Cornfield (5570) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - AUG 8, 2005
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
There’s some awfully heavy-handed northwestern hopping for this to be an English strong ale... much more like an American, or even an Imperial IPA. Pouring a slightly hazy, deep amber body, it has a thick, yellowish head that does some nifty lacing. There’s a sturdy caramel base under the heavy pine and grapefruit hop bitterness. Nice and bitter, although the hops take a more earthy tone in the finish.
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Braudog (5975) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - JUL 17, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Orange-amber but still; huge rocky head. Clean airy aroma with mellow flavors of candy corn, sugar and a teaser of the high alcohol.
BBB63 (6390) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - JUN 16, 2005
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle: Clean medium amber hue with a initial large frothy head and excellent lace. The aroma has notes of spicy and piney hops, caramel and biscuity malt, grapfefruit, orange peel, and lemon zest. The taste starts moderately bitter with a good malty background. The citric notes and sublime spices add some depth. Peppery and bitter finish. The feel is sharp and biting, metallic finish. A good beer but like Yulesmith is not a Holiday beer. Hum methinks it is an IIPA or at least an American Strong, nothing really English about it.
belgianhomebrew (646) - Acworth, Georgia, USA - MAY 8, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Good hop aroma. Nice hop flavor throughout, with a good malt balance. Not quite as big as I would have expected but good none the less.
DarkElf (3038) - La Jolla, California, USA - APR 5, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
(22 oz bottle: $4.50 at Bottleworks in Seattle, WA) This winter ale is more like a big west coast IPA to me. It’s fairly fruity initially, sweet, orange citrusy with a balancing hops bitterness, but the beer finishes with a dominant and lingering bitterness that’s typical of west coast. The two principle aromas in the mildly aromatic nose are a lightly sweet orange citrus and moderate hops, with some light malt in the background. Medium "plus" body and hoppy finish translate nicely into a crisp but round mouthfeel. A slow forming light tan head tops the murky amber beverage, but fades to a sheen within a few minutes. Not what I was expecting from a winter beer, but it’s still well made and enjoyable.
Shag (2668) - Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA - APR 3, 2005
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
A light orange appearance. Odd twist on the usual big malty english strong ales seasonals. A bit of sugar, citrus, and caramel present in the flavor. It would appear my notes get shorter and shorter as the evening progressed. Overall it was decent at best.
CapFlu (4723) - Victoria, British Columbia, CANADA - MAR 10, 2005
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
(Draught) Orange amber body with a thin, white foamy head. Aroma of a creamy, hoppy, orange, and passion fruit. No carbonation. Biting bitterness with a buttery, spicey maltiness.
aspidites (1272) - manteca, California, USA - MAR 4, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
Huge hop nose with a big and very complex malt body. Floral and citrusy with a wonderful caramel malt mid and back palate great beer from a breat brewer.
BeerPrince (1701) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - FEB 13, 2005
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Amber colour with a strong aroma of careml malts, some alcohol and a litle peppercorn spice. Lots of malt, caramel, and a bit of hops thrown in. A little too sweet for my liking but a nice beer with lots of flavours.
Frank (3269) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 19, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Brilliant golden color, slightly hazy with a nice head of mostly small bubbles. Big hop nose, lotsa orange with a touch of toffee. Flavor is similar, very citric but gentle and nice. Smooth, medium bodied palate with a hefty dose of bitterness in the finish. Some roasted marshmallow character comes out as it warms along with a pleasing malt depth. This seems underrated to me. Normally a big beer of this quality would be in the 3.8 range or so. To each his own, I suppose. I don’t know if this is really English at all in character despite the current designation of English Strong Ale. The hop signature seems like it has firm roots in the PNW.