6 Geese-A-Laying | The Bruery

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6 Geese-A-Laying6 Geese-A-Laying

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by jvillefan on 10-13-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 67 | Ratings: 541
Photo of th0m
4.14/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark copper color with white, fluffy head, that disperses to a thin, whispery flat head. Good lasing.

Smells amazing. Goose berries? Never smelled a goose berry, but smells of tartness, apples, funk, strawberries, salad, salt, and tartness.

Tastes of fruity tartness. Lovely and very complex. Hard to pin point flavors after such a nose.

Mouthfeel: fantastically refreshing.

Overall: a great beer.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Honeyed chestnut color with some specks of yeast precipitate. A tall ring of eggy bubbles circumnavigates the glass wall.

Tangy gooseberries careen off of spicy rye-like malt, pie cherries, candi sugar, oxidized apple, fig, and a load of Belgian dark malts.

Tangy for a BSDA, but very fruity with a medicinal phenol character. Gooseberries crossed with dark malts that accentuate cherry, chocolate, fig, date, and grape. Sipping-speed booze has its own sweetness. Sticky body shows off caramelized sugars and Belgian Christmas Ale sweetness and light spice. The latter seems to include cinnamon and coriander. Hints of candied pecan nuttiness. Nice.

The feel is heavied by headiness and stout-like thick and stick. I like that it's round, but it's quite big. Impressively smacking. Slow sipping with obvious booziness.

A desirable beer. A great take on the style. I just wish it was more manageable.

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type - 25.4 oz bottle

Appearance - Dark copper tan/brown, thick creamy 1 inch foamy head with tons of lacing.

Smell - Dark fruits like plum and raisin, berries, grapes, some Belgian yeasts, added sugars and spices.

Taste - Much like the smell, huge berry and grape kick. Has a distinct Belgian yeast sweetness mixed with added spices like cinnamon and all spice. Alcohol is noticeable added some warmth in each sip. More sweetness like molasses and even some chocolate come out as this warms up. Malts provide a toffee backbone.

Mouthfeel - Sweet and thick, tongue gets a lot of dark fruits, tons of berry, and yeasts, palate gets a lot of sugars, some malts and alcohol. Aftertaste is berries and grapes, some alcohol.

Overall - Really tasty, smooth and easy to drink. Really has a wine quality to it with such a large grape flavor. I really enjoy this whole 12 beers for xmas deal but the price of some of these is a little overboard. Ive paid between 12-18$ for the four beers of this series ive had. To be honest, I haven't had one yet id revisit for above 12$, so there for, I don't have any ive cellared, and I really wish I did. But, in all, I really enjoy this one and would recommend it for sure. Cant wait for #7!

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Photo of Immortale25
3.96/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium goblet. Bottleneck says 11/13/13.

A- Pours a light reddish brown color with a 1/2 inch light tan head that retains a bit before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a large center patch of surface foam. Non-resilient lacing leaves a jagged ring behind.

S- Spicy, somewhat boozy Belgian yeast aroma with lots of candi sugar, raisin and a bit of a glassy smell.

T- Pretty straightforward for a dark Belgian with some toasty malt flowing along with the yeast and spices. Definitely on the sweeter side which I attribute to the gooseberries and the alcohol is nicely hidden.

M- Also standard for a BSDA but it's a bit syrupy. Medium carbonation and a body leaning toward thew fuller side.

O- Fairly well done. I'm interested to see how age treats this one since I have another bottle I'm sitting on until next Christmas.

Edit: Better after a year's aging as there's a sour funk that developed in the bottle and has all but replaced the Belgian candi sugar sweetness.

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Photo of TruePerception
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Bruery's 6 Geese-A-Laying, a Belgian-style Dark Ale brewed with Cape gooseberries. 11.5%

A: Almost a finger and a half of head. Some decent lacing. Nice amber-brown, with yellow in the dimple at the bottom of the glass.

