Window Eighteen in this quickly progressing Advent Calendar is Goose Island Christmas Ale. It turns out I was lucky to experience Goose Island Christmas Ale as it no longer exists... OK it DOES exist but is now renamed Sixth Day for its 2013 release. Mine was the 2012 release and final under the name Goose Island Christmas Ale. It's had a fair while to age, bottled in May 2012, but being not entirely sure of the beer style I can't be sure this will be a good thing. This particular year is 7.3% and I see the first version of Sixth Day, this year, is 8.3% but apparently each year of Christmas Ale has been different. Let's see how this compares.
"It's the warmest time of year,
Your Christmas whiskey means good cheer,
A greedy smile from ear to ear..."
Goose Island Christmas Ale 2012 7.3% is a Nut Brown Ale that pours with a thin carbonation and rosewood Hue. It smells near sickly sweet with a spicy, earthy underlay and a piney hop hit. You need big mouthfuls of this to really enjoy this brown ale. It's not decidedly complex, a good muddy earthiness, dried figs, Christmas cake, sugared plums and pine. There's marmalade and a little lime zest that counteracts the hints of caraways and nutmeg. It's not overly spiced and a little thin on the finish. Truthfully it needs a fuller body to make a lasting impression but it is very good drinking, just a skip away from excellent. Here's a Christmas Ale that would have benefitted from a big, fat mulled spice hit.
Purchased from Beers of Europe, February 2013