Oakes (13021) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - NOV 6, 2003
2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 8/20
Bronze colour. Aroma is raspberry, butter, earthy hops – holy Ringwood! Candyish flavour. Sweet and fruity. Astringent minerally note. Finish grows more bitter, but not enough to save it. Based on this and other recent Geary samples, I think maybe they’ve lost control of their yeast. This is ugly.
jimhilt (2441) - Bow, New Hampshire, USA - DEC 1, 2003
3.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
The label is a mystery. The color is pure amber and it pours with a three fingered, white head that leaves a good lace. No nose, well maybe faint hops. Very smooth. Starts with a good malty/hoppy mix and finishes with just a hint of hoppy aftertaste. This is no IPA - hops that would be ripping your face off are not there.
mribm (458) - Ocala, Florida, USA - DEC 14, 2003
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bottle. Poured with barely any head, and no lacing whatsoever. It had a malty nose and taste with some caramel notes as well. In my opinion this isn't an IPA. I'm not sure who designated this as an IPA, but they are wrong. There are barely any hops present in this beer. I expect a winter ale to be strong in either hops, malt, alcohol or any combination of these ingredients. This beer was lacking strength in any area. It was just a mediocre ale...nothing worth making it a winter beverage.
goz (359) - Chelmsford, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 7, 2003
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Pour is a clear dark copper, with a smallish white head that mostly last, good lacing. Aroma is fruity, buttery, with some earthy hints in the back. Flavor is mostly butterscotch, toffee, with some sweet fruitiness as well. Medium body. Very typical ringwood stuff present here, nothing new or special, IMO.
austinpowers (2826) - New York, New York, USA - DEC 16, 2003
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
I would have thought a lot of guys would like this brew. Granted, it's not an IPA in my opinion, but it's pretty malty AND it's got plenty of hop bite, all at the same time. I see no evidence of the bizarre aromas Oakes experienced, so perhaps Geary has regained control of their yeast. What'd make this an even more enjoyable brew is if Geary would add some spice or herbs to fully round out the flavor. As a side note, I found the label to be a bit drab - Geary is the oldest microbrewery East of the Rockies, and could certainly afford a little more color (even if it is Winter).
Volgon (2763) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - JAN 13, 2004
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
Dark clear orange color with a quickly diminishing head. Sweet fruity aroma with a sharp ending. Decent body, but the taste is really off in an earthy sort of way with a bit of butter. Ends a bit bitter.
pauliefrog99 (302) - FLINT, Michigan, USA - JAN 10, 2004
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Poured an orange color with small white head that faded quickly. Malty taste with medium hop taste. A little caramel flavor also. This is no IPA though.
muzzlehatch (4424) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - JAN 7, 2004
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
12 oz bottle. Medium orange/blush color, medium dying head, bit of cream stays. Light buttery aroma, big sweet malt profile, full mouthfeel and finish ... where are the hops? Oh they're not completely hidden, but to call this an IPA? And what is this with "winter" ales being just IPAs that aren't available all year anyway? "I knew Sierra Nevad Celebration Ale, and you, sir, are no Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale." 'Nuff said.
ClarkVV (3902) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 18, 2003
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: AUG 16, 2006 Hard to believe this is an IPA. I would say English Strong Ale. Anyways, pours a mostly clear reddish-brown with a huge white head. Big yeasty smell, slightly spicy, with some soft fruit flavors as well. Medium bodied, low carbonation, moderately sweet, subtle, soft hops. Yeast flavors are great, cherries and apricots? Malt is just right, not too dry, not too sweet. No hint of alcohol. Not terribly complex, as is usual for this brewery, but just wonderfully even.