Brewery: Goose Island Brewery
Brewery Location: Chicago (Northeastern Illinois)
Beer: Christmas Ale
BJCP Style: 21B. Christmas/Winter Specialty Spiced Beer
Appearance: Moderate to low head on pour. Creamy, light tan color; the beer itself has a deep ruby hue.
Smell: Chocolate and roasted malts, slight cola in the nose, moderate to low hops.
Taste: Chocolate and roast flavors upfront, with some astringency from the roasted malts; medium hops blend with the roast to produce a moderate bitterness, while vanilla and chocolate flavors round out the experience.
Mouthfeel: Some powdery tartness, mostly from the roasted and dark malts.
Drinkability: GI's website claims this beer is similar to a brown ale, but to me, it seems more like a hopped up porter, with it's roasty and chocolate flavors. A great nose that previews the flavors that follow. Some winter beers are so overpowering that I have to switch to something else after the first one. Not so with this beer. I could (and did) have several in one night. The brewery claims this beer can be stored for up to five years, but the relatively low ABV (5.4%) suggests otherwise. The folks over at BeerAdvocate give it generally high marks.