DarkElf (3033) - La Jolla, California, USA - FEB 22, 2004
2.1 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 7/20
Fittingly, this is a winter beer because it's pretty abominable (okay, it's not as bad as the joke); Many may like the dominance of the vanilla, but it comes across as artificial and perfumy to me; Sweet and perfumy nose is strongly vanilla and a good lead-in for the beer; Similarly, the flavor is overwhelmingly that of sweet vanilla which dominates whatever maltiness can be discerned; Somewhat bitter, but the beer has little hops presense; Reddish brown in color; Smallish tan head recedes quickly and leaves no lacing
rlgk (10257) - Göteborg/Jönköping, SWEDEN - FEB 15, 2004
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Golden, a little hazy, and with a nice offwhite head. Aroma brings some pear but also some hops. Flavor from sweet fruit.
BigBastard (668) - L.A., California, USA - FEB 13, 2004
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Vanilla, vanilla, vanilla! Tastes slightly of sweet coffee, some caramel, slight hops, but a HUGE vanilla flavor stands out. Really good.
xsketchyx (184) - Oregon, USA - FEB 8, 2004
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Really malth and sticky sweet, not much in the way of hops. A very unique tasting seasonal.
hershiser2 (1210) - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - FEB 1, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Paid $2.99 for a 1pt 6oz bottle. No freshness date.
UNBELIEVABLE head... one of the biggest I have ever seen. Makes pouring and drinking a nightmare though... but this beer's gorgeous. Light amber, with almost a salmon hue. The head is frothy, soft and beigeish-salmon. It lasts, and lasts, and lasts, and laces, and lasts.
Sweet fruity smell... slighty IPA scented (grapefruit), but also reminds me of peach and sweet wine.
Taste is good. Bittersweet, IPA tatsing, but the strong ale aspect of this beer does come through. Not horribly strong, but not entirely weak, either. It has the grapefruit up front, followed by a warming alcohol that trickles down my throat, warming my pipes all the way down.
I was VERY impressed with this beer. I'd never seen it or heard of it before.. but man oh man, am I glad I found it.
AleDrinker (1089) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - JAN 27, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
This is my favorite christmas ale. Very nice balance of malt, hop, and sweetness. Very nice smooth texture going down. Great creamy head. I can't wait til next winter.
SledgeJr (3577) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - JAN 24, 2004
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
This year's entry (2003) seems to have the perfect balance of malt and hops. Very very smooth drinking for a christmas ale. Nice esters to the palate.
SubstanceT (1092) - Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - JAN 23, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
dark with brown frothy head. malts and banana bread nose. Very sweet with tons of vanilla and banana bread in taste. Medium to heavy mouth
Alcoholist (570) - Peoria, Illinois, USA - JAN 23, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Deep Reddish brown with a nice hwad and lace. The nose has a very strong character of banana bread. The flavor is much the same, like a slice of glorious banana bread with a bit of vanilla in the finish. Yummy!
thehoff (596) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - JAN 21, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2003 Bottle. Deep brown/amber muddy beer with foamy off-white head. Smells of grapefruit (obviously quite hoppy like an IPA), pine, coriander perhaps. Tastes of vanilla definitely. Other than that the flavor is actually quite mild. It has a smooth vanilla/apple peel aftertaste and never really leads to a hoppy bitterness that I expected from the nose. It does have a piney/woody flavor as well but quite enjoyable. Very smooth