6 Geese-A-Laying
The Bruery

6 Geese-A-Laying6 Geese-A-Laying
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Style:
Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
ABV:
11.5%
Score:
86
Avg:
3.8 | pDev: 10.26%
Reviews:
72
Ratings:
555
From:
The Bruery
 
California, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  15
Gots
  123
SCORE
86
Very Good
6 Geese-A-Laying6 Geese-A-Laying
Notes: 6 Geese-A-Laying is the 6th beer in our "12 Days of Christmas" series and is a return to the more classic dark and toasty winter ale, following the appropriately blonde 5 Golden Rings. Brewed with cape gooseberries, this malty ale displays notes of plums, dark cherry and bright, citrus-like flavors from the namesake berries. Delicious right now, but suitable for aging up to 6 years, upon the release of 12 Drummers Drumming.
Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 555 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of WickedBeer
WickedBeer from Alabama

4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Wades Wines 12 Days of Christmas Tasting. 12/22/17. Agoura Hills, CA. This bottle was a 2013 release.

This beers pours a nice crimson amber, with no lace and no head.

The nose is full of dark fruits.. plums, cherries, raisins... definitely getting a distinct tartness to it as well.

The flavors again revolve around lots of dark fruit, but also include caramel and molasses as balancing flavors. Also getting a slight bitterness to it as well.

Smooth and very easy to drink for a beer with such a potent ABV.. nice body volume, slight stickiness in the finish.

Of the 12 beers of Christmas I’ve had from the Bruery this one tops my list.

Dec 23, 2017
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Beersnake1 from California

4.04/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from fridge temp. Pours a mahogany with good carbonation. Nose is prunes, raisins, malts, sweet. Taste is really nice - lots of figs and prunes. Deep flavor. Sweet and malty. I really like it. Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Jul 29, 2017
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

this has aged really nicely in the years since its release. never knew it was this strong either, although the alcohol wasnt a big player in the drinking experience, it sure hit me hard by the time the bottle was gone! whew! pretty beer, nice and heady and belgian looking, medium reddish brown in color, but with a little pink or lavender color to, which is odd because i thought this fruit was orange in color, but its pretty anyway, good clarity. aroma is really interesting, an immediately impressive use of the gooseberries. tart and astringent at first but only for a second, classic gooseberry! the darker malts with raisin and brown sugar flavors come in pretty quickly to sweeten it up, and by the end, its the fruit thats needed to alleviate some of the heaviness of this grain bill, it really comes full circle. so much nuance in the taste here too, from red wine tannins to dry cocoa powder to apple cider, this beer has a real holiday vibe to me, moreso than most others i have had in the series, and the gooseberries come through all of this just beautifully. some tang in here from the fruit, some spice from the high gravity abbey type yeast, and a nice full bodied smoothness going down, warming but not boozy, and really interesting and well made. one of my favorites in the series so far, but make sure you have some friends on hand, there is a lot of beer in this bottle!

Jul 17, 2017
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dro7 from California

4.37/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap and didn't really care for it. However from the bottle, it is phenomenal!

Aroma: abbey ale, Belgian yeast, figs, hay.

Taste: strong alcohol, figs, plums, very breach, good mouth feel, and suddle berries.

The best way to describe this beer is to picture a Belgian abbey ale with a suddle sweet berries. The gooseberries are not overwhelming and that is what makes this great.

Apr 06, 2017
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Rimbimhoot from Illinois

4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark mahogany, no head, ruby tones
S: Sweet dates, fig, goose berries, dark fruits, raisin, Belgian yeast esters, honey
T: Fig, cocoa, goose berries, caramel, raisin, red apple, Belgian yeast spice
M: Medium
O: No oxidation, better than expected

Dec 30, 2016
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.34/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 9/19/13; drank 7/23/14 @ the Yarchives.

Poured from the bottle into a glass.

Murky orange/red rust color.

Cream head; nice lacing.

Mild tart dark berry nose, with a hint of booze heat.

Medium thin mouthfeel.

Tart dark berry & mild banana flavors; a fruity treat! A dry champagne finish & a hint of booze heat balance the the beer nicely. Drinkable & enjoyable.

