Festivity Ale | Goose Island Beer Co.

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Festivity AleFestivity Ale
530 Ratings
Festivity AleFestivity Ale

Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.70%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by jhartley on 08-03-2014

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 530 |  Reviews: 101
Reviews by FickleBeast:
Photo of FickleBeast
3.51/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, bottled 10/7/15. Poured into a Stella chalice.

Pours a dark brown color with hints of ruby red. Aroma is potent, like candied nuts, or sweet yams. It doesn't smell like beer, but rather more like a fruitcake.

First sip has a cloying sweetness. This is sweet and has an artificial fruit flavor, kind of like maraschino cherries. This beer is not really enjoyable to drink. It is sweet, boozy, and unnaturally fruity. I am not a Goose Island hater, but this is one of the weaker offerings I've had from them.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Br0wnsfn31
4.69/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Okay first off i know what you are thinking why is this guy doing a review at 8:00 am.. I had this beer last night for the first time in a bottle and well lets just say i wanted to take the rest with me..so here is my review

Appearance- Dark Brown with hints of red.. i guess maroon would be a better description but oh well.. impressive finger and a half of a kahki colored head that looked like wasnt going anywhere for a while..with some nice lacing.. 4.25

Smell- Can you say rosted malts?? Alot of caramel toffee notes as well..i get alittle vanilla in the nose.. the aroma is very intriguing..4.5

Taste- The taste is spot on as far as brown ales go.. i dont get the vanilla as much in the taste as the aroma.. alot of coffee like notes in the taste.. wow.. 5

Mouthfeel- Very smooth.. not too much carbonation.. the after taste is bitter, pleasant and lasts a while.. 4.5

Overall- Coming from Cleveland Ohio we have the legendary Great Lakes Christmas Ale.. Which is amazing dont get me wrong but its alittle on the expensive side.. This holiday brown ales stands at a stout 7.7% abv with 50 IBUS and is less than 10 bucks a six pack WHAATT.. now the 50 IBUS is puzzling to me because I dont find it that bitter others may but that is why there are 100000000000 beers in the world right? take caution when drinking and driving especially this one it will sneak up on you.. I hope you liked my review.. we need this beer in the 90's.. GOOSE ISLAND MAKE THIS YOUR STAPLE WINTER ALE

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Photo of whatchathink
1.32/5  rDev -63.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I'll just keep it short and sweet. This is a really bad ale. It smells like finger nail polish remover and burnt sugar. Taste is the same. This ale is all over the place. I'm surprised they even released it. F

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Photo of EvoRich
4.45/5  rDev +22.9%

Look: Pours a reddish brown color, head disappears quickly. Has a look of syrup to it.

Smell: Brown sugar, very sweet, caramel, apple fruitiness with cinnamon. The smell really does make me think of Christmas!

Taste: Wow. Spicy, with a good bit of cinnamon. The cinnamon has a very long lasting presence from the start of the sip to the woody aftertaste, seconds after you've already swallowed. A small touch of caramel apple in the middle.

Feel: Spicy with mid-high levels of carbonation. Creamy texture.

Overall: A perfect Christmas beer. A lot in this beer from the aromas to the taste remind me of Christmas.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
2.75/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

I like Christmas ales, but this one is a little hard to take.
It starts out well enough. Dark red/brown with a small tan head.
Something amiss in the aroma. Very sweet but acrid.
Sweet, treacly taste. Some dark fruit. Acrid background.
Cloyingly sweet, not a fun beer to drink.

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Photo of bsp77
4.06/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Pint.

Appearance: Fairly dark reddish-brown with nice light tan head.

Smell: Caramel, brown sugar, cherry, light chocolate, and spicy & earthy hops.

Taste: Strong malt backbone of caramel, brown sugar, dark fruit and chocolate. Some spicy and earthy hops on the finish, maybe a hint of citrus. Pretty sweet overall until the finish.

Feel: Somewhat full-bodied with moderately low carbonation. The finish is dry despite the mostly sweet taste, and that is what makes this beer really good.

Overall: It seems like another tweaking of their past Holiday beers, but I think they nailed it this time. Great taste with an even better mouthfeel.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.81/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a small chalice: color is cherry, head is light tan presenting about 1/2 inch thick and then dissipating quickly.

