12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale
Very Good
758 Ratings
12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale

Brewed by:
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Ohio, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.30%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by imaguitargod on 11-18-2008

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 758 |  Reviews: 194
Photo of minterro
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Two Christmas Ales in a row it must be my lucky day

On the bottle is says drink cold so ill try and ably

A & S: smell is there but not powerful, its mostly ginger with hints of sweet malts. Little more then a finger of light tan head. The head fades pretty quick and the lacing doesn’t hang much either.

T & M: not very sweet but still pretty malty. Nutmeg is noted and present not much honey but when it present its at the start of the taste. A more bitter version then other winter warmer I’ve had. Pretty crisp (a little bit too much carbonation), on the medium side of bodied.

O: Pretty good overall, nothing truly special but good.

 645 characters

Photo of neenerzig
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank this one several months ago now with my friend Passow. This review is being written from notes. A 12 oz bottle was poured into my pint glass. This beer is a red color. Head was a decent size but settled to not much pretty quickly. Ok lace. Aromas of caramel malt, honey, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Flavors of sweet caramel malt along with hints of nut and a touch of honey. Rounded out with a bit of hops. Has a crisp, smooth medium bodied mouthfeel. Easy to drink in a good way I suppose. Easy to drink but certainly nothing special here.


 554 characters

Photo of ddtprm
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz into a Unibroue tulip. For a local beer, I am embarrased to say this is only the second brew I've had from Thirsty Dog. I thoroughly enjoyed their Siberian Night Imperial Stout.

A: The beer poured a clear copper color with a smallish head. Good lacing. Looks good so far...

S: Nutmeg is the dominant spice scent, but not offensive like some other winter warmers I've had this year.

T: Taste is quite good here. I enjoyed it very much. The spices are very apparent, but not out of control. Yum.

M: This brew is very smooth on the palate and not as full bodied as I anticipated it would be. Nice!

D: 8.3%? Look out! There is no hint of the gravity here, and it certainly catches up to you. I can certainly see myself going through a few of these in a sitting. I can't wait to enjoy the rest of the 6.

 822 characters

Photo of Wasatch
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to ybnorml for this one.

Pours a nice slightly hazy golden brown color, nice carbonation, small fizzy off-white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with lots of caramel, nutmeg/cinammon notes. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, lots of caramel notes, a very nice touch of nutmeg/cinammon. Medium body. Drinkable, a pretty tasty brew.

 377 characters

Photo of Tgunz247
3.92/5  rDev -1%

Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a tawny brown with a tinge of amber,a thinner slight off white head atop.Aromas of nutmeg,mace,allspice,and some honey makes for a very spiced brew.I like the warming spiced notes on the palate,candied ginger and nutmeg notes stand out most along with a sweet honey-like finish.The sweetness is big but for me it never gets overly sticky.Solid.

 350 characters

Photo of JCarson410
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of 57md
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper in color. Bready nose. Malty flavor accompanied with cinnamon, nutmeg and other seasonal spices. There is also a hint of sweetness that is hard to place. The finish is semi-dry.

 184 characters

Photo of J10Jordan
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DougT
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pilsner glass at 47 degrees. Label says 43 to 49 so I'm in the zone.

A: Dark copper/amber with a 1 finger tan head with little lace but clinging nicely to the glass. Head retains a small full layer on top while drinking.

S: Smells of gingerbread, nutmeg, just a hint of honey, a little malt.

T: Pretty tasty, you need to be in the mood for a spiced beer. It's nicely spicy with the flavor following the label, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon. Alcohol is barely there, very nicely masked. Some roast flavors and hops bitters with cinnamon bite offset the sweetness f the honey. Remarkably well balanced, but definitely a spiced beer.

M: Medium body. Smooth. Effervescent, but not overly. Honey creaminess and carbonation counter to make a nice smooth feel.

O: I like it. It does remind me of the holidays. High alcohol is nicely warming. You need to be in the mood for something this spicy, but when you are this one is delicious. Probably best to share, I don't think you would want too many.

 1,007 characters

Photo of user785335
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of StoutHunter
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Thirsty Dog's 12 Dogs of Christmas Ale yesterday for $1.99 at The Lager Mill. I have liked every beer I have tried from Thirsty Dog so Far, so when I saw their Winter Warmer at the store I knew I had to give it a try, so let's see how it goes. No visible bottling date, but I know it's fresh. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks OK, but it is not that eye catching. It poured a pretty clear caramel amber color with a quarter of a fingers worth of white head that quickly faded to a very thin ring. The color is nice but the head is disappointing.