S: The first thing I get is a lighter rye, which I was not at all expecting. Slight funk or, perhaps, horse blanket. Touch of leather. I'm not sure I smell any fruit, yet. Darker honey notes, as it warms.

T/MF: More rye on the palate. Some kind of tree-like notes. Not quite pine, but something festive. It took me several sips, but there is a fruity upturn of sweetness towards the back. And, a more forward sweetness I'm still struggling with... Something like a caramalized sugar/sap/molasses. ...wait! Fir! The tree note is fir, like a Christmas tree. Interesting. Slightly creamy on the palate. Head has a very sweet, tree sap quality to it. A very nice holiday beer. Too bad I didn't have it at Christmas; I could see it going great with turkey and gravy! Or perhaps, a nice brie. Dammit, now I'm getting hungry!

Certainly does not come across as ten-five, but does seem like a slow sipper, taste-wise.

Poured from a 750mL bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a hazed out caramel brown with sticky head and heavy lacing. Tons of lacing here, and bubbles that will dry on the walls of your glass.

S: Aroma of sweet brandy, spices a mixture of strong belgian yeast , deep caramel, candied sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg. wet dried raisins and plums.

T: Tons of sweet grape in the flavor here, I presume this is the gooseberries kicking in. Caramel and booze , mixing with cooling berry prominence. I really think this is one of the best of the Xmas series from the Bruery. After having been a Reserve Society member for the past three years, I haven't gotten this from my trustee shipped, but had to jump the gun and try it when I can get it for 12.99 in NY minus the shipping charges. recap on flavor, gooseberry, caramel, cotton candy, belgian yeast spices similar to Schneider Aventinus Eisbock. Very enjoyable

M: Thick mouthfeel with a mild carbonation.

O: Overall, I was pretty happy with this 12 beers varietal. Of the series, I have enjoyed Two Turtle Doves the most followed by 6 Geese a Laying and 4 Calling birds up next. This really is solid. I think I will be cellaring quite a few of these, I just hope that the berry flavors hold up over time. If not, Ill be sure to be making my own home batch of 2TD to make up for what we can no longer purchase until another 8 years out.

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Photo of Gmann
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a muddy light brown color with a short dense cream colored head. Looks thick. Some spotty lacing.

The aroma is a bit musty with a sweet spice scent. Musty grape. Pear and juicy fruit provide some sweetness. A bit sugary.

The taste is of musty grape. Tart apple and lemon from oak. Light tropical fruit sweetness. Juicy fruit, pear and a hint of pineapple. Some clove spice. A little brown sugar. Good complexity.

Moderate feel with tingly carbonation. Sweet and tart on the palate. Finishes quite dry.

A tart Belgian brew with good oak flavor. One of the better from the series.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.1/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a hazy, medium amber-brown body, a bit murky, with a medium-sized, beige head.

Smell: Earthy, anise, with a strong scent of the added berries sprinkled with yeast. Thin sliver of smoke. Toasty, bready malts, a bit mild in aroma, when compared to the more potent aromatics. Pinch of allspice and a belt of booze.

Taste: Syrupy-soaked, toasty breadiness in the fore, but, right away, there's a burst of sourish, sharply tangy berries. Additionally, toffee and a shot of liquor. Orange zest. Lightly musty, yeasty. Spice, light vanilla, and varied-berry liqueur on the back-half with plenty of belly-warming alcohol driving into the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Overall: It's a tad hot. Don't go into this bottle alone, friends!

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.66/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a goblet.

3.25 A: Lightly hazed deep amber color. One and a half fingers of frothy beige head. Retention is lacking, but it's to be expected from such a big beer. No lacing either.

3.5 S: This is full of plum and figs foremost. Toasty malts with strong caramel components and notes of gingerbread. Something strange to me which must be the gooseberries. Peppery spiciness with hints of clove. A bit of booze, which is well hidden overall.

