Christmas IPA
Goose Island Beer Co.

Christmas IPAChristmas IPA
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Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
IPA - American
Ranked #6,208
ABV:
7.5%
Score:
84
Ranked #37,602
Avg:
3.71 | pDev: 15.09%
Reviews:
40
Ratings:
76
From:
Goose Island Beer Co.
 
Illinois, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  0
Gots
  6
SCORE
84
Good
Christmas IPAChristmas IPA
Notes: Christmas IPA is a malt forward IPA using 6 different hops throughout the process. Subtle stone fruit and wood notes balance with caramel malt on the palate dry-hopped with Meridian, Ahtanum, and Cashmere. It’s got a bit of an old school feel on the malt side with caramel malt and a lovely red hue to go wit the classic kettle hop backbone. Nicely balanced and dry, this little number dons a big fruity aroma.

IBU: 38
HOPS: NORTHERN BREWER, CASCADE, MERIDIAN, CASHMERE, ATHENEUM
MALTS:2-ROW, C-20, DEBITTERED BLACK, CANE SUGAR
Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 76 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy from Georgia

2.8/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

12 ounce can - $2.29 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours an amber-toned body, a bit of haze to it. Medium-small, off-white head.

Smell: Very dry toasted grain, a sliver of middling roast. Faint caramel. Stale citrus, wood shavings, shredded mint leaf.

Taste: Toasted grain with a brief, minimally sweet hit of caramel. Citrusy, woodsy with a minty-menthol kick. Medium bitterness. Lethargic malts, apathetic hop character, anemic mouthfeel.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body, a tad watery. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Lackluster. Feels like a very clunky attempt to recreate Sierra Nevada's Celebration.

Nov 13, 2021
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AdmiralOzone from Minnesota

3.61/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

While pouring it appears to have a pinkish color, when the glass is full seems to be more brown with only a tint of red. Off white cap that lingers and leaves decent lacing. Aroma is faint, caramel malt, some cherry and some earthy hops. Flavor is a bit bolder than the nose, with caramel and fruit in front and some piney bitterness in the finish. Feel is on the lighter side of medium bodied and adequately carbonated. Overall a nice enough beer.

Nov 10, 2021
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NeutroMan from Illinois

3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can , best by 23 Mar 2022, into a pint glass.

A: Clear dark red/almost mahogany color with a sudsy one-finger light tan head.

S: Caramel malt, stone fruit like cherry and plum, nutmeg.

T: The caramel malt is less intense than the nose suggested, giving way to piney hop bitterness. Typical IPA grapefruit replaces the cherry/plum/nutmeg. Hop bitterness lingers in the aftertaste.

F: Medium bodied, slightly creamy and somewhat lightly carbonated.

O: A somewhat unique entry in the Christmas beer line and a nice alternative to over-spiced ales.

Nov 07, 2021
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lordofthewiens from New Mexico

3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A dark amber color with a small white head. Minimal lacing.
Aroma of caramel, fruit, earthy hops.
Taste of caramel/toffee, some orange. Late kiss of hops.
Certainly malt-forward.
Nice beer.

Oct 31, 2021
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Darkmagus82 from Texas

3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into a pint glass
Appearance – The beer pours a nice deep amber color with a one finger head of just off-white foam. The head has a good level of retention, leaving a good level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma of the brew is strong of a malty and bready smell mixed with aromas of a light fruitiness of orange, fig, and apple, mixed with a decent showing of caramel and toffee. Along with these smells comes some earthy and herbal aromas as well as a touch of grapefruit and mustiness.
Taste – The taste begins with a bready malt flavor mixed with some caramel and molasses. There is a moderate showing of a pine and earthy hop right from the start, creating a baseline hop taste that lasts throughout the profile of the brew. As the taste advances some light fruit flavors of apple and pear come to the tongue, along with a slight increase in caramel. A bit of citrus hop and sweet citrus orange comes more toward the end, and with hay and an increase in the pineiness at the very end, one is left with a malty and moderately dank hopped taste to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is medium in thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is rather average. Overall, for the style, the feel is pretty good and makes for a nice sipper.
Overall – A decent IPA overall. More malty with an interesting hop blend flavor. Nothing to pine over, but a fun one to try.

