Barrel Aged 12 Dogs Of Christmas | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

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Barrel Aged 12 Dogs Of ChristmasBarrel Aged 12 Dogs Of Christmas
Barrel Aged 12 Dogs Of ChristmasBarrel Aged 12 Dogs Of Christmas

Brewed by:
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Ohio, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 122
Photo of DrDemento456
3.77/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Really wanted to try this and after picking up a bottle for 7 bucks I was in! Poured into a pint glass. Smells just like the base is pretty subdued. Maybe some light caramel body and a touch of light bourbon. I remember this beer tasting of ginger and hops mostly so I go into the taste. Woah is the first thing I said its pretty much all bourbon and cinnamon. Like fireball which I kind of hate. Ginger is the next thing I taste which was pretty strong in the base and it still is with the aged version. Body is fairly heavy semi smooth but the heat is strong in this one even after 3 months of age.

Overall I am pretty confused since some are saying the spices are lost and it STRAIGHT UP taste like cinnamon whiskey. Not loving it so this purchase is a wash.

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Photo of Sewercap
3.67/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Definitely lost some of the flavor with the barrel aging. Had a boozy aftertaste, and the spices weren’t all that noticeable. Too bad. Nice and strong, but could have been so much more flavorful.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.91/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 Fl. Oz. bottle
Served in a snifter

This beer pours a deep rust color with some haze and sediment. It is topped with less than an inch of tan head that leaves no lacing.

Clove and nutmeg are the initial aromas. I also get some ginger and honey. I think I even get some cinnamon as it warms.

The spices are kind of muted in the taste. The cinnamon, clove and nutmeg are there. I get hints of booze to let me know it was in some barrels.

Medium bodied with a spicy, medium mouthfeel

I can't say that the barrel aging improved the flavor of the base beer. Aging lessened the impact of the spices. If you think 12 Dogs is too spiced then maybe you will prefer this version. It is not bad. It is just not an improvement of the base.

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Photo of ajm5108
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The spice notes get a little lost in the bourbon, but what is there doesn’t quite mesh with the boozey notes - makes it just a bit too sweet & cloying

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours moderately hazy/cloudy deep orange/copper color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and fluffy cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big caramel, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, peppercorn, ginger, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, toasted oak, brown bread dough/crust, and biscuit; with light notes of raisin, plum, fig, date, apricot, herbal, grass, char, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, honey, spices, bourbon barrel, and light fruity yeast/earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big caramel, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, peppercorn, ginger, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, toasted oak, brown bread dough/crust, and biscuit; with light notes of raisin, plum, fig, date, apricot, herbal, grass, char, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Light herbal, grassy, peppery bitterness; and cinnamon, bourbon, oak spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, peppercorn, ginger, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, toasted oak, brown bread dough/crust, biscuit, light dark fruit, herbal, grass, char, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of of dark/bready malt, honey, spices, bourbon barrel, and light fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitter/spiciness balance, and no cloying/astringent flavors after the finish. Light-moderate increasing dryness from lingering bitter/spiciness and tannic oak. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready/grainy, and fairly sticky/tannic balanced mouthfeel that is great. Mild warmth of 10%, with no barrel booze lingering after the finish. Overall this is an awesome barrel aged winter warmer. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of of dark/bready malt, honey, spices, bourbon barrel, and light fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; very smooth and easy to drink with the mellowly bitter/spicy/tannic/drying finish. Amazingly balanced rich malts, honey, spices, and barrel presence/integration. Not overwhelming on any aspect. A really enjoyable offering, and spot on style example as expected. Equally as impressive as the base beer, with added charred bourbon barrel complexity.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.39/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$ 29 (including tax)/four pack of 12 ozers ($ 0.604/oz) at Franklin Beer, Franklin, PA.
Undated bottle stored at room temp in salesroom, then at 40 degrees in my garage. Served at 57 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Aroma – Sweet, a little spice (nutmeg?). Fades.
Head – Small (Maximum one cm, aggressive pour), tan, fizzy, rapidly gone, leaving a one to two mm ring fed by effervescence. No layer, no lacing.
Lacing – None.
Body – Garnet, hazy, some effervescence.
Flavor – Begins sweet with a slight taste of spice and honey, followed by noticeable alcohol. The end is oddly refreshing with an unexpected, almost lemony, zing. The tannin and vanillin from the barrel neatly attenuate the honey. No malt, no hops, no diacetyl.
Palate – Medium, almost syrupy, lively carbonation.
Impression: Let me start by saying that I don’t really like the winter warmer style. That being said, I keep trying them in the hope that I’ll find one or more I do like. I have succeeded. While the appearance is very nondescript, the aroma is enticing. The flavor and palate or both unexpectedly attractive, with the carbonation balancing the nearly syrupy viscosity to make a drink that is hard not to swallow. The cloying sweetness of the honey is sliced and diced by the tannin and vanillin from the wood aging. Overall, the best winter warmer I’ve ever had – I’ve actually purchased a second four pack and may pick up a couple more.
Appearance 3, Aroma 4, Flavor 4.75, Palate 4.5, Overall 4.5.

