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RATINGS: 893   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.48/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 225   ABV: 7.5%
Specialty Belgian malts create a deep garnet color and a truly rich old European flavor in our classic Christmas Ale. And the generous amount of crystal hops adds that extra spicy aroma to your pint, perfect for a wintry night. Our Christmas Ale brings good tidings and joy to each Holiday Season. A two-time Gold Medal Winner in the World Beer Championships.

The original Goose Island Christmas Ale clocked in at 5.7% ABV. There was no 2010 vintage. The 2011 vintage saw a bump to 6.2% ABV but no new entry. The 2012 vintage was bumped up further to 7.5% ABV.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
slowrunner77 (10248) - Reno, Nevada, USA - OCT 5, 2014
a little hoppy for an old ale, in a good way. a little unfocused in the aroma and flavor department. muddled. maybe cuz it was 14 months old, but some had a hard time telling the style. overall, a bit nutty, bitter. a decent old ale, but a little under expectations for GI."

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Yorker (1934) - Herning, DENMARK - SEP 28, 2014
35 cl bottle @ home (2011 vintage). Pours hazy dark amber with quite a bit of sediment and an off-white head that leaves some lacing. Aroma and flavour are nuts, malt, caramel, roast, and spices - with a slightly dry finish.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Darkmagus82 (2271) - - AUG 15, 2014
Transfer from BA review on 4-26-12- 2012 Vintage poured from a bottle into a pint glass Appearance – Pours a murky brown color with red highlights showing through. Upon pouring there is a thick two finger cream colored head that has fantastic retention. The head very slowly fades over time, with it leaving some nice lacing on the sides of the glass. Smell – The aroma is sweet and spicy. It has a large fruity smell consisting of darker fruit aromas of cherry, fig and prune with a good strong dose of apple cider and a caramel aroma. Mixed with the fruit smells are spices consisting mainly of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. These aromas, when mixed with the fruit and a light alcohol smell, give a mulled cider aroma that is quite pleasant. Taste – The taste begins bready with some lighter notes of fruit sweetness, roasted malt, and caramel. The fruit is largely of an apple flavor up front but is soon joined by some dark fruit flavors as the taste advances and overall sweetens the brew a bit. While the taste is sweetened a bit, it never really gets too sweet. Along with the growth of the fruit flavors also comes the presence of spices of nutmeg and allspice. At the end, an alcohol flavor mixed with a clove spice, come big to the taste and combined with the fruit, roasted bready and other spice flavors to leave a rather odd roasted, fruity, almost bitter spiced flavor on the tongue. Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is chewy and thick with a carbonation level that is rather on the lower side. The chewy thickness of the brew mixed with the lower carbonation fill the mouth with the bready, spice, and fruity flavors allowing all these tastes to be fully sensed by the tongue. When mixed with the warming alcohol taste, the thick body was great for the brew. Overall – It was a pretty decent brew. Other than a rather odd spicy aftertaste that the brew leaves on the tongue, all other aspects of the beer are very nice. It is worth a try.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
BiereLuc (1259) - Montréal, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 31, 2014
(version 2012... bue en 2014) - Bière brune trouble aux sombres reflets orangés. Le nez est principalement sur les fruits rouges et on anticipe le sucre. En bouche, la bière est effectivement sucrée (sucre cuit / caramel amer) avec une légère âcreté en finale. À l’aveugle, j’aurais parié 1000$ sur un scotch ale pour le style... et j’aurais perdu beaucoup d’argent. Un produit intéressant sans trop d’éclats...

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Stuu666 (10877) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - JUL 9, 2014
Bottle at home, 2011 vintage. Pours copper, light toffee, pine, dried fruit, caramel.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
generallee08 (772) - New York, USA - JUN 28, 2014
It has a beautiful deep crimson red body with very good clarity. The head on top has a creamy off white color and a thick, frothy texture. It also hangs on well and leaves loads of thick clingy lacing on the glass. The aroma had a much stronger hop presence than I was expecting. It had a very solid pine like hop character with a touch of holiday spice underneath it. First up is a firm hit of hops which bring good earthy and citrusy/pine notes and bitterness. With the hops also comes a solid backing of sweet toasted caramel maltiness. From here spice notes like nutmeg, cinnamon and maybe some bitter orange peel, creep in and add some more depth of flavor. All of these flavors seem to come together and balance each other in the slow lingering finish. The palate has a good firm medium to full body and texture with nice active carbonation.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Acknud (1081) - Morganfield, Kentucky, USA - MAY 25, 2014
Pours a brown amber with a soft head. Aroma of spice and malt. Taste is warming with winter spices and malt. Even though this was the 2012 vintage it still tasted fresh.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
davey101 (751) - Connecticut, USA - APR 29, 2014
2011. Layer of sediment in the bottle. 09/26/11 1642. Pours a murky brown with a finger of khaki foam. Nose is baked bread, toffee, yeast and Christmas spices. Touch of earthy hops. Taste is caramel, bread, standard pie spices and a touch of oxidation. Medium bodied and a little thin. Not a bad vintage at all but certainly on the way down the hill.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 8/20
DrewFace (967) - Melbourne, Florida, USA - APR 25, 2014
2011 bottle found in the rot closet. Pours an opaque dark reddish color with small tan head. Big sweet malt aroma, caramel, spices, belgiany character. Sweet, watery, oaky (?), some chocolate and spice notes. Overall, just a weird mess. Too much going on and not in a good way.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
czar (7890) - Québec, Quebec, CANADA - APR 24, 2014
2012 vintage. pours hazy almost cloudy light brown-reddish a creamy light beige-orange head, some retention and lacing. fruity belgian malts - figs and spices, dense and complex caramel, nutty and tobacco-plenty, yeasty, moderate sweetness - brown sugar, demerara, woodsy notes. moderate carbonation, light to medium body - oily, woodsy-astringent-grassy-spicy finish. belgian more than a brown ale. spicy. figgy. belgian. nice.

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