ClarkVV (3760) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 5, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottles drunk over Thanksgiving 2008
Wasnt sure what to expect, noting that Bells dosent brew special releases to any particular style guidelines, yet scotch ale was mentioned on the label.
Im not a big fan of scotch ales, as they generally combine many qualities that I dislike in beer relatively high sweetness, lots of different dark malts, caramelization in the boil, lots of stickines and/or syrupiness in the mouthfeel, but I was very, very pleasantly surprised to find a very dry, even crisply finishing, balanced beer upon first sip. The malts are lightly grainy, with only a hint of caramel flavor and restrained, yet obvious PNW hop aromatics and bitterness. The lean body makes it extremely drinkable and I was finished with my glass in a shockingly short amount of time.
I suppose I can see some of the low scores from people who are expecting a traditional scotch ale, but since when was Bells, or most any brewer, for that reason, held to style guidelines on this site? Excellent, drinkable, beer with a very fresh, wholesome, malt flavor that really lets the barley shine through and downplays the yeast character or any obtrusive hoppiness, though the bitterness and hop flavor is just enough to balance the finish. Great stuff, incredibly sessionable.
CpyNPrnT (109) - Indiana, USA - MAR 3, 2014
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
From memory, nice spice and malt character. A great drink in cold weather.
Getbetter (699) - Cucamonga, California, USA - FEB 24, 2014
4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
From a bottle. There’s a slightly citrus note and floral,cereal,slight butterscotch.This is one of the better winter warmers I have had.
arkurzynski (1370) - West Bend, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 15, 2014
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Brown-orange pour. Nose toasted malt, caramel, toffee, and light piney hops. Flavor is more toasted malt and caramel with a bitter pine and peppery alcohol. Lingering alcohol spice, toasted malt, and hops.
fattybladdy (418) - Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA - FEB 10, 2014
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Draft, pours a dark cloudy copper. Taste is sweet caramel malt with slight bitterness. A little watered down tasting but certainly drinkable.
hubermi12 (13) - - FEB 7, 2014
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
I love this beer. Most Christmas ales have too many spices and are overpowering. This is the best christmas ale because of the great flavor. it just tastes like Christmas
Howlader (392) - - FEB 6, 2014
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
On draught at Churchkey in Washington DC. 4oz taster. Kind of a dull beer.
alliance100 (327) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - JAN 29, 2014
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
12oz bottle - pours a medium amber. Some spice aromas with herbal hops. Taste is slightly sweet , herbal hop bitterness and some faint woody spice notes. Overall not bad.
Ibrew2or3 (6440) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - JAN 25, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
12oz bottle pours with a deep copper body that has small floaties everywhere and supports a lasting tan head of foam. The aroma offers up apple, cantaloupe and winter spices. The taste starts off with a mix of spices and red apples and then it picks up a dash of roasted malts. Right around the edge of the flavor are mild mango and cantaloupe notes. This is on the spicy side with its winter like spices but fruity sweetness, malts and some mild roasted maltiness creates some balance.
commonshawn (233) - - JAN 18, 2014
3.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Tap. Pint. Light red, small head. Aroma is subtle for a Xmas ale. Has some typical spice flavors, but muted. Finish is ok.
koleminer20 (345) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - JAN 11, 2014
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
12 oz bottle. It's surprising to see a Christmas Ale that is classified as a Scotch Ale, so it should be interesting. The pour is ruby-ish just about see through. There is a light head that fades to a film and leaves no lace. The aroma is kind of bland there is a little malt, some light spice and perhaps a hint of caramel. The flavor is much of the same. The mouth feel is definitely thin, and the flavors linger a little bit, but not long
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone