Festivity Ale
Goose Island Beer Co.

Festivity AleFestivity Ale
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Brown Ale - American
Ranked #602
Ranked #42,420
3.66 | pDev: 12.84%
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
Festivity AleFestivity Ale
Notes: Every year we brew a brown ale to celebrate the holidays. To make each year’s special, we alter the recipe. This year we wrapped caramel and dark fruit malt flavors inside a creamy toasty brown ale. May your holidays be filled with Festivity.
Reviews: 104 | Ratings: 531 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.31/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottled 9/25/14; drank 11/15/14 @ the Yarchives.

Brown/orange hue.

Big khaki head; thick lace.

Candle wax, mild raspberry & acorn nose; intriguing!

Medium mouthfeel.

Candle wax, mild raspberry...and a jarring shot of pickle juice. A harsh hop bite on the finish.

The nose promised bliss, but the the flavor didn't follow through. Too bad.

Mar 23, 2019
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Hackattack from Indiana

4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love brown ales, and I like this one as well as most. Dark red color........low carbonation....sweet... malty... toasty toffee -caramel taste....a bit of hops seeps through in the end. Not a big fan of this brewery, but this is good.

Apr 04, 2017
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Libeertarian from Montana

4.07/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes taken 02/18/17:

Bottled October 2014, glad I decided to age this although it would be nice to try fresh as well!

Dark copper, but opaque enough to make it a reddish brown, all capped with foamy, frothy almost orange golden-brown head of great retention. Dark fruit, toffee, alcohol, toast aromas. Heavy toast and toffee flavor, overwhelming even the dark fruit suggestions that this beer advertises on its label. A little spicy and boozy and leathery hops, besides. Full-bodied, sticky as hell. Mild and gentle carbonation, but consistent throughout. Warms up quite a bit. Far from your standard Brown Ale, definitely a Warmer.

Feb 24, 2017
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Ciocanelu from Romania

3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear dark amber color with tan head. Aroma is sweet and sugary with some raisins and dried banana chips. Taste follows with sugary sweetness and belgian yeast character, especially banana and other dried fruits. Medium to light bodied with medium to high carbonation. Overall it's a decent belgian style Christmas beer.

Feb 08, 2017
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Redrover from Wisconsin

3.32/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

The last of the 6 pack. I thought I had rated it but guess not…

12 oz brown longneck poured into a shaker, the beer is a medium brown with ruby highlights and pretty good clarity. There is some sticky tan lacing.

There is some dark fruit and bready malts in the nose.

This one has some heat as the alcohol is noticeable in the first sip. Some raisin, a bit of dark brown sugar, some dark bread and a hint of caramel. This one makes me miss the old Goose Christmas beer.

The mouth is a bit thin for me. All-in-all it is a miss for me and may be one of the first real miscues I have had from this normal solid brewery.

Feb 05, 2017
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DraconusDesanctus666 from Florida

3.12/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle (OCT 5,2016),into a Cigar City pint glass.

Thin,frothy,tan colored head that fades fast.Ruby red in color with nice clarity.Moderate carbonation with fast and slow moving bubbles,that are both small and large in size.

On the nose I get mostly caramel and cherry notes.A little bit of earthy malts as well,but other than that not much going on.

The palate is mostly malt,caramel,and sour cherries.There are even some alcohol characteristics.I find this strange considering it is only 7.7 abv.Also getting a metallic aftertaste.

The body is thin and a bit watered down.Dry finish,with a little bit of alcohol warming,but not too much.

This beer is not my cup of tea,or should I say cup of beer.Something seems off about it to me.Definitely would not recommend or revisit.

Jan 29, 2017
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Vetbidder from Pennsylvania

3.59/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Looks like an enviting dark beer. Scent is of slightly caramel malt with some overripe cherry? (Something sweet)On the edge. Sort of a caramel malt flavor, smooth and well done with some slightly detectable back end bitterness(ever so slight) that ends the crispness of this beer. Alcohol hidden... tired of being nice. Not my kinda beer.

Jan 21, 2017
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wjoelbrooks from Ohio

4.01/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint glass.

L: Dark russet red with a slight creamy head that dissipated relatively quickly, with persistent, delicate lacing.

S: Very pleasant on the nose. Malt and caramel. Some sweet fruit or berry that I couldn't discern.

T: Semi-sweet maltiness. Orange and winter spices--clove, coriander (?), cinnamon. The flavor hides the high-ish alcohol content.

F: Dryer than expected (but still not dry). Also more effervescent than expected--festive on the tongue.

O: This is a very nice holiday beer. I would certainly buy it again. Good ABV for the price.