Oct 22, 2021
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WoodBrew from Ohio

3.72/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I got a can of this beer off the single shelf from my local Giant Eagle store. It poured a clear amber with very thin white ring head that is not leaving any lace. The scent had dark ripe fruit peel notes. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink with mild dark fruit peel bitterness. The mouthfeel was medium in body and had good carbonation. Overall it is a good beer.

Jun 06, 2021
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vette2006c5r from Minnesota

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

Christmas IPA pours a darker, reddish copper color, with a small, long lasting lacing head. Aroma is earthy, hints of caramel. Flavor is a little sweet, earthy, very malt forward, hints of caramel, and some aggressive bitter hops. God body and feel. Overall, its very flavorful, more malty, and earthy, but nice sweet flavors to balance everything out.

Feb 03, 2021
Photo of AltonGriese
AltonGriese from Florida

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

If you're looking for a more balanced, malt-forward (for an IPA) alternative to Celebration, you've found your beer. Deep redish-brown in the glass, the hops and malts really do balance well.

Jan 24, 2021
Photo of Manta200
Manta200 from Kentucky

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

Single 12oz can from Party Town
Pours a deep amber color with a finger thick off white head.
Malty sweet aroma. Taste has a sweet note as well with caramel and some bitterness in the finish.
Medium body.
Was an interesting experience.

Jan 16, 2021
Photo of hoptheology
hoptheology from South Dakota

3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can from Tony
BBD 2/22/21
Into wide mouthed glass.

Has to be the darkest IPA I've ever seen. It's either loaded with caramel malt (likely) or hella oxidized (also possible). It is literally the color of iced tea, with a fingernail of white collar. No lace, some alcohol legs.

Aroma from the can is spruce, toffee, nutmeg, and brown sugar. Aroma from the glass is spearmint gum and grapefruit. Unique so it gets points.

Flavor is newspaper, brown bread crusts, semi-flavorless spearmint gum, apricot, papaya, caramel rolls, dry wood, nutmeg, spruce, and lemon peel.

Feel is burning with alcohol, spikey carbonation, some resins and oiliness, with lingering prickle, heat, and dryness.

Overall kind of a lackluster beer, but not totally undrinkable. More drinkable than some "Christmas IPA"s. Has a lot of caramel and spruce action which does the Christmas thing pretty well I suppose, but there's a few things that are funky with it. I could understand some liking it, but it's not one I'll return to.

Jan 07, 2021
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Donniejq from Tennessee

3.64/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Rather strong in the malt sweetness department like how I would imagine a DIPA would taste if it had half the hops it was supposed to have. It's not bad, not great. There's a chemically taste to it for me that keeps it from being anything but good. It's fairly unique and, for that, I am very glad I tried it.

Dec 29, 2020
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ANIMOUL from Vermont

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

Drank on Xmas Eve. Not bad... pours darkish brown, richer for what I was expecting for an IPA. More malt (?) than hoppy bitterness. Tastes stronger than expected. Not too bad... more like a winter warmer. Not bad.

Dec 25, 2020
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ovaltine from Indiana

4.07/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a relatively clear mahogany brown color in the body with loads of leakage to red on the edges and a dense tan head.

The nose is dominated by malt aromas, especially caramel and toffee notes, and there’s a subtle fruity note that presents as tart cherries from the hops.

The hops are more prominent on the taste, and it is cherries on my palate, with a bit of pine, and a LOAD of caramel and toffee flavors from the malt.

The mouthfeel is dry and crisp, in line with an old school IPA. I went into this thinking it would be a Celebration clone, and it is in that vein, but substantially maltier. Glad I picked this up.

Dec 21, 2020
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EMV from Pennsylvania

3.34/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz can into a Dogfish Head tulip. Well within its freshness range.

L: Copper pour with big off-white head. Great lacing... pretty looking beer.

S: Malty... pine and hops.

