Murphy (1759) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - OCT 27, 2002
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: MAR 5, 2004 This stuff is awesome. Great hops, great pronounced bitterness that doesn't overcome the rest of the beer. Very palatable even for people who have been drinking bud their whole life. 6.7% is nice too. I will drink this stuff until I can't get it anymore, and then save some 6ers for summertime. Nab this beer if you can find it. ReRate 2004: I have one of these from last year that I layed down. Still very carbonated. Aroma is all malt, dry and chocolaty. Excellent mahogany color. Taste is a little off. Still malty with caramel notes, some chocolate malt. Slightly oxidized, but not bad. Drying finish. I would say that this beer does improve with age, but not much.
jazz88 (2467) - San Francisco, California, USA - OCT 25, 2002
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 8, 2006 Rating #1 Bottle of the 2002 release (8 5 7 3 15). Mahogany red color with a brown head. A cherry and red fruit aroma. A creamy almost sticky palate and a flavor of fruit and chocolate. Rating #2 - Bottle of the 2001 vintage sampled in May 2003 (8 5 8 4 17). A very dark red color that looks brown unless held directly to the light. The nose is great with lots of deep fruits, caramel, and plums. Chocolate, vanilla and oak in the flavor. Well hopped but not a pronounced characteristic of the beer. The nose of a good barley wine with a slighly weaker body and much of the same flavor. Rating #3 Bottle of the 2006 release (12/8/06) (7 3 7 3 16). A dark reddish brown color with a light brown head. A cherry fruit and malt aroma with nice hints of sour. Smooth, medium body, caramel malts and mild earthiness.
erway (1004) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - OCT 19, 2002
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
On par with the ebenezer ale but nothing special. Lighter in body and color than I would like. Not enough abv either.
Zach Diesel (906) - Portland, Oregon, USA - OCT 12, 2002
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
great color with some sediment, lasting sweet alcohol throughout, huge fan and a great buy for safeway
gwfrankpsu (231) - McKinleyville, California, USA - OCT 12, 2002
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Fruity, with a great finish. Can’t wait to have more. GABF 2002
Volgon (2761) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - OCT 7, 2002
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle GABF ’02: Light flowery hops aroma, orange/red color with a good head, light bitter ending. A lot of other stuff and I know that this one is worth getting it again. A unique ale for sure.
PhillyBeer2112 (2437) - Oviedo, Florida, USA - OCT 7, 2002
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
GABF 2002: Cloudy amber. Rich piny citric earthy hops and caramel malt. Rich fruity flavor. Strong and alcoholic.
CE619 (81) - san diego, California, USA - AUG 7, 2002
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Nice toffee flavors predominate. smooth, well-integrated beer. Some lingering bitterness at the end.
BillKrause99 (8) - Oregon, USA - JUN 2, 2002 does not count
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Nice aroma and different hops flavor. Pretty calm for a winter ale.
NWHopHead99 (58) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - FEB 22, 2002
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Of all the winterbrews, this is perhaps the easiest for everyone at the party to enjoy. I’d almost call it the ’candy’ winter brew, because the fruity, flavorful taste almost borders on a simple malt beverage, but the hops quickly return it to the beer catagory. I won’t buy it in cases next year, but I’ll get a couple bottles to enjoy.