JoeMcPhee (8819) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 6, 2004
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Portland Holiday Ale Festival 2004. Light brown beer with a thick tan head. Sweet caramel malt aroma. Flavour is sweet caramel, brown sugar with some spicy hops. There are warm baking spices near the end of a long bitter finish.
Gromit (479) - Port Orchard, Washington, USA - DEC 3, 2004
2.7 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Pours a reddish brown with a small head even after a vigorus pour and very little lacing.
Aroma is sweet malt with a bit of darker fruit like apricots and...prunes?
Taste kinda echos dates. Actually, dates pretty much nails it. Wow, solidly dates. I’ve never had a beer that hit one particular taste like this before. Definately dates. I’m searching for something else here and I’m struck by how much anything else present could also be said about dates. Yeah, dates; period. If you could liquidify dates, add carbonation and some alcohol, this is exactly what you would have.
Palate is rather thick and decently carbonated, as in it doesn’t quite get rid of the date flavor. And for the style listed (English Strong) it completely lacks any mineral feel to it. Overall, if you love dates you’ll love this, but there are a lot of better holiday offerings out there. I really wanted to like this as I currently live in OR and like to support OR beers. Additionally, I wanted to like this because I’ve really disliked the other offerings from this brewery, so I wanted to make amends. That didn’t happen here.
5000 (6300) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - DEC 2, 2004
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle pours reddish brown, lacks any real head, some lacing, with light carbonation. Sweet biscuity aroma, malty, with a touch of dark pitted fruit. Grains, oats, biscuit, and some malts on the tongue. Sweet, but not at first, with a slight choco-fruity flavor bringing up the rear. Medium body and mouthfeel. Thought it would have been thicker by the smell of things. Finishes slightly astringent, herbish, with a carob like chocolate flavor. Aroma had me, the front of this beer was decent, but the back completely put me off. NEXT!
Syd (921) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - NOV 27, 2004
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle pours a clear deep red color with a small beige head and no lace. The aroma is slightly berry like and floral notes of hops. The flavor is very complex. There is quite a spectrum of malt flavors along with fruity ale characteristics that show through in a symphony. Malt sweetness starts the show, with an ale berry fruitiness, some roasted malt showing an almost chocolate covered cherry flavor, all followed by a lingering hop bitterness that almost gives a sensation of bitter chocolate combined with the roast flavors. The palate is rich, real rich. This is a fine Ale. Many thanks to my cousin for hauling from OR.
Hab40oz (242) - Grants Pass, Oregon, USA - NOV 18, 2004
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
pours a dark red amberish color, Floral hop aroma with a little bit of fruityness. Taste begins very malty and thick, then changes to a decent full body and a hop finish.I found some nutty tastes in this as well as roastinss and as well some fruitiness to rap up the ness’s. Finishes dry.
beerinmarch (2830) - Washington, USA - NOV 17, 2004
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a dark red/copper with a light tan head. Aroma has some light floral hops, not much for malt. Taste starts with a light molasses maltiness, very quick then a big dried hop finish. A bit of toastiness comes out in the start, maybe some dry nutty qualities and a bit of fruit. Very dry finish, smooth but with an alcohol presence in the finish.
ClarkVV (3969) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - APR 29, 2004
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: FEB 17, 2005 2003 bottle. Pours a medium brown, ruddy with medium peach hues. Strong pour reveals a large, creamy yellow flecked white head. Smells like light, peppery hops, velvety malting and creamy oatmeal. Maybe a hint of the alcohol. Flavor is somehow a mix between dry, papery hops, and sweet cream buttery malt. Lots of vanilla, almonds, cream and a hint of chocolate covered cherries. Flavor is interesting and big, body is medium to medium full, low carbonation.7/4/7/4/15
2004 bottle After seeing the Montreal crew’s reaction to this, I had to open the other bottle (both were purchased from Liquid Solutions about 4 months ago). While it’s definitely full of diacetyl, the body is still fairly creamy and not thin. The buttercream flavor does end up getting cloying and I pour most of the beer down the drain. Strange, the previous year’s was good stuff. 4/4/5/3/10
JahNoth (1039) - Rochester, New York, USA - MAR 19, 2004
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Cloudy reddish copper color, with a small head. Aroma of apples, sweet cherries and malt alcohol. Stron, sweet malt flavor with a noticeable alcohol component. Nice bitter finish. This is a fine ale, just not my bag.
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - FEB 20, 2004
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a murky ruby with very small body particles and a rocky tan head. The lacing is decent. The aroma has tones of toffee, maple, plum, and caramel. The flavor is malty, with some bread, caramel, molasses all followed by a bit of orange peel and light maple. The texture in the mouth is creamy with a lively bit of carbonation dancing on the tongue. The alcohol is well masked. Overall this is a well balanced beer. Perfect for the cold months of winter.
3fourths (8457) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - DEC 28, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark murky burgundy color. Strong brown sugar, alcohol and cinnamon aroma with a sweet maple, peanut and scotch flavor. Bitter finish, overall very nice.