12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Winter Warmer
Ranked #7
Ranked #7,633
3.98 | pDev: 12.81%
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Ohio, United States
Very Good
12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale
Notes: This beer's name sums up the idea of bringing the best together to celebrate. It is filled with seasonal flavors from generous amounts of toasted and caramel malts, mixed with equally generous amounts of honey, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. We feel it is the perfect libation, filled with flavors of the season.
Reviews: 200 | Ratings: 788 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Stevosps
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This ale when poured from a bottle has a 1/4 inch lacy head. An aroma of sweetness malt. It has a dark cloudy color. At first taste it hits the taste buds with a strong honey and spice rush. But is great for a slow holiday experience . Just right for trimming the tree.With an ABV of 8.3
It helps to ease into the evening. I did enjoy this Holiday Ale with eyes on one more.

 375 characters

Photo of ajm5108
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber, thin foam lacing, nice carbonation. Aroma has a dollop of honey that is borderline cloying, but some clove / allspice to help counter it. Faint nutmeg. Taste is heavier on those dark spices - just a bit too much clove for me, needed more of that honey & nutmeg to smooth it out. Okay has far as spiced beers go, a huskier version of Great Lakes Christmas Ale.

 371 characters

Photo of clayrock81
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a copper body with minimal head and little lace. There is a sweet ginger spice in the aroma along with pinches of cinnamon. The beer has a fuller, heavy, almost-sticky body with a decent but not cloying amount of sweetness, and a bit of ginger bitterness along with some heat thanks to herbal and floral cinnamon spice on finish. Not a bad beer but nothing really stands out although it’s worth trying.

 414 characters

Photo of stortore
3.59/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into a tulip snifter. A 2016 bottle, had 5/6/18.

Pours a lightly cloudy reddish amber, with a half inch foamy head and some soapy lacing. Aromas of caramel, spices- notably cinnamon and nutmeg, raisins, figs, some malt, light orange peel. The taste is malt, cinnamon, other spices, raisins, light figs, lighter caramel than the nose, some honey as it warms. There’s a bitterness midway through the finish, not the good kind. Mostly smooth, a decent medium body, well carbonated.

Thought I’d reviewed this already, and this is the last of a six pack. Pretty much how I remember the other five, maybe better. Not a bad beer, there’s just not much depth to it, nothing that teases you or reaches out. It’s less malty than many for the style, maybe that’s what I’m missing.

 807 characters

Photo of runningBear
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Each year we have a family (Son, daughter, father) taste test between this and Great Lakes Christmas Ale. Usually, Thirsty Dog edges out Great Lakes, but this year the Dog had just a bit too much cinnamon, so the trophy went to Great Lakes.

I had the beer store order 20 cases of Great Lakes and 10 cases of the Dog. Just finishing up the last of them, now.

Between the two, my all time favorite beer(s). Started when I worked in a brewery at 19 and have been sampling ever since.

 484 characters

Photo of AyatollahGold
3.39/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Had very little head that was mainly just on the outer ring of glass.
In the nose you can pick up nutmeg but other than that it's minimal.
In the taste the nutmeg comes through the strongest and the honey is slight. It's more like an added sweetness than it is actual honey.
The feel is what I like most about this brew. Something that is thick enough and warm enough to enjoy in the winter but not too crazy if you're not wanting something heavy. It's a good feel for the style.
Overall, this beer was just kind of alright to me. It wasn't bad by any means. It just wasn't my favorite that I've had of the style.

 617 characters

Photo of TonyLema1
3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: deep amber, thin head, some lacing
S: malt and spice
T: honey, spices, caramel malt
F: upfront mouthfeel, spicy finish
O: my favorite winter beer by far

 157 characters

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks Tracy for sending! Two bottles, one was poured into a snifter and the other was poured into a pint glass. There wasn’t any difference between the two glasses. The appearance was a nice looking hazy amber to orange color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within about a minute leaving some light lacing sticking and then sliding down into the beer. The smell had a wonderful sweet honey up front and as it warmed there’s a nice spicy ginger with a light cinnamon. Light vanilla comes in from behind to balance. The taste took all of those previously mentioned flavors and combined them with a nice allocation of nutmeg. Light caramel comes out in the taste as well. The aftertaste was light and semi - sweet through the honey that ends up leading to a sticky sweet honey finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a fairly decent sessionability about it. The carbonation was somewhat subdued but still was good for the most part. There’s a nice smooth honey rolling over my tongue. Overall, I say this was a wonderful Winter Warmer that provides a nice session and could go well with it’s respected foods.

