eboats (1082) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - NOV 21, 2004
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Smells like Christmas time like the label suggests. Gingersnaps, cinamon, and cloves. Unbelievable smell. Tastes like roasted almonds, gingersnaps, cinamon and cloves. Has a somewhat bitter aftertaste. This appears black, but in the light you can see a brilliant ruby glow. It comes with a tan head that actually looks dirty yellow in areas. The only distinction I made between 03-04 versions was that the 04 didnít have quite the pronounced gingersnap taste the 03 did.
brewcat (5) - USA - NOV 21, 2004 does not count
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
I liked this beer a lot. The aroma is the real winner here. Subtle yet complex. Initial impressions were of fresh roasted french vanilla coffee beans. Later chocolate malts, and carmel come through. Flavor follows nicely with the spices really shinning through, cinnammon and dash of cloves? Subtle bitterness complements the coffee aroma nicely and fades gentlely as the dry finish leaves you wanting more.
Tejas (944) - Dallas, Texas, USA - NOV 21, 2004
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
I think I just swallowed a Malt flavored Christmas tree. I guess this one isnít as spicy as years past but itís spicy, nonetheless. Not overpowering though. Almost reminds me of a Porter b/c itís so dark & malty. Glad I tried it.
joshpiledean (316) - Seattle, Washington, USA - NOV 21, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Mohoghany pour. Medium head, very creamy head. Aroma is rich spice. First pull is the same. Malts are definately present, providing some light chocoalate notes, but the big star here is the spice which provides a nice depth and interesting flavor. Nice aftertaste follows.
Sham (1845) - Seattle, Washington, USA - NOV 20, 2004
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Dark brown with ruby hints. Thick and creamy tan head. Strong lacing. Aroma is full of ginger and cinnamon. Piney hops. Caramel in the flavor with small bittering hops. There is an abundance of spices. Again, the ginger is hanging about. Cinnamon. Spruce. Thick body. Finishes bitter and spicy.
herbjones (742) - Orange, California, USA - NOV 20, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
I like the fact that they didnt go overboard with the spices this year. The deep roasted malt flavor is allowed to be the star with all the spices relegated to a backup role. Very nice, one of the better years imo.
ClarkVV (4591) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 20, 2004
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle thanks to bucknaked. Pours a wonderfully deep brown black. Up to the light there are dark ruby tinges. Mocha yellow head. Bubbly. Aroma of spruce (yes, I was told to look for this, but hearing that, it is undeniable), light ginger (oh no.), light brown malts and some honey and a touch of belgian yeast!!! yes!! even though it is moderately filtered, you can taste a touch of yeastiness, like a belgian brown ale. Flavor is highly reminiscent of a belgian bruin, but add in the spruce, big right off the bat and then add in some ginger, cinnamon and a light hops. Thank god, I was about to give up on OSA. Last year was as close to undrinkable as it gets. This year returns to its stoutish roots. medium full and a bit too much carbonation. So refreshingly better than last year. thank god.
Sven (229) - Lancaster, California, USA - NOV 19, 2004
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draught at Stuffed Sandwich, San Gabriel. 2000-2004 Vertical tasting on 11/19/04
Beautiful chestnut coloured body with an ample, fluffy, lasting tan head. Very different recipe than the past few years, this is much more malty with a great dark roastiness, almost porter like, lots of nut and caramel with the slightest hint of cream and banana.
sfontain (850) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - NOV 19, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
NOT EVEN CLOSE to last yearís version, which I currently consider the best beer Iíve ever had. Last year this beer was absolute heaven; now itís only above-average. Pour is very dark garnet with a small ring of bubbly foam. Aroma is just not nearly and round and full as last year; this yearís version has a lot more nondeScript sugary, fruity sweetness, rather than having the chocolate and vanilla and spices come through; a lot more cinnamon this time around; some deep brown sugar hidden in there. Flavor is heavily nutmeg, malty sweetness, and thatís gonna pretty much do it. Thick and sticky; the spices linger on the tongue faintly for a while, which is pleasant. Why, oh why couldnít they have just stuck with last yearís recipe?
Ernest (6905) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - NOV 19, 2004
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Head is initially average sized, frothy, light brown, mostly
diminishing. Body is dark brown. Aroma is lightly malty (cookie, dark
chocolate), lightly yeasty (dough), with strong notes of allspice,
nutmeg, scorched pine needles. Flavor is moderately sweet, moderately
acidic, moderately bitter. Finish is lightly sweet, moderately acidic,
heavily bitter. Light to medium body, watery texture, lively carbonation,
lightly astringent. Virtually identical to the previous yearsí when I had those fresh. Maybe a little more burnt smelling, and a little thinner bodied, but I really donít see the need to split these entries by year. Bah.