FlacoAlto (3676) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAR 26, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Sampled at Cigar City; January 2011
The beer is a dark, concentrated brown color that shows some clearness around the edges if you hold it up to the light. It is topped by a frothy, long lasting, browned head. Wow, the aroma of this beer is very dominated by the spice mix used; there is a huge cinnamon note at first, but then some other notes start to subtly influence the aroma. There is a cherry pit character here that is not unlike mahleb, nutmeg notes that with time come to be almost more noticeable than the cinnamon.
The beer is very sweet and rich, it is actually quite a bit sweeter than rich, which suggests at a bunch of simple sugars still left in this beer. The finish has a touch of astringent and roast malt character to it. There is a big, spicy cinnamon note to the flavor that is not unlike an Atomic Fireball. This is followed by a an earthy nutmeg note that is laden with just enough turpenes to seem to lightly numb the tongue. The sweetness has flavors similar to brown sugar, some molasses notes and even some flavors that remind me of dark Candi syrup.
Despite being hugely sweet and spicy, this beer is actually fairly nice and definitely pertinent to the holiday season. The dominant spice character may be a bit too much at times, but it works with the super rich, base beer that is here; It is definitely a beer that I only want a small sample of, a few ounces as a nightcap on a cold winter evening is definitely perfect, any more and I would quickly get sick of this beer.
scrizzz (2223) - Bothell, Washington, USA - MAR 10, 2011
2.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
thanks riversideak! brown sugar, nutmeg, ginger, spiced plum, leather and peppermint? little pine, this thing is all about Christmas. dark amber, swirling tan head. very sweet, sticky pine, layered cloying body. too sweet, some earthy leather, but I cannot finish this.
riversideAK (5557) - Shoreline, Washington, USA - MAR 10, 2011
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
Sweet and spicy on the nose. Cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, alcohol. Kind of like potpurri even with hints of vanilla here and there, ginger. Wow. Dark brown almost black pour, thin head bubbly lace. Holy shit this might be the sweetest beer I’ve ever had. Super sweet spice, dark fruits, cinamon, pumpkin spice, vanilla, brown sugar. Wow, sticky, oily, sugary mouthfeel. This is difficult to drink. Its got swisher sweet like characteristics at times. Tobacco. Holy shit this is sweet. How did they get it this sweet?
bvc (1121) - Kenmore, Washington, USA - MAR 10, 2011
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
32oz growler, thanks Alex and Dave. Dark brown with a purple or ruby tint to it with khaki head. Wow!...so much spice in the nose. I feel like I’m in a candle store at Christmas time. Ginger bread, vanilla, sweet cake, pumpkin spice, white icing. Man...this is insanely sweet. More pineapple than anything. Candied ginger, swisher sweet tobacco...I don’t know what else to say.
after4ever (5728) - Brier, Washington, USA - MAR 10, 2011
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
Growler. Thanks dave! Pours a cloudy dark brown with a loose gray head. Enormous candied ginger nose. Molasses and cinnamon too. Sticky, oily, burningly sugary mouthfeel. You can almost feel the crystals of ginger scraping your mouthflesh. This is an incredibly sweet sugary beer.
Ibrew2or3 (6207) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - JAN 21, 2011
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at Cigar City Brewing. It pours deep mahogany with deep purple hues and thin white head. The aroma is full and pungent with rich and bright dark berry goodness with murmurs of the big sweet maltiness, molasses and somewhat earthy beastiness that lurks below. The taste was similar with dark colored sweet berry goodness followed by some spices and then the rich creamy very high final gravity rich goodness of the molasses, thick sweet malts, sweet and rich dark fruity esters and sludgy citrus hops of the base beer pull it all together. I think this treatment works very well as the added berry notes and spices team up with the thicket of malt sweetened hops to try and balance out this hugely sweet brew.
Tooch4321 (11) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 18, 2011
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Big spice nose (cinnamon/all-spice), pours an opaque brown with a creamy head, big cinnamon upfront, sweet almost maple like with a slightly bitter ending, sticky, syrupy palate, all-in-all a good balance of smells and flavors. A great Winter beer, better for after dinner possibly paired with dessert...
Odde (305) - Tampa, Florida, USA - JAN 12, 2011
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Big cinnamon nose along with another spice I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Very dark brown, opaque body. Thick and sweet, but pleasantly palatable. Great beer.