12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

very good
191 Reviews
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 191 | Ratings: 739
Photo of r-m-kaylor
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
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 0%
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 +15.7%
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 -16.2%
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 +7%
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 -14.7%
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 -2.3%
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 +1.5%
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 MikeWard
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
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 +17.8%
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 -3.4%
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 +8.2%
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 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 DoctorZombies
3.84/5  rDev -1%
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 -2.1%
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 +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 TeamMathis
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful reddish amber. Great smell of honey, spice and nutmeg. The taste delivers the same spice goodness with an alcoholic bite, but just a small one. Very delicious. I'd certainly get it again.

 197 characters

Photo of 57md
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
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 Mavigo
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a pint. Pours a deep, clear copper with a short off white head and minimal lacing. Rich, dulcet aroma, smells of honey, malts, brown sugars. Rich, smooth, mellow and sweet. Slight bitterness and warmth on the follow through. Full bodied, medium levels of carbonation, smooth finish. Overall, this is a jolly good beer and I'll probably have a few more this holiday.

 375 characters

Photo of dwaters59
4.79/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

My fav winter warmer. Would like to try their wee heavy (Wulver). This beer has a great look, nose, mouth feel and taste. Very well balanced without any dominating flavor. The finish is smooth. Everything a winter beer should be.

 229 characters

Photo of KnucklesMcFisty
4.74/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is everything a Christmas winter warmer should be...it's naughty (spicy) and nice (sweet) ...you can smell the spices but they really come alive in the taste...nutmeg, clove, cinnamon & gingerbread...she's got a bite! But the malt and honey sweetness balance it all out. This is my new all time fave winter warmer...better than GL Christmas Ale...yup, I said it

 367 characters

Photo of Immortale25
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Duvel tulip. No readable freshness date.

A- Pours a light brown color with a 1/4 inch light tan head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a small side patch of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a broken ring behind.

S- Clove-y aroma that's slightly sweet. Maybe some ginger.

T- More clove and a solid alcohol presence. Somewhat toasty and a bit sweet.

M- Has a moderate sharpness with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- Was expecting more from this as it's pretty highly regarded in the Winter Warmer category. Has a little too much booze presence for my taste and the spices are kind of one-dimensional.

 711 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.62/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle served in a Belgian snifter.

Feel: medium-full body with medium-light carbonation. A tiny bite on the tongue, presumably from the 8.3% alcohol. Pleasant, spicy aroma but it suggests that there may be too much spicing in the flavor. Tasting confirms this, with the blame largely on nutmeg. Some medium and dark malt with a hint of toffee does show behind the spicing.

O: a good winter seasonal, but a bit too much nutmeg for me. Improved a little with warming.

 483 characters

Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
4.14/5  rDev +6.7%

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. A reddish-brown color with a slight bubble to it. Minimum head. The smell is that of gingerbread, cinnamon and pinecones. The taste is quite sweet, so if you like your christmas beer on the hoppy side, this one may not be for you. The overwhelming taste, just like the smell, is the gingerbread, a touch of honey, & lots of spices present. My palate not being the most defined in the world tastes cinnamon with a mixture of other tastes that i can't quite pinpoint. No matter your palate though you can't get much closer to a taste that reminds you of Christmas. at 8.3% it's an easy drink and in my opinion is the most versatile "winter warmer" around, drink it Christmas morning as your family opens presents, enjoy it as a dessert beer after a holiday meal, or simply drink a couple to yourself as you watch a great sports game/movie/tv series etc on a cold winters day. Cheers

 925 characters

Photo of nicholas2121
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale brewed by Thirsty Dog Brewing Company, with an ABV of 8.30% This brew pours out a light brown color with an off white head. The smell is rich with spices and sweetness. 12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale put you in the mind set of Christmas cookies. You also pick up a hit of grains and malts in the smell of this brew. The taste is rich with flavor, you pick up on the spices in this brew. There is cinnamon and a hit of pumpkin spice. This brew has a nice balance to it, there is nothing overpowering in it. The mouthfeel is nice and clean. 12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale is a great drinking brew. Thirsty Dog Brewing Company did a nice job with this one. I would buy this brew again. Overall I'm giving this brew a 4.25 out 5.

 745 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
3.88 out of 5 based on 739 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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