Boutip (5581) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 18, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle: Poured a clear light copper color ale with a medium foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of dry caramel malt with a light dry bitter hoppy finish. Taste is also dominated by some dry caramel malt with a dry hoppy finish but lacking some toffee and sweet caramel notes that previous edition had while not being so hoppy as previous edition which is a good thing for this style. Average body with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol.
darkguardian (729) - Florida, USA - FEB 18, 2009
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
16oz bottle. Pours a clear amber with a mid sized long long lasting off white head that leaves great lacing. Very dense head. Gorgeous beer. Complex aroma of honey, hazelnut, raisins, caramel and citrus. Flavor is tons of caramel and vanilla up front going into a grassy hop middle with decent bitterness. Sweet honey notes with hints of raisins finish out leading to a lingering finish with slight bitterness and notes of caramel and vanilla. Terrific. Underated, and this beer will only get better with time.
pilsnerrogge (2743) - FinspŚng, SWEDEN - FEB 17, 2009
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours clear amber with a dense head. Sweet and malty caramel aroma with lots honey. Flavour is quite sweet with notes of hazel nuts, liquorice and raisins.
aphalo (94) - Turku, FINLAND - FEB 10, 2009
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle #34443. Colour is very clear amber, smallish head. Aroma is wide and sweet with aspects of alcohol. In taste thereís nuts, bitternes, citrus covered with carbon. Aftertaste is long, mild and smooth. Well balanced, even it hasnít aged enough.
hopscotch (10522) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - FEB 9, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle... Clear amber ale with a small, fluffy, white head. Caramelly, vinous nose proposes tawny port and herbal, grassy, English hops. Full-bodied with a lightly creamy mouthfeel and gentle carbonation. Leans a little toward the bitter side of balance - toffee and caramel sweetness flanking peppery, grassy hop bitterness. Lengthy, caramelly, medium-bitter finish.
DerWeg (1576) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 8, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
O my! This is nice stuff... gutsy, deep balanced flavors and almost lemony hops. It hangs on almost like a BW. Deep caramel and nutty malt flavors. Intentionally excessive solidity. A beer that promises to hold on & deliver a lot more.
JRHBrew (366) - Fredericton, New Brunswick, CANADA - FEB 6, 2009
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Much better than last year. The challenger acts as the sheriff in what could be an unruly ale. The finish is nuttier than anticipated but works wonderfully. Perfect balance. Perfect colour and head.
Eirikur (379) - hafnarfjordur, ICELAND - FEB 6, 2009
2.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 10/20
This ale is soo naked. no masking at all, way too much alcaholic taste, otherwise, its complex and has all the bells and whistles .
oh6gdx (24305) - Vasa, FINLAND - FEB 3, 2009
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottled (from Alko Arkadia, Helsinki). Amber colour, mediumsized beige head. Aroma is fruity, wooden, toffeeish along with quite evident nuttyness and zest. Flavour is hoppy, nutty with some mild spices and licorice. Alcohol gives a huge sweet peak towards the finish. Aftertaste is raisins, mild alcohol, some flowery hops as well as spices. This already tastes very promising for cellaring.
yalnikim (800) - Wellington, NEW ZEALAND - FEB 1, 2009
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tasted 01/02/2009. 500ml boxed bottle from Regional Wines and Spirits. Rose gold. A hint of autolysis and hop, rich malt, a little nut and autumn fruit, balancing bitterness. Spicy warming finish. Simple. Divine. The magnificence of malt is so under-rated on this side of the planet. Iím heading out to buy some more.