Dogbrick (8119) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - JUL 18, 2003
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
2002 Bottle: This beer is a ruddy brownish-amber with a medium light tan head. Decent lacing. Aroma is lightly spiced with cinnamon, along with a little vanilla, malt and caramel. Fairly rich body with a nice spiced blend. Flavors of nutmeg, malt, caramel and even a little bit of hops. The finish is a little sharper than I would have liked but overall this is a good beer.
BBB63 (6037) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - JUN 29, 2003
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 20, 2005 22oz bottle at Clark St. Ale House in Chicago. Dark amber with little head and no lacing. Medium to full-bodied. Aroma hints of raisin and plum, grapefruit, roasted malt, and spices. It has enough hops to balance the initial sweetness of the malt. Fruity element to the taste also. Sharp and tangy finish, spice show now. Dry and creamy mouthfeel. Great beer and highly recommended.
ClarkVV (3892) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JUN 24, 2003
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: FEB 10, 2009 02 bottle.
Black pour with some white head on it. Nice and dark. Has a deep root/floral aroma, with some spices.
Initial taste is big and spicy. Spices are mainly licorice and some coriander. A dry vanilla is also present. Some maltiness in the body is pleasant. Overall this is a great winter beer, however it is more on the herbal/french liqueur spice side and has a less complex body than my favorite anchor special ale. It is a great beer though with tons of body and character. Not as flat as I would like out of the bottle, but then, I am generally comparing this to all the anchor I have had on tap.
2003 bottle. Gone is the weird slightly astringent herbal spice flavor. I dont miss it. In is the lovely cherry malt with other soft fruits. But even more exciting, there is a beautiful subtle hops presence that builds up slowly and lingers on the finish. Itís one type of hops, canít quite put my finger on it. Hmmm fuggles maybe?? itís damned good. nice to see an improvement. 8/4/8/4/16
08-09 bottle/draught Wow, what happened to this guy? Been a while, but this is more like the summer solstice than what the winter used to be. Sticky, candy-corn and caramel-like sweetness with some raisin and apple flavors?? Weird. Some hoppiness (green, fresh, floral notes) and light spicing help balance some of the sweetness, but it still comes off too mushy-sweet and very muted overall. Rating is for this version.
Smacky (71) - San Clemente, California, USA - JUN 24, 2003
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
My goodness. Anderson Valley never fails to impress. A top 5 brewery for me, and probably one of their best beers...especially when it's cold out. Sehr dunkel. Sweet and spicy mouth follows the bready, spicy bouquet. A great winter time ale, possibly the best ever.
clvand0 (350) - Lexington, Kentucky, USA - MAY 30, 2003
2.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 8/20
This beer pours a murky amber color with a small tan head and moderate lacing on the glass. The aroma is somewhat malty and very sweet. The flavor has a hint of some sort of nut. It is very full bodied, but I don't think it fits my taste well. It rates about average in my book. There are also a lot of spices in the flavor. This beer is not very drinkable but it leaves an ok taste on the palate.
WISEGUY572 (1373) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 27, 2003
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Beautiful reddish gold ale with crisp pumpkin colored head that fades to a good lacing. Taste of malt, floral hops, and cinnamon, with a good bitter finish. Mouth feel is full and thick, with a tannic feel that probably comes from cinnamon. Not as spiced as Corsendonk or as sprucey as Anchor. Easy beer to like
JorisPPattyn (7908) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - APR 27, 2003
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark copper, clear. Thick, very irregular head, yellow, disappearing. Nose of biscuit, liqueurish. Taste gives sweet biscuits again, together with bitter hops. Very strange taste, carameltoffee-like. Balance is attempted by the carbonation, but it didnít succeed. Mouthfeel is a bit empty Ė is this a winter ale? If this would be a summer copper ale, Iíd go along. But it surprises just too much for a winter ale.
21iceman40 (1731) - vienna, West Virginia, USA - MAR 14, 2003
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
A nice deep nutty brown color, maybe walnut color. Not much head came my way. Aroma was very sweet, like taffey. salt water at that. Yes, it tastes malyt, but just like taffey, the kind you get at the wisconsin dells. Damm, it realy does tastes like salt water taffey. I can dig that. The more I have, the more it gets a chocolate fig taste to it. Most interesting.
siberianrun (10) - Arbutus, Maryland, USA - MAR 8, 2003
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 10/20
This beer has an intensive spicy vanilla like after taste. It reminds me of dessert. A warming winter treat!
Gunshy (479) - Ohio, USA - FEB 23, 2003
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This beer poured an amber color and formed and off white foamy head. A good amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of hops, caramel and vanilla. The flavor was of caramel and vanilla. This is a beer that probably could use a bit of aging to bring out some of the aromas and flavors a bit better. Not a bad beer.