Christmas IPA
Goose Island Beer Co.

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American IPA
Ranked #5,755
Ranked #35,575
3.64 | pDev: 19.51%
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
Notes: Specialty Belgian malts create a deep garnet color and a truly rich old European flavor in our classic Christmas Ale. And the generous amount of crystal hops adds that extra spicy aroma to your pint, perfect for a wintry night. Our Christmas Ale brings good tidings and joy to each Holiday Season. A two-time Gold Medal Winner in the World Beer Championships.

The original Goose Island Christmas Ale clocked in at 5.7% ABV. There was no 2010 vintage. The 2011 vintage saw a bump to 6.2% ABV. The 2012 vintage was bumped up further to 7.5% ABV.
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 26 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of zeff80
3.54/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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Photo of reknirdsuomynona
2.76/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12oz can poured into a 12oz beer glass

A - The color of a red ale, deep amber, looks nothing like an IPA. Beautiful color, head not so much. Less than a finger's worth of head which quickly settles to a thin cover over the surface. Expected with the higher ABV. Leaves nice foam streaks on the glass.

S - Smells nothing like what you would expect from the appearance. Strong citrus hops are in the forefront and the malt is overpowered. No substantial depth but not bad.

T - Citrus hops are strong up front as expected from an IPA but get overpowered almost instantly by the strong almost charred malt flavor. I can see what they were going for but it doesn't work imo. The balance just isn't there. The hops just can't hold up to the malt. A bitter charcoal-like aftertaste is left on the finish. There's an extremely faint hint of ginger and cinnamon on the backend, but the holiday spices may as well not even be there with that malt.

M - Very light mouthfeel, deceptive in fact and not what I would want to get out of a 7.5% holiday beer. Carbonation is somewhat sprightly and doesn't help. It's not Bud Lite but a beer this dark should feel more substantial than it does.

Overall a so so attempt at something a little different. Not bad but not particularly good either. Some more earthy hops and stronger spice would go a long way. The high alcohol content is also undetectable without reading it off the can. This is a plus for me but I can see why some wouldn't like how light it comes off as.

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Photo of bobhits
1.99/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Debating if I should even write a review.

So it's a black ipa. Or dark amber?

It barely smells like an ipa, hell APA's have more hops.

It's thin, it's boring, there's some light malts, a touch of hops. Honestly watery and boring.

I normally try to write more and explain a beer more but this is boring and frankly out of an IPA style. Really bad.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.71/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Tasted in a snifter from draft at Consume on November 18, 2019. Brewed with specialty Belgian malts and crystal hops. Smell and taste is spice and rich malt. Good take on a holiday IPA.

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Photo of muchos
3.99/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L. Dark red with a brownish tone, slightly off-white head doesn't last to long.
S. Lemon, grapefruit, orange, pineapple, ginger, molasses, like a gingerbread cookie with citrus zest.
T. Pine, light toffee or honey, light molasses, faint spice but noticeable like cinnamon and ginger.
F. On the lighter side, refreshing, I but resinous.
O. Pleasant. Definitely a beer I'd get again. Cheers!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Goose Island Beer Co. "Christmas IPA"
12 fl. oz. can coded "09MAR20 DI2014"
$2 @ Wegmans, King of Prussia, PA

Notes via stream of consciousness: So I don't know what this is. It doesn't say anything on the label about spices but it's only got 38 IBUs and it's 7.5% ABV. It's darker than I expected, and looks like a spiced ale with a slightly hazy chestnut brown body beneath a two inch tall head of off-white foam. Are there spices in the aroma? No, but there is a little spiciness to it, which I'll assume is coming from hops although it could be the yeast as well. It's caramelish and spicy, and that's all there is. It's not a very bold aroma either, but that's OK as it's clean and pleasant. On to the taste... well it's richer than the aroma suggests, but still quite similar. There's some added fruitiness to it that's like apple, berries, and subtle peach, and some additional hop flavor that's woody/lightly piney and gently earthy. I'd say it's also a little bit floral, and just a touch citrusy and tropical as well. That's not to say that it's a big and bold complex beer - it's not! But it does have a fair bit of complexity in its rather refined taste. In all honesty I'd rather have this than a spiced ale, but at the same time this seems to me very like the basis for many spiced ales that I've had. What separates it and makes it unique is the blend of hops. I'm not sure how they pulled that off, but it's really nice. Subtle, but nice. In the mouth it's medium bodied and gently bristling on the tongue before warming to become smoother. Looking back, the head held up fairly well but the lacing was hardly even average. At least this time I know I've got a clean glass, so that's a little odd. Conclusion? This is a really nicely balanced and rounded ale that's really well polished - they've done a great job with it - but apart from the strength I don't really see it as what most people would consider to be a IPA. It seems to me to be more like a strong, hoppy red ale, but what do I know? I'll still drink it, and in fact I'm inspired to pick up a case for X-mas parties, but also just to have around the house.
Review #6,800

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Photo of BenHoppy
1.24/5  rDev -65.9%
look: 5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

The look is ruby red amber with a creamy bubbly froth head, very Christmasey.

