Six Geese A Brewin'

Brewery and Country of Origin: Goose Island Beer Company of 1800 North Clybourn Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614, USA

Date Reviewed: 2-21-14

Christmas comes but once a year. But for some, and for those living in Eighteenth Century England, Christmas lasts twelve days, until January 5th or 6th, depending on religious factors. And the presents? Well, you basically get a farm with a workforce, fruit, a marching band, an aviary, plenty of Renaissance Era entertainment, and of course, golden personal adornment. This practice is immortalized in what can only be described as the most annoying Christmas song ever: "The Twelve Days of Christmas". Perhaps the biggest reason why this song is so annoying is because it's a cumulatively structured song, meaning that each verse builds upon the previous, meaning that the same thing is basically said 12 times to the tune of screaming elementary school children (us in the not so distant past). Either way, this is also an annoying song because it's a Christmas song. And no matter how good any song is, it will always have its Scrooges. But the interesting thing is that aside from various Charlie Brown/Vince Guaraldi tv specials soundtracks, there's no real music for any other holidays. And with the exception of Oktoberfest, there isn't any other holiday with its own style of beers. Not Independence Day, not Easter, not Thanksgiving, not even National Entrepreneurship Day. But unlike the music, Christmas ales are typically well received strong brown ales which go well with festive foods and include festive tasting notes like nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove. Perhaps if we made a Christmas song about Christmas beers, it would be better received than most.

One the sixth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
Six beers a packin'
Five golden lagers
Four hop varieties
Three yeast strains
Two kinds of malt
And a pint for you and me.

2015 Grammy in the bag.
Date Sampled: 12-24-13 At: Penfield, NY, 14526, USA
Beer Style: American Brown Ale
Alcohol by Volume: 8.30%
Serving Type: 12 oz Bottle, 14 oz Mug Glass
Rating: 3.12


Sixth Day pours moderately choppy with an average amount of carbonation action, giving this beer a two thirds inch tall foam head with a good amount of retention, a fairly creamy texutre, an average density, and a tan color. The color is copperish light brown with no shine and only an average level of glow in the light, due to the inclusion of a high amount of medium sized sediment particles with only low settling. This beer also displays a moderate effervescent effect and has a good amount of lacing.


As is with many darker winter ales, this beer's aroma is bursting with festive spices and sweet semi roasted malt. Notable aromas include ginger, cinnamon, and a good amount of sweet caramel malt with some nutty and cookie/sweet biscuity notes as secondary. This beer also has a good amount of trailing bitterness attributed to some soapy citrusy hops and a somewhat noticeable alcohol tinge. A subtle earthy tone is also present.


This is a medium bodied brew with a good amount of weight, a medium high viscosity, and a fairly average density. This beer has an average amount of carbonation which helps lighten it a bit, and is fairly smooth overall with no texture from the sediment. There is a very subtle closing alcohol induced warming after a somewhat lingering and dry finish with a dull effect overall. This beer is a sipping beer which goes well with a warm fire.


This beer has a sweet flavor overall, highlighted with spicy toffee and nutmeg flavors. This beer includes ginger and cinnamon spice to complement, and a good amount of nutty and biscuity cookie like notes which are balanced somewhat with a hoppy, dull bitter finish which lingers for a bit and comes with a dull, but present dryness. There is some alcohol flavor noticeable with a lingering effect, but this is washed out with every new sip. Present throughout is a faint amount of vanilla.

Our Take

As is with any festive ale, this beer is full of spices and sweet malt that forms an average statured elixir akin to a gingerbread man cookie. This beer is fairly aromatic with yet more seasonal trademarks like cinnamon, ginger, and a biscuity undertone. Unfortunately, both the flavor and the aroma are weighed down by a bit of alcohol presence. Though this wasn't too obvious, especially when considering that this beer has a moderately high 8.30% ABV, it was still too distracting for a beer and a style familiar with strong flavors and aromas that give the sensation you're drinking a liquefied Christmas dessert pie. Of course there are those who will be looking for something a bit more hoppy or something that delivers a better finish, but overall, this is a pretty decent beer for a style which, among others, demands adherence to a fairly well established set of criteria. And that's all when considering that this is a style which comes out for only a couple of months of the year in only select markets of the world. Still, although this beer is far from perfect, we like it, and we'd suggest next holiday season, you try it with a festive meal, mild or medium sharp cheeses, or sweet dessert.