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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 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Chitown440 (15) - chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 7, 2007
I absolutely love this beer !!! It has a fairly complex taste ,yet is an extremely smooth drinking beer and doesn,t seem to fill you up. I,ve turned quite a few people on to this beer that were strickly BMC drinkers and they loved it as well. I only wish it was availible year round.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Tapped (6) - - JAN 16, 2012 does not count
Nice head out of the tap dark brow color. Nose mostly malt with hint of hops. Complex yet ballanced flavor. Clean start. Medium light mouthfeel. Hint of hops on the finish. Leaves the tongue with a nice tingle after a clean finish.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 20/20
khayman70 (153) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - DEC 18, 2002
I love the Christmas brews and this is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. I love the spiciness, it reminds my of the holiday season and I will have this every year that I can.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
mrhoppy (1288) - Santa Clara, California, USA - JUN 18, 2010
Holy Toledo! This is excellent beer! Big rich aroma and flavor. This is the kind of beer you can bet your life on. Itís that good. Heavy caramel, very malty and scotch like. nice spicy hop element. A little dark fruit. Do not pass this up!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
DavecoSean (1) - Erie, Colorado, USA - NOV 26, 2011 does not count
Great Beer, but lacks the traditional nutmegish taste of a traditional Christmas Ale. Best taste to ever come out of Lake Michigan.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
mikehanneman (62) - Iowa, USA - FEB 18, 2012
The picture is dated and wrong for the Goose Island Christmas Ale for 2011. This beer will last for 5 years. I tried one from a couple of years ago and the heavy smell and taste of alcohol was off the charts. I like it more when it is fresh and not too strong. It takes away from the taste. This is the BEST Goose Island Christmas Ale yet. 4 pack of 12 ouncers for around $11.00. Just a smooth, rich but not over powering taste. Nice blend of malts, hops and just a touch of spice. I bought a case because it was so good. THUMBS UP!!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
ElGaucho (2391) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - DEC 1, 2002
UPDATED: DEC 16, 2006 12/16/06: Re-rate. This brew has typically been pretty similar year to year but this yearís version is a departure. As such, I believe it should be split out from previous vintages, as should be the case with all seasonals that change recipes yearly. Wonderful roasted chocolate malt aroma with a distinctively strong aromatic hop profile. I gave it a 10 for aroma before; despite the fact that this is a different brew, I canít argue with that rating. Very dark, reddish brown. No longer a clear body, GICA is now hazy. The hop in the nose translates to the palate, although perhaps not to the full degree. Small, light tan head that leaves a thin layer throughout the experience. There is lace, but it is sporadic. This yearís version seems more chocolaty, although it retains some of the characteristics of earlier versions, primarily the nice hop finish. A really nice brew. I might dock it a point or two from my previous rating, but because this is a different beer, and because vintages donít have their own pages, I donít want to detract from the genius of the earlier brews. I have gotten after the brewmaster before for tweaking what was a perfect Oktoberfest recipe back in 2001. He has done it again. At least this time, the brew went from outstanding to still great, whereas the Oífest went from extraordinary to simply above average. 12/1/02: The folks at Goose Island sure know how to make a seasonal! Similar in flavor to their excellent Oktoberfest, but with more hops and less malt. The aroma is second to none, with heavy pefumed hops hinting at the wonderful brew to come. Small, off-white head, with fair lacing. Head is mostly diminishing. Clear, dark red body. Taste is moderately sweet and heavily bitter...though very drinkable. Finish is long in duration. Medium to full bodied..improves as it warms. Very good!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
HopsOrDie (687) - New Lenox, Illinois, USA - APR 9, 2004
UPDATED: NOV 15, 2004 I love this beer. Very aromatic with hops and chocalatey/slightly roasted malt. Flavor is dominated with spicey hops, good malt background follows. There is a lasting spice that I canít put my finger on, but since Iíve had so many of these it is just the "GI Christmas Flavor". Also, when I belch after having a couple of these, man do they taste good. Another reason to drink this beer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Gmku (300) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - JUN 28, 2005
I think this is an incredible beer! Nice roasted malt thatís not too overwhelming, sort of sherry-like, moderately sweet with hints of caramel, sugar. Great for winter imbibing.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
drpimento (3121) - La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 31, 2005
GREAT BEER!!! Yum- O!!!! Pours big, dark and frothy. Great malty spicy nose. And the taste is superb. Has a little of that dryness that makes a beer to me, so appealing and drinkable. Lots of depth. A tankard of this at hand could keep a guy happy for a long time. Nice deep dark color, almost opaque deep brown. Had it on draft yesterday at Bodega downtown La Crosse.

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