AustinMilbarge (681) - Denver, Colorado, USA - DEC 29, 2002
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Creamy, light tan head. Slowly diminishing head. Lots of carbonation. Dark amber color. Malty nose. Hazy hopppy bitterness with a fair amount of malt. A good Christmas beer. The alcohol is slightly warming.
Darkover (1518) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - DEC 28, 2002
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 22, 2003 Dark amber with a beige head. Hop aroma. Flavor of tootsie roll and hops.
austinpowers (2826) - New York, New York, USA - DEC 25, 2002
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Beautiful in the glass (sort of a reddish ale with a foamy head). The spices really jump out at you!
jsquire (3578) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - DEC 25, 2002
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Fresh, hoppy nose with a greenish, beige creamy head and a pretty red-orange color. Very smooth, with lots of bubbles on the tounge. Citrus hop bitterness balanced nicely with sweet malt profile. Very enjoyable beer.
GermanBrews76 (679) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - DEC 25, 2002
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Off tap at the Wild Onion in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Same as every winter Iíve seen so far here. Deep chestnut/mohagany body with ruby tones as well. Nosee was loaded with berries and cream, vanilla and spice. Some floral notes in there too! Nice bitter hop finish and also some hints of lightly roasted malt as well. Velvety soft mouthfeel, followed by a crisp, dry, barley finish.
stephen (308) - California, USA - DEC 24, 2002
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bubbly, fully diminishing head w/ disappearing creamy top. Dark bronze with a little red. Aroma has spicy hops, ginger, cereal, and vanilla. Mild but complex. Flavor is malty and true to the aroma. Bitter, wheaty aftertaste. Medium to full bodied with mild carbonation and a little creaminess. Overall good. Changes profiles as it warms up. I like it better towards 55F.
mikenodak (150) - Fargo, North Dakota, USA - DEC 23, 2002
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Piney aroma, fruity, spicy, and malty taste, alcohol cleverly hidden behind the hops. A good X-mas.
drywallman (334) - Lake in the Hills, Illinois, USA - DEC 23, 2002
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
2002 vintage: It had a raisiny, and current like aroma as experienced in the past. Had the deep amber almost red color as advertised. A little vanilla was detected, and it seemed a touch ísmokierí in flavor than in the past. Maybe due to this being higher in alcohol content that what Iíve been drinking lately. Definitely a winner again, and a seasonal favorite from here in Chicagoland.
joet (2245) - Santa Rosa, California, USA - DEC 20, 2002
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Surprisingly good. Beautiful deep amber color, rich malty aroma, perfectly spiced with a touch of clove and vanilla, easy to drink, and hops you can appreciate from top to bottom. A mild form of the style -- at 6.8% and as something you can see right through, this is a light beer out West -- but itís still tasty.
muzzlehatch (4424) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - DEC 20, 2002
3.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap, 2002. A surprise, didnít expect this level of quality from this brewer (maybe 3-year old memories ought not to be trusted?), but its a top-notch seasonal, with its weak nose (smoky bar might help explain that) the only detriment. Translucent copper; lovely creamy head. Nose though weak has some nice spiciness. Flavor seems to be somewher between the robust, spicy-sweet darker holiday brews and the hoppier apricot/orangey type, and its a great balance. Vanilla, maple, fruits, spices, mmm. Wonderful mouthfeel, luscious like a great ripe pear but with a nice kick. Gotta get some bottles before heading back to VT.