Dec 22, 2016
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daliandragon from Maryland

4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown with red highlights and almost no head past a minute's pour. The nose is full of chocolate and caramel notes with the plum and fig notes joining in at the end.

A lot of different flavors make an appearance here: dark grapes not unlike very dry wine, smoke, peat, oak, dark chocolate and holiday spices. Kind of a catch all of winter flavors and actually quite nice once you sort them all out. The texture is initially a little thin but finishes pretty well.

Dec 05, 2016
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dcotom from Iowa

3.94/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep chestnut brown with gorgeous ruby highlights, thick tan head with lots of sticky lacing. As advertised, aromas and flavors of roasted malt and dark fruit. Definitely a doppelbock-like character. Lots of bitterness on the palate, finishes clean despite the sweet maltiness. A very good beer, well balanced and flavorful.

Nov 29, 2016
BIGPOPPAS from New Jersey

3.2/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Well I saw this today for the first time and just wanted something reasonable until I pick up a case of one of my favorites tomorrow.
The label read caramel, dark fruits and malts , so it actually sounded really exciting to me . I went ahead and purchased the six for under $10.
I'm reading others reviews, but I guess either I'm missing something or maybe I will like the second bottle better .
I was actually really disappointed in that I guess I expected something a little heavier and a bit more flavorful.
We all have different palates I guess and to each his own .
I'll likely be drinking one more and then passing off the others in a mixed six pack to friends for them to try.
I sure hope my $14 bottle of BCBS from GI is certainly better as I'll be cracking that either tomorrow or football Sunday , so I can see what all the hype is about .

Cheers :)

Nov 26, 2016
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PorterLambic from Florida

4.16/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a rich, chestnut color with a restrained tan head. Retention is ....not a strong suit. A thin film remains 60 seconds after pouring.
Smell is nutty, malty, with notes of seasoned wood and toast with a hint of smoke.
Taste is more. More nut, more malt, more wood, more toast and more smokiness, especially in the back nose, with some caramel and molasses.
Medium carbonation and a body just over middle of the road. Aftertaste is terrific. Nut & smoke/toast combine with the molasses to leave an great lingering flavor.

Apr 24, 2016
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nebula1999 from Connecticut

3.99/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was MUCH sweeter than expected but not in a bad way. Subtle holiday/seasonal spices throughout. Rich and smooth in the mouth. I liked it more than I thought I would.

Apr 09, 2016
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Goose Island Beer Co. "Festivity Ale"
12 oz. brown glass bottle, "BOTTLED ON DATE: 07OCT15" - "...FRESH FOR 180 DAYS AFTER THE BOTTLED ON DATE." so it's got 2 weeks to go.
$1.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Goose Island's Festivity Ale pours a fairly clear dark mahogany body beneath a creamy head of yellowed tan that holds quite well but doesn't do so much in the way of leaving lace behind. Dark-skinned fruit with a hint of alcohol greets you in the nose backed by toast, caramel, and soft cocoa powder. In the mouth it's creamy and smooth with a medium-full body and moderate, fine-bubbled carbonation. The flavor delivers more malt and fruit, although the alcohol remains, which is a drawback at only 7.7% ABV. The malt is caramelish, expressing soft golden caramel, brown sugar, and darker almost-burnt-sugar notes. Plum/prune, raisin, and black cherry liven it before herbal and leafy hops rise and carry it to a drying, bitter finish. It's listed at 50 IBUs but it seems more bitter than that, perhaps because the viscous malt holds it as it lingers. It's interesting in its fruitiness, and the rich malt is pleasant and luxurious, but the noticeable alcohol and clumsy bitterness leave it hobbling rather than dancing.

Mar 23, 2016
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metter98 from New York

3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear and very dark red in color (dark brown when viewed from afar) and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short light beige head that died down, leaving a thin patch of bubbles on the surface and a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of dark fruits and spices are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell, but seems to have a little more in the way of spices and bitterness in the flavors. The hops mask any traces of sweetness that you might have expected.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: For a holiday beer, this ale has a nice amount of hops in it so it doesn't taste sweet or cloying.

Serving type: bottle

Mar 18, 2016
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BeerDawgs from Georgia

4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12oz bottled in 10.2015

L - Deep red, mahogany, 1/2 a finger of head

S - Sugary sweet, dark malts, plums, dark fruit, raisons

T - Caramel, raisons, dark malts, nice citrus finish

F - Medium body and well carbonated

O - A tasty festive ale. Well done

Mar 05, 2016
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TX-Badger from Texas

3/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear reddish brown color with ivory colored head. Spices, caramel sweetness, and some roast on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes with spice and sweetness.