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Photo of dwaters59
5/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Simply the best bourbon barrel aged brew I've ever had. It pours w out too much head. The spiced notes hit the nose immediately with a mild bourbon smell as well. The mouthfeel is perfect for a winter warmer and the finish is crisp. It still tastes like a beer without being over powered by bourbon as so many do. The flavor improves as it warms. Use a shifter type glass and sip this celebratory brew.

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Photo of hman43
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: It pours dark amber with a tan head that has low head retention.

Smell: There are strong aroma from various spices. Aromas of bourbon, honey, flowery notes, and nutmeg.

Taste: The flavors are highly spiced which include nutmeg and other holiday spices. There is strong bourbon flavors and some toffee note from sweet malt. There are flowery elements as well.

Fee: It has a full body with a slightly a low bitterness in the finish.

Overall, this is a beer which lots of spicy flavor that works well with the bourbon and malty notes.

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Photo of jwilcox767
4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Amber/dark orange pour. Finger of head.
S: Spices, honey, roasted malts
T: Goes with the nose, but maybe too much emphasis on the sugared notes. The oakiness comes through for sure, and it is well blended with all of the other flavors.
M: Full bodied for sure but not like a used-barrel aged profile. Maybe on the sweet side for me, but not cloying.
O: I would like to know the ABV, but overall this is an excellent brew. Get more, but just once/year. Maybe a good candidate for aging.

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Photo of ONUMello
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter
A: Amber color, no head
S: Oak, honey, brown sugar, baking spice
T: Adds plums up front, more of an emphasis on the sugared notes than the nose; the oak adds a nice complement rather than being up front here
M: Not sure the abv on this but it's balanced. Full-bodied, somewhat sweet
O: I was a bit nervous about this based on the appearance/aromas but it definitely all came together as soon is it hit my tongue. I only wish the vintage & abv were listed on the label

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Photo of BB1313
3.63/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at Heinen's in Mayfield Village, Ohio

Pours amber with a fluffy light tan head that leaves nice thick retention and nice lacing. The aromas are malt forward. Lots of caramel and toffee. The cinnamon and spice notes are very subtle. The bourbon is subtle as well, but there's alot of oak/wood notes. The flavors are clean, bold and balanced. More caramel and toffee which really shine. The cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger doesn't seem to pop like it does in the regular version. Very nice oak/wood flavors. Mild hints of vanilla. The bourbon is subtle, balanced and not overwhelming. It finishes with a solid warmth, but it's not hot or boozy at all. Alcohol is well hidden. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of full-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's very fluffy and smooth. Dangerously drinkable.

This is a solid barrel aged brew. Balance is the key and no characteristic steals the show. Nice stuff.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.25/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The body is amber towards the bottom, but becomes a more burnt amber towards the top, with a creamy khaki blanketing the surface.

Smell is rather muted but exhibits apple.

