Saturday, June 25, 2011

Goose Island Christmas Ale (2009 vintage)

Welcome to the second annual "Halfway to Christmas" special. It's June 25th, which means we're exactly six months out from everyone's favorite holiday (well, mine at least). To celebrate, I picked up a 2009 vintage of Goose Island Christmas Ale. I asked my beer store guy if they'd been hoarding these for 2 years, he said they just kind of showed up out of the blue - weird eh? Anyways, you know I'm not a huge fan of GI, especially this year, but let's see what a 2-year-old 5.7% brown ale tastes like. Cheers.
Not the beer I drank for this review.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (630) - Albany, USA - JUN 25, 2011
I poured a 2009 vintage into a nonic pint glass (as recommended on the bottle)

Appearance: cloudy shade of mahogany/dark brown. Forms a large, soapy/frothy tan head with great lacing and retention.

Aroma: One of the sweetest-smelling beers I can recall in some time. Very similar to caramel, toffee and roasted peanuts.

Taste: I honestly did not have much expectations for this beer considering it’s only 5.7% ABV and two years old. But I have to say I was shocked at just how tasty this beer is in the middle of the summer of 2011. Big notes of rich syrupy gooiness from start to finish. Caramel and toffee and extremely prominent with a refined sweetness that’s genuinely tasty and not cloying. There’s a distinct roasted peanut flavor on the finish with only mild bitterness somewhere in between.

What’s amazing is that the beer never wears out its welcome. Each swig is a robust as the one before it.
The palate doesn’t grow that much more complex, but the sweetness never becomes sickly sweet, either.

Mouthfeel: Medium to thick with creamy texture and soft, gentle presence.

Drinkability: Beers of this caliber tend to be big and bold, but Goose Island Christmas Ale is only 5.7% ABV and is just as bold as the best of them without the heavy density. I had to hold myself back from chugging the beer because it was so tasty and so smooth.

Overall, an extreme impressive beer for so many reasons and a fantastic surprise for me, personally.

Grade: 10/10

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