bhensonb (10203) - Woodland, California, USA - OCT 26, 2011
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle from Fred at Beverages 4 Less in Santee, CA. Pours dark copper with a foamy light tan head. The aroma is really herb/veg, but it’s kind of a clean aroma. Comes out a bit citrus/anise. Med plus body. Flavor is sort of an herby pine over some nice, smooth heavily roasted malt. There’s an evergreen aspect. A little anise hint. Really pretty good.
jlieber17 (201) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 26, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Pours dark ruby with foamy tan head. Aroma is wood and other grasses, some spice, lemon, some sweetness. A bit dry, the presence of pumpkins and/or yams is completely absent, but this still a decent drink. Finishes with an earthy, woody, herbal-like taste that is very reminiscent of Stone’s recent green tea IPA collab.
tool2scream (187) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 26, 2011
2.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Pretty big disappointment. Bummer. Open this one up and the nose was already disappointing, in a strange way. The nose on this was fantastic, but completely devoid of any yam or pumpkin. Absolutely zero. However, the herbs and birch bark were readily apparent. This beer reminded me of when my mother took me antique shopping in small, old houses and buildings with really old wood and potpourri in Brunswick, Maryland. Nice wood and herb smells. The Fenugreek and verbena are stars here. The flavor is super disappointing, as it follows much of the same order. No discernable pumpkin or yam flavors, and your palate is bombarded with toasted and dried herbs, grass, and lots, and lots, and lots of tree bark. Naturally, this leaves the beer extremely bitter. The finish is harsh with bitterness, and the pumpkins and yams never show up to the party. You expect a beer like this to be sweeter - at the very least sweeter than this - and you expect seasonal brews like this to have nice fruit/vegetal flavors. This one absolutely fails to deliver. On top of that, the palate was slightly thin and unexciting.
Hophead22 (2880) - Redlands, by way of Wisconsin,, California, USA - OCT 23, 2011
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
12oz bottle. Rating #18. Dark amber pour with a good amount of red mixed into it. Small little head, kinda off-white or maybe a light beige. Roasty and a little smokey with a little sweetness, could be the aroma is roasted pumpkin, it’s a little strange either way. More roast, light though, again it could be the pumpkin and yams, earthy. (1967)
StefanSD (1990) - Lakeside, California, USA - OCT 23, 2011
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
12 oz bottle from bev4less. Pours a murky dark brown colow with a medium khaki head that has fair retention. The aroma is soft with sweet malts, squash and some mild spice. The taste has a big barley feel with mildly roasted grains, subtle fruits and biter walnuts. The palate is full, smooth and creamy with medium carbonation. Finishes long and dry. Overall: I really liked the palate of this, very nice. My complaint of most pumpkin beers is that they tend to have a very thin mouthfeel, too much spice, or not enough pumpkin character. This one falls into the later category, its delicious but no real pumpkin character. That aside, I’ll drink again.
thome50 (851) - Boringville aka Irvine, California, USA - OCT 22, 2011
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle via Jazz at El Cerito. Pours a very dark brown, almost red when you hold it to the light with a tan head. There is next to no aroma on this one with some biscuit possibly and a slight malt aroma. Taste is much more herbal and earthy than it is pumpkin. I get very little sweetness out of this and instead get more of the lemon and almost a sage taste. No pumpkin or yam. Interesting for the style but a very light beer that just feels bland and a big let down from these breweries.
danielcurtis81 (1517) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 22, 2011
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Served from a 12 oz bottle from Baron’s. The appearance is a very deep amber brown hue with a big light gray head. Sweet malty nose. Brown sugar, cinnamon dust, root vegetables, lemon. The flavors are medicinal and grassy. The pumpkin flavors come in late in the aftertaste. The birch bark seems to add an earthy spice note that is pretty interesting. A bit of a English hop astringent thing comes out in the nose and the flavor towards the end. Overall a pretty interesting beer. Reminds me a bit of the Anchor Our Special Ale.
peteinSD (1239) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 21, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a clear brown/red with a slight and quickly fading tan head. Aroma is dry roast, smoked yam, lemon, and wood (the birch I guess). Taste is roasted malt/wood with light yam up front followed by lemon and a bit of sweet malt buried in the finish. Easy and clean feel in the mouth. I do not get any pumpkin out of this beer but I like the interplay between the yam, lemon, and birch. Unique beer that was worth a try.
RedSox2004 (1100) - Pacific Palisades, California, USA - OCT 21, 2011
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Mostly clear, mahogany/maple syrup color, with a modest off-white head, nice retention and moderate lace. Wood, slightly smoky, caramel and a touch of the yams on the nose. Flavors are similar, and feature a modest maltiness, brown sugar and only hints of the pumpkin, yams, etc. Medium body, medium carbonation, slightly creamy mouthfeel, and a lingering brown sugar and caramel sweetness.
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 21, 2011
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Jesus christ, it took me three attempts to correctly type this in the search bar; that’s an immediate -2 in points. Pours relatively transparent and a deep, mapley color with frothy head. Doesn’t have much aggressiveness in the nose...deep sniffs hint at some medicinal lemon verbena notes, I guess and probably that bark crap. Flavors have the fenugreek and what I’m guessing is bark as it tastes like birch beer, really...kinda sweet...earthy with that birch stuff going on...no pumpkin in sight as far as I can tell. Yams? Well, there’s some sweetnes in here for sure. The finish is kind of astringent and none of these flavors are very in-your-face...kinda bland actually. Not really sure what the point here is; though maybe it’s to be unoffensive, which would be a lively point to try to make from Stone and the Bruery. Meh’ Im sure this was expensive for a bottle of birch beer.