3.75 T: Taste is like the nose, except that the gooseberry portion is more prominent. Plum, figs, and grape finish up the fruits. Toasty, caramel, and bready malts. Peppery spice. Molasses and deep neutral maltiness.

3.75 M: Big, heavy body. Good moderate carbonation. Reasonably creamy and smooth. Well done here.

3.75 D: It's a pretty good beer, but it's a little more standard than the usual Bruery beer. Definitely worth a try

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Photo of Etan
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml into a tulip.

A: Pours a reddish brown with a nice off-white head.

S: Leather, berries, molasses, fig, thick caramel.

T: Lightly grapey, hint of pineapple, brown bread, orange zest, prune, toffee, cooked grain, vanilla.

M: Thick-bodied, viscous and sugary, with light carbonation.

O: This is pretty tasty. A definite improvement over Golden Rings.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 01/12/13 notes. Bought this in the RS in December, poured frm a 750ml bottle into my Bruery tulip.

a - Pours a dark brown color with a reddish tint, one finger of off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Head leaves quickly.

s - Smells of slightly tangy blackberries and dark fruits, spices, yeast, fruity malts, and earthy notes. A bit weird and tangy but ok.

t - Tastes of tangy dark berries, chocolate, sweet dark fruits, spice, pepper, yeast, roasted malts, and earthy notes. Like the nose but with chocolate mixed in. Not better or worse, just different.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. No heat, pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall a weird beer; not necessarily bad, but not good and realy not sure what they were going for. Kind of feel like they knew the name was "6 Geese-A-Laying" for the next Christmas beer so just used gooseberries for that reason and it didn't work out that great. Had after 5GR and neither was great; think their Christmas beers have really gone down hill.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.99/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've always enjoyed these Christmas beers from the Bruery, and I've always been a bit surprised they don't receive slightly higher ratings. They are festive, fruity, and a bit sweet, perfect for the Holidays. This one is no exception, Belgian style with gooseberries this time, and you really do get the gooseberries- particularly at the finish, along with a nice dose of Christmas spices that complement the bright, tart/sweet gooseberries. Under all of that is a solid Belgian Ale that provides just the right yeasty and fruity (from the beer itself this time) notes as well as a bit of a bite. Still, quite smooth, despite the abv. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of dexterk1
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured with a cloudy reddish color and small head that diminishes quickly.

Odor is sweet and fruity. Some berries and a little bit of malt.
Taste is more fruity than expected. Cherry and some tart fruit as well. A little bit of spice involved as well. The fruit is a little less dramatic and upfront with later tastings as it warmed a bit. Some alcohol towards the end.
Mouth feel is slightly carbonated. Pretty light overall in this department.
Overall a very interesting brew. Good, fruity and well done overall.

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Photo of SeatsTaken
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pour: Poured into a snifter. Presents in a cloudy red/orange hue with half an inch worth of head.

Aroma: Sweet berries (WTF is a gooseberry anyway?) upfront with a tangy, sour and spicy end.

Taste: Ooh...not what I was expecting. There is a berry flavor, just not what was advertised in the nose. I'm tasting mostly spice and a little bit of yeast. It has a slightly sour and boozy finish. Booze begins to dominate the flavor as the glass gets lighter.

Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation that creates a creamy sensation.

Overall: Not one of The Bruery's best, but still better than a lot that is out there. Cellaring this beer makes sense as the nose and flavor need to find some sort of middle ground, but right now it's really more of a novelty.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle opened on 12.25.13

A - Pours a medium to light brown with a huge, very light tan head that fades slowly.

S - Holiday spices and fruity sweet.

T -Dull spices with a fruity, cranberry - almost fruit cake like.

D - Good carbonation with a medium body.

O - Nice spices - Gooseberry is fruity without being overly sweet. Solid, but can it hold up for six more years.

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Photo of ProudBeerSnob
3.64/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into snifter. Ruby in color with a solid head that dissipates quickly and leaves faint lacing.

