If there’s a Ohio regional style for Christmas Ales it’s a strong ale with ginger, cinnamon and honey. Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. of Akron wrapped their version of Christmas ale with a bow and called it 12 Dogs of Christmas Ale. It’s similar in style to Great Lakes Christmas Ale, but with more body, a point more alcohol, and a touch of nutmeg.
12 Dogs of Christmas Ale pours dark copper with a very little head that completely dissipates in a short time. It smells of sweet ginger, hay, and pumpkin pie spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and clove. The flavor begins with sweet caramel malts and a ginger bite. Then moves to spices and dried fruits. The ale is medium bodied with a long smooth finish that leaves spices on your tongue. The flavors are well-integrated and belong together. It’s 8.3% ABV and 21.5 IBU.
The flavor profile is so close to Great Lakes Christmas Ale that I can’t avoid a comparison. Great Lakes has more ginger up front and none of the pumpkin pie spice aromas. Overall, I preferred Thirst Dog’s richer, more complex aroma and taste. Try both, but get a 6 pack of 12 Dogs of Christmas Ale.
There’s a bourbon barrel aged version that comes in magnums that I’ve sent the Elves to find with no luck yet. Though, I’ve wondered if they might be holding out on me.
Question: What do you think of 12 Dogs of Christmas Ale? You can leave a comment by clicking here.