TheAlum (6860) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - DEC 22, 2009
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
On tap at the brewpub (Flossmoor, IL). Day 10. Panama Red as the base beer, I’m looking forward to the end of this series, to free up my evenings of course. Pours a dark reddish copper, pretty much the same as standard Panama, dark red, a tinge of haze, and an offwhite head that is decent sized, stays, laces pretty well. Aromas do throw some sprucey pine, coupled with sweet and toasty caramel, toffee, and biscuit malts. Bread, florals, a nice earthy hoppiness underneath, the pine is definitely evident. Initial is very similar to Panama, however the spruce (tips, I assume) add a more prominent earthy dryness, pine needles, but still the sweet malts win out into the body, the dry decent bitterness returns into the finish. A fairly well balanced brew, and not all that dominant on the palate towards one way or the other. I liked this, albeit I have warmed up to Panama considerably the last few months. Another beer in the Christmas 2009 series I found better than the base.
Cornfield (5570) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - DEC 21, 2009
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
On tap at the brewpub as Day 10 of the 12 Beers of Christmas: This features the usual handsome pour of Panama Red. The aroma is indeed sprucey, although not overwhelmingly so, and has a vanilla like sweetness to it. The same is true of the flavor, although the sweet malt finally makes its presence known. The hops remain hidden until the spicy bitter finish. Nice.
RAYBOY01 (2012) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 21, 2009
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
#10 of the 12 Beers of Christmas: Base beer is again Panama Red...for the second day in a row. Big pine/spruce nose. Flavors of the base beer are likewise obliterated by the addition of even a very small amount of spruce extract. (So much so, that they had to go back and add more and more of the Panama Red until it was drinkable). Another of the holiday beers bites the dust.