nickel (111) - - OCT 14, 2013
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
By this time, best spicy bouquet i tried. Incredible strong aroma right away you open the bottle. Medium carbonated, tender fruity flavor with unbelievable mix of spices.
DenverLogan (626) - MileHi, Colorado, USA - JUL 20, 2013
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
From 22oz into a Corsendonk chalice.
Pours a light brown with modest head.
Aroma of cardamon, sage, clover, anise and dark malts.
Significant mouthfeel and modest carbonation.
Flavors of amber malts, burnt malts, sage, cardamon, rosemary, and other herbs. Iíve had this various times over the past six months and thought time might mellow out the spices, and it has a bit, but they are still big! Overall flavorful and tasty but a bit too heavy on the spices and herbs.
BMan1113VR (7694) - Los Angeles, California, USA - JUN 21, 2013
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle thanks to ratman. Pours with a clear deep bronze hued body with a tan head. Aromas are of gingerbread, nutty cookie, biscuity malt, eugenol, cinnamon and a lot of spice. Flavors are lightly metallic, thin, bitter, spicy tannin, gingerbread, spice, clove and nutmeg. Very thin bodied and spicy, lively bubbles.
bhensonb (9835) - Woodland, California, USA - MAY 8, 2013
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle shared by Irishboy. Pours darkly ruddy with little or no head. Aroma is spicy - but perhaps more towards pumpkin pie than Xmas. Med + body. Flavor is so pie spice. It works, but itís a rather different Xmas ale. Judged without regard to season, itís a nice spiced ale.
IrishBoy (3687) - Bakersfield, California, USA - MAY 7, 2013
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bomber from Ratman!!! Nose is pumpkin pie, with all the cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger even lacking the pumpkin. Cherry brown with a small beige head. Flavor is very spicy with a light bitterness.
UncleKorm (474) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - MAR 8, 2013
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bomber poured a clear deep reddish brown w/ a frothy off-white mostly diminishing head and excellent lacing. Med to big aromas of ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, caramel, and dried fruit. Initial flavor is a light sweet to a moderate bitter finish. Taste is a spicy mix of Christmas with toffee, cinnamon, ginger, clove, cardamom, star anise and toasted cereal. Medium bodied, dry texture, soft carbonation, and a lasting spice in the finish.
GarrettB (846) - La Jolla, California, USA - JAN 31, 2013
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
January 1st, 2012 - A Christmas beer after Christmas is an instance of poor timing, but the style lasts long after the holiday season. As long as the ground is covered in Colorado snow and the Rocky Mountains are saluting with their snow capped peaks off to the West, these dark and malty beers still make for a great nightcap on a cold night. With its soft, pillow head and light brown color, Bristolís Christmas Ale looks ready for a a quiet winter night, with a fireplace providing the soundtrack. Christmas desserts unfurl from the top of the beer - cinnamon and clove, and a dry banana ester too, giving this a dry and raspy sweetness. The flavor is dry too, reminiscent of the neighboring Venetucci Pumpkin Ale. Itís dry and vegetal, like a gourd that was cut and then regrettably left out on the counter, forgotten for a day. Another strange flavor addition: shabu-shabu dipping sauce. Itís not quite soy sauce and itís not teriyaki sauce either, but itís packed full of umami side, and lends this Christmas ale some welcome depth of flavor. The aftertaste is spicy but short, and that odd shabu-shabu note simplifies down to a simple light soy sauce taste. Vegetal and deeply flavored, this is a brew that is curious for its lack of sugars and sweets. But I like this break from tradition. Indeed, thatís part of why Iím drinking a Christmas beer after the holiday period has expired. The taste isnít spectacular, but Bristolís Christmas Ale isnít typical either.
Beaver (1160) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JAN 14, 2013
2.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 8/20
22 oz bottle. Pours dark ruby amber brown with a small head that quickly goes to a thin collar.
The aroma is sweet malts and floral, perfumey spices and cloves.
The flavor is sweet peaty malts with a little roast, and more soapy, perfumey spices. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with very low carbonation and pretty watery.
Overall, lots of floral perfumey spices...not really a fan.
arminjewell (5149) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JAN 14, 2013
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Pour out of 22 oz bottle, dark brownish red with white head, aroma brought notes of ginger, cinnamon, slight cardamom, nice caramel, toffee, hints of dark fruits in there, slight molasses. Taste is a mix of sweet caramel, toffee, lots of spice with cinnamon, ginger, clove, some hints of cardamom, more spice notes that muddle a bit, finishing fairly spicy, bitter, slightly dry. Eh, much too over spiced but it is fairly easy to drink.
Ernest (5904) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - DEC 28, 2012
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Head is initially average sized, frothy, brown, mostly diminishing.
Body is medium brown.
Aroma is lightly malty (cookie), with strong notes of clove, clove, clove, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, etc.
Flavor is moderately to heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter.
Finish is lightly to moderately sweet, lightly acidic, moderately bitter, unclean.
Medium to full body, watery/syrupy texture, lively/soft carbonation, lightly to moderately alcoholic.
This is the definition of "spice bomb" (esp. cloves). While the spice odors are certainly not offensive, itís about as over-the-top and unbalanced as it gets...itís almost hard to tell thereís beer underneath it all. Do you like chewing a mouthful of cloves? Me neither.