Gregory (357) - Pullman, Washington, USA - DEC 12, 2002
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
2002, not pleased with this one. It has a nice spicey aroma, it just doesn’t carry over to the palate. I found the palate to be somewhat weak, and flavorless. Just give me more!
krisbierjaeger (844) - dolores, Colorado, USA - DEC 10, 2002
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
i’m convinced that most of these wimpy non-dememo winter ales are just leftover oktoberfests-- now dubbed ’ales’ (like napolean calling himself emperor), aged a bit more and spurred to new life with additional fermentation and the frumpery of some nebulous ’spices’ to conceal their lack of character and to offer the most banal blandishment to holiday marketing. it’s really about as creative as green beer for st. patrick’s day: same shit, different color. anderson is a good brewer, and this one is just slightly better than average among the host of this year’s forgetable ’winter warmers’. that would make it roughly as exciting as a five percent discount on your next purchase of glad sandwich bags. when you pour it, you’ll notice a slightly more carmelized shade of fawn than what is typical for an oktoberfest--opps, i mean ’seasonal ale’. like an old hippie commune, this beer functions without what you’d call a real head. ’ale brewed with natural flavor’ the label says innocently enough. here in america though, we know ’natural flavor’ could be anything from dog turds to strontium 90. but anyone can detect here the perfumy vanilla of a candle shop, plus caramel sauce for ice cream, and --if there’s ANY dog turd, it would only be a smallish nougat of yorkshire terrier poopette from a lightly scented litter box. sweet malts and mead, minimal bitterness approximates orange tea. fun to tease, but, okay, overall a decent beer.
vwsteggie (684) - Paxton, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 9, 2002
3.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Has a dark amber color and a spice smell. Taste is smooth and has a slightly roasted taste and finishes smooth with a funny aftertaste. Overall this is a good beer that I would rate higher if it were not for the odd aftertaste.
hopscotch (8367) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - DEC 6, 2002
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUN 5, 2003 Bottle of 2002.
This beer rocks.
The nose is all about allspice, gingerbread, cinnamon and butter. Notes of cherry cola.
This crystal clear, deep amber beer has a medium-sized, fizzy, off-white head. Decent lacing.
The flavor is spicey and slightly sweet and sour. Black pepper, coriander and toasted grain. Perfectly balanced regarding the malt and hops. Very rich and hearty overall.
Fizzy carbonation. Medium-bodied with an oily mouthfeel. Medium-length, spicey, grassy, dry finish. Great Winter warmer, as always.
mikejmadden99 (103) - Mountain Top, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 5, 2002
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
While this beer dosent look the greatest or smell the greatest, I think it tastes pretty damn good. This warming brew has slight hints of cocco, toffee, and coffee in it with a nice vanilla flavor. The blend of cinnamin and nutmeg with hoppy finish man this taste good.
GermanBrews76 (676) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - DEC 1, 2002
3.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
chocolate covered Berries and cream!!!! Really fresh aroma. There is definitely some serious malt backing this brew up. The mouthfeel is really right on, I experienced quite a bit of cloying. It really does lack warmth for a winter seasonal, which I guess I can understand. (these people are from California.) A really good beer, but why did they slap a "winter" lable on it?
Hotspur2001 (44) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 28, 2002
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Full flavor that doesn’t fade away too quickly. A wave of chocolate flavor (never a bad thing) as it washed down. Wonderful stuff. Bought two bottles of it to enjoy today for Thanksgiving.
npdempse (933) - St. Petersburg, Florida, USA - NOV 27, 2002
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
2000: Nice nose rich in sweet toffee and cocoa aromas. Flavor is full, moderately sweet with vinous notes and hints of chocolate. For 2002: In a fresh sample of the 2002 vintage, there’s an amped up vanilla flavor. Not bad, just not what I was expecting based on the previous vintage.
joet (1991) - Santa Rosa, California, USA - NOV 25, 2002
3.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
This year, it has a cloying vanilla aroma that’s just unrelenting. There’s also a fine, slick feel that is not my idea of a holiday’s chewy and creamy texture. What have they done to this beer? It was the best holiday beer last year.
11/4/2001: (4.3) Well they bumped this up a couple notches to a 6.9% this year... It’s a dark amber with what might be a slight chill haze. A creamy mousse tops it off nicely. Sweet and tart aromas most reminescent of cinnamon, cotton candy and apples nicely lace into carmel malt. Some hop aromas emerge to let you know this is still from the hophead capital of Boonville. Hmmm... The flavor is surprisingly immense! Milky coffee and cocoa. The body is a tad too effervescent, but the finish is neat and it’s otherwise good creamy feel.
Hopistotle420 (1178) - Amherst, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 25, 2002
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Nose is mostly spice, caramel malt, with faint hinting of hops in the background. Nice firm off white head. Deep chestnut-amber hue. Caramel malts, hints of vanilla, light cinnamon or nutmeg, medium bodied, pleasant sweetness finished with a dry clean lightly hopped finish. A very pleasant and drinkable brew, definately warming for those cold winter months. Highly recommended.