Thursday, December 19, 2013

On the Sixth Day of Beermas...Goose Island Sixth Day!

Beer: Goose Island Sixth Day
Brewery: Goose Island (Chicago, IL)
Type: Strong Brown Ale
ABV: 8.3%

Moving our way through our Christmas Brew list and we come across another big seasonal offering from another big American craft brewer - Goose Island of Chicago.  Well, I guess 'craft' is a tricky word to use here.  You see, Goose Island was more or less purchased by Anheuser Busch in 2011, meaning it is now owned by one of the biggest breweries in the world, the same folks who brew Budweiser and Bud Light.  So what does this mean?  Truth be told, I don't know; I'm still more or less ambivalent towards the actual business of brewing - it's the results I really care about.  And since I haven't really had a consistent and thorough look at Goose Island's lineup - and certainly not with regards to their quality over time - I can't truly say I know whether their brews are better or worse than before (though if their Bourbon County Stout is any indicator, I'd say they're still doing just fine).   At the very least, it looks like distribution should be on the up and up, so maybe it might mean more Goose Island brews our way maybe?

Goose Island's more well-known seasonal is their particularly tasty Christmas Ale, a nicely balanced and flavorful brown ale.  I wasn't able to p
ick up a bottle of that, but they had much boozier version of the Christmas Ale that is Sixth Day Festive Brown Ale.  Sixth Day is certainly well-suited for being slotted into the Countdown, and just for kicks, let's put it in at number six, shall we?

Poured into a small nonic glass.  There was some big visible sediment in the bottle, so after swirling that in the result was a hazy brown-chestnut hue with a quarter inch of foam that recedes into a thick ring.

Nose is nicely boozy and malty, with an American Barleywine quality to it.  Toffee, brown sugar, chocolate, tea hops, caramel.

Landing somewhere between a barleywine and a brown ale, this one is hard to spot.  Big and many like a barleywine, but slightly held back; nutty and tea-like like a brown ale, but amped up too high. Despite this strange placement, however, the result is very tasty.  Spices, cinnamon, boozy malt, chocolate, floral/herbal hops, apple cider, toffee.   Bit of dry bitterness to the finish.  Very nice indeed.

Thicker bodied, medium carbonation.

Although I still lean towards the Christmas Ale, this is a great boozy substitute.  Quite enjoyable Christmas brew indeed!

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