Dogbrick (11323) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - NOV 28, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This beer seems a little more different from the 2002 version than the 2002 version was from the 2001 version to me. Pours a dark mahogany color with a medium light brown head. Thin and slow lacing. Nice woody aroma of roasted malt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Somewhat rich with a lot of ginger in the flavor, along with malt, nutmeg and other spices. The finish is a little on the bitter side. Overall this is probably the best OSA I have tried, and I imagine this one would be even better if it aged a bit.
irishsnake (355) - Oakland, California, USA - NOV 27, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
A nice, dark brown ale with a good blend of malts and spices in the nose. The flavor is a complex of spice and roast notes. It is beery-er than recent years, and for that, better.
ericnixon (743) - Portland, Oregon, USA - NOV 27, 2003
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle 30A. blackish/rubish color with an earthy nose. it has a thick complex heaviness to it that i really like a lot.
matta (1140) - Tampa, Florida, USA - NOV 27, 2003
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
This is much different than last years.
Dark crimson body, small diminishing tan head. The palate is Very much cola like, fizzy, syrupy, raisins, prunes, cloves, toffee, molasses, smells of rich earth worm dirt… notes of apple and carrot, cinnamon and honey, ripe cantaloupe, spruce resin.
I think these bottles need some time in the cellar so the flavors will mellow and congeal…. I’m a bit disappointed, but get back to me in about 9 months.
Prostman (1077) - Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 27, 2003
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
This was a great beer. Much better than last year's vintage. It poured the same dark brown, almost black, with reddish hints around the ends. The head was very small but lasted, and the taste was just the right blend of maltiness and spice. The spice is not overpowering at all and is very well balanced. Highly recommended.
SirTom (89) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - NOV 27, 2003
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark ruby coloured. Similar to traquair. Lingers on the tongue quite a bit. An excellent beer from an excellent company.
Volgon (2763) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - NOV 26, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 7, 2004 Drank 11/26/03 bottle labeled 30A: I'm pissed that I can't find a whole case of the SNCA 2003, but then run into a case of AOSA 2003. Come to me baby, come to Volgon...Anyway, this is my first one and I've had a few SNCA 2003's before this (hey, I never said that they weren't out of six-packs) Deep dark ruby body, thick medium bubbled head that slowly and lacefully (yeah, like lacefully is a word, heheheh) ends in a thin tan small-bubbled ring with a bunch of big bubbles in the middle. I smelled it right after the pour and I was overwhelmed by ginger and pumpkin. Now I'm done staring at the glass, time to take a sip. A harsh but drinkable flavor hits me with licorice and allspice. All the raw tastes explode on my tongue then end surprising dry (and a bit sharp) Thick syrupy body that never really leaves. Certainly a beer to ponder, sip and age. After smelling this for 15 minutes, I would also say that hints of milk duds and pine needles are in this brew, yup, I can taste the pine now.
biermonk (265) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - NOV 26, 2003
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
On tap at Taco Mac Kennesaw and Virginia highlands. Poured a very dark color with tinges of red around the edges where light could penetrate. Nice tan head that lasted much of the glass. Left nice lacing. Very spicy nose that resonated with nutty spices. Tastste mirrors the nose very spicy with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg. Excellent body and mouthfeel. After drinking this on tap went and bought a case at the store. Will enjoy some on Thanksgiving and probably put 12 or so away for a later date. ery nice seaosonal.
bb (8452) - Alamo, California, USA - NOV 25, 2003
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Dark brown with maybe a hint of a ruby finish. The head is small, tan, and goes away quickly. Aroma is of xmas spices mixed with a slight bitter hop. There is a smooth malt flavor and is very easy to drink. There's a sweet vanila/licorice taste It ends with a slight roastiness that lingers and leaves a mild cloyingness (smooth up until that finish). Good but not great.
JPDIPSO (5587) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 25, 2003
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Clear dark walnut color with a head that settles to a half inch of tan bubbles. Small bubles line the edge of the glass. German spice cookie aroma with hints of clove, nutmeg, anise, cardomon backed up by mild malt and alcohol. Tamer flavors (not always easy with all these spices). Initail malt sweetness, followed by a spicy bite and a mild vanilla twang. Quite acidic in the finish which I would imagine will settle out as it ages. I like the spices, but the acidity in the finish does pull this one down a touch. Dry finish with a touch of licorice. Later in the linger, a grainy oat malt flavor comes out. A nice fulfilling winter brew.