12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

very good
741 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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 741 |  Reviews: 192
Photo of J10Jordan
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DougT
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
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 +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of StoutHunter
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
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 +1.5%
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 +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
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 metter98
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
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

Photo of tvghost
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Bonis
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
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 +1.8%
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 Nezzy
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
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 +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of glass_house
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Gregf51
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of grich18
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of vrbulldog22
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I initially picked some up after hearing numerous people talk about 12 Dogs of Christmas vs Great Lakes Christmas Ale.
It pours dark amber, almost ruby when you hold it to light.
Smell isn't too bold, but it's festive, like Christmas.
Taste is very bold; ginger & honey dominate, cinnamon & nutmeg follow. The spices come out a lot more than I expected.
Smooth, but a little boozy.
Overall, I really enjoyed it, as a Christmas seasonal, I think it's great.

 456 characters

Photo of Chackman151
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Ryan011235
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in a pint glass at Hal & Al's on 12/15/09

A - Dark amber with crimson highlights around the edges. Very thin layer of retention with a few small spots of lacing.

S - Honey, ginger, spices & earthy hops aromas. Hints of cinnamon & clove.

T - Closely follows the nose but with more hop presence offering a decent kick. Spiciness abounds - ginger, clove & cinnamon. A bit of toasted malt; likely pale malt, maybe crystal malt, but I can't say for sure.

M - Medium body with fairly zesty carbonation. Some residual spiciness lingers on the finish.

D - Good drinkability. I was pretty happy with this one; worth a shot.

 627 characters

Photo of flexabull
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted blind courtesy of Retail1LO, thanks again!

Pours a bright, clear and dark amber color with a thin but lasting off white head.

Aromas are tea like, earthy, candy sweet, with some hints of Belgian yeast.

Taste is sweet, with lots of spicy notes. Hints of ginger, bread, earthiness, and tea. Finish is crisp, bright, and dry with very slight hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel is full and smooth, with plenty of body.

Overall, this is a nice flavorful beer. I'm thinking this is a winter warmer of some sort. I'd happily drink this one again, this is pretty tasty. Sold B beer, just like 80% of every other beer on BA.

 624 characters

Photo of sixerofelixir
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, sampled November 2009.

Color is dark copper red, off-white head dissipates quickly. Smell is all spice, I'm picking up mostly cinnamon. Taste is very nutmeg-like, with an ultra smooth honey finish. A good twist of dryness and satiation. I could drink more than a few of these. All in all, a damn good beer for this style.

 336 characters

Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I liked this, but I don't see why people love GL Christmas Ale so much more than it. 12 Dogs of Christmas is almost the same beer in terms of flavor, as far as I am concerned. Pours a mahogany red with little off-white head. Nose is of spices with some sweet malt thrown in. Taste follows with spices, sweet malt bill, and more spices. Maybe a bit of herbal hops on the finish. Tastes like GL Christmas, but maybe a bit more refined. Decent mouthfeel, medium, ample carbonation. Decent drink overall, not a bad beer by any means, but I am a bit tired of all the Christmas beers by now.

 585 characters

Photo of White_Whiskey
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jahbless
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
3.88 out of 5 based on 741 ratings.
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