Nov 03, 2016
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manfromanotherplace from New York

4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sorry but this is underrated.look is a dark amber, smell is outrageous, candi sugar, dark fruits and toffee with a hint of citrus, taste is along the same lines, big sweet dark fruit up front followed by a candied syrup sweetness, slight tartness from the gooseberries fighting back and forth with that belgian candy.i love sweet belgian beers and this is one of the best.

Mar 28, 2016
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IvoryFoxhole from Virginia

4.04/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased in 2013, cellared for 2 years. Poured into Belgian ale glass.

L: Beer pours a two-finger foamy head, decent retention, leaves some lacing and a ring. Beer is a chestnut brown.

S: Quite a scent. Dates, prunes, cherries, malt. Very nice, although hints of overly sweet.

T: And yeah, it sure is. Taste generally follows scent on this one. Malt cuts in a bit as it warms. Hint of alcohol on finish.

F: Aging doesn't seem to have done much for it. Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, which cuts the sweetness a little bit. Pretty drinkable.

Dec 30, 2015
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kojevergas from Louisiana

3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

BOTTLE: 2013 vintage. 1 pint 9.4 fl oz. Brown glass. Branded pry-off crown cap.

11.5% ABV.

Served cold into stemware and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Reviewed live as a Belgian-style dark ale. Expectations are above average.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: About 1 inch wide. White colour. Average foaminess, frothiness, and thickness. Leaves uneven lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes. Retention is average - about 2 minutes.

BODY: Glowing deep auburn. Translucent but nontransparent. Ample brown yeast particulate is plainly visible within.

Appears well-carbonated. It's a nice looking Belgian dark ale, if a bit nontraditional.

AROMA: Candi sugar, plum, bright cherry skin, ample malty sweetness, some supple fruitskin, and maybe a bit of Belgian yeast. No prune or fig. Date juice is prominent. Lightly syrupy. Sweetness is right for the style.

Seemingly balanced and enjoyable. Aromatic intensity is above average.

No overt hops, yeast, alcohol, or off-notes are detectable.

TASTE: Prune/date juice dominates, with subsidiary notes of light plum and cherry skin. Not as supple as would be ideal. The yeast isn't as biscuity or raisin-y as would be ideal. The deep amber malts disappear beneath the sticky juice. Candi sugar is obvious throughout.

Balanced enough, but the depth of flavour is a bit lacking, and it's not as intricate as the best beers in the style. Still, complexity is adequate. Well put together for what it is.

No notes of aging are evident. I imagine this would taste the same fresh.

Flavour duration is above average. Flavour intensity is average.

Gooseberries? Citrus? Definitely not...and what the hell is a gooseberry anyway?

TEXTURE: Not as dry or coarse as it needs to be to satisfy (traditional) style conventions. Carbonation is near perfect. Full-bodied. Not too thick, syrupy, or viscous. Sticky, definitely.

Complements the taste well enough, but it doesn't elevate the beer as a whole. Its stickiness does accentuate the dominant prune/date juice. But this is one of the stickiest beers I've ever had...

OVERALL: Shockingly drinkable for its high ABV. It's a decent enough Belgian strong dark ale, but it's a far cry from the best beers in the style. The juiciness is interesting, albeit a bit geriatric. Aging has done this no wonders (even a scant 2 years). Another underwhelming-for-the-price but still enjoyable brew from The Bruery.

High C+

Sep 25, 2015
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scootny from New York

3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark rusty and clouded amber with a tan head that leaves some decent lace and slowly fades to a wispy covering. Moderate carbonation shows itself with each sip.

Nice fruity nose offers figs, plums, raisins. I have no idea of what gooseberries smell like but the fruitiness leads me to believe that I smell them too I guess. Some candy sugar and molasses. A light note of alcohol.

Taste is quite good and just a hair away from the next up. Quite flavorful and I would have thought this to be a Quad more than a BSDA but OK. Given that classification I find it a bit sweet but delicious. All the nose fruits are delivered with a sophisticated and refined blending of malted grains, superb Belgian yeast and the cape gooseberries. Alcohol is light and gives no clue to the strength of this brew. Light but firm hop bitterness gives a good clean finish

Feel is velvety and smooth with perfect carbonation and holiday ale weight. Light heaviness with a surprising crispness.

A great holiday brew that I wish I had at Chrtistmas.