In the aroma I get nothing, no smell at all and in flavor I get metallic malts. There's no nutmeg or chocolate caramel, nor is their hops. This beers sucks! Sorry GI, just make bourbon county and make lots of it because that's all you're good at.

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Photo of HoffbrowHater
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

It’s a fine beer. However the flavor lacks depth. Refreshing and slight notes of Christmasy flavors (nutmeg, chocholate, caramel sweetness). I mostly just stuck on how they justify this as an IPA I suppose.

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Photo of scootercrabb
4.28/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful reddish , nice lacing smell of pine and white bread with a tad cinnamon.

Taste slight bitterness super smooth very easy drinker well rounded beer hops are there but
The malt shines on this beer I was shock that this is 7.5 alcohol well hidden i would have guessed 5.5

Overall a very good beer well done i just wish the it was around 5.0 percent

Will buy again

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Photo of Mindcrime1000
3.87/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a tulip.

Pours a dark amber with ruby highlights. Slightly hazed. It has a nice head that quickly subsides; but the lacing is solid.

Aromas of caramel malt, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg initially present, but some spruce hop notes arrive in the background.

Caramel malts make up the backbone of this brew on the tip of the tongue, but there is much more going on, and it isn't a "throw in the spice rack" warmer. Mid-stream, some peach, plum, and cherry notes arrive,along with some woody flavors, to go along with some expected, but pleasingly-restrained spice notes. The brew finishes with some unexpectedly dank and resiny west-coast hoppiness. Notwithstanding the "holiday" spices, at no point does "winter warmer" come to mind. That said, it is fairly sweet for an "IPA."

The brew is pretty much medium-bodied. It is well-carbonated and has a good drying finish, however, which helps overcome some innate sweetness.

I thought this would be a gimmicky winter warmer with an extra dose of hops. Not so. This is a solid IPA that happens to incorporate some holiday spice. There are some decidedly west-coast flavors happening on this one. As far as "holiday" brews go, this is a thumbs up. It would be a nice hoppy departure from most other holiday brews.

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Photo of GrumpyGas
4.21/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16ox draft pour into a pint glass shows a beautifully clear dark amber body capped by a 1/8in head of white tiny bubbles that last just until a quaff then recede to an edge hugging ring, leaving erratic webbed lacing.

Aroma of spruce is backed with cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove, but just to notice; nothing overpowering. The flavors match making a deceptive easy drinker, given the well-hidden abv. Spruce and pine resin sticks slightly at the back with the concomitant aftertaste.

Mouthfeel has substance but seems just short of medium.

Overall a pleasant tasting, easy drinking, 7.5% banger. Beware.

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

Stumbled upon this while grocery shopping. The price was right (6.99 a sixer on that day) and they had me at IPA. I personally have never seen a beer called simply Christmas IPA. The can is a very simple and elegant Christmas red. A normal pour yields no head, very little carbonation. Smells slightly malty and roasty and thankfully not all spicy and sugar plumby as these things normally go. Tastes like it smells, drinks almost watery due to no carbonation and the alcohol didn't bother me. Just subtly Christmas-sy which is welcome as we get walloped with all that til new years. I'll buy again if I see it again.

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Photo of woodyswenson
4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Got this in a 15 pack and poured a 12 oz can into a pint. Has a standard clear copper look to be expected with goose island not much haziness. The taste has a sweet citrus hoppy bite with very light undertones of cinnamon that compliments the bready malts. I enjoy the light feel of the beer itself but honestly a thicker consistency might have done complimented the flavor. The alchohol content really pushes this over the top for me you can barely pick up the 7.5 percent. Overall I was impressed and would definitely drink many more.

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Photo of BB1313
3.72/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Best by 3/9/20. 12oz can poured into a tulip. Pours a dark amber/copper with glowing orange hues along with some haze to it; creamy light khaki head that fades leaving nice retention and lacing. The aromas are malt forward. Lots of caramel and toffee. Some raisins and dark fruits. Some citrus. The flavors follow the nose perfectly. More caramel and toffee. Some orange coming through. Mild hints of pine. Moderate bitterness along with a subtle sweetness. Solid malt backbone. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is very nice. It's on the lighter side of medium-bodied with active carbonation. It's sharp, crisp, fluffy, slightly creamy, smooth and easy to drink.

This is a pretty solid brew. It's on the maltier side for an IPA, but the hops still do their thing. It's reminiscent of a "Red IPA". This one is very fitting for the cooler weather and the holiday season. Not bad at all. I like it.

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Photo of Beertsipper
3.17/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Light brown color from a very fresh 12 ounce can. Small tan head. Nose is caramel, toffee, cinnamon, vanilla, faint trace of hops and malty sweetness. Taste follows the aroma. Very little bitterness and the hops are really just not making any kind of statement. Mouthfeel is medium with a dry finish. Overall this was more a winter warmer than an IPA, but even so, it was an underwhelming beer. Wouldn't buy again.

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper color beer not much head. Taste of cinnamon. This taste like a cross between a winter warmer and an IPA. Not a bad beer. Went down fairly smooth

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Christmas IPA from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 26 ratings