neuromatt (858) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 6, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
500 mL bottle from the brewery, served in a snifter. Pours clear reddish caramel with a small tan head. The head fades quickly to a thin cover and leaves almost no lace. The nose has big notes of dark fruit, clove and cinnamon, along with molasses and a touch of alcohol. The flavour is quite sweet up front, with plenty of brown sugar and Christmas spice. Hops enter towards the end, providing a nice balanced finish that lingers. On the palate, it is full in body with a smooth, creamy texture and lively carbonation Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this one; the spices are just right and pair nicely with the malts. Nice for a cool evening in December. 2011-03-06
garthicus (2336) - Dublin, IRELAND - FEB 15, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Thanks to Blankboy. Appearance: Dark brown, medium tan head. Aroma: Raisins, plums, nicely spiced, cinnamon predominant. Nice. Flavour: Plums, cinnamon, winter spices, raisins, Christmas pudding like, slightly boozy in the finish. Very nice.
probstblueribbon (2378) - Nepean, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 10, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
500 ml bottle in the Brewmasterís Mix from LCBO private imports, served at cellar temperature in a tulip glass.
App.: Clear deep mahogany with a decent tan head.
Aroma: As expected, some warm spices enveloped in lovely, sweet, thick malts, a Christmas cake in a bottle, some bright fruitiness mixed with dark dried fruits, a little alcohol, ginger, cinnamon and clove, hints of playful esters, caramel and cake batter, well-crafted for the style.
Palate: Medium+ body, lush, elegant effervescence.
Flav.: A bit more malt than the nose, plenty of warm, Christmas cake spices, decent fruitiness, caramel and brown sugar, a little alcohol, still a liquid Christmas cake; kinda sweet with balancing acidity and bitterness and a malty, spiced finish.
As these beers go, not bad. It struck me while drinking this: why is it called an ESA, while other, similar brews are S/H/V. Food (or drink) for thought...
rejtable (811) - Ontario, CANADA - JAN 15, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 20, 2012 Feb 2012 update: this is more like it. Like having Xmas in your mouth. Lots of ginger and molasses this year. Great warmth, lovely beer. Poured dark amber with a head that dissipates. Light creamy in the mouth.
Liked this beer, but I didnít find the expected winter spicy flavours. Tasted more like a bitter. Enjoyed it and would buy again.
Spab (1639) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 19, 2010
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
500 ml bottle from Premier Wine and Spirits. Pours a murky brownish orange with small off-white head. Aroma is sweet toffee and dark fruit (plum, raisin) and bread. Taste is very sweet with lots of plum and raisin, brown sugar, toffee and a light spiciness. Alcohol is actually fairly understated and body is thinner than might be expected. Nice.
swiseman (355) - Fredericton, New Brunswick, CANADA - DEC 18, 2010
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
pours a translucent dark brown, thin head. tastes of caramel, roasted toffee and some bubblegum. mouthfeel is surprisingly thin with only mild hints of alcohol. easy-drinking strong beer.
DenisLD (87) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 15, 2010
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
500ml bottle poured into a nonic glass...
The beer has a nice cloudy deep copper body, with a good healthy light caramel head. The head retention is pretty good.
The smell is very malty and fruity (cherries, plum, figs). A fair amount of hops is also present in the aroma. The yeast comes through in the smell just a little.
The taste starts out with a surprising hop bite, with herbal and citrusy notes, after which the malts take over, bringing a nice, moderately sweet, bread and caramel taste, mildly garnished with cinnamon. There is also a solid fruity profile, with hints of plum, cherry, apple, and grapefruit. The finish is very bready and quite bitter, with a lingering grapefruit and cherry taste.
Medium-bodied and rather chewy. Moderate carbonation enhances the mouthfeel. The beer feels slightly spicy, with just a hint of alcohol. Goes down smooth, kindly providing a pleasant warming sensation that a lot of us crave throughout the winter season.
The drinkability is good, considering this is a strong and full-bodied beer. Goes down smooth. The alcohol does not get in the way.
Overall, this is an impressive beer and a very complex winter warmer. It is everything it claims to be and it does it well! Recommended!
Bendrixian (677) - Halifax, Nova Scotia, CANADA - DEC 14, 2010
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
500ml bottle. Pour brown/mahogany colour with deep pigmentation and little head. notes of nutmeg and, corriander and other spiced pumpkin kinda notes. Medium bodied with little follow through. Kinda boring actually, which considering this beers history iíd say this is an improvement. still nothing to write home about for me.
Atheist_Peace (704) - Halifax, Nova Scotia, CANADA - DEC 14, 2010
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: NOV 9, 2012 500ml bottle. Pours a semi-dark brown/amber with tab head that leaves a thin ring of lace. Fairly heavy on the spice in the nose; cinnamon and cloves. Thereís a lot of cheap brown sugar in there too and things that remind me of tooth paste. Faint hints of something that might be beer underneath, but itís hard to be sure. The cinnamon and clove really come out strong on the palate with a slightly bitter finish thatís full of brown sugar but not overly sweet. That odd toothpaste sort of vibe sticks around and detracts heavily from the palate.
Grwido (57) - Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CANADA - NOV 23, 2010
4.2 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 18/20
Poured from a bottle with a small head that quickly dissipated. Dark amber/copper colour. Great aroma. You can smell the spices. Taste is sweet and spicy. Nice beer on a cold night.