Feb 26, 2016
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

$ 1.83/12 oz bottle ($ 0.152/oz) at Giant Eagle, Meadville, PA
Bottled on 07 Oct 15 MT30 bottle at 42 degrees into hand washed and dried SA “Perfect Pint”
Aroma of dark fruits with a hint of spice
Head large (6.5 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, creamy/frothy, diminishing to three mm ring and partial frothy layer
Lacing poor – few small islands of tiny bubbles
Body deep red-amber, clear
Flavor definite caramel flavor with some background spice; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, syrupy, soft carbonation

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 3.5, Flavor 3.25, Palate 3.25, Overall 3.25

Feb 18, 2016
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Tone from Missouri

3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, mahogany color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of strong pale malt, sugar, sweet malt, hint of metallic, spices, hint of spice, and slight alcohol. Fits the style of an Herbed / Spiced Beer. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of spices, sweet malt, hint of hops, hint of roasted malt, hint of cream, hint of yeast, and slight sugar. Overall, decent appearance, aroma and body are hurt by the sugar and cloying nature of the beer, but decent feel.

Jan 31, 2016
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Samp01 from New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy brown with a medium tan head. Aroma and Taste is mild toasted caramel malt and barley, some mild sweet spices with some hops bitterness. Palate is a medium body with good carbonation. Finish is caramelized malt and barley, some sweet spiced notes ending with some hops bitterness for balance. Has a nice nutty lasting aftertaste. Overall a good festive brew.

Jan 30, 2016
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Chiefy770 from Illinois

3.94/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 Fluid Ounce Bottle
Served in a Nonic Pint Glass
Bottled on: October 7th, 2015
Reviewed on January 27thm 2016

Poured a clean mahogany body capped off by a healthy-sized tan head. Solid retention, yet sparse lacing.

Sweet dark fruit... plum and fig. Doughy malts. Definitely has quad characteristics.

Heavy hit of dark fruit up front. Sweet plum and fig stood out the most. Very dense backbone of bready malts. The fruit and malts produced an intriguing tobacco flavor. Subtle hint of spice toward the finish. Touch of hop bitterness.

Medium/full body. Carbonation seemed a bit too low, making the malts heavier than they should have been.

This brew packed more of a punch than I was expecting! Big hit of flavors. Nice malt profile. Having said that, tweaking a few things (carbonation and malt heaviness in particular) could certainly tighten this brew up.

I guess this is some sort of replacement for the recently retired "Christmas Ale" by Goose Island. I've seen beers come and go over the years by Goose Island but the only offering I was borderline "devastated" by was their Christmas Ale. This brew doesn't necessarily replace Christmas Ale, but it is a solid effort.

Jan 27, 2016
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zfw from Texas

3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nice winter beer. Predominant flavors are caramel and raisins. Just the right amount of hops to balance the malt. Look and feel are a bit thin, but flavor is solid.

Jan 25, 2016
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lastmango from Pennsylvania

3.19/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured a dark cherry brown with a two finger cream head. Little lacing. Aroma is a mild cherry malt. Taste is slightly sweet dark fruity malts with a bit of hop bitterness on the tail. After a few sips, the brew seemed to have a medicinal taste. Moderate carbonation and body. Not sure I would buy this again. Mad Elf is soooo much better.

Jan 16, 2016
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I picked this up recently at The Friendly Greek Bottle Shop and being a (relatively) mild day in mid-January 2016, I figure that there is no time like the present.

From the bottle: "Serve in a nonic pint"; "Caramel & Dark Fruit Malt Flavors".

I Pop!ped the cap and since I was anxious to get started, I gave it a heavy-handed pour that released three-plus fingers of light-tan head with good retention. Color was Brown to Dark Brown (SRM = > 22, < 27) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was rich, especially with the aforementioned caramel. It put me in mind of dessert, but not a specific one. Mouthfeel was medium, but there was also some heat on the tongue. Getting past that initial shock, I got cherry, plum & raisin and suddenly it dawned on me: rum-soaked fruitcake! I am not a big fan of fruitcake, but when somebody brings out rum-soaked, I get excited. Finish was dry, mostly because of its unrelenting alcohol. It lived up to its caramel & dark fruit billing, but I wonder if aging might not smooth it out a little bit.

Jan 16, 2016
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VABA from Virginia

3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an amber color with a generous head and lacing
Aroma has dark fruit, caramel and malty hints
The taste follows the nose with a dark fruit, caramel and malty flavor
A medium bodied moderately carbonated beer
A nice Brown Ale

Jan 13, 2016
Festivity Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 531 ratings