle and has all but replaced the Belgian candi sugar sweetness.

Photo of ThomasMetal75
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

*This is at 40ish degrees F at the time of review. I will write about the beer as it warms up.*

A- A dark, rusty orangey kinda red to it. Cloudy as hell, but no big sediment chunks are floating around. Head was nice and pillowy at about 3 fingers worth, but that die to a fine rim around my tulip glass. Looks the style for sure.

S- Very sweet with some spices. The fruitiness does show up here, no doubt about it. Smells tart, slightly acidic, and sour. Has a slight alcohol presence in the nose. The maltiness is caramel like. Breadiness and biscuty notes come out when the beer warms.

T- Same as the smell. Very sweet. It has a candied sweetness. The sweetness dies down when it warms. It is very tart and sour, but not overly sour. It does have the clove, ginger, coriander, and nutmeg. There is a biscuty type note a carmel maltiness. It's very mouth puckering. The finish is very dry, but does have a some sweetness and alcohol to it as well. It was almost like a mulled wine in a way. It had that kind of fruitiness.

M- This is rich and full bodied. It's very sticky and rich. I don't know if tartness is a mouthfeel, but it is very tart and puckering like in the taste.

Overall, this is very interesting when warmed. But this is almost too sweet and big. But it's nice to have once. If you can get this beer at a reasonable price, try it. Otherwise, I'd pass.

Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a snifter to a deep mahogany with a half finger of off white head that fades to a collar around the edge of the glass
S: smells of dark fruits, candi sugar, and light spice. it smells the part
T: taste follows the nose with dark fruits, candi sugar, citrusy flavors, some spicy alcohol. swallow is more dark fruits, cherries, malty sugary sweetness, and some nice bready flavors
M: mouthfeel is middle of the road with good carbonation and a refreshing finish
O: Good flavors and well hidden alcohol. It's tasting pretty good right now but with time I think it will do very well

Photo of ThickNStout
3.81/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750mL bottle from Green's Beverage (Atlanta, GA). 9.99. Bottled 9/18/13. Served in a Bruery snifter.

Pours opaque, ruddy garnet with a half finger cream head. Decent retention and some respectable sheets of lace.

The nose seems a little shallow. Belgian yeast, dark cherries and some sugary caramel sweetness.

Intetesting flavor profile. I have to assume the nice sweet fruit up front that I can't quite place is cape gooseberry. It's pretty distinct and serves to compliment the base, which seems to resemble a Dubbel. Cherry, raisins, sugarcane, plums, burnt caramel, strong yeast character, lots of dark malts and some alcohol. Sweet, a little tart and a good bit funky.

Fairly heavy feel with smooth, light carbonation. Gooseberry, cherry and sweet dark malt finish.

An interesting riff on the BSDA. I like the unique fruit notes. Ultimately it's nothing spectacular but it has plenty of merit in it's own right.

Photo of Etan
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml into a tulip.

A: Pours a reddish brown with a nice off-white head.

S: Leather, berries, molasses, fig, thick caramel.

T: Lightly grapey, hint of pineapple, brown bread, orange zest, prune, toffee, cooked grain, vanilla.

M: Thick-bodied, viscous and sugary, with light carbonation.

O: This is pretty tasty. A definite improvement over Golden Rings.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.66/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a goblet.

3.25 A: Lightly hazed deep amber color. One and a half fingers of frothy beige head. Retention is lacking, but it's to be expected from such a big beer. No lacing either.

3.5 S: This is full of plum and figs foremost. Toasty malts with strong caramel components and notes of gingerbread. Something strange to me which must be the gooseberries. Peppery spiciness with hints of clove. A bit of booze, which is well hidden overall.

3.75 T: Taste is like the nose, except that the gooseberry portion is more prominent. Plum, figs, and grape finish up the fruits. Toasty, caramel, and bready malts. Peppery spice. Molasses and deep neutral maltiness.

3.75 M: Big, heavy body. Good moderate carbonation. Reasonably creamy and smooth. Well done here.

3.75 D: It's a pretty good beer, but it's a little more standard than the usual Bruery beer. Definitely worth a try

Photo of Zorro
3.36/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Chill hazed brown colored ale with a small brown colored head. Guess the alcohol level is retarding the formation of much head. Held up to the light I can see how this could be described as a red colored ale.

Smells strongly of malt with some fruity scents of cherry and cranberry with a slight sour scent like lemon. Scent of brown sugar and date sugars. Trace of cinnamon and fainter clove scent.

Starts out mildly sweet with a slight musty flavor. Flavors are not as intense as expected, faint fruity flavor most cherry and berry. Mild bitterness. Frankly this could be more flavorful.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall something of a disappointment. I expected stronger flavors from the ale.

Photo of CHickman
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 10/10/13: Poured into a tulip glass, it’s a dark mahogany brown color with red highlights at the edge of the glass where the light hits it; lots of particles swirling around in the brew leading up to a huge 3 finger foamy tan head that was full of tiny bubbles and faded, leaving good spotty lacing and a layer on top that dissipated slowly.

