ThisWangsChung (826) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - MAR 13, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Reviewed 2/6/13. 22 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Pours a very dark brown color that could - under poorly lighted conditions - be mistaken for a stout. The head is a two finger mocha shade with excellent texturing. Iím also impressed with the head retention; itís still standing a finger high after a minute.
S: This has a very roasty quality to it, acting as a compliment to the dark fruit esters and earthy/piny hops that also pop up on the nose. Nothing really stands out about it, but it gets the job done sufficiently. If the aesthetics screamed "stout", the aroma screams "black ale".
T: ...and the flavor screams "strong ale". The profile here has a far stronger dark fruit bend to it. Flavors of plums, raisins, figs, and cherries will then give way to a midtaste of licorice (not the nasty black stuff) and coffee. If thereís one thing noticeable, itís that the further the flavors progress on the palate, the more íroastyí they become. The hops - which I expected to dominate, or at least have the strongest pull in the flavor profile - remain subtle throughout; their presence offering a balancing edge of earth, black pepper, and pine to the fruity sweetness. Give it time to warm up, and it will reveal notes of vanilla, chocolate, and walnuts after repeated sipping; itís just complex enough to keep the palate guessing.
The best part about this one? The exhales - they have a wondrous dark chocolate/vanilla quality to them.
M: Typically smooth, syrupy, and vaguely sweet on its finish. The hop profile and roasted barley donít dry out the finishing texture like I expected...or even wanted. Luckily, itís light enough so that drinking it wonít be a chore. Carbonation is middling but well focused and uniform on the palate.
O: This becomes pretty sweet after a while, so it might not be a bad idea to have someone on standby to share this with. Still, if weíre talking about how this one lives up to the basic definition of the íwinter warmerí moniker (meaning does it lift the soul and warm the orifices), Iíd say itís a success. Iíd buy it again if Fremont ever decided to distribute to my state.
DrinkyCrow (94) - Washington, USA - APR 22, 2015
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draft. Nice. Strong, malty, bitter, not too spicy, straight up decent winter ale.
BMMillsy (1655) - Florida, USA - MAR 27, 2015
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle as a Christmas gift from a friend. Thanks! Pours nearly pitch black with a massing khaki brown head that sticks around a good while. Aroma of straight up malt extract--in a completely good way--some light hops, molasses, more sweet malts. Whoah. Flavor is sweet up front with big malt body to the Nth degree, some lightly earthy hops that balance things tremendously, finishing with some light roast and smoke, and long molasses notes. Big body, medium low carbonation. Right on. This is one of the better non-BAs in this style that Iíve had. Really delicious and relaxing. Have to try the bourbon version now.
Salmoniform (1193) - Sweet Home, Oregon, USA - MAR 18, 2015
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Poured from can to glass. Dark hue with creamy tan head that lingered. Aroma is caramel, toffee, roast, chocolate. Mouthfeel is great with a full body and smooth carbonation. Taste is sweet with a slightly astringent bitterness following. Overall this is a nice beer.
DSG (7623) - Tel Aviv, - MAR 16, 2015
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
[3/2/15] Draught at Fremont Brewing in Seattle. Dark brown with a beige head. Aroma of roast, caramel, nuts, chocolate, some fruitiness and some spicy notes. Sweet flavor, malty, with caramel, roast, nuts, some fruitiness and a bitterish finish. Medium-bodied.
VastActiv (3517) - Oulu, FINLAND - FEB 24, 2015
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: MAR 5, 2015 Tap at Fremont Brewing, Seattle. Colour is black with small white head. Aromas and flavours: Fruits, citrus, coffee, chocolate and roasted malts. Very hoppy and actually reminds of Plevnan Siperia.
maxwelldeux (4095) - Snohomish, Washington, USA - FEB 23, 2015
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Can. Pours a very dark brown color with a moderate tan head on there. Nose has some caramel and sweet toffee to it. Taste has just a bit of sweetness up front and has a toasty dry finish. Nice.
JohnnyJ (4785) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 23, 2015
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
On draft at the brewery. Mostly clear amber brown pour, with a tan head. Sweet malt, milk chocolate, caramel, toffee, a bit sugary, dates, plum, somewhat grassy, and moderately bitter finish. A little to sweet for my liking, but seems to be a good base for barrel aging.
onceblind (5175) - Denver, Colorado, USA - FEB 2, 2015
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 12/20
Deep dark maroonish brown under a generous foamy beige head. Full rich aroma with dark sugary malts with some winter spice and plums. The flavor has a bit more herbal notes than what should be necessary, but with some dates and Belgian dark malt sweetness. Itís a bit generic, albeit full.
WABeerFiend (301) - - JAN 22, 2015
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Poured from a bomber into a chalice on 12.17.14.
A: Cocoa, caramel, and some vanilla.
A: 1 finger tan head that is retained nicely. Midnight black body with no red.
T: Cocoa, caramel, dark berry, and milk dominate. Slight woodiness is subtle.
P: Silky smooth. Medium mouthfeel.
O: This is a fantastic winter warmer. Now I see why B-Bomb is so awesome. Itís so well balanced and delicious. This was the go-to WW for me this season.
Ernest (6542) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JAN 20, 2015
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Head is initially average sized, frothy, brown, mostly lasting.
Body is dark brown to black.
Aroma is moderately malty (caramel, chocolate, roasted grain, coffee grounds), trace yeast (sweatsocks).
Flavor is heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter.
Finish is moderately sweet, lightly acidic, moderately bitter.
Medium to full body, velvety/creamy texture, lively carbonation, moderately alcoholic.
Looks nice and has a nice mouthfeel as well, but the aroma and flavor balance are just ok...the former doesnít offer much and itís overly sweet. Thereís of plenty of bitterness in the finish that seems to come out of nowhere, but it doesnít really save it. Relatively mediocre.