fraternie (826) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 24, 2002
2.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
A great disappointment. Flavor is almost medicinal/ black licorice, no spice of cinnamon that I so enjoyed last year. Smooth, but off by a lot. Maybe I got a bad bottle...
MOboy (505) - Kansas City, Missouri, USA - NOV 24, 2002
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
2002: Oh my. I sit here with a very empty feeling in my heart. After my journey to the beer store on my luch break, working the last four hours of my shift (anticipation is a BITCH) and finally getting home to crack open this beauty, I am almost sad. This years vintage is nowhere near as nutmeggy, gingery, cinnamony or anything elsey. It was like my tongue was numb or something. I had to wait until 10 seconds after i swallowed the stuff to start getting any distinguishable flavors. The appearance and the aroma are still there, but the flavor is wayyyyy muted. I am puttin a 6’er in the cellar and hopefully next year I can change this description.
aracauna (3094) - Georgia, USA - NOV 23, 2002
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Nice big khaki wet foamy head. Body is blackened ruby. Aroma is candy-like, life fruit hard candy. Surprisingly low in malt aromas considering the color. The flavor has a sprucey smell, but lacks the harshness that’s usually associated with it. That blends with a candied lemon flavor, minus the tartness. The flavor is also candy-like but not really sweet. I had expected a higher malt profile. Very low bitterness and flavor is a bit thin underneath the spices.
estoppel (1028) - Buffalo, New York, USA - NOV 23, 2002
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark reddish brown body, medium tan head, spicy sweet nose. Very spicy body with a hint of bitterness. As it warms, the malts emerge.
rmalloy (199) - los angeles, California, USA - NOV 23, 2002
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Strong nutmeg aromas, and perhaps cloves too. Lightly but nicely hopped. Pleasant maltiness. Nothing really special despite the name, since you can add spices to any beer at home and I doubt the chemicals in the spices undergo complex chemical reactions with aging. Still a pleasant beer.
herbjones (742) - Orange, California, USA - NOV 23, 2002
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
On Tap. Was not impressed at all. Nothing really stood out for me on this one. Spice was in the background as was the malt and hops. I’ll try again in the bottled version but for draft thumbs down.
Jokes (1453) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 22, 2002
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Well, this was perhaps the oddest beer I’ve had. Way darker than I expected, and also far spicier. My first thought was gingerbread cookies. Good ones. However, like most any cookie, too many is too much. At the beginning they seem like the perfect holiday food, but by the end, all we want is to go back to the good old Chocolate Chip. Seriously, I couldn’t handle all the spice, but enjoyed while I could. Too bad half isn’t good enough...
Aurelius (4230) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - NOV 22, 2002
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
A remarkable and risky brew. Aroma is allspice, vanilla and piney (rosemary?) Tannic, herb-bitter cola flavor but very satisfying. Rich brown, good bottle, great label. I agree with Beerguy, a long spice-bitter finish. Exceptional, and a commendable recipe for a holiday (the PC term for Christmas in San Fran, I reckon) brew.
MaxPower (961) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - NOV 22, 2002
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 8, 2003 Dark glowing red in color, malty spicy aroma of nutmeg and allspice, thick malty piney flavors that coat my tounge. Full body with a thick and creamy yet syrupy mouthfeel, sticky and lasting finish, seems to be good like always.
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 22, 2002
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: FEB 22, 2003 huge nose of a nutmeg & clove medley..super dark with a super creamy tan head..wow that aroma...WOW cloves & nutmeg enveloped by pure whipped cream and then sprinkled with shredded chocolate..Super super spicy, which i usually hate, but here its in a holiday kinda way, so its ok..some of the spice gets wierd in the aftertaste..but just taking another sip takes care of the problem just fine..This would be the perfect winter ale if not for a subtle strangeness in the aftertaste..but overall..this is superb