S- The aroma is nice and pretty and unique, the best way to describe it is as a mixture of holiday spices. The aroma has a medium amount of sweetness to it and has a pretty distinct earthy spice aroma with some nutmeg and chamomile sticking out the most. I don't really pick up any hops, all in all the aroma is nice and unique.

T- The taste mirrors the aroma nicely. It starts off with some toasted and caramel malts that have a medium amount of sweetness and impart a nice grainy brown bread like flavor that makes for a good base for this beer. Next comes the spices which are a pretty nice mixture of nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and chamomile, the combination makes for a pretty nice mixture of holiday spices that aren't too overpowering. The finish is smooth and has a light amount of bitterness with some of those spices lingering in the aftertaste. I didn't pick up any of the 8.3% of alcohol, it seems like the spices covered it up. The flavors were balanced well and the spice profile was enjoyable.

M- Smooth, a little crisp, medium bodied, with a high amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel fits this beer pretty well.

Overall I thought that this was a good Winter Warmer that had a little different twist on the traditional spice profile you get in most Winter Warmers and they weren't overpowering like some of them tend to be. This beer doesn't have the greatest drinkability, I think the spices would wear on me after more then one bottle, one of these is the perfect amount, after that it is time for something else. What I liked most about this beer was the spice profile and the balance, they were pretty unique and didn't get too out of hand, the alcohol was also hidden very well. What I liked least about this beer was the appearance, the color was nice but the head was pretty lack luster and was hardy there. I would buy a six pack of this too keep around for the holidays. but I couldn't see buying more then that. I recommend this beer to any Winter Warmer fan, the spices are there but they aren't over the top. This was another good beer from Thirsty Dog, I find the that the key with this style is the balance and thankfully this beer had the right amount of balance. Another solid beer from Thirsty Dog, I like the slight twist that they put on their beers to make them stick out a little, I'm down to try more of what these guys have to offer.

 2,986 characters

Photo of kcarter71
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I usually do not like Winter Ale's but I received this as a gift and I really liked it. The spices really go well together to make this a great beer.

149 characters

Photo of Cycle69
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
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 CaptainHate
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
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

Photo of tvghost
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Bonis
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A darkish amber with hues of red. Tall cream colored head leaves has good retention and leaves some patchy lacing.

S - Mostly spices, namely ginger and nutmeg. Cinnamon and honey are there, but subdued. Caramel malts hide in the background. Not a real powerful nose overall, but nice.

T - Follows the nose but more intense. Mostly ginger and nutmeg at first, followed by a hint of cinnamon. Malts come up big in the middle, with a nice smooth honey taste to round things out. A slight bitter dryness on the finish with some of the spices lingering. Alcohol is well masked by the spices in the flavor, though it does warm a bit on the way down (which I expect in a winter warmer). Very nice tasting brew.

M - Carbonation is medium, just about right. Would be better a little more body. Goes down easy, but I was expecting a bigger feel.

O - This is one of only a few winter warmers I've tried. It's really a darn good beer, and should be tried if you have access to it. Well priced at $10.99 a sixer for a imperial-esque beer. I'll probably snag another six this holiday season. Another solid one from Thirsty Dog.

 1,121 characters

Photo of classixIII
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
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 Nezzy
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Red/Brown in color with a two finger head that is more toffee in color and not to fast to dissipate.

Smell: this will sound cheesy but smells of the holidays. In truth though I smell spices like nutmeg, some cumin making it spicy and sweet at the same time.

Taste: Now its really living up to its name. While it has all the characteristics of an ale, the spices are really coming through especially nutmeg making it taste similar to a cookie. Vanilla is another strong taste blending well with malts.

Mouthfeel: Good body with some slight carbonation but not too overpowering.

Drinkability: The beer itself reminds me in some ways to other seasonal beers especially the pumpkin ones. The spices are not too overpowering and really nice. However, as is the case with most seasonal beers I feel its a session beer. One is good, two at the most. Overall really nice beer though.

 891 characters

Photo of Wrigfen
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of glass_house
3.96/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Gregf51
3.96/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 758 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.