Feb 09, 2015
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stakem from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml into a matching Bruery snifter. The brew appears mahogany in color with a yellowish stained cap that retains decent for the strength. Nose is sweet caramel malt somewhat toasty with sugary qualities coming off like dates, raison, figs, etc with some booze warmth and slight herbal feel. The taste is strong with alcohol followed by dates, raison, prunes and plenty of caramelized sugar blending to an herbal aspect and alcohol just like the nose. Medium bodied, modest carbonation and overall not bad.

Jan 09, 2015
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mothmanscott from Georgia

3.52/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque dark amber/pale brown that is a nice ruby red when held to the sunlight. In a goblet the pour produces 1.5 fingers of somewhat lasting, foamy, tan head that leaves only a few motes & streaks of lace. Aroma is fruity, sweet but also slightly acidic & sour; dark, bready malt, spice & earthy notes. Just out of the bottle there is almost no alcohol presence but it increases as the brew warms. Taste is a complex blend backed by liquid Sweet-Tarts: toast, biscuit, caramel, toffee, ginger, wood, molasses, raisin, plum, fig, grape, dark cherry, melon, citrus, light chocolate, clove & pepper notes come out when the brew warms. An earthiness joins the tart finish producing an aftertaste that is reminiscent of tart mulled wine. I don't know what gooseberries taste like but I'm sure they add to the complexity. Alcohol is prominent in the mouth as warmth, spice & bitterness. Mouthfeel is full bodied with light-medium carbonation, rich sticky & wet, puckering, dry & drawing. Balanced in terms of sweet & tart but this, for lack of a better term, seesaws as the brew warms. Very robust & complex.

Jan 05, 2015
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ism from New Jersey

4.19/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Brown body typical of the style with a 1finger head, low retention, probably due to the alcohol, which is hidden well under a sweet malt base. It is tempered by a sharp tartness, thankfully, and accompanied by some dark stone fruit notes. I love this flavor combo, a great take on the otherwise typically sweet style.

Dec 26, 2014
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REVZEB from Illinois

3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Lighter brown murky body with virtually no head. Smell is moldy berries with earth, smoke, booze, and very sweet candi sugar that is a sharp contrast to reconcile. Taste is bridged by the dark fruit and malt more, but still those berries stick out like a sore thumb. Feel is verging on syrupy with plenty of malt and booze. More interesting than good

Dec 26, 2014
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CHickman from New York

3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 10/10/13: Poured into a tulip glass, it’s a dark mahogany brown color with red highlights at the edge of the glass where the light hits it; lots of particles swirling around in the brew leading up to a huge 3 finger foamy tan head that was full of tiny bubbles and faded, leaving good spotty lacing and a layer on top that dissipated slowly.

Smells of caramel, grains, herbs, tobacco, wheat bread, fruity candy, brown sugar, syrup and light booze or red wine. It almost smells like French toast with a drizzle of syrup and rum, and there are hints of fruit which I assume to be the gooseberries but I have no clue what the actual gooseberry fruit smells like – nice enough smelling Belgian style ale after a year plus of aging.

Tastes of syrup, caramel, brown sugar, rum soaked toasted grains, wet wheat bread, tea leaf, allspice, pepper, fruity candy like Razzles, red wine, earthy notes like peat moss and/or twigs, and some fruity notes like a sour cherry, rotting pear or I guess the mysterious gooseberries listed on the label. For a Belgian Strong Dark Ale this comes off smooth, sweet and mellow, like the aging muted everything and blended it all together more. The booze comes out more as it warms, as does the yeast with a little more funk in the second pour of the bomber. It’s a complex beer with no flavor jumping out as the lead taste that takes control, and it has more of a general mixed malty sweetness that brings in some orange peel and bitterness towards the slightly tart and yet sweet grainy finish. The sweetness and heat from the booze pick up more towards the end, downgrading this just a little in my opinion, but not ruining it or making it “bad” per se.

Mouthfeel is on the smooth side with a little chewiness, a medium body, mild carbonation and a slightly zesty grainy bitterness as it trails off. It was good, but did not really excite me as the flavor got a little more complex as it warmed but never really went to the next level.

It was a nice beer to have on Christmas based on the name and concept, but I’m not sure I’d pick up another bottle to age until The Twelve Drummers Drumming comes out. A nice bottle to share with people and perhaps one to age, so I’m glad I tried it but overall thought it was good to above average. On the plus side, the 11.5% ABV was kept in check and not a deterrent.