Smell is very enticing, nice fruity malt presence, followed by some mild yeast spice and hop earthiness. Caramel and toffee like flavors present as it warms.

Taste is a bit less emphatic than the aroma, with more malt and caramel flavors, fruity/fig/cherry like flavors are less noticeable; nice yeast fruit and spiciness. mild wheat/biscuit like flavors are present that subdue to the moderate hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is very pleasant for a beer of this malt profile, not cloying, very good balance of sweet and dryness with nice lingering fig/plum and caramel/toffee flavors.

Overall, a very solid christmas ale, tending towards the sweet side but solid fermentation and bittering hops complement

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Photo of mactrail
2.82/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

This is a Winter Warmer, not a Brown Ale. Quite attractive with a big foam on the dark red brew poured into the Duvel tulip. Other than the flavor, it's well-made and pleasantly fizzy.

Sweet and nasty. Something like boiled-down Hawaiian punch. Leather, sulfury yellow raisins, and jujubes. Odd bitter finish. Licorice and dishwater smell. I keep trying to find something to like about this. From the six pack of 12 ozs, bottled 07 Oct 15.

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3.2/5  rDev -11.6%
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 :)

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Photo of Mitchster
4.25/5  rDev +17.4%

$1.69 for a 12oz bottle @ BevCo. Not listed on Goose Islands Website. 7.7% ABV and 50 IBU's per the bottle. Bottled Oct 14, 2014 and enjoyed Oct 30th.
Pours out to a beautiful deep mahogany, forming a tall poofy and creamy yellow head with superior retention and gorgeous lacing. Carbonation is moderate, ~2.5 carbs. The nose is inviting...leather, walnuts, vanilla, oak, some subtle fruity yeast esters, very faint hops. The mouthfeel is smooth and soft with a medium-dense body. Creamy on the tongue. The taste is wonderful..again, leather and walnuts, but I also get some subtle light roast coffee and toffee with some vanilla lingering down the middle and dark toast in the finish. Bitterness is beautifully balanced and smooth with a nice herbal hop quality. There is a touch of acetone towards the end but it is brief and mild and doesn't hurt the flavor thankfully.

An absolutely rich and complex brown ale. Delightful to drink. Worth picking up a few and sitting on them. I am going back to the store to pick up more. Highly recommended.

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Photo of yemenmocha
2.07/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5


Pours a dark reddish color that is fine as far as appearance goes. Some holiday dessert on the nose, nothing stellar but nothing bad either. Palate is horrible. Disgusting boozey fake fruit flavors that seriously challenge one's composure when drinking this. Recommended to try this one in private, rather than in public. Normally I enjoy a winter ale with some of traditional qualities, but this one misses on a few levels.

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Photo of NeubTube
2/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Horrid. Tastes like paint thinner smells, if that makes sense. Second-closest I've ever come to pouring beer down the drain. Fake fruit flavors, coupled with overwhelming booze, akin to bottom-shelf vodka. If interested go for a single bottle if available, as I wasted nearly $9 on a sixer. I'm cringing while writing this due to the flashbacks of near gagging it induced.

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Photo of oberon
3.77/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DanGeo
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of markmo
4.75/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Another nice brew for the holiday season.

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Photo of BigMarty1980
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of patriotblue04
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strong but a good sipper.

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Photo of SunDevilBeer
3.51/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Jpinoniemi
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TTripp725
2.35/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Billolick
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, bottled on 0ct 17 2014

Decent looker, head quickly going to a fine bubble film and thin collar.

Caramel on the sniff

Heavy caramel, darker toast notes and moderate sweetness.

Pretty good brown ale.

Worked as part of a chicken marinade as pretty much any brown ale does

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Photo of reitzbrewing
4.54/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

poured from bottle to wine glass. can smell banana mixed in with the malt. really good seasonal

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Photo of dankjohn
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of Franziskaner
3.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Chestnut brown in color with some light seeping through. There's a fingernail of beige around part of the rim and the majority of the top. The aroma is comprised of copious amounts of dark malt, caramel, and raisins. There's a suggestion of fig and in the fade. I swear there's just a hint of spruce aftertaste. The mouth is moderately carbonated and the spices tingle my taste buds.

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Festivity Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 530 ratings