T.F: Semi-sweet and malty up front... caramel and toasted grains. Pine forward hops... not much bite and a bit of citrus. Herbal/earthy... medium bodied. Smooth.

O: Too much malt, not enough hops. I enjoy some throwback old-school west coast IPA's, but this just didn't do it for me. I'd much rather pick up a 'Celebration' from Sierra Nevada.

Dec 20, 2020
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defunksta from North Dakota

3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a deep bronze color with an amber hue. Somewhat clear. A soft, light tan head. SRM of 17. (3.75)

Aroma: Rather strong and resinous aromas of deep orange, caramel, and tropical resinous fruit. Also some strong toast, brown sugar, and caramel malts mixed in. The malts are really mixed in here and the flavor doesn't evolve from hops to malts, but rather hits as one. Some roasty pine underneath. Maybe some Cascade and Centennial hops? (3.75)

Flavor: Flavor follows the nose with more orange and mild tropics upfront mixed with a substantial baked brown sugar, toasted bread, and earthy & roasted caramel malt flavor with hints of earthy pine underneath. The flavor culminates into a nice malty, (slightly gingerbread?) Christmas spice. Sweetness on the finish and a rather strong alcohol burn. (3.50)

Feel: A light body but also restrained bitterness allows it to finish malty but clean. (4.00)

Compared to Sierra Nevada's Celebration IPA 12/18/20: Pours a darker color with a softer head. Stronger aromas. More brown sugar, toast, tropical aromas, more earthy. Less citrus, soap, and airy pine. A lighter body with slightly less bitterness too.

Compared to Surly's Furious IPA 1/5/21: Pours a darker color. Stronger aromas of spiced caramel, and tropical fruit. Less pine, pinecone, and citrus. Heaver and sweeter, but less clean and bitter. Stronger alcohol burn. I think it's less hoppy too. Winner: Furious

Overall: All the rage about this beer is how it isn't an IPA, however I get large hop aromas here (Less hops on my second impression). Only falls off slightly on the tongue. Still, quite hoppy. Maybe some Cascade, Centennial, and Mosaic hops? Nope. Apparently it's dry hopped with Cashmere, Meridian, and Ahtanum. Haven't heard of the last one.
Nonetheless, the aroma is hoppy, and so is the flavor. The malty flavors come through for sure for spiced and resinous caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, and more roasted caramel. Finishes with some earthy pine. The body is lighter than I expected and surprisingly light for 7.5% (On my second review, much more malty and less hops. Final Rating: 3.63)

Dec 19, 2020
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tigerinatrance from New York

3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bit soapy for my liking, but it definitely tastes like Christmas otherwise. The alcohol is well hidden
There's a nice nutty thing going on reminiscent of Schmaltz "Hanukkah, Channuka, Pass the Beer" a brew I miss greatly which is in many ways nothing like this beer. But that nuttiness is there. Perhaps cocoa nibs are involved?

Anyway... this suits the season and is a strong offering from Goose Island.

Nov 26, 2020
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TBoneJones from Texas

3.82/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a brownish body like a cola, and there’s a creamy foam of head.
Nose is plenty of malt with some pine, sweet but in a light brown sugar/ vanilla cream type of way.
Taste is of toasted caramel malts with some forest-like notes and hop bitterness.
A dry beer, for the most part. Not too complex, but there’s a nice vanilla-spice note I like about it.
It is nice and creamy, very chewy.
A decent ipa for holiday season, but not as satisfying as Celebration Ale.

Nov 14, 2020
Photo of steveh
steveh from Illinois

3.49/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Guess this was out last year too, but I didn't try it. Have been feeling especially hoppy since Okto season, so.

12 ounce can, best by 3-11-21. Poured into my Nonic Imperial Pint.

L -- Clear, copper-amber with a light tan head; dense and sudsy.

S -- Piny notes, fresh DMS character, light caramel notes.

T -- Hot, bitter, herbal and earthy hops up front. The bitterness borders on astringent. Fruit esters back; peach, apricot. Sweetish biscuit malt fights for recognition. Bitter citrus & herbal hops dominate the finish and aftertaste.

