tool2scream (188) - 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.
HopHeadinAZ (180) - Arizona, USA - NOV 17, 2012
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle: pours a clear light brown with a small tan head. The aroma light on the pumpkin with notes of the yam. I can detect some fennel. The taste watery with a little lemon on the finish. The mouthfeel is medium. Overall this beer isn’t one of my favorites.
sethbreaker (173) - New York, Greater London, USA - APR 18, 2012
3.3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
From the bottle. Aroma of roasted malt, toasty notes with some herbal sweetness. Mouth feel is fairly heavy for the abv. I get the pumpkin followed by a lemon citrus taste, root vegetable and caramel. Takes a while to pick out the individual flavours. Intriguing beer.
blazingspiral (170) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - NOV 15, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark and clear brown. 1-finger off-white head. Smells like a great kitchen on Thanksgiving day, minus the turkey. Flavor includes strong smokey and roasted notes, similar to a porter. Then you taste the lemony spice. This brew has vegetables and herbs, making it a real meal in a glass, yet the flavors remain balanced and restrained, leading to an end result that succeeds as a hearty winter beer and not just a novelty.
VRBJG (159) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - NOV 27, 2011
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 16, 2012 Very good. Color deep dark red-ish copper with a thin white head. Smells veg/pumpkin spice. Tastes smooth and slightly crisp on the palate. Definite pumpkin/fall beer flavors...but without using the usual ingredients to achieve this.
yackery (156) - California, USA - NOV 1, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: NOV 15, 2011 12 oz bottle from Bristol Farms but widely available on draught in the SoCal. Aroma is woody, nuts, herbs, and clove. There’s a pine bite, but this is moonlight in the pines! The pine bites ever more as it warms and starts to overwhelm. But the aromatic experience is uniquely and well crafted.
The fenugreek (licorice), yams and sugars are burnt in giving a baked, spiced yam holiday quality about this beer.
Appearance is dark brown but quite translucent under a lively head and very fast lacing.
Taste is mildly salty / sweet, and umami and carrying the comistible aroma well.
Palate is quite lively at the very front but quite mild in the back with an enjoyable swallow.
This is the best unique piney beer absent the coffee/chocolatey subleties that I have enjoyed in a long time - a chewable beer.
rbfishstick (141) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 8, 2012
3.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
Enjoyed via a bottle from Otto’s in Shorewood, WI. Pours a dark sable brown with a thin tan head. My first impressions on the smell was Deep Woods Off (bug spray) but upon further investigation, it was more the woody/barrel smells and dark fruit. The taste is still, but has a carbonated flavor. Not as thick on the palette as I expected and very bitter/hoppy with a sour fruit note in the background. The finish is of bitter hops with some dryness.
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.
StormCoat (109) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 27, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 16/20
Tasted a 12oz bottle from Bevmo in San Diego, CA. Pours a dark brown with an off-white head that leaves nice moderate bands of lacing. Aroma is all smoky, woody skunk...flavors follow suit in general--very smoky. In one way, it has the woody richness of a brown ale, but I only detect a very small amount of the pumpkin and yam flavors, and honestly I was hoping for more in that area. I feel like I am definitely tasting the birch bark here above all else. Body feels medium-light, a little too light, perhaps. Overall, this is an interesting beer, but I feel like its actual flavor is not as complex as its ingredient list suggests it should be.
hopasaurus_rex (109) - Surprise, Arizona, USA - FEB 20, 2012
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a golden orange with a two finger head. Aromas of pumpkins, yams, nutmeg, lemon zest and dough. Initial taste is smooth and creamy with a nice pumpkin pie taste to it. Has a nice Belgian style flavor that comes out in the middle and finishes with a nice sweet malty bite. Pretty tasty. Mouthfeel is kinda sticky but not too bad. Definitely worth a try if you can still find it.