Taste is caramel apple with a spiced whiskey swallow. I also get red licorice with a crisp, medium frothy body and a semi-dry to dry chewy finish that has a slight sting.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

We let one of these bad boys sit from the 2014 batch (#187 of 999). It's pretty mellow. I just had some of this years' a couple days ago and it is much rougher, but I'm not sure the aging was necessary. Since we put up the xmas tree today, this was appropriate.

It's medium brown with an odd head - big and small bubbles together. The aroma is a nice, not overblown, sweet, boozy, hoppy affair. The taste is the real boozefest (but less than the current year's). The booze dominates malts which dominates yeast which is tied for last with the hops. But there are no losers.

The aftertaste is a mild bite with booze. This is like doing a watery shot of xmas flavored bourbon (I have some of that in my stash).

This is pretty cool - very mild but not too sweet. The hops died to a very low level in aging but they are nicely underneath all that great booze taste. Recommended.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at The Beer Market in Rochester, NY.

This one pours a clear amber color, with a very small head, and no lacing.

Smells like bourbon, toffee, caramel, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

So I guess the base of this is apparently the original recipe for Great Lakes Christmas Ale, which is cool. There's a subtle and well-integrated bourbon character to this one. It complements the Christmas spicing nicely, the cinnamon and nutmeg is what I am getting of that. There's some caramel, and toffee, and some oak and vanilla from the barrel. Thirsty Dog generally knows what they are doing when it comes to barrel-aging, and this is no exception.

This is kind of thin bodied, which is really the only major issue with this beer. It's got a moderate level of carbonation.

A pretty cool beer to try here, glad I got a chance to try it as I believe it's only bottled in magnums.

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Photo of brentk56
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Arrives with a murky ice tea color capped by a couple of inches of foam; nice lacing patterns linger

Smell: Caramel, Bourbon and holiday spices

Taste: Caramel with just a hint of Bourbon, up front; the holiday spices develop in the middle, bringing cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger; after the swallow, the Bourbon picks it up a notch, but complements rather than overwhelms

Mouthfeel; Full bodied, with moderate carbonation'

Overall: A very nice beer here, with the Bourbon adding complexity to the Winter Warmer without overwhelming

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.3/5  rDev -19.7%

On tap at the brewery. Pour is dark murky brown with a tight light tan head. Nose is bourbon forward, a hint chalky with notes of caramel malt, a touch of spice with some sweet berry malt. Taste is a bit more spicy, the barrel is a little lighter in the flavor, the malt sweetness comes out more through the finish. Fairly well integrated and not overly sweet with strong carb and a medium body.

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Photo of ClePaul
4.54/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thirsty Dog Barrel Aged 12 Dogs of Christmas Had a cap and a cork~ Pours a light Plum/Ruby with crimson tones, dense light tan head~ malty, lower carbonation, very creamy, warm and satisfying~Taste is the straight kill

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

1.5L magnum into a tulip. # 757/999

pours a dark red with a big foamy white head. very yeasty. smell is of cinnamon, slight bourbon, spices. taste is much smoother than the regular...ABV undetectable. lots of spices and the barrels have really improved this. though they aren't very prominent, the barrels are there and have done wonders. however this is still a heavily spiced beer. medium bodied, medium carbonation.

overall very glad to have tried this. thanks Tim!

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Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to my doppelganger who shared this one at a tasting in celebration of me walking again and going back to work! Bottle #41 of 999! Served from 1.5 L bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a deep red-orange with a minimal off-white head. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, cinnamon, peppermint, brown sugar, wood, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, pine, cinnamon, peppermint, brown sugar, wood, and sweet alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. The barrel really added a nice touch to this brew. It was very heavy on the Christmas spices in this one, but the barrel helped to balance them out. Definitely worth trying if you get the chance.

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Photo of prototypic
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to csmiley for sharing this one.

Bottle 461/999

Barrel Aged 12 Dogs of Christmas pours a deep caramel, copperish color. Backlighting shows some nice crimson highlights. It’s topped with a lighter tan head that rises to just under a finger in height. It’s very quick to recede and leaves a light, spotty lacing behind.

