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6 Geese-A-Laying - The Bruery

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

64 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 64
Hads: 524
Avg: 3.76
pDev: 10.37%
Wants: 17
Gots: 127 | FT: 18
Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 64 | Hads: 524
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.49/5  rDev +19.4%
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!

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a hazed out caramel brown with sticky head and heavy lacing. Tons of lacing here, and bubbles that will dry on the walls of your glass.

S: Aroma of sweet brandy, spices a mixture of strong belgian yeast , deep caramel, candied sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg. wet dried raisins and plums.

T: Tons of sweet grape in the flavor here, I presume this is the gooseberries kicking in. Caramel and booze , mixing with cooling berry prominence. I really think this is one of the best of the Xmas series from the Bruery. After having been a Reserve Society member for the past three years, I haven't gotten this from my trustee shipped, but had to jump the gun and try it when I can get it for 12.99 in NY minus the shipping charges. recap on flavor, gooseberry, caramel, cotton candy, belgian yeast spices similar to Schneider Aventinus Eisbock. Very enjoyable

M: Thick mouthfeel with a mild carbonation.

O: Overall, I was pretty happy with this 12 beers varietal. Of the series, I have enjoyed Two Turtle Doves the most followed by 6 Geese a Laying and 4 Calling birds up next. This really is solid. I think I will be cellaring quite a few of these, I just hope that the berry flavors hold up over time. If not, Ill be sure to be making my own home batch of 2TD to make up for what we can no longer purchase until another 8 years out.

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Photo of BladesOfBarley
4.25/5  rDev +13%

Okay, so starting off, I'll be honest... I'm somewhat new to what the Bruery has to offer. I know they're 'One of the best' and 'All their beers are great', but this being only the THIRD one I've had... I have to say, I believe all I've heard. This beer is full of complexity and despite its alcohol volume (11.5%!!!) its incredibly drinkable, even more so than the first time I had it, back in June 2014...

Cracking open this gorgeous bastard, I'm presented with aromas of caramel, dark fruit and a graceful note of the booze that is to come. It pours a rich, luxurious cloudy... almost amber red color, with a definite cloudiness about it, likely from the year + of aging. A beige-ish head forms quickly to great heights, but dissipates quickly into a center sphere with tracing on the inside of the glass. A remarkable beer to behold, and to pour!

The real Pièce de résistance here, is the taste, which follows the aroma, but somehow... expands on that "bass line" if you will. A bouquet of gorgeous, luxurious dark fruit notes dance upon your pallet whilst accompanied by rich caramels, vanillas and the especial ingredient, cape gooseberries, which add a welcomed, and lovely tart note underneath the richness of the aforementioned flavors. To some it may be a bit overwhelming, but for me... they dance in unsion, creating a wonderful balance of dark and rich, tangy and smooth... superb!

I recommend this to ANYONE that's a fan of Belgian beers, especially one's that give a good riff or two upon the style... or anyone who enjoys a complex, delicious beer... A beer, that I truely love, and am glad that the local store has several left over from its initial release, so that I may soon pick up several to age for the next few years.

Mind expanding, to say the least.

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Photo of antott0523
4.19/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

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Photo of ism
4.19/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Brown body typical of the style with a 1finger head, low retention, probably due to the alcohol, which is hidden well under a sweet malt base. It is tempered by a sharp tartness, thankfully, and accompanied by some dark stone fruit notes. I love this flavor combo, a great take on the otherwise typically sweet style.

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type - 25.4 oz bottle

Appearance - Dark copper tan/brown, thick creamy 1 inch foamy head with tons of lacing.

Smell - Dark fruits like plum and raisin, berries, grapes, some Belgian yeasts, added sugars and spices.

Taste - Much like the smell, huge berry and grape kick. Has a distinct Belgian yeast sweetness mixed with added spices like cinnamon and all spice. Alcohol is noticeable added some warmth in each sip. More sweetness like molasses and even some chocolate come out as this warms up. Malts provide a toffee backbone.

Mouthfeel - Sweet and thick, tongue gets a lot of dark fruits, tons of berry, and yeasts, palate gets a lot of sugars, some malts and alcohol. Aftertaste is berries and grapes, some alcohol.

Overall - Really tasty, smooth and easy to drink. Really has a wine quality to it with such a large grape flavor. I really enjoy this whole 12 beers for xmas deal but the price of some of these is a little overboard. Ive paid between 12-18$ for the four beers of this series ive had. To be honest, I haven't had one yet id revisit for above 12$, so there for, I don't have any ive cellared, and I really wish I did. But, in all, I really enjoy this one and would recommend it for sure. Cant wait for #7!

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Photo of Lucnifter
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Two years have done this beer well. What a lovely appearance. Deep amber with the perfect amount of carbonation. Delightful fruit notes on the nose with belgian yeast esters, leather and alcohol in the background. Carmel malts, stone fruit and candi sugar with a subtle hop bitterness rounding things out. Sweet but with a pleasingly dry finish. A unique, quality ale improving with age.

