DrnkMcDermott (3009) - Downers Grove, Illinois, USA - DEC 7, 2005
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JAN 6, 2006 Sample taste at <a href=http://www.chibeer.org>Chicago Beer Society vertical tasting, Dec. 1. This total rating is a general huzzah for the whole stack, since no gripe I may have could possibly dissuade you from wanting to have your own vertical of as many vintages as possible:<ul><li>2001 More of a cherry smell. This one comes up with a tough of ginger. This particular bottle, though, is just skating at the edge of drinkability. <li>2000 A nice, darker color than the 2001 Brown in color, with maltiness that tends to the Pale Ale category. Has the complimenting fruitiness of an English pale ale. <li>1999 Darker still in color, Has a continued fruitiness from aging. This one has begun to lose its spiciness. Malts are a deeper brown ale style; in fact, this one comes across with an impression of an English nut-brown ale. <li>1998 Settled to the same brown color as the 1999. Nice impressions of leather and pipe tobacco, and a touch of chocolate. Also has some sourness that comes in nicely. <li>1997 Darker still than the more recent beers. My first note is of chocolate covered cherries and the smoothness of book leather. <li>1996 This particular sample has gone flat. It’s still got a nice chocolaty component. But that can’t get around it being flat, and just a bit vinegary. We only opened one bottle, so I’m not sure if it was just one bad one. <li>1995 After the flat ’96, we got back to a nice fruity and well-balanced holiday beer. I’m again reminded how well these 5.5% beers have kept. This vintage brings the malts back to the forefront. <li>1994 A bit of cherry and black currants in the smell, otherwise only borderline interesting. Does put an interesting woody hop component. <li>1993 Got just a taste. It comes in a little bit watery. May be a touch of smokiness. <li>1992 Slight cherry overtones. Taste is just a touch volatile. This is pretty well-aged; for something that’s been in the bottle so long, it’s held up very well. <li>1991 Light mélange of spice flavors over malts. A noticeable English hops profile remains to be found. Again, a well cared for beer. <li>1990 This one holds up pretty well, too, even if it only offers a vague impression of brown malts. Still some spices here, but somewhat “emptied” of their kick.</ul>
marcus (9231) - Sacramento, California, USA - AUG 29, 2016
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Old notes. Shared by bhensonb. Pours dark brown with a modest tan head and a spiced aroma. There is a hearty fruity dark malt flavor with a dry finish.
stephenco (49) - Makati, PHILIPPINES - JAN 18, 2016
3.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
330ml bottle from HK Brewcraft. Pours dark brown with beige head. Good spicy holiday ale.
tmoreau (3762) - Lombard, Illinois, USA - DEC 23, 2015
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Shared ’99 12 oz. bottle poured to snifters, showing a mahogany hue, with some ruby highlighting at the base, a thin, rapidly reducing layer of light tan head foam, and light spots & strands of lacing. The nose was a malty sweet, Barleywine-like scent, dark fruit as plum & prune, subtle holiday spice, and a touch of lurking alcohol? Light to medium bodied, the taste was similar notes, and also included a slight woody/cedar hint? Texture was a little thinned, and there was almost no effervescence, but that was okay with me. Turned out to be a fairly tasty & successful cellar experiment, with no noticeable oxidation, and just reduced, all around character.
Nie (104) - - DEC 18, 2015
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. Strong gingerbread nose, touch of nutmeg. Unsweetened gingerbread with a healthy amount of bitterness.
rouhlas (2843) - GREECE - JUN 19, 2015
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
355ml bottle at home. Dark brown color with beige head. Roasted malty aroma, spicy, caramel, bread. Sweet and light bitter taste like aroma. almost medium oily body with soft carbonation.
alexsdad06 (9140) - Ohio, USA - MAR 31, 2015
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
12 oz. bottle shared by Tmoney99 from notes. Pours a clear dark brown color with a medium sized beige head. The aroma is sweet caramel malts, some maple, generous amounts of holiday spices (especially given the age) and some oxidation. The flavor has more sweet caramel malt, holiday spices, roast, smooth chocolates and some light fruitiness. It surprises me that this ages well being a smaller beer.
Travlr (21675) - Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - AUG 21, 2014
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Draft at Paradiso Dupont. Clear maroon color, thick beige head. Seems over spiced to me, with lots of residual sugar
Headbanger (3880) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - APR 26, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
12oz bottle ’96 Vintage (Old Notes)-Pours a dark brown with a decent sized tan head. Aroma of spices, caramel, and malt. Taste of the same. This medium to full bodied brew is well balanced and goes down smooth on those cold nights.
gschrade (1043) - Collinsville, Illinois, USA - DEC 3, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
I had this at Global Brew. Pours reddish-brown with a brown head. Taste nutmeg, cinnamon, spicy. I thought this was so so. I could drink this again.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
stantheman (904) - British Columbia, CANADA - FEB 4, 2013
3.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle from 6 pack bought at Liquor Barn in North Burnaby. I’m not real big on most herbal/spice ales, as most I find rather weak, but this one is a pleasant surprise.
Pours very dark, a bit translucent, with a medium golden head. Nose is sweet and spicy. Taste is of cinnamon, nutmeg, perhaps a bit of clove, and of course there is caramel in the background.
Very nice for type!