Intense fruity aromas rendolent with plums and apricots. I had this on tap last week and it seemed less sweet than in the bottle. As it warms that fruit taste turns a bit boozy. Nice.

Not really interested in cellaring this, but I am interested on what the Bruery comes up with for swans a swimming.

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Photo of Jonada
3.21/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a dark red brown color with a finger of a beige head that dissipates quickly to a collar. Body is hazy with very little light getting through.

Smell: Dark fruit, vinous, peppery spice, chocolate, slight vinegar notes. Smells a bit odd.

Taste: Sweet and tart with notes of dark fruit spicy yeast, and chocolate. There's a tart and almost slightly vegetal quality present as well, which I assume is from the gooseberries. This one's not really doing it for me.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied slightly creamy mouthfeel. Medium soft carbonation.

Overall: Now I neither know what a gooseberry looks or tastes like (so maybe they're awesome for all i know), but I'm essentially attributing the tart, vinous vegetal qualities to the gooseberry addition. Those qualities really detract from the enjoyment of the beer rather than adding to it. Not a fan of this one, and I would recommend avoiding unless you're trying to obtain the whole Bruery 12 days of Christmas set.

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Photo of KAP1356
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Christmas Eve tradition continued this year! Poured into a Weyerbacher tulip...

A - Pours a deep and rich reddish hue with some slight murky brown mixed in here and there. A large, 2 finger thick, eggshell white head forms and retains quite well for a high ABV beer.

S - The aroma starts with off with a strong hit of lactic acid which I believe stems from the large amount of gooseberries used in the beer. There is also a strong citrus aroma adding to that acidic presence. Strong aromas of grain and warm spices come next along with a healthy malt background.

T - The taste is similar to the nose. There is an interesting mix of light, acidic fruits, and dark, warm, roasted malts and spices. The lactic fruits come out the winner in the battle as they hit the palate the strongest. Fresh lemon, gooseberry, and some sour cherries stand out the most. This is followed by roasted malts, clove, and some slight nutmeg.

M - This beer is on the lighter side of medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation. It is crisp and somewhat refreshing once you get past the hit of alcohol heat.

O - Overall, this wasn’t a bad beer by any means. However, it certainly was nit my favorite in the series. I feel that some age on this could help mellow the alcohol heat. I guess we’ll have to wait a few years before I crack open the one I’ll age until the series us done. Merry Christmas! Cheers!

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, earth, dirt, spice, and dark fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with earthy grain and dirty, slightly tart fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earthy and spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the earthy and dirty aromas and flavors detract from the drinkability in my opinion.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.96/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark ruddy orange with a half finger light tan head with excellent retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of sweet caramel malt, plums and cherries with a bit of darker dried fruit and Belgian yeast. Flavor is caramel malt, estery cherry, berry and plum; lightly tart, but still quite sweet. Belgian and holiday spices (cinnamon and clove). Medium bodied with pleasant active carbonation. An interesting and flavorful holiday ale. Rather on the sweet side, but balanced by a light tartness. Probably too sweet for anything except a holiday offering. I would like to see this in a small bottle to be enjoyed as an apertif. One of the better offerings from this series.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750 ml bottle, 11/13/13 etched on the bottle so I'll assume that's the bottled on date. Served in a DFH Signature glass, the beer pours a reddish/copper color with about a half inch light tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like dark fruit (plums, berries), peppery spice, cloves, and some toffee. It tastes like dark fruit (plums, cherries), clove, peppery spice, caramel, tart berries and a sweet spiciness. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating and is well carbonated. I thought this was a good brew, definitely worth a try. $10.99 a bottle.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.99/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle shared with Christmas dinner with my in-laws. Pours a murky light brownish or amber color with a creamy off white head. Aroma of sweet sugars, yeast, light spice, big caramel malts. Flavor follows with a big punch of sweet malts and Belgian sugars, the spice then comes in and the finish lingers with a very light tartness, I assume from the gooseberries. Pretty thick mouthfeel, adequate plus carbonation, a hint of booze in there that is nicely warming. I thought this was a success with a nice balance of sweet, tart, and spices. Perfect for a Christmas beer and exactly what they were going for with this one. Only complaint was that it was on the boozy side after warming just a little.

