merlin48 (656) - Jenkins, Kentucky, USA - NOV 21, 2006
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2006 bottle pours a clear copper body topped by a huge beige head. Lacing is sticky and extravagant. Grapefruit and orange citrusy aromas with hints of pine and honeyed caramel underneath. Creamy and full bodied, with brisk carbonation. Dry and bitter, with juicy citrusy hops. Orange pulp and pink grapefruit to the taste. Subtle, but respectable, malt bill adds a pleasant balancing sweetness. Exceptional!
fordest (1961) - Santee/San Diego, California, USA - NOV 21, 2006
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Fresh 2006 bottle. Lot’s of fruity hop aromas. apricoty and citrusy. Huge head on this light orange pour. I had to pour the next glass really really slow. Head is wow creamy. Flavors are wonderfully sweet with lots of citrusy hops. Delicious.
DrBayern (1139) - Morehead City, North Carolina, USA - NOV 19, 2006
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle marked "21 01 05" Huge rocky beige head with amazing durability and gorgeous lace all floating above a clear amber gold liquid. This is as good as a beer can look. Big hoppy nose of citrus, pine, and spice over a background of light toffee and vanilla. For a beer that is apparently almost 2 years old, this smells as though hops were thrwon in it yesterday. Smooth on the palate with light carbonation and a resinous astringency that turns to a slight chewiness. Caramel sweetness quickly takes a back seat to a peppery bitterness for a long dry finish. This is a phenomenal beer.
Boutip (4490) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 14, 2006
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle (Courtesy of FlacoAlto): Poured a deep copper color ale with huge white head with pretty good retention. Aroma of deep citrus hops with a strong presence of semi-sweet malt. Taste is totally dominated by the mix of citrus hops and strong caramel malt. Body is just above average and carbonation is medium. Alcohol is well hidden. While this is not a bad beer, I feel that it is a bit too one-dimensional and would probably have been happier drinking their regular IPA.
jcr (2112) - Jasper, Indiana, USA - NOV 8, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Big on hop flavor, big on alcohol, especially in the finish. Large, dense off-white head on top of a cloudy golden body. Heavy nose of grapefruit and pine alongside sweet malts displaying notes of caramel and sugars. Sweet flavor behind heavy bitterness. Medium to full body with a nice, creamy texture. The bitterness continues into the long finish. Alcohol is quite apparent and a little too forward. Dry finish. Excellent.
SoLan (1550) - Florida, USA - NOV 8, 2006
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
[from before ratings were separated] Thanks to Harlequinn for dealin. Dark copper/brown. Ginormous, dense, light tan, sponge like head turns rocky as it settles. Nose is all hops: floral, poison, resin, citrus, spiciness, trix cereal, and a touch of soap. Excellently bitter. All the same characters hang around in the flavor joined by just enough malt. Clean finish and dry, bitter aftertaste. Medium, balanced body. Perfect malt level prevents an all out hop assault on the palate, maintains a high level of drinkability.
kramer (4681) - Sunbury, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 8, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
22 oz bottle, via moejuck. Pours a clear orangish copper colored body under a foamy one inch beige head with great retention. Patchy lacing remained. Aroma is pretty well balanced despite the big aggressive citric and piney hops. Thick candy like maltiness resides at the base. Toffee, caramel, and light alcohol as well. The flavor is alot less sweet than I expected. Alot of citrusy grapefruity hops with moderate bitterness. Nice crisp dry finish. The malt is really more crackery or toasty than anything. Slightly warming alcohol emerges on the finish. Mouthfeel is full bodied, fairly thick, and almost syrupy in texture with nice soft pinpoint carbonation. Overall, a hefty brew all around. Pretty darn good, but between the two versions I think that i side with the Summer YuleSmith.
SpudClampDawg (1029) - Jasper, Indiana, USA - NOV 8, 2006
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 30, 2008 This beer really reminded me of Celebration Ale, the very first time I tasted Celebration about four years ago. My palate was less defined and was easily impressed with great hop usage. This beer brought me back to that moment, really enjoying what can transpire when complicated hop schedules are executed well. Exploding with hop flavor - this somehow retains its balance as well. Pours a sparkling amber color with a creamy white head. The nose is hops, hops and more hops blended with a moderate dose of caramel sweetness. While some flowery perfume is present, the majority of hops are citrusy - ranging from lemon to lime to grapefruit to really ripe oranges. The body continues to develop these hops profiles, which are well defined and crisp throughout. A great peachy note carries through the winey finish. My only complaint is the intense alcohol burn that develops after the dry finish. But I can handle that! If this is the dumbed down, less hoppy Xmas version, I’d love to get my hands on the Summer version.
dwyerpg (4354) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - NOV 6, 2006
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Very wintery spicy hoppy aroma. And hemain hoppy throughout. The taste is nice, thick, spicy hoppy. A great beer. Well done. No. 23.
bdjames29 (273) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - NOV 6, 2006
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. Every bit of a 4.1, I could probably go higher. An over the top good beer. The best strong ale I have tasted thus far. Very aggressive beer from the pour to the finish. Wonderful consistency, balance, flavor and finsh. This brew fit into the "I wanted to stick my face in it" category. My full rec.