sfontain (850) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - NOV 24, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
12 oz bottle, $7.99/6 pack at Kroger. Deep ruby-brown with a frothy-to-fizzy tan head that dissipates into nothing; no lacing. Aroma is deep malts, dark red fruits, and chocolate. Flavor adds notes of brown sugar and maybe toffee; finish is a little bready. Substantial mouthfeel; a little oily and slick, generous frothy carbonation, and quite stick. These arenít kick-your-ass flavors, but this also isnít exactly "mild" at the same time. One of Goose Islandís best six-pack offerings.
corby112 (2736) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 17, 2015
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Pours a very cloudy, dark ruby red/chestnut brown color with deep mahogany edges and a one finger yellowish-beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Decent retention with spotty lacing left behind.
Spicy, slightly medicinal aroma with subtle earthy hops, sweet malt and vinous dark fruit. Peppery with some clove, ginger and cinnamon but the herbal/syrupy/medicinal quality really stands out in an unpleasant way. Some sweet caramel malt, toffee and biscuit but these notes are overpowered and buried under the spice and cough syrup notes.
Medium body with even more aggressive spice than the aroma suggests but the cloying medicinal/syrupy character is kept in check. Itís still there but not offensive and compliments the sweeter malt and dark fruit notes. Zesty spices are strong up front with pepper, clove, ginger, cinnamon and allspice. Subtle herbal/medicinal flavor but itís countered by caramel malt sweetness, toffee and chocolate. Vinous dark fruit sweetness comes in toward the finish with hints of dark cherry, plum, fig and raisin. The high ABV is well masked with only subtle alcohol flavor and minimal heat. Not the best holiday beer but not offensive. More complex and better balanced than I expected given the unpleasant aroma.
Beerdedone (3062) - Croydon, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 21, 2015
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. Pours reddish brown with a thick tan head. Aroma of caramel, dark fruit, and nuts. Flavor was quite sweet with dark fruit, caramel, toffee, holiday spices and some nuttiness.
Homer321 (2982) - Melboring, Florida, USA - JAN 31, 2015
2.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bottle thanks to Phalluslu. Nose is a malt Bomb with a subtly spiciness, clove and cinnamon like. Pour is a hazy brown with a small light tan head. Taste is lightly butter initially then reveals a strong malt presence, but just tastes brown. Seemingly thin mouthfeel. Kind of a mess really. Alcohol comes through with a light burn in the chest. Really not a fan of this one at all.
alexsdad06 (7463) - Ohio, USA - JAN 10, 2015
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle at home from notes. Pours a hazy reddish brown color with a medium sized off white head. The aroma and flavor have toasted malts, slightly nutty, caramel, winter spices, some citrus, sweeter than expected, I was not overwhelmed by this.
TattooJack (361) - Illinois, USA - DEC 2, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Found a single bottle on the goose island display brewed oct 2013, so last year. I would have bought more but they didnít have any, will be looking. Lotta xmas spirit in this one, nice and warm. Sweet all the way through, and strong at the end. Like getting an Evil Kenevil snake river canyon play set on xmas day.
outlawskies (481) - Ohio, USA - OCT 12, 2014
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 11/20
Julie says that it is nice this year there is a tiny bite not Too overwelling Julie gives a 4
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Darkmagus82 (2093) - - OCT 1, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Transfer from BA review on 11-2-13-
Poured from bottle into a goose island nonic pint glass
Appearance Ė The beer pours a mahogany color with a decent level of murkiness and a one finger of foamy cream colored head. The head has a decent level of retention, slowly fading to leave a moderate level of streaky lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell Ė The aroma is heaviest of a roasted malt smell and a caramel sweetness. Along with these aromas is plenty of spice. The spice is heaviest of a nutmeg and allspice smell but others of a coriander nature are there as well. Some other notes of a brown bread and some darker fruits of cherry and plum are present as well rounding out the aroma nicely.
Taste Ė The taste begins with some sweeter flavors of a caramel and molasses as well as some roasted malt and brown bread tastes. A clove and allspice are present from the start and are later joined by other spice flavors of nutmeg and cinnamon. Darker fruit flavor develop more toward the middle of the taste with the caramel fading but being replaced by more molasses like flavors. More roasted flavors come to the tongue with the darker fruits giving it a darker flavor overall. Along with the darker flavors getting more potent, so too comes a bit more spice as well as new hop flavors of a herbal and grassy nature. A decent spiced rum like flavor comes to the tongue at the very end, leaving a sweet, nicely roasted, slightly warming, and spiced flavor to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel ĖThe body of the beer is on the thicker and chewier side with a carbonation level that is on the average side. The thicker body is very nice for the combination of roasted, and dark and flavors of the brew while the moderate carbonation keep it a bit more drinkable and prevented the spice and sweet from being too overwhelming.
Overall Ė A rather nice and tasty big brew at a good price. The brew had a good sweet and spiced flavor with plenty of roast and spice to keep pace. A nice slow sipper. With a six pack only $9.50 this is one that is high on the (quality+ big abv)/price ratio. Rather pleasant overall.
slowrunner77 (7884) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 5, 2014
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
"A hearty malty imperial brown ale with a Lil bit of brown sugar and perhaps some other light spices. A little earlier than I expected, and almost doppelbockish in its malt profile. Alcohol shows a little, but not to a fault."
solidfunk (5991) - Washington D.C., Washington DC, USA - AUG 1, 2014
2.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
Some nutmeg, and faint hint of marzipan or some kind of Christmas cake. Pour amber with ok head and lacing. Light sweet finish. Watery. Bottle.
ClarkVV (4646) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 24, 2014
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottled on 10/23/13, drunk on 7/25/14.
Pours a ruddy, deep auburn topped by a difficult to coax, light-tan head. It does end up sticking around a bit. Clarity is high though; very lightly filtered.
I will admit to this not smelling like much. By no means is this poor in the aroma category, the nose just dosent do it justice. Itís quite malty, smells slight caramelized or richly maris otter-like. Whatever the case, they got one hell of an extraction from the malt. But yet there is a dry, burnt chocolate-like note that keeps it from being overpowering. In fact, it never seems even slightly strong.
The first sip is slightly sweet. Yep theres a lot of high gravity wort and it comes through, even though itís not alcoholic or overdone. What does emerge and quickly, is a cherry almost brett. lambicus-like tartness. No idea where this comes from, if its just very light bacteria emanating from the malt, but itís absolutely stunning. Vanilla and very light wine-skin flavors signify a true sour-like end. Delicious. Hard to believe this was exactly intended but delicious none the same.