Goose Island Festivity Ale

Another Goose Island beer. Most have been very good, and I recently had a good brown ale, so maybe Goose Island will be able to take my appreciation of brown ales even further. Maybe I can finally see what everyone who likes this style sees in the beer.

It's a very dark and murky brown - like the dimly lit alcove under rarely used basement stairs. The head is admirably thick and sticky - lacing on the sides of the glass can be enjoyed for quite some time after the beer is gone. The aroma is spices, nuts, and fresh baked bread but very slightly metallic (like bread machine bread).

A sip is a flavorful beverage of nuts, twigs, spices, and maybe a bit of toffee. It has more of a smoky taste than I had expected; it's almost porter-like in its smoke. The whole thing is a pretty good sip, but it is more than a bit of a mouthful. A full swig may provide more depth...

Tip-in is unexpectedly mild and watery. It has slight carbonation and a wee bit of smoke, but it doesn't really speak to the tastes that I know are lurking in there. As the middle comes along, the nuts make themselves available for tasting with caramel, and they bring along a bit of a coffee flavor (complete with bitterness). The finish is not shy nor does it hit as one blow. Rather, it comes in waves. Each wave is more bitter than the previous, and they concentrate on the coffee flavor and lots of smoke. There are nuts and spices thrown in for good measure, but coffee and bitterness is primary.

Bottom Line: Maybe I have had brown ales wrong all along. This is a character-filled and drinkable beverage.

3.25/5

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