Friday, December 18, 2009

I was extremely pleased to find two six-packs of 2007 Goose Island Christmas Ale earlier today. This is a small-batch beer that is released once a year and is a favorite. According to the brewery it ages well up to five years. I've poured the first bottle out of the 12 and it's so far so good. Here are my tasting notes:

I give it a good pour into an old school Schlitz dimpled goblet. The head that forms is modest, but lasting, and some lace left behind with each sip. This light mahogany-colored beer is much hazier than I expected, but otherwise looks delicious. The nose is pretty neutral with some complex fruit and malt aromas. It is wonderfully smooth with a luscious caramel flavor that fades into more roasted coffee flavors before a smoothly bitter finish. Some unidentifiable spices nips at the sides of the tongue; it's almost sort of peppery, yet sweet. A very tasty ale!

I have a bottle of this year's Christmas Ale in my fridge. It's a 22-ounce bottle and I'm told that the recipe has changed (the alcohol increased and more hops have been added.) It is only available in 22-ounce bottles and thus the price of this year's version has about doubled compared to the 2008 and 2007. Despite my initial gripe, I still look forward to procuring some of this year's batch and letting some of it rest in the cellar.

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