Nuffield (3536) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - DEC 5, 2005
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 12/20
Mahogany brown with some yellow at the edges, moderate head production. Aroma blends roasted notes with Christmas tree hops, and touches of lemongrass, nutmeg, some alcohol, and a little smoke. The flavor gives a little more dark fruit, such as dried blueberries, gingerbread dough, and a light toffee. Some gentle bitterness rides out the finish. It went very flat very quickly and although somewhat oily, the palate is really tiresome--while a good English bitter works well with this level of carbonation, the darker, more roasted side does better with a little gentle lift. Not my favorite incarnation of this beer, in large measure due to the flatness I experienced.
heykevin (1272) - Decorah, Iowa, USA - DEC 13, 2005
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Deepest of rubies, with a tannish head. Strong ginger aroma, bits of liquorice and nutmeg/allspice. Medium-bodied with a significant ginger zing, a malty chocolate note, but then back to a spicy dryness. I think Clark is right on with the mincemeat pie analogy. This is decent, but I really donít feel like having another of these. I am tempted to pull an old bottle out of the archives and remind myself how these things taste when the spices tame down a little bit
KAggie97 (3529) - Ugly, Hot, and Humid Spring, Texas, USA - NOV 23, 2005
2.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
UPDATED: JAN 12, 2007 2005 Bottle
Pours a beautiful black brown with a thick head of tan. Aroma has hints of smoke, plum, and nutmeg. Flavor is like a dull barleywine, with a tinge of smoke and mulling spices. Interesting beer. As it warms, the flavors become more defined and complex. Smoke becoming more prominent as the minutes tick by. A tinge of citrus seems to be trying to poke its head through the fog of flavors, but it never really ascertains itself. Clove is becoming prominent, and I seem to be detecting some roasted malt in there as well. However, the flavors are now dulling in intensity, and Iím left with a typical seasonal that lacks punch. Palate is too watery; needs thickness to give the taste more assertiveness. Iím not quite impressed with this one.
2006 Bottle: Aroma is melted pennies offset by a peachy spice. Deep mohagony black with a frothy head and nice lacing. Slight smoke flavor followed by roasted chocolate; a tinge of cinammon emerges as it warms. Full and coating mouthfeel with a dry finish. Stinks but it tastes great.
Magjayran (1379) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - NOV 30, 2005
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
Pours a dark brown color with a thick tan head. I get nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger in the aroma with a faint bitterness that I have a hard time describing. The flavor has some cinnamon/sugar and nutmeg along with way too much ginger that is harsh and overbearing. Rocky mouthfeel and a taste that actually gets harder to deal with as it gets warmer. One day I will try to age on of these in magnum form and maybe Iíll like it when itís a few years old. Iíve never been overly impressed with this one fresh.
Crash (526) - Macomb, Illinois, USA - DEC 12, 2005
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Poured a dark brown/black with a little head and good lacing. There wasnít much aroma or at least I didnít catch it. I didnít get much in the way of spices and judging from others, I wonder if I got a bad bottle.
IslandHaole (1086) - Yokosuka-Shi, Kanagawa-Ken, JAPAN - FEB 5, 2006
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Dark brown with a small tan head. Scent reminds me of that red Grenadine syrup used in tropical drinks mixed with the thin slices of ginger I get in sushi bars on the side. Sweet candy taste, Dr. Pepper, with wood, spices and a sprinkle of snuff. A dry finish and bitter follow. Rather thin feeling.
NoiZe (2324) - Amersfoort, NETHERLANDS - FEB 27, 2006
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: JAN 12, 2011 6th Dutch Ratebeer Gathering. Also had it at ít Klooster in Delft, was sold as Anchor Snow. Black, brown appearance. Very bitter and spicy flavor, with clove.
Had the 2007 version, chocolate aroma, earthy, roasted malts.
2009 version tap @ Beertemple. Black, spicy, cloves, metallic, malty, chocolate.
2010 version: Black, spicy, cloves, sweetness, malty.
keoki182 (305) - West Bend, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 22, 2006
2.9 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Purchased at Liquor Lodge in Menomonee Falls. Opaque with a big tan head. Smells spiced, like mulled cider. I can smelll anise too, along with some hops. The flavor is black liquorice candy (Good N Plenty) and ginger. Iím not a big fan of this one. To be fair, it is a winter seasonal from 2005 that Iím first drinking in August of 06. It may have gone bad?
islay (771) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - NOV 24, 2006
2.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
2006 bottle. Spicy but weak aroma. I detect ginger with a hint of cinnamon and cloves. Smells much like a watered-down dunkelweizen. The beer pours a deep, opaque dark brown with a tall and thick tan head. The spices, which seem to include those present in the aroma as well as pepper, are surprisingly subdued in the flavor. Tastes like a hoppy old ale with a spice mix shaken on top. The aftertaste is off. It is overly bitter and dirt-like. I canít tell if this taste comes from the hops or the spices (I lean toward the latter), but either way it isnít good. I have chosen to punish the palate, rather than the flavor, for this offense. Otherwise, this soft, medium-bodied beer is quite pleasing to the palate. Overall, the beer looks great, and the smell and the primary taste are good although understated. The unpleasant aftertaste, however, significantly mars what otherwise would be a fine brew, and that is quite disappointing.
Panzuriel (1223) - Westerville, Ohio, USA - DEC 25, 2006
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Dark brown beer with a full tan foam. Nose is of spices and maybe a hint of evergreen. Taste is more spice and evergreen and a bit of coffee as well. body is full. Finish is dry and warming.