Dec 26, 2014
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ThomasMetal75 from Massachusetts

3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

*This is at 40ish degrees F at the time of review. I will write about the beer as it warms up.*

A- A dark, rusty orangey kinda red to it. Cloudy as hell, but no big sediment chunks are floating around. Head was nice and pillowy at about 3 fingers worth, but that die to a fine rim around my tulip glass. Looks the style for sure.

S- Very sweet with some spices. The fruitiness does show up here, no doubt about it. Smells tart, slightly acidic, and sour. Has a slight alcohol presence in the nose. The maltiness is caramel like. Breadiness and biscuty notes come out when the beer warms.
Interesting.

T- Same as the smell. Very sweet. It has a candied sweetness. The sweetness dies down when it warms. It is very tart and sour, but not overly sour. It does have the clove, ginger, coriander, and nutmeg. There is a biscuty type note a carmel maltiness. It's very mouth puckering. The finish is very dry, but does have a some sweetness and alcohol to it as well. It was almost like a mulled wine in a way. It had that kind of fruitiness.

M- This is rich and full bodied. It's very sticky and rich. I don't know if tartness is a mouthfeel, but it is very tart and puckering like in the taste.

Overall, this is very interesting when warmed. But this is almost too sweet and big. But it's nice to have once. If you can get this beer at a reasonable price, try it. Otherwise, I'd pass.

Dec 03, 2014
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superspak from Michigan

4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 9/19/2013. Pours slightly hazy dark ruby red color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big caramel, toffee, molasses, raisin, plum, fig, red grape, orange zest, berries, cherry, toasted bread, light chocolate, clove, light pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruity/earthy yeast, and berry spice notes; with great strength. Taste of big caramel, toffee, molasses, raisin, plum, fig, red grape, orange zest, berries, cherry, toasted bread, light chocolate, clove, light pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Fair amount of earthy yeast spice and light fruity tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toffee, molasses, raisin, plum, fig, orange zest, berries, cherry, toasted bread, light chocolate, clove, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity, balance, and robustness of dark/bready malt, fruity/earthy yeast, and berry spice flavors; with a great malt/yeast balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a smooth, fairly creamy, and lightly slick/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Belgian strong dark ale. All around great complexity and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity/earthy yeast, and berry spice flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

Nov 23, 2014
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BladesOfBarley from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Okay, so starting off, I'll be honest... I'm somewhat new to what the Bruery has to offer. I know they're 'One of the best' and 'All their beers are great', but this being only the THIRD one I've had... I have to say, I believe all I've heard. This beer is full of complexity and despite its alcohol volume (11.5%!!!) its incredibly drinkable, even more so than the first time I had it, back in June 2014...

Cracking open this gorgeous bastard, I'm presented with aromas of caramel, dark fruit and a graceful note of the booze that is to come. It pours a rich, luxurious cloudy... almost amber red color, with a definite cloudiness about it, likely from the year + of aging. A beige-ish head forms quickly to great heights, but dissipates quickly into a center sphere with tracing on the inside of the glass. A remarkable beer to behold, and to pour!

The real Pièce de résistance here, is the taste, which follows the aroma, but somehow... expands on that "bass line" if you will. A bouquet of gorgeous, luxurious dark fruit notes dance upon your pallet whilst accompanied by rich caramels, vanillas and the especial ingredient, cape gooseberries, which add a welcomed, and lovely tart note underneath the richness of the aforementioned flavors. To some it may be a bit overwhelming, but for me... they dance in unsion, creating a wonderful balance of dark and rich, tangy and smooth... superb!

I recommend this to ANYONE that's a fan of Belgian beers, especially one's that give a good riff or two upon the style... or anyone who enjoys a complex, delicious beer... A beer, that I truely love, and am glad that the local store has several left over from its initial release, so that I may soon pick up several to age for the next few years.

Mind expanding, to say the least.

Nov 10, 2014
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Grinky from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

A temporary review to remind us to wait until next year (or longer) to drink the other bottle of this. It might fare better with a little more age on it. The gooseberry is really tart and prominent when it's cold but is better incorporated as it warms.

