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 (5733) - 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 (5284) - 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.
Dorwart (2496) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - NOV 5, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Very large creamy tan head of fine dense bubbles. Lasts for a long time. Very good carbonation. Nice hoppy aroma with plenty of spruce. Loads of caramel and sweet malts. Smells like a typical american strong ale. Color is a dark copper red. Malty and sweet flavor with a load of hops for balance. Lots of spruce and pine flavors. Very resinous. Decent alcohol warming and burn. Finish is hot and thick. Creamy and coating. Lingering hops bitterness along with some alcohol and sweetness. A great american strong ale.
FoolishMortal (990) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 5, 2006
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
22oz. bottle. Heavily red-shifted orange color with a massive rocky white head. Heavy resinous pine and candied citrus hop aromatics. Caramel, bread dough malt flavors up front give way to a ruddy vegetal and piney hop character. Residual volatile oil evergreen flavor in the finish, with a sturdy semblance of sweet maltiness underneath. Mouthfeel is fairly heavy medium, on the verge of chewiness but never quite there, somewhat drying in the finish.
LtJudge (468) - Muskego, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 5, 2006
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Pours a nice copper color with a nice white head.Huge malt and hop aroma blast! Tatse of piney citrus hops with a wonderful malt backing that ends a great bitter finish.Wonderful stuff!!(Thanks to Brewblackhole for this one!)
Ibrew2or3 (7957) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - NOV 4, 2006
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Copper color with thin white head. Aroma seems light and piney right out of the frig. Flavor, wow, what I’d guess a Holiday IIPA would taste like. Solid pine hop bitterness and flavor. There’s also a fir tree quality that adds a greener dimension to the hops. Maybe it’s a huge dose of late addition hops to the boil. There is the slightest malt sweetness behind this big hop beer. Chewy and yummy.
LennyH (60) - Delaware, USA - NOV 3, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: NOV 18, 2006 Pours a dark amber with a nice, foamy head. Huge malt, citrus and hops aroma and flavor. More carbonated than similar beers. Very bitter finish with some sweetness as well. Very well done.