F -- Mouthfeel is crisp to sticky with a medium-robust body.

O -- An IPA in the Celebration image, but just not as complex in its malt character and balance with its hops. I was sort of hoping for a Celebration clone, but why should I expect it? A very drinkable, hoppy IPA.

Nov 12, 2020
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Act25 from New Jersey

3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

More of a Red IPA than a Christmas/winter ale. Very good as a malt-forward IPA. Snagged 15-pack for $17 at Bottle King.
a) dark amber/mahogany with mist haze and mocha head that coats and lasts.
s) malt forward, caramel and toffee, raisins, dark fruits, wood, bourbon and a nightcap of hoppy citrus.
t) More candied orange comes through, gets more Christmasy as it warms.
f) It's sharp, crisp, fluffy, and a smooth, evening style drinker. Soothing, warming. Better is it warms.
o) Glad I got this and will stock until 2021.

Oct 30, 2020
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Tantonys from Maine

4.75/5  rDev +28%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Kind of nice, brewed clean. Hops is not as pronounced as I expected. As I mentioned, brewed really clean; nothing at all objectionable. I really liked the roasted malts used, but wish more aroma and bittering hops were used, like Stingo, a real dark hoppy ale.

Oct 17, 2020
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Eamonn-Cummings3 from New York

3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz can into a Trillium Pub Glass.

Look is a dark cola red with an off color head.

Aroma is astringent Belgian malt not much hops.

Taste is very fruity ester Belgian.

Too astringent an medicinal

Jan 10, 2020
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Vetbidder from Pennsylvania

3.94/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark holiday look to this with a fading head. Sweet malty nose with fruity undertones . Sweet flavor with minimal bitterness. Decent amount of thickness and less but appropriate carbonation round out this surprise brew.

Dec 29, 2019
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barnzy78 from Illinois

4.27/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz can, date stamped 09MAR20. Reddish hued ale with a foamy tan head. Big malt presence on the nose of caramel & grain along with dank piney hops. Sweet malt backbone with notes of caramel, toasted grain, brown sugar, and bread crust; hops are bitter and balance it out nicely with notes of citrus and earthy pine. Full creamy and resinous body, ample carbonation, bitter yet balanced finish. This is a winner in my opinion. Lots of variance in others' thoughts on this beer. I think it drinks like a red IPA and I am really enjoying it. Add some rye to this and I think it would be something special.

Dec 24, 2019
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Bsimpson91 from Georgia

4.98/5  rDev +34.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Yes! This is a IPA I've been wishing for all Year!
I have been wanting a darker Malt IPA for so long and this Goose comes along just in time December 2019!
I am a Goose Island fan if you can't tell.
Let's Start things off with the looks. Poured from that pretty red can into my tulip Glass. Yields a Beautiful Burnished Red amber tone. Clear with minimal head and nice lacing. Swirl test gives you slight bit more off-white cap. Head stays with the beer. Now moving on to smell. The nose is much like a Imperial IPA. Layered with complex aromas of caramelized malts, boozy with hints of citrus fruits. Smell is Malty for a ipa, which you will get no complaints from me. its rich and inviting. Okay let's talk about Flavor. Right off the bat, Nice bite of hops in the front, semi-sweet with a Malt forward character. This beer reminds me so much of a true Imperial. The malts are caramelized and lend a pastry or dessert bread scrumptiousness. middle is boozy and all those flavors in the front become more aromatic as it ends it seems to get slightly sweeter with a touch of american hops coming in to play. Hop character is citrusy also somewhat herbal. the hops are around the same bitterness as a pilsner. Moving on to feel. Im wishing there was more body to this beer, however this is still very well done and enjoyable. It leans toward the light to medium viscosity. slightly prickly carbonation. Overall I love this Beer. Goose Island doesn't disappoint me.

Dec 21, 2019
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zeff80 from Missouri

3.54/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Poured out a clear, light burgundy color with a small, khaki-colored head of foam. It smelled roasted malt, pine and spices. Rich roasted malt taste with a piney bitterness.

Dec 08, 2019
Christmas IPA from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 76 ratings