JPDIPSO (4956) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 26, 2002
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Dark amber/garnet color with a bit of cloudiness. Tan foamy head. Spicy aroma with licorice dominating. AS this one warms smells more like night time cold medicine. Tastes like licorice infused date. Nice solid mouth feel. Unfortunately I am not a fan of either licorice or date. This is a well made beer, but it contains flavors I do not favor.
For the right person, this is a awesome beer, bbut my overall is a personal one.
estoppel (1028) - Buffalo, New York, USA - DEC 20, 2002
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Reddish body, huge head, sweet malty and fruity nose. My second 10+ ABV of the night; not a good idea. ;) Lots of fruit in the body, with some mild spice. Pretty good stuff.
Ernest (6151) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - DEC 14, 2002
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JAN 4, 2014 750ml bottle (Aug 2013 bottling). Head is initially large, frothy, light brown, mostly lasting. Body is hazy dark brown, bottle conditioned. Aroma is moderately malty (caramel, toasted grain/bread/pastry), lightly hoppy (herbs), lightly yeasty (cobwebs), with notes of anise/fennel, sassafras, raisin, oregano, orange peel, cinnamon, and alcohol. Flavor is moderately to heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter. Finish is lightly to moderately sweet, lightly acidic, moderately bitter. Medium to full body, velvety texture, lively carbonation, moderately alcoholic. Wow, gotta say this might be the best vintage yet...and perhaps one of the best "big and spiced" winter beers there is. While the spices are central to the aromatic character, they do NOT overwhelm the beer, which is a rare thing when spices are used in brewing. And even better, at 10.5%, it manages to NOT be a syrupy sugar-bomb, nor is it too watery or boozy. Lovely velvety mouthfeel and a superb flavor balance that’s nicely drying in the finish makes this genuinely *quaffable*. Scary thought at this strength, but it’s absolutely true. And I am a certified hater of sweet, boozy beer (and wine), so it’s really saying something to me that they pulled this off. A fantastic accomplishment. The 2013 Cuvee van der Keizer Rood was also a top-notch batch, so it’s nice to see even big brewers can step up their game when the usual trend is to just get worse over time. Major kudos to Het Anker for staying strong. Note: the small bottles (July bottling) seem more spice-heavy, esp. peppermint-like...nice in a different way (mid/high 3?) but not as nice as the big bottles...YMMV.
TAR (2441) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - JAN 3, 2003
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 18, 2004 2002: Light chestnut. Dense, rocky, light tan foam. Fruitcakey malt amid oodles of plum, fig, and bubblegum notes. Hints of icorice, ginger, butter rum, clove, aniseed, mint, and rock candy. Firm, velvety carbonation. Chewy. Huge fruitiness mixed of aniseed and plummy malts. Traces of mint and ginger. Beautiful finish shows long notes of caramel malt breadinesss and licorice. Lingering fruitcake flavors with soft spices.There's nothing quite like this. A winner of a holiday brew.
argo0 (11349) - Washington DC, USA - DEC 17, 2002
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Hazy red brown body with big light beige head. Aroma is sweet, anise and alcohol -- the mix comes out something like spiked root beer. Flavor is much the same -- rich, sweet, anise and root beer, with pleasant alcohol flavor. Delicious winter brew!
JoeM500 (1902) - Crown Point, Indiana, USA - DEC 23, 2002
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUN 9, 2003 Totally different after aged a year. It was a black licorice catastrophe but now yields delicious flavors of ripe plums and juicy raisons. Alcohol is better masked and aftertaste is complex and yeasty.
JorisPPattyn (7808) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - DEC 10, 2002
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark -deep coulour with obvious reddish shine. Nose of madeira, raisins, roasted malts and molasses. Taste immediately spritzy acidity, then fruity & estery. In aftertaste fruity character has again fruit-acids in it. Palate is however thinnish, but with alcohol-throatwarming effect.
omhper (19216) - Tyresö, SWEDEN - DEC 10, 2002
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottled. Dark amber. Intense and complex nose; esters, port, dried fruit and banana. Reasonably dry and malty with lightly bitter finish. An excellent ale full of character!
beerslayer (753) - New Jersey, USA - DEC 28, 2002
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