Goose Island started in 1988 as a single brewpub in Chicago, but sadly, was sold to the great beer devil Anheuser-Busch in 2011. As a result of the purchase, their brew master is also stepping down. I’d really like to keep an eye out for Goose Island in the next couple years and see if they can still maintain their previously good standard of brewing.
I had the 2011 version of the Goose Island Christmas Ale. It was bottled in September, but this beer can actually age and develop for up to five years. It pours a reddish-brown with a thick and creamy head that left a lot of beautiful, spotty lacing which retained throughout the whole drink.
The aroma is real yummy. I good at describing beers now. Mainly sweet malts, toffee and a light amount of hops. The taste is quite similar to the nose; the same sweet malts, along with brown sugar, orange and other fruits, yeast and some alcohol esters from the 6.2% alc/vol, all culminating in a bitter, semi-dry finish.
Though the body was a little thin, it did make for easy drinking with its smooth body, prickly carbonation and a mouthfeel that totally coats your palate.
This is a great blend between a brown ale and a winter warmer. A great addition to the seasonal variety pack but nothing that impressively stands out in my mind. Goose Island receives a B.