Beer: Christmas Ale
Brewery: Goose Island
Style: Brown Ale
Serving Style: Bottle
Drinking Establishment: Chez Wood
Primary Consumer: Kerensa
Sight: Cloudy, deep amber body with no head.
Smell: It smells like an overripe fruit basket, with prominent plum and cherry aromas. There’s an underlying note of alcohol esters.
Flavor: Okay, there are a number of intricate flavors swimming around in this beer. For one, there is a roasted malts and caramel profile indicative of its Brown Ale base. However, there is also quite a bite from the hops, as well a healthy dose of holiday cheer (aka spices and other seasonal flair). There’s a bit of a fruit cake thing going on, as well as hints of anise and mint. Complex is a word I would use.
Feel: Thin, syrupy body with high carbonation. The flavors would’ve been better grounded in a fuller beer.
Concluding Remark: Goose Island’s Christmas Ale offers consumers a plethora of little flavor presents (apologies–there are only so many holiday metaphors). While not a explosion of holiday spirit, we have here a Brown Ale that’s decently balanced with the added bonus of unique flavors such as cranberries, gingerbread, anise, and mint. As Goose Island changes the recipe every year, I cannot vouch for how many of these ingredients actually made it into the beer. However, I can guarantee that you’ll find at least some of these cheerful flavors in this Christmas Ale, an exploration worthy of a pint, I say!