michael-pollack (4960) - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 28, 2008
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
12oz. Bottle: Aroma of caramel, malts, toasting, slight maple syrup, grains, cereal, slight fruit, and a hint of noble hops. Poured orange/amber with a hint of copper in color and a large, dense, creamy, beige head that diminished but lasted throughout. Cloudy. Lightly sparkling. Full of medium and large-sized particles throughout. Excellent lacing. Flavor is light to medium sweet and lightly bitter. Tastes of malts, grains, caramel, hops, water, minerals, and some yeast. Light to medium body. Slightly sticky, dry texture. Average carbonation. Sweet, grain, and hops finish is dry. How is this a Scotch Ale???
pepsican (1471) - @ $13.99, Iowa, USA - DEC 28, 2008
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
UPDATED: DEC 29, 2008 amber reddish pour with a small off white head. Aroma is malt and spice. Flavor has more malt...and a bit of spice. nothing really to pick up from this one. Rather flat finish with not much going on. Mehhhhh.
JaBier (5106) - Capital City, Ohio, USA - DEC 27, 2008
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
12oz bottle. Clear amber in color with a minimal head. Funky aroma with lots of malt. Malty flavor with some spice and a nice hop finish. Better than I expected based upon what others told me.
BigBeer45 (1298) - Michigan, USA - DEC 27, 2008
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle, pours a medium red-amber with some orange and bronze hues, produced an off-white head that deflated after a moment to a skin cover and ring, there are some small floaties swirling in the glass, left generous lacing on the glass, has toasted and roasted malt aromas with malt sweetness, there are hop leaf and citrus aromas to along with faint caramel and a mixture of light and dark fruits, I did not detect any peat or smoke aromas, flavor is the same as the aromas, this ale has more hops then the typical Scotch Ale, leaves a little hop bite on the palate at the finish. This beer does not look like the typical Scotch Ale, it is light colored, this was an ok beer but disappointing because I was expecting a Scotch Ale with all of the heavy dark caramel and deep malt flavors.
CelticBrew (907) - The Crystal Coast, North Carolina, USA - DEC 26, 2008
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pour from 12 ox bottle was a hazy orange amber with a ton of fine carbonation bubbles. Decent two inch off white head that falls slowly. Aroma of bittersweet maltiness, hint of smoky peat moss and fresh resin pine hoppiness. Flavour was very much the sharp bitter, then sweet maltiness. A decent Bells beer, however I was expecting more from them in this beer. A drinkable, tasty beer, however it is un-remarkable, IMO.
WakeandBake (549) - Greenville, Michigan, USA - DEC 26, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle.Pours kind a rusty/copper color with one finger offwhite head. Aroma is complex as it warms pretty much all malt caramel cereal hints of roasted nuts and tiny hints at some smoke.Flavor is all over the place but in a good way an earthy balance between sweet and dry caramel cinnamon vanilla honey cereal nutmeg many aromas and flavors going on here but nothong that dominates. Thinner on the mouthfeel than I had expected but very drinkable. I will buy this again next year.
tsetlock (66) - Hartland Twp, Michigan, USA - DEC 26, 2008
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
An interesting version of the holiday style. Pours a deep amber ale with minimal head. The smell of sweetness that is hard to find, layered with some more recoginizable caramel flavors. The body is medium, not too heavy, and opens up with some fruityness, followed by a little scotch flavor. Finishes with a bit of yeast spiciness, minimal aftertaste, and is really easy to drink.
auerbrau (3182) - Peace Dale, Rhode Island, USA - DEC 24, 2008
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: DEC 5, 2009 On tap at the Michigan House Cafe. Light malt, toasted cumin, and faint mediterranean cafe dusting in the aroma. Soft, soft, soft. Pours a light caramel copper, clearish, with a rim in off-white. Flavor develops a soft, soapy malt, lubricated by a confused mingle of spice and almonds. Christmas-like in a Potpourri kind of way. Seems dryish, but really holds a tooth of sweetness way out into the finish which doesnt really develop any strong hoppy balance. Malt is just not strong enough to make this a good example or an interesting beer and the muddled house yeast and spice character is somewhat off-putting.
12oz Bottle, purchased at Warehouse Liquor - Duluth, MN. The last time I had this beer, it was during its first release, on draft at The Michigan House. I didnít particularly care for it then. This time around, Iím not sure I feel any different. Itís still got a muddled soapy spice flavor that drowns out any malt nuance. The yeast seems too up front. And, now, itís a bit oxidized and light-struck. Better Christmas beers have been had. Itís just too thin and weak for my kind of Scotch Ale.
GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - DEC 24, 2008
2.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
12oz bottles courtesy of johnd513 and masonjer poured into a pint glass.
Pours a hazy reddish amber with a creamy one-finger head that hangs on for a while and leaves decent lacing.
The aroma is very much bready with some barley whiffs, not the sweetness of caramel malts I was expecting. There are also earthy hops in the nose as well.
The taste is also more grainy than sweet with a biscuity character that dominates throughout. The grassy hops are in the background and taste, like the smell, is less sweet than any scotch ale Ive ever tasted.
The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, maybe a little thin for me, with moderate carbonation.
I dont say this about a Bells beer, but I was not too impressed with this one. As a scotch ale, its subpar, but still generally a decent beer.
CanIHave4Beers (3500) - Pouring Bus, Iowa, USA - DEC 24, 2008
3.3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: JAN 13, 2009 Malt forward but not too sweet. Speaking of sweet there is a tart sweetness to this beer that is just kind of hard to place. Hops seem to be balancing all this interestingness out with a mild crisp and spicy bitterness. The beer seems a little thin for the flavors, I would like to see this developed on a little bit, but I do think this is a tasty christmas beer that I will be drinking more of this season.