davesarman (159) - Waconia, Minnesota, USA - DEC 23, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Beautiful rich malty aroma. Pours deep ruby and virtually glows when held up to a light. Carbonation and head are light. Rich, malty taste and mouthfeel. Get a taste sensation of peated malt and smoke. This years version seems more like a wee-heavy. Body is big. Balance is pretty good, some hops come in to ease the malt a bit, but make no mistake this is one big malty beer. One of the better Christmas beers out there. Not overtly spiced like so many others.
daboskabouter (1470) - Fergus, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 22, 2003
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Dark, bright auburn color, light tan head. Chocolate, citrus hints, slightly spicey nose. The body is spritzy and malty, firm piney hop bite. Roasy and slightly malty, touches of fruit. Finishes hoppy - bitter and long. Not a bad Christmas ale, not so sure about it being an old ale. Could definitely use some more roast.
steview (1019) - San Francisco, California, USA - DEC 22, 2003
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAR 13, 2005 small tan head, nice and tight. burnt orange, brown body. nutmeg/spice, very faint fruit, slight hop... slightly acidic when drunk on a clean palate, i like this brew with or after festive foods like chocolate cookies and such. something about those malts indeed, "specialty belgian" - righteo! good brew. a festive ale indeed! UPDATE 3/13/05: heaven! Ben & Jerry’s oatmeal chunky and this... wooh.
iwantalambic (1478) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - DEC 21, 2003
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
12 oz: dark mahogoney with purple hues. Thin tan head that slides down the side of the glass and diminishes quickly. Lovely piney aroma that has some subtle raisiny malts as well. Flavours were on the thin side, but there were some interesting spices in the finish. Pretty easy drinking for an old ale, and a great deal for $1.50 and the corner tavern: Friar Tuck's!
jgb9348 (4737) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - DEC 19, 2003
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
Dark brown colour with a nice thick light brown head...the way an old should look like! Hoppy aroma with the essence of 'wet feet'. A bit of fruit is noticed, but mostly hops and some malt. Medium-bodied; Flat taste with tobacco, smoke, mushrooms and a fair amount of hops noticeable in the taste. Aftertaste shows some prolonged musty qualities, but offers some subtle spiceyness. Overall, a decent beer...I was expecting a bit more from the appearance! Regardless, I was lucky to taste this twelve ounce bottle, acquired in a recent trade with BigBadBear63, sampled on 19-December-2003. Thanks again Mike!
BückDich (5464) - McCall, Idaho, USA - DEC 18, 2003
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Dark tawny brown color with light head and a tad of lacing. Aroma at the start is hoppy but eventually rounds out to a light salty maltiness. Flavor is mainly malty but is well rounded. This is the best old ale I've had to date by a long shot. Thanks Secret Santa!
Zeswaft (1370) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 17, 2003
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Very thin head that dissappears almost immediately. Dark ruby color with very few bubbles. Aroma is slightly chocolatey. Taste is slightly piney and not too bitter. Mild enough for me to manage a six pack. I'm not sure how "Christmassy" it is, though.
Jedsbrew (465) - Rhineland, Missouri, USA - DEC 16, 2003
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Rich amber hue with a minimal head, fairly good lacing and a spicy hoppy nose. Light to medium in body with a malty, bready flavor and a good hop presence. The finish was medium and smooth. To me it seemed conservative for a Christmas ale but was well rounded and fresh tasting, and I think I'll have another.
Sham (1845) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 12, 2003
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a nice dark brown, mahogany almost witha thin layer of off white head. Malt nose with some offsets of small hops. Floral mostly. Nice malt start on the flavors that goes smooth then ends in a bitter finish of hops. Spices are there as well, hard to distinguish. A bit thin in the body department, but the palate isn't that bad. Overall, I'd say nice beer.
smoosh (536) - New Albany, Indiana, USA - DEC 11, 2003
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Draft: beautiful looking beer. Deep garnet with an off-white head. Unfortunately to me the impression just about ended there. Mildly malty. Kinda spicy, but it just didn't finish for me.