thome50 (1081) - Morro Bay via Orange County, 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 (1519) - 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 (1405) - 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 (1323) - 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.
haddon90 (1490) - Denver, Colorado, USA - OCT 20, 2011
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Pours a nice, clear mahogany color with a decent head. Earthy aroma with some spice and pumpkin. Some pumpkin, toffee, and a hint of spice in the taste. Kind of bland though. I was hoping there would be more, but still not too shabby.
ChazMania (656) - Pasadena, California, USA - OCT 20, 2011
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Aroma is a mix of wood, malt and vegetables. Appearance is nicely clear and brown. Taste of malted wood with smokey notes. Nice body and finish. Not my favorite but very worth the 2.99 for trying something new.
Fatalstrike (130) - Cerritos, California, USA - OCT 19, 2011
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: OCT 22, 2011 I enjoyed this collaboration quite a bit! Aroma is malt dominated. A little bit of woody spice notes come through, but mostly toasted malt goodness. Pours a nice brown color with amber hues. Nice lacing on this one. Taste is where this beer delivers the most. So much more flavors than were hinted at in the aroma. At first this tastes like a simple brown ale, but then comes a lemony citrus flavor. There’s also a nice woody touch that I’m assuming is the birch bark. Very well balanced little brew. The yams and pumpkin do not stand out other than in the malty sweetness upfront and the lingering aftertaste. Cannot say I know what fenugreek tastes like, but I’m assuming it is contributing to the roasted flavor. The flavors all meld together so well in this beer. I feel the three breweries really brought a lot to the table and melded styles here. At 5% this is amazingly sessionable and I would most certainly have another, or three for that matter! Get your hands on this. It is one of the better collaborations, and that is saying something.
48FanInCali (747) - California, USA - OCT 19, 2011
3.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
12 oz bottle. Dark pour with small head and little to no lacing. Nose is very faint on the autumn spices and a little more noticeable on darker fruit. Taste follows the nose and is also weak on spices. I do get the lemon zest and some other herbs but that isn’t helping.
BMan1113VR (7870) - Los Angeles, California, USA - OCT 19, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle and cask at Falling Rock. Rating from the bottle. Pours with a clear very deep (mahogany) brown pour with orange to red highlights. Large off-white to mildly tan head that leaves some pretty good lace. Aromas are earthy, light toasted yam, lemon zest, maple, alcohol (surprising at 5%). Soil/damp leaves. Grainy, bready, pumpernickel (rye?), nutty malt character. Seems to be some light esters, but it is hard to tell over the lemon notes. Minimal hop presence. Flavors are earthy, roasty, toasty, nutty with a light fruity/citrus/acidity towards the finish. A hint of maple (fenugreek?). Nice and light bodied. No pumpkin pie spices that I can detect. Seems to be a pretty good, characterful brown ale in my opinion. A bit of toasted yam like character. Medium to light bodied, soft mouthfeel, medium carbonation, a bit creamy. Good, but without the expected/typical pumpkin pie spices.