GuilTTy (728) - Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA - DEC 12, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Rich chestnut color with highlites if deep red under a whispy tan head. Malt and autumn woods in the aroma. Just the right amount of sweetness beneath a well balanced hoopy and slightly spicy flavor. Very drinkable and enjoyable. Aftertaste complimented and supported the overall flavor. This is the first variety from Avery that I’ve seen locally and it was good enough for me to make an effort to locate some more.
alaskanwarren (286) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 11, 2004
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours dark brown, slight hint of an amber color. Head is a very creamy light brown. Aromas: mostly roasted malts and a little nuttty. Lighter body than I expected. Initially, I notice the roasted malts and some nice hops. After a few gulps you get some hints of wood and toffee. All in all, I kind of wish it was either a little smoother or a little more defined. On the other hand, I do enjoy the way it clears your palate and doesn’t leave a big aftertaste. It’s a really tasty beer, just not as "big" as I thought it would be.
joeec5 (204) - bayonne, New Jersey, USA - DEC 10, 2004
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
dark mahogany color.small light tan head. aroma is slight sweet malty..taste is malt balanced by light hops and a tiny alc. finish..very balanced,,very drinkable. good
WileCoyote (9) - Libertyville, Illinois, USA - DEC 9, 2004 does not count
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Oh what a beautiful beer. Deep mahogany with a creamy tan head that laces down the side of my glass. The aroma is sweet and nutty with a touch of pine. The initial flavor is sweet, typical of a great Old Ale, but then finishes with a light hoppiness. I love the alcohol rush that accompanies this beer, much like a great, rich wine. It is a very relaxing beer and very drinkable. On my Twelve Beers of Christmas 2004 List! Bottle
jimmack (1222) - Nutley, New Jersey, USA - DEC 6, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Clear, dark chestnut color with a small off white head. Aroma of roasted malts,
hops and nuts. Flavor starts off with smoky, toasted malts, followed by a hoppy/piney finish. A bit of nuts and wood in there also. Nice.
Frank (2930) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 5, 2004
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JUN 2, 2010 I am drinking this in June which is something like six months too late but this says its cellarable for two years so my rating it is still fair, right? This business pours garnet amber w/ a huge head or mixed bubbles that dissipates fast. The nose is nutty, lightly sherry-like and oxidized--quite nice. W/ a medium body and slight stickiness this might come across as too heavy but for some very vigorous carbonation, perhaps too much so. Fruit and coffee-like notes come out as the beer warms. I wish more Christmas beers were like this. I like spices fine but I like beer better. This is a nice, strong winter warmer and a beer through and through. My rating from years ago happens to be the same but the individual number have been adjusted.
Original rating: Dark garnet with a creamy ring of off-white head. Wonderful nose with a bit of malt, toffee and pine. The flavor comes across as slightly woody and astringent with an odd earthy note. Despite this the mouthfeel is creamy and full with carbonation like some of the best Belgians. Alcohol is very apparent and with some of the rough bitter notes makes this much less drinkable than it would be otherwise. It does also add a pleasant warming sensation though. 3.6
Metalhead (628) - Lake Zurich, Illinois, USA - DEC 3, 2004
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: DEC 19, 2005 Not bad. Mild malt sweetness with some nuttiness,hints of pine. Not that big a deal tho. Breckenridge Christmas Ale blows this way,IMO.
2005 Rerate. Malty,mild nuts,spice goes great with choco covered almonds. Bump it up.
meathookjones (245) - Sterling, Virginia, USA - DEC 3, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
This one pours a dark mahogany color with a good-sized tan head. The head retains for most of the beers life and leaves rings of lace around the glass that melt away. Sweet malts are in the air with this, dark fruits, caramel and molasses are the main contributors to this sweet aroma. There is also slight earthy hop notes appearing here and there as this one was put down. Taste mimics the aroma in most ways with the sweetness hitting you first and strongest with the same fruity and caramel malt flavors with an earthy hop tone keeping it from being overly sweet. As this one warms and you consume more subtle complexities start coming out with various spices and flavors coming forward. There is a slight bitterness to the finish and a pleasant lingering taste as well. Excellent mouthfeel here with every sip covering your mouth with a thick, rich and creamy taste. Drinkability is high as well as only trace signs of the high alcohol content can be found in this. Highly recommend for the strong ale lovers out there. Another surprisingly great brew from Avery, but at this point in not as much a surprise.
PorterPounder (5593) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - DEC 2, 2004
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Had in the bottle at the Ginger Man in Austin, Tx. Pours a dark brown with a tight khaki head with good lacing. Aroma has some slight chocolately notes with a slight nutty bent as well. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy and the highlight of this one in my opinion. Flavor has some sweet cotton candy sugar sweetness to it underlying the piney citrusy back end that makes an onslught at the end to redeem this one. 8% ABV is hidden extremely well. Quite a nice effort from Avery, as expected.
dolemike1 (1288) - Jeannette, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 30, 2004
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
On tap, dark brown, tan head, aroma of caramel, roasted nuts, and coffee, flavor is less impressive, some malts and caramel but just didnt all come together for me, decent and drinkable but not a favorite