Smells of caramel, grains, herbs, tobacco, wheat bread, fruity candy, brown sugar, syrup and light booze or red wine. It almost smells like French toast with a drizzle of syrup and rum, and there are hints of fruit which I assume to be the gooseberries but I have no clue what the actual gooseberry fruit smells like – nice enough smelling Belgian style ale after a year plus of aging.

Tastes of syrup, caramel, brown sugar, rum soaked toasted grains, wet wheat bread, tea leaf, allspice, pepper, fruity candy like Razzles, red wine, earthy notes like peat moss and/or twigs, and some fruity notes like a sour cherry, rotting pear or I guess the mysterious gooseberries listed on the label. For a Belgian Strong Dark Ale this comes off smooth, sweet and mellow, like the aging muted everything and blended it all together more. The booze comes out more as it warms, as does the yeast with a little more funk in the second pour of the bomber. It’s a complex beer with no flavor jumping out as the lead taste that takes control, and it has more of a general mixed malty sweetness that brings in some orange peel and bitterness towards the slightly tart and yet sweet grainy finish. The sweetness and heat from the booze pick up more towards the end, downgrading this just a little in my opinion, but not ruining it or making it “bad” per se.

Mouthfeel is on the smooth side with a little chewiness, a medium body, mild carbonation and a slightly zesty grainy bitterness as it trails off. It was good, but did not really excite me as the flavor got a little more complex as it warmed but never really went to the next level.

It was a nice beer to have on Christmas based on the name and concept, but I’m not sure I’d pick up another bottle to age until The Twelve Drummers Drumming comes out. A nice bottle to share with people and perhaps one to age, so I’m glad I tried it but overall thought it was good to above average. On the plus side, the 11.5% ABV was kept in check and not a deterrent.

Photo of AndyEdgar
2.45/5  rDev -35%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Big disappointment. Gooseberries and sweet malt dominate

Photo of SeatsTaken
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pour: Poured into a snifter. Presents in a cloudy red/orange hue with half an inch worth of head.

Aroma: Sweet berries (WTF is a gooseberry anyway?) upfront with a tangy, sour and spicy end.

Taste: Ooh...not what I was expecting. There is a berry flavor, just not what was advertised in the nose. I'm tasting mostly spice and a little bit of yeast. It has a slightly sour and boozy finish. Booze begins to dominate the flavor as the glass gets lighter.

Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation that creates a creamy sensation.

Overall: Not one of The Bruery's best, but still better than a lot that is out there. Cellaring this beer makes sense as the nose and flavor need to find some sort of middle ground, but right now it's really more of a novelty.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.96/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy medium reddish brown in color with moderate to heavy amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass along the edges of the glass and some amber + ruby red highlights. The beer has a half finger tall sudsy foamy dark beige head that reduces fairly quickly to a medium sized patch of thin film and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of gooseberries with slightly lighter aromas sweet dark malts with dark fruits (plum). Light amounts of tartness to the aroma and the distinctive Belgian yeast.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of sweet dark malts with moderate amounts of dark fruits (cherry, plum, fig, and raisin) and candi sugar. Light amounts of tartness from the There are light to moderate flavors of gooseberries along with strong flavors of the traditional Belgian yeast. Minimal amounts of bitterness are present and fade pretty quickly.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with slightly heavier than moderate amounts of carbonation. Very light amounts of prickliness on the tongue in the finish.

O: I found this beer to be quite delicious and a really nice holiday offering - I liked the addition of the gooseberries and the slight amount of tartness from the cherries. Definitely grab one of these if you see it.

Photo of jlindros
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Split with rudzud.

Pretty much no head, nice legs but no lacing or head, semi clear cherry maroon color.

Nose dark Belgian malts and dank candi sugar, little candy syrup, little jammy berry fruit like a boisonberry blueberry gooseberry candied blend, touch of cocoa nibs, and choc, not a ton.

Taste sweet syrupy mess, candy Sugar, syrupy candy and candy sugar, little Belgian malts dark malts, big booze, generic berry fruit, little toffee caramel, etc. Just a ton of sweet characters blending to a generic mess of sweetness, candy generic berry fruit.

Mouth is fuller bod but a syrupy mess, fair hot booze, decent but lighter carb, syrupy mess.

Overall a bit of a disappointment.

Photo of th0m
4.14/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark copper color with white, fluffy head, that disperses to a thin, whispery flat head. Good lasing.

Smells amazing. Goose berries? Never smelled a goose berry, but smells of tartness, apples, funk, strawberries, salad, salt, and tartness.

Tastes of fruity tartness. Lovely and very complex. Hard to pin point flavors after such a nose.

Mouthfeel: fantastically refreshing.

Overall: a great beer.

Photo of spense727
2.96/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Appearance - Has a cloudy, 'dirty copper' appearance.
Smell - Sour and floral aroma. Notes similar to muscadine grapes as well.
Taste - Very slightly sour. Alcohol not present at all in the taste.
Mouthfeel - Quite heavy mouthfeel. Syrupy. Lingers quite a while. Appropriate.
Overall - Taste like hot garbage. Might be better after aging.

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6 Geese-A-Laying from The Bruery
85 out of 100 based on 509 ratings.