Coaster Critique: Goose Island Christmas Ale

On the third day of Beermas….

Name: Christmas Ale

Brewed by: Goose Island Beer Company

ABV: 7.2%

Style: American Brown Ale

Bottle/Draft: 12oz Bottle

Purchased: Burby and Bates, Orono, Maine

Poured a deep chestnut color, has a nice reddish glow in the light. Pour produced almost no head and does not appear to be very carbonated. This looks like it would be a really clear beer but I disturbed the yeast at the bottom of the bottle so it’s a bit chunky.

The beer has a rich malty aroma, I’m picking up some caramel and brown sugar with some faint notes of spice, cinnamon and nutmeg. I’m also getting some dark fruits in the nose, raisins mostly. There is just a hint of alcohol mingling in there as well.

This is a really interesting take on a brown ale, sweet and malty, with some toffee flavors and nuttiness. About mid sip bitterness pops up and the spices are noticeable, cloves and nutmeg, maybe some cinnamon, this is a bit more spiced up than I like. There is also a dark fruit flavor, raisins and cherries, but it’s kind of secondary flavor behind the spices. The beer finishes with some alcohol heat.

Overall an interesting beer, there is a lot going on in the flavor. Some of the flavors and smells in this beer remind me more of a Belgian dubbel than an American brown ale but I liked it. Wasn’t thrilled about the level of spicing, I don’t think I would want to drink more than one of these in a sitting, but it’s worth picking up and I’m glad I did.



Feel free to follow along!

Day 1: Samual Adams White Christmas, Boston Beer Co.

Day 2: Slick Nick, Sebago Brewing Co.

Day 3: Goose Island Christmas Ale, Goose Island Beer Co.

Day 4: Winter Session, Peak Organic

Day 5: Woodchuck Winter, Woodchuck Cidery

Day 6: Snow Day, New Belgium Brewing

Day 7: Weyerbacher Winter Ale, Weyerbacher brewing

Day 8: N’ice Chouffe, Brasserie D’achouffe

Day 9: St.Bernardus Christmas Ale, Brouwerij St. Bernardus

Day 10: Lump of Coal, Ridgeway Brewery

Day 11: Samuel Adams Merry Mischief, Boston Beer Co.

Day 12: Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Anchor Brewing Co.

Chad Lothian

About Chad Lothian

Chad Lothian lives in Old Town, Maine. He is a craft beer enthusiast and homebrewer. Chad has travelled to brewpubs, breweries and brewfests all over New England.