The nose is pretty impressive. It starts out with a strong, sweet caramel scent. It’s buttressed by a nice bourbon presence. It complements the caramel scent nicely. The bourbon seems moderately strong and isn’t overbearing at all. There are some nice holiday spice notes of ginger and cinnamon. They seem to be a little less pronounced with bourbon in the house. Vanilla emerges late. Alcohol is definitely there, but doesn’t smell overly strong. Impressive.

The flavor is quite good, but isn’t quite as good as the nose. A mix of sweet caramel and bourbon kick things off. The malt base is definitely on the sweeter side. Bourbon works nicely though. It isn’t overly strong and plays its complementary role well. The barrel aging also imparted a nice vanilla flavor. Holiday spices of ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg are noted. They’re definitely more subtle here than in the regular release. They work really well with the bourbon flavor. Everything works together to create an impressive flavor. Alcohol is noted, but isn’t warm or hot. I don’t know what the abv is, but it doesn’t seem all that high. Finishes malty and spicy with a touch of bourbon.

The body is medium. Carbonation is mid-range, but the bubbles feel soft. It goes down nice and smooth. It’s big, but it really is easy drinking. There are three of us working on this 1.5 liter bottle, but we’ll finish it off.

Barrel Aged 12 Dogs of Christmas is impressive beer. The barrel aging really works well with the base beer. It’s easily superior to the regular 12 Dogs release. Having said that, it’s not worth the price tag if you’re drinking this solo. With a group, it’s not as much of an issue. Going forward, I’m hopeful that Thirsty Dog will package this a little differently. I love the bottle, but six packs would’ve been much better.

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Photo of hailyeast
4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Think our bottle was 477 poured into baby snifters over and over
A- murkey amber ruby color, no head
S-burbon sweet malty
T- malty, rich, burbon, light spiced
M- malty thick low carbonation
O- nice low alcohol flavor its hidden well, burbon is not over powering, and spice is there but it takes some concentration. Winner winner chicken dinner

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Photo of gabotion
4.57/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Like my fellow reviewer I had problems with the cork. It came out in 2 pieces and was very wet. I had bottle 399/999.

Poured in my Unibroue snifter glass. Hazy brown with a slight red tint with a 1/4" tan head that quickly dissipates. Small bubbles slowly rising through the thick liquid.
Has a sweet smell at the beginning with that unmistakable bourbon aged scent. You can also pick out honey, nutmeg, cinnamon and a bit of dried fruit.

It tasted sweet but not as much as I thought it would. The Bourbon smoothness gets you right away but quickly takes a back to the subtle spices of traditional winter warmers. Gives a off a warm feeling even though it was served at about 40 degrees. I have to say I am very impressed with this beer. It’s has a bit of sweetness but not too much. The high alcohol doesn’t blow you away since the beer is so smooth and thick. You really feel like you are drinking something special when BA 12 dogs is in your glass. I understand it’s $$$/ounce but I don’t regret my $ at all.

My father in law is more of a light lager drinker but he had a small glass and swears he enjoyed it. My dad who like Jack Daniels (no ice), was so impressed with the rich complexity of this beer he started plotting on how to get his hands on a few bottles for next Christmas.

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Photo of vrbulldog22
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hand numbered bottle #421 of 999.

Stubborn cork; chipped the glass on the bottle while trying to open it. Pours hazy brown/ruby. Very small tan head, quickly turns into a small ring. Lacing is very minimal.
Smells sweet. Malt upfront, caramel, oak, dark fruit, honey, hints of brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon. I sat & just smelled this for a couple of minutes before sipping.
Taste is sweet but not overwhelmingly so. Oak upfront that fades to malty & dark fruit goodness, finishes with the spice content associated with the non-barrel aged 12 Dogs.
Feels warm even though served cold. Sweet but not too sticky. Medium body, slightly syrupy, very smooth & nice carbonation.

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Barrel Aged 12 Dogs Of Christmas from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.11 out of 5 with 122 ratings