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Photo of th0m
4.14/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.1/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 9/19/2013. Pours slightly hazy dark ruby red color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big caramel, toffee, molasses, raisin, plum, fig, red grape, orange zest, berries, cherry, toasted bread, light chocolate, clove, light pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruity/earthy yeast, and berry spice notes; with great strength. Taste of big caramel, toffee, molasses, raisin, plum, fig, red grape, orange zest, berries, cherry, toasted bread, light chocolate, clove, light pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Fair amount of earthy yeast spice and light fruity tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toffee, molasses, raisin, plum, fig, orange zest, berries, cherry, toasted bread, light chocolate, clove, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity, balance, and robustness of dark/bready malt, fruity/earthy yeast, and berry spice flavors; with a great malt/yeast balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a smooth, fairly creamy, and lightly slick/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Belgian strong dark ale. All around great complexity and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity/earthy yeast, and berry spice flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11/13/13 bottling date. 750ml bottle . teku glass.

murky brown pour, big head. smell is candied sugar and yeasty...interesting...taste is extremely sweet at first...but as you drink it you start to like it more. plums and figs on the back end, medium bodied, mild carbonation...

overall didn't love it at first but it grew on me. not bad

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky dark amber/brown with a huge off white head that tries to escape from the bottle as soon as I pop the cork. Aromas of caramel and sweet brown sugar, tart berry, cherry and plum, rounded off by a hint of ethanol, and clove and earthy yeast phenols. Sweet sugary malt offset with tart berries, alcohol and cherries. Light spicy phenols and a touch of alcohol provide hints of balance. Medium to thick body with a moderate to high level of carbonation and a sweet syrup and bubbly mouthfeel. Wow that one is actually pretty damn good. I haven't enjoyed one of the Bruery's 12 days beers this much since 2 turtle doves. Nice balance of sweet and tart with just enough spice to remind you its Belgian inspired.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.04/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased in 2013, cellared for 2 years. Poured into Belgian ale glass.

L: Beer pours a two-finger foamy head, decent retention, leaves some lacing and a ring. Beer is a chestnut brown.

S: Quite a scent. Dates, prunes, cherries, malt. Very nice, although hints of overly sweet.

T: And yeah, it sure is. Taste generally follows scent on this one. Malt cuts in a bit as it warms. Hint of alcohol on finish.

F: Aging doesn't seem to have done much for it. Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, which cuts the sweetness a little bit. Pretty drinkable.

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Photo of theholygose
4.04/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Nose - with sweet fruity accents, the aroma is quite enjoyable the moment the brew hits the glass.

Taste - roasted malts, slightly spicy, and, in line with the nose, lots of sweet fruits, with dark cherries mixed in. I’m also getting a bit of chocolate.

Mouthfeel - medium to heavy, leaving behind a slight tart pucker. But very mellow for a strong dark brew. Inoffensive, but enjoyable.

Not the most adventurous or boundary pushing ale I’ve had from The Bruery, but it certainly was the most enjoyable.

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Photo of TruePerception
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

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Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev +6.4%
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

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Photo of Etan
4/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of seedyone
4/5  rDev +6.4%

12/29/13 On tap at the Top Hop Shop, NYC. Serious alcoholic beverage with a thick body & loads of sweet. The word viscosity keeps trying to insert itself here but that might be off-putting & I'm thinking just the opposite. Hand over the keys, if your driving & order one of these because this is an adult beverage for sure.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.99/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've always enjoyed these Christmas beers from the Bruery, and I've always been a bit surprised they don't receive slightly higher ratings. They are festive, fruity, and a bit sweet, perfect for the Holidays. This one is no exception, Belgian style with gooseberries this time, and you really do get the gooseberries- particularly at the finish, along with a nice dose of Christmas spices that complement the bright, tart/sweet gooseberries. Under all of that is a solid Belgian Ale that provides just the right yeasty and fruity (from the beer itself this time) notes as well as a bit of a bite. Still, quite smooth, despite the abv. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.99/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle shared with Christmas dinner with my in-laws. Pours a murky light brownish or amber color with a creamy off white head. Aroma of sweet sugars, yeast, light spice, big caramel malts. Flavor follows with a big punch of sweet malts and Belgian sugars, the spice then comes in and the finish lingers with a very light tartness, I assume from the gooseberries. Pretty thick mouthfeel, adequate plus carbonation, a hint of booze in there that is nicely warming. I thought this was a success with a nice balance of sweet, tart, and spices. Perfect for a Christmas beer and exactly what they were going for with this one. Only complaint was that it was on the boozy side after warming just a little.

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Photo of mactrail
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Okay, so they are "cape gooseberries" and not English type gooseberries. It's hard to say what flavor they add to this stuff, but it's tasty nonetheless. Deliciously sweet and fruity but with a dark tangy edge.

Malty and strong with alcohol. There's a candy-like flavor that is quite intriguing. Warm, roasted flavors with a hot blast of alcohol that is actually rather pleasant. Smooth with caramel and a touch of sugar and cream.

Thoroughly sippable dark amber brew in the small snifter. A tasty addition to the usual range of holiday ales. Maybe my favorite Bruery concoction as well. On tap at Local Habit in San Diego.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle opened on 12.25.13

A - Pours a medium to light brown with a huge, very light tan head that fades slowly.

S - Holiday spices and fruity sweet.

T -Dull spices with a fruity, cranberry - almost fruit cake like.

D - Good carbonation with a medium body.

O - Nice spices - Gooseberry is fruity without being overly sweet. Solid, but can it hold up for six more years.

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6 Geese-A-Laying from The Bruery
85 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.