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RATINGS: 891   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 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
AlchemistZ (493) - Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA - NOV 7, 2004
Deep, mahonony color with a tan head. Aroma of caramel, toast, and fruit. Great flavor of toasted grain, milk, caramel, mixed fruit, oily hops and an underpinning of dry chocolate. Solid, medium body with some creaminess. This tastes more like a well-made American brown ale to me than an Old Ale. Also, this sample was from the 03 version.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
eboats (1082) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - NOV 6, 2004
Deep garnet with a tan head. Aroma is of yeast, spice, and fig. It has a chewy mouthful. Tastes is yeast with spice, and prominant fig with other dark fruits. Plum and currants were noticable. The malts and the hops are easily noticable in this beer. I definately prefer the IPA over this one.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
eve (240) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - NOV 4, 2004
Surprisingly pleasant, smooth, beautiful deep red, creamy head, lightly chocolate and cinnamon, toasty-nutty, do I hear sleigh-bells?

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Metalhead (641) - Lake Zurich, Illinois, USA - OCT 30, 2004
Good but not top notch. Toasted biscuits,mild chocolate and spices. Not bad mid level holiday beer. Buy it on sale.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
heemer77 (5210) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - OCT 30, 2004
Very dark brown with a nice red peeking through the edges when put up to light. A large off white, creamy head tops the great looking body. Nice bready and yeasty aroma. Also has notes of cinnamon and some mango. Tastes of toast and nutmeg. Also has a little bit of pear. A very nice offering. Probably the best I have had from GI.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
Braudog (6066) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - OCT 25, 2004
Solidly dark red with big rocky head. Uncharacteristicly hoppy, grapefruity nose. Another surprise, after the aroma, comes the flavor ... coffee-full, yet light-bodied, with a bit of holiday spice.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - OCT 10, 2004
Beautiful, dark ruby color, cream-colored head, thick and sturdy. Aromatic, soft and spicy, floral notes,nuts, sweet fruits. Full body, sits thick in the mouth. Warm, but not too strong. Tilted to malty side, but hops play their part. Great winter ale, but not as dark and stormy as I prefer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Cornfield (5570) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - SEP 18, 2004
UPDATED: DEC 10, 2005 This pours a deep ruby red with a thin tan head. The aroma is one of dried fruits, spices, and citric hops. It has a deep, creamy mouthfeel with a slightly tart finish. A good winter drink.

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   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
MrHoppsworth (47) - USA - SEP 11, 2004
UPDATED: NOV 8, 2004 ’04 Sample:My favorite goose island beer. Great malt backbone.Hops are noticable,and balanced well.it has alot of APA qualities like sharp citrisy hops.Malts are wonderfull too! Apearance is very nice,and deep ruby red. Way better than Sam adams winter lager.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
DrnkMcDermott (2934) - Downers Grove, Illinois, USA - SEP 1, 2004
UPDATED: DEC 24, 2009 22 oz. "Bottled 10/16/09, rated Christmas Eve, 2009."Keeps for five years?" Maybe so, but I want to try it now. Pours brown and hazy, with a puff of light tan foam. Smell has nice complexity from a mix of malts, mostly reminiscent of their Nut Brown Ale. Some bittering hops also come up in the nose. Taste does have, yes, some temperate, brown roast malts. Just a mere suggestion of smoke or peat, so maybe some Scotch ale malt in the mix. Hops seem to tend toward the English side, with earthy and grassy bitterness, and a little bit of pepper. Other people who’ve tried it say there’s some citrusy American hops present, but I’m not sure about that. Despite being "normal strength" beer, it’s quite warming and enjoyable. I would suggest enjoying this now, and putting just one or two away for next Christmas. 12 oz. bottle, 2004 edition, rated 9/1/04.Rating 7-5-7-4-16, total 3.9. A nice nose of currants and raisins when poured. The usual thin head, but that’s not important. Deep, dark red, with a scotch-like malt profile, some smokiness of cigar tobacco and old chair leather. Slight touch of holiday spiciness, but not overdone like other holiday beers, in fact it may come entirely from the yeast and hops. A very fine beer.

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