 1,170 characters

Photo of r-m-kaylor
3.79/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2016 Edition, poured into oversized Bordeaux red wine glass a clear tawny color with modest head which diminished to a thin ring and interesting lacing pattern. Christmas spices on the nose - much like the label reads - Medium mouth-feel up front and middle which closely follows the nose - on the back, palate cleansing bitterness - NICE!


 348 characters

Photo of chicagobeerguy
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

L: Nice dark brown amber hue, gingerbread

S: Gingerbread, sweet malt, slight hop profile, no apparent Christmas spices

T: A gingerbread snap, sweet cookies, slightly piney

B: Very nice body, crisp, and clean, good carb

O: A solid beer, wish it wasn't so sweet, good with wings

 280 characters

Photo of Caveworm
4.49/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, the head on this beer is one finger thick and eggshell brown, with lateral lacing, and a nearly opaque dark brown body.

Smells like toasted malts with honey, ginger, and cinnamon.

I taste a rich, yet smooth version of the scent. The spices are just enough, and not fake-tasting.

The mouthfeel is medium with mild carbonation.

Overall, I'll give 12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company a rating of a 4.5. A staple seasonal in Northeastern Ohio, pick it up if you already haven't. Yet another beer I've had time and again and, for whatever reason, haven't reviewed yet.

 711 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

BOTTLE: Brown glass. Pry-off crown cap. 355ml format. Cost was $2.99 at Whole Paycheck in NYC.

"Ale brewed with honey & spices." "filled with seasonal flavors from generous amounts of toasted and caramel malts, mixed with equally generous amounts of honey, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg." 21.5 IBUs. O.G. = 18.5 Plato. 8.30% ABV.

Aroma brings chestnuts, amber malts, cherry puree, caramel, nutmeg, cinnamon, caramel, ginger snaps, and toast. Some brown sugar would liven this up. Aromatic intensity is average.

TASTE: Slightly toasty amber malt backbone. Caramel. Faint spicy notes - nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, maybe cardamom. On the sweeter side but not cloying, though there's no hop presence really. A middling build that hides its ABV well but lacks the depth and complexity of flavour to really impress.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, medium-bodied, slightly sticky, a biteen syrupy, unrefreshing. Well-carbonated. Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

OVERALL: Drinkable and approachable, with a well-hidden ABV. Unfortunately, it doesn't offer much in terms of vivid or expressive constituent notes, and it isn't a beer I'd want a 4 pack of (even only once a year). I adore a few Thirsty Dog beers I've tried; this isn't one of them, but it's far from a bad beer.

High C+ (3.25) / ABOVE AVERAGE

 1,326 characters

Photo of tyauch3
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours an amber-brown with one finger head that dissipates quickly. Smells of caramel, nuts, and tons of spices. Very smooth on the palate and leaves you with an aftertaste of toasted malts and spice. Very smooth, and does not taste like what was anticipated with 8.3% ABV. It is also important to note that this beer does not have the "artificial flavor" that comes with some holiday beers. Overall it is a nice holiday beer with great spice.

 481 characters

Photo of eskildow
3.31/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It is a cloudy amber colour that is really quite attractive. A spicy smell, particularly clove, cinnamon, and perhaps some cardamom. The flavour is festive, of clove and juniper, quite astringent. Bitter aftertaste with pumpkin spice notes.

 243 characters

Photo of barczar
3.79/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

At least six months old.

Aroma is dominated by nutmeg and ginger, with some brown sugar sweetness and cinnamon rounding out the profile. Ginger is a bit strong, but nutmeg and caramel malts balance.

Flavor reveals that honey floral sweetness throughout, with a toasted, lightly bitter, toffee finish. Ginger lingers, but the nutmeg counters well, preventing it from overwhelming. Cinnamon is present, but not overly so. Nice spice balance, with a good amount of malt support and bitterness. Still not a Christmas beer fan, but one of the better of the style.

 560 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

an excellent and very original beer here from thirsty dog, i am really enjoying this one right now. its definitely a little something different, despite the seemingly common winter warmer ingredient list with honey and ginger and cinnamon and nutmeg. first thing to notice here is the appearance, in one light its red like a red wine, in another its barely past copper, more orange, with a warming haze and one of the best heads ive seen on a beer all year so far. its foamy and frothing and big, tan, textured like homemade whipped cream, and permanent, not fading even a little, and staying creaming and puffy and satisfying with each sip. it leads to an amazing mouthfeel, its well built and an awesome but all too uncommon feature in this style. really stands out to me. in the nose, the ginger stands far above the other ingredients here, spicy and fresh, intense for sure. that could be a product of age, as this has been in my fridge a few months now, and some of the other spaces may have faded quicker. whats true in the nose is also true in the taste, ginger and honey up front with a deep and sweet malt bill, and no trace at all of its alcohol strength. it might be that we are past the season now and i havent had one in awhile, but this stands out to me as one of my favorite winter warmer/holiday beers of the year. really really good work on this one from thirsty dog, and i will be seeking it out again next year for sure. ginger burps for miles...