Nov 05, 2014
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seedyone from New York

4/5  rDev +5.3%

12/29/13 On tap at the Top Hop Shop, NYC. Serious alcoholic beverage with a thick body & loads of sweet. The word viscosity keeps trying to insert itself here but that might be off-putting & I'm thinking just the opposite. Hand over the keys, if your driving & order one of these because this is an adult beverage for sure.

Sep 27, 2014
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cosmicevan from New York

3.25/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

bottle picked up locally cause i'm a sucker for this series and at this point, why start skipping them? enjoyed from a 5 oz brewery taster...stemless snifter glass.

a - a semi transparent mahogany brown with a thin bubbly head that bubbles away no real lace to speak of.

s - nose is sweet. dark berry and just sweetness. smells like a lot of the american takes on a BSDA...missing the lush creaminess of the classics.

t - definitely sweet...as the nose suggested. hints of brown sugar behind some dark fruit and berry.

m - extraordinarily thin. lacking the creaminess and body that a good BSDA needs.

o - overall, the bruery makes some amazing beers, and they also make lots of meh beers...because they make SO many different beers. there hasn't really been a superstar yet in this series and it makes sense since these are all one offs. i doubt time will do magic on this one, hopefully tame down the sweetness....all in all for some dumb reason i feel the need to try all of these and the BA versions (some of those are pretty solid) and every time i consider stopping and then just go for the tick. oh well, if you aren't ticking or collecting the set, i'd pass on this beer. not a drain pour...but that's about all i can say about it.

Jul 07, 2014
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jlindros from Massachusetts

3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Split with rudzud.

Pretty much no head, nice legs but no lacing or head, semi clear cherry maroon color.

Nose dark Belgian malts and dank candi sugar, little candy syrup, little jammy berry fruit like a boisonberry blueberry gooseberry candied blend, touch of cocoa nibs, and choc, not a ton.

Taste sweet syrupy mess, candy Sugar, syrupy candy and candy sugar, little Belgian malts dark malts, big booze, generic berry fruit, little toffee caramel, etc. Just a ton of sweet characters blending to a generic mess of sweetness, candy generic berry fruit.

Mouth is fuller bod but a syrupy mess, fair hot booze, decent but lighter carb, syrupy mess.

Overall a bit of a disappointment.

Jun 11, 2014
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rudzud from Massachusetts

3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Split with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a dark deep chestnut hue with a thin halo that faded to leave light lacing and wisps.

S - Aromas of Belgian sweet malts and esters, dark candy sugar, not much tartness but a genetic berry fruit. Light chocolate. Solid nose, interesting.

T - Taste is esters, dark sugars, booze, light chocolate, booze, slight metallic twinge, genetic fruitiness not tart but fruit, lightly syrupy sweet malts.

M - Mouthfeel is a syrupy mess, heavy, boozy.

O - Overall the nose was fun but everything else is a mess, heavy, syrup, meh.

Jun 08, 2014
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theholygose from California

4.04/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Nose - with sweet fruity accents, the aroma is quite enjoyable the moment the brew hits the glass.

Taste - roasted malts, slightly spicy, and, in line with the nose, lots of sweet fruits, with dark cherries mixed in. I’m also getting a bit of chocolate.

Mouthfeel - medium to heavy, leaving behind a slight tart pucker. But very mellow for a strong dark brew. Inoffensive, but enjoyable.

Not the most adventurous or boundary pushing ale I’ve had from The Bruery, but it certainly was the most enjoyable.

Jun 03, 2014
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TheGent from New Jersey

4.19/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Opaque light brown with a beige head that settled to a paper thin veil . Virtually no lace.

S: Upfront notes of gooseberry that provide a slightly tart nose. Notes of raisin and fresh apricot. A hint of booze.

T: Not much tartness. Gooseberry comes through as a moderately sweet citrus flavor. Notes of dried fruit including apricots and raisins. Nice finish with some faint notes of chocolate. The booze manifests itself just enough, and the beer is big enough the withstand this.

M: Well carbonated and smooth. Some warmth from the alcohol.

D: Highly drinkable and a nice divergence from the typical "winter warmer" with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. I would characterize this one as less spicy, and more sweet citrus and berry notes backed a solid belgian dark ale.

May 29, 2014
6 Geese-A-Laying from The Bruery
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 555 ratings