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 (3908) - 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
Nastrass (58) - Texas, USA - NOV 19, 2002
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
2002 Bottle. Nice dark reddish color with medium off white head. Aroma abound with plenty of nutmeg and spices. Flavor is strong with nutmeg, with a hint of chocolate? Finished sweet with mild bitterness and lingering spices with nutmeg. Different yet pleasing to my palate.
npdempse (934) - St. Petersburg, Florida, USA - NOV 17, 2002
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Toned down the weird anise/licorice thing from 2001, but the aftertaste is still dominated by a licoricey spiciness. Otherwise, a well-rounded, sweet, porter-like flavor. I just don’t get into the spice thing, however.
Perkeo (322) - Portland, Oregon, USA - NOV 16, 2002
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Yup, nutmeg...smoother, less of a tannic bite than in some recent vintages. was a little stuffed up when I tried it, will have to have another go at it, but overall the impression was better than I remember the last couple of vintages being....
beerguy101 (5267) - Newark, California, USA - NOV 15, 2002
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Deep dark red color, large foamy head. Aroma is malty with nutmeg, clove and chocolate. A medium bodied ale, fraught with spices most noticeably nutmeg. Very warming, smooth taste. Perfect combination for a winter beer. Lots of flavor. If my memory is correct this year’s version reminds me of some of the late 80’s early 90’s vintages. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter with a hint of nutmeg.