Goose Island Christmas Ale - An American Brown Ale (2011)
Brewed and bottled by Goose Island Beer Company, Chicago, IL. USA.
Winter Seasonal (Limited Release)
12 fl. oz. / $3.50 USD / 6.2% ABV
About: "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. Hops: Crystal, Changes year to year / Malt: Pale, Munich, Caramel"
Thoughts: This is my first Goose Island beer. Poured a super dark raspberry that's thick and hazy with a slightly yellowish eggshell head that was puffy and long lasting.
Not getting much of a scent at all. Very minimal caramel and brown sugar. It's slightly malty, and I'm not getting any hops.
Hmm. Am I drinking this too early? The back states that it "develops in the bottle up to five years". It's pretty cold, but I'm not getting anything. It's a little bitter, a little chocolaty with a hint of prune juice. All of this is very hard to taste, mind you. Not getting any spices, just a little bit of pine tree (is that the Christmas flavor?).
I'm feeling bitter citrusy hop taste on the very back of my tongue, and not much else. It's a little bit drying.
Yeah, I don't know what it is with me and Brown Ales, but I just can't seem to get into them. This one reminds me of Sierra Nevada's Tumbler. There's nothing wrong with the brew at all... it's a good quality and enjoyable ...it's just not evoking any particular responses in my brain. For $3.50 for a twelve ounce... it's way too expensive for what it is.
It's got a seasonal flair about it, but doesn't remind me of Christmas one little bit. Allover it's fairly weak. Too bad because the beer itself looks beautiful, and not to mention that the label is very nicely done.