 1,465 characters

Photo of MikeWard
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a half pint glass.

looks pretty good, amber brown body with a small off white head. the head persists, but leaves little lacing.

aroma is very nice indeed, all the christmas spices, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, dried fruit, etc.

taste is not as strong as the aroma, and that's probably a good thing. mouth is a tad below medium.

overall, an interesting beer, can imagine this would be pretty good on Christmas morning in front of a roaring fire.

 473 characters

Photo of m_hall
4.57/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a nonic pint. A slightly hazy tea-colored ale, topped by a two-fingers tan head. Light, spotty lacing.

The noise on this beer is spectacular... sweet malts, molasses, heavily ornamented with spices. Ginger and nutmeg especially stand out. If you had a pine tree around this would be Christmas in your nose.

Those spices on the nose continue on into the taste... molasses and a biscuit-like malt character serve
to support the very up-front spice (ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg), leading into toasted nutty notes and dried stone fruits in the mid-palate. The finish is slightly sweet and spicy but dries quickly (possibly from the addition of honey.) Hops are almost imperceptible, mostly masked by the spices...Alcohol warmth is subtle and pleasant.

Mouth-feel is smooth and silky, with light carbonation. This is a pretty big beer, but also a gentle one, very drinkable. I could certainly see the 8.3% alcohol sneaking up on someone.

This was provided to me by a friend, who told me it was the best Christmas ale he'd ever tried, and I'm fully prepared to second that feeling. It's definitely a seasonal-specific sort of taste, but with the spices and the toasted nutty malts, it really is like bottled Christmas. When Santa stops by next year I'd much appreciate him leaving a few of these under the tree.

 1,338 characters

Photo of Thomas_Wikman
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I liked this winter warmer but it was not exceptional. The look was OK, brown-amber, a bit like a soda, not much head. The aroma was mild ginger and cinnamon but the taste came through more with ginger, cinnamon, and some spices. Overall pretty good.

 250 characters

Photo of creepinjeeper
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Even with some time on it, this beer delivers on holiday cheers. Honey amber in color. Not much of a head. No lacing either. The smell is honey caramel swee in the forefront on a background of ginger. The taste is the opposite. Ginger is the first thing to hit your taste buds, followed by a mix of honey and cinnamon. The feel is creamy at the finish clings to your tongue. One of the better Christmas / winter warmers out there.

 433 characters

Photo of Sabtos
3.76/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful burnt copper-brown with a khaki head settling to a creamy blanket leaving a couple of reaching arms of lace.

Smell and taste closely align with honeyed cinnamon roll and toasted brown bread with a faint hint of orange zest brightening it up and making the round medium-full body even more drinkable. Carbonation is moderately crisp and fluffy and the finish is slightly stinging yet semi-dry.

 403 characters

Photo of classixIII
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Great example of the species! deep red/amber color honey and spices are the first aromas to hit the nose. Wonderful complexity of flavors and just enough alcohol to give you that winter warmer feel.

 198 characters

Photo of DoctorZombies
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Amber Brown (18) pour with off white, almost beige head; little cap retention and lace; excellent clarity. Bready, caramel malt nose with a suggestion of cinnamon. Flavors of lite spice and slightly sweet caramel malt with a touch of honey. Moderate carbonation and medium lite mouthfeel. Overall well balanced between lite spice and malt linger.

 346 characters

Photo of Cimperman17
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very nice daek golden pour with an off white head. Tastes of honey and caramel with other various spices. Goes down smooth with a minimal aftertaste. Good beer

 159 characters

Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is crystal clear reddish amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short off white head that died down, leaving only a thin collar around the edge of the glass and a few patches of bubbles floating on the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of ginger and cinnamon are present in the nose along with notes of nutmeg.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that the nutmeg flavors are stronger, topping the ginger. There are only hints of cinnamon spices. Although no bitterness is present, the hops help keep the malts in check and prevent any sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. No warming is noticeable.
O: This beer seems to be a little easier to drink compared to other beers in the style as it doesn't have a full body and there aren't any warming sensations in the mouthfeel. This is a nice holiday beverage if you like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.

Serving type: bottle

 983 characters

12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 788 ratings