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Photo of corby112
3.09/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours a dark golden copper color with ruby red/purplish-plum hues and a half finger off-white head that quickly settles into a thin, lasting ring. Sporadic spotty lacing left behind. Nice color but not much head retention/lacing.

Slightly tart, vinous dark fruit aroma with subtle peppery spice, silky chocolate malt and boozy sweetness. Hints of pepper, clove and candi sugar along with tart fruit, plum, raisin and fig. I'm not really familiar with gooseberries but I'm assuming they are giving off the tart sweetness that compliments the other ester-y dark berry notes. The fruit and spice aromas are followed by silky chocolate malt sweetness and subtle roast. I'm picking up some cocoa, caramel, toast and cola. Nothing too out of the ordinary but the aroma is decent with a nice touch of tart fruit incorporated into the classic elements of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

On the lighter end of medium body with tight carbonation and a blast of sweet boozy heat that overpowers the others flavors with somewhat overwhelming fuesel alcohol. Some peppery spice and slightly tart fruit integrated into light malt sweetness and vinous dark fruit flavors. Some pepper, clove and ginger followed by strong alcohol heat, tart berries, plum, raisin and currant. Finishes with light malt sweetness giving off hints of caramel, milk chocolate, lactose, burnt toast and ash. The tart fruit presence isn't as strong as in the nose and the spice and alcohol flavors are too prominent for my preference. After a while my palate adjusts to the alcohol and heavy spices, letting some Belgian candi sugar and vinous fruit sweetness come through. The high ABV is not well masked at all but the tart fruit, sweet ester notes and chocolate maltiness make this beer easy to drink than I expected. Not terrible like some of the other beers in this series but the carbonation is off, the spices are too strong and there is overwhelming boozy heat.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.37/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A-dark amber, almost red. Thin off white head.

S-smells like strong dark Belgian sugars with a very sweet syrupy scent to it. Also some caramels and fairly tart dark cherries. Almost has a buttercream aroma to it as well.

T-comes on with a very thick and sweet flavor of dark berries and caramels. It's so syrupy and sweet tasting, not in the best way. It does have a slight burnt caramel aspect to it as well. It doesn't have too much of a Belgian dark ale in it at this point. Definitely tastes like a beer with a high abv.

M-thick and syrupy. Not too much carbonation.

O-such a disappointment, I generally love these Bruery Christmas beers but these past 2 years have been a disappointment. It's just way too syrupy and it leaves your tongue with an odd stickiness. I really wish I would've shared this.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.81/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750mL bottle from Green's Beverage (Atlanta, GA). 9.99. Bottled 9/18/13. Served in a Bruery snifter.

Pours opaque, ruddy garnet with a half finger cream head. Decent retention and some respectable sheets of lace.

The nose seems a little shallow. Belgian yeast, dark cherries and some sugary caramel sweetness.

Intetesting flavor profile. I have to assume the nice sweet fruit up front that I can't quite place is cape gooseberry. It's pretty distinct and serves to compliment the base, which seems to resemble a Dubbel. Cherry, raisins, sugarcane, plums, burnt caramel, strong yeast character, lots of dark malts and some alcohol. Sweet, a little tart and a good bit funky.

Fairly heavy feel with smooth, light carbonation. Gooseberry, cherry and sweet dark malt finish.

An interesting riff on the BSDA. I like the unique fruit notes. Ultimately it's nothing spectacular but it has plenty of merit in it's own right.

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6 Geese-A-Laying from The Bruery
3.78 out of 5 based on 541 ratings.
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