Drew (2413) - Kent, Ohio, USA - DEC 1, 2003
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Look out - this penguin has quite a bite! I smell and taste a lot of ginger in this - ther real kind - biting, spicy and warm. This is bundled up with a generous hopping and some dark fruit flavors. Body was a little thin. Appearance is clear dark golden brown with hints of red. Nice.
Darkover (1511) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - NOV 21, 2003
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Clear amber color with a beige head. Aroma of caramel malt and spices. Flavor of malt and spices. Has a little alcohol warmth.
Frank (2304) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 18, 2003
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Cellar Temp:Surprisingly light in flavor and body for a beer with so much alcohol. Pleasant amber color with very little head. Nose is mostly hoppy with a hint of ginger. Similar flavor. Nicely hopped but lacking malt depth. The spices are quite mild, mostly making themselves known in the aroma and finish. The slightest off-note of soapy bitterness. Light bodied with zesty carbonation. Uncommonly refreshing for either a spiced beer or a beer thats 9% ABV.
Room Temp: Much thicker and with less pronounced carbonation, more befitting of a brew of such strenght. More pronounced malt helping to balance the spice. Also, the soapy note I noted earlier is all but gone. Much better at higher temperatures. I'd say this beer doesn't wake up until about 65 degrees or so at least.
MAP (1133) - Lakewood, Ohio, USA - NOV 16, 2003
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Very little head, covering the dark amber brew. Flavor is good, but it isnt that exciting. I was hoping for more of a robust flavor. However, they did a fine job of hiding the 9% in it. The only hint of it is the thin, hoppy, spiced ending.
erway (1004) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - AUG 16, 2003
2.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Pours a dark brown with a big head that dies quickly. A good nose of spices and alcohol. I smell allspice, cinnnamon, and ginger. Flavor is tame for such a big beer. The spices and the alcohol are hidden well. Not too impressed as it doesn't even warm the stomach and the spices are so in the background that it is hard to distinguish them.
JCW (1274) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - FEB 27, 2003
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 13/20
Malty sweet in both the aroma and the flavor. Balance well with hops. Maybe a little pepper is the only spice I might notice. Slightly bitter on the finish.
Ringo (963) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - FEB 22, 2003
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
A good beer but a little too much on the grapefruity side to be among my favorites. 9% not noticeable at all. Spiced, but I didn't notice it very much. However, why the hell don't brewers tell you on the label that you are buying a spiced beer? The elusive 600th rating for me, lets see what the current song is...
TAR (2401) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - JAN 22, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 18, 2004 Inspiring sticky off tan foam, which excels in rockiness and retention. Crystal clear rust. Beautiful aromatic concoction of spruce and earthy hop characteristics. Underneath rests soft notes of beets, bubblegum, and cream. Very bready with a hint of grapefruit rind. Wow! Such velvety carbonation; uncannily similar to a cask ale. Evenly distributed bitter hop and bready malt flavors, before a note of dark honey and fig. Clean, yet lingering finish chock full of sweet bready malt coupled by a dollop of spruce. The only miscue is the trace of acidity, which I found in the finish. Reminds me of a Double Bastard, only with more modesty. An amazingly easy drinker considering its high complexity ,abv, and body. Note: I was looking forward to more spices. Thanks, ecrvich.
Aubrey (3413) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - JAN 12, 2003
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Big head at first; dies down quick; leaves behind some rather intricate lace patterns. Deep, dark amber in color with a reddish hue. Spicy, somewhat vinous nose. Toasty caramel notes. Rather spicy, with allspice, cinnamon, and "hot" and peppery ginger flavors. Hints of citrus... and maybe even a bite of lemon. Bitterness shows in the finish and aftertaste; kind of hides behind the spices though. A little spicier than I like, but still pretty good.
Ernest (6014) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JAN 3, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Head is initially small, frothy, light brown, mostly diminishing. Body is clear dark amber. Aroma is moderately malty (caramel, toasted light bread, cookie), lightly hoppy (grapefruit, flowers), with notes of allspice, clove, cinnamon, ginger, hint of alcohol. Flavor is heavily sweet, moderately bitter, lightly acidic. Finish is lightly sweet, heavily bitter, lightly acidic. Medium to full body, watery (almost creamy) texture, lively carbonation, lightly alcoholic. IMHO, this is what Igloo *should* be, and the brewer hinted that it was closer to this about ten years ago. Rich, warming without burning, big spiced aroma, but watch out for the crushing bitterness in the end (helped by the spices, I’m sure, which makes Lakefront’s Holiday Spice almost as bitter), only barely held together with the residual malt sweetness. Very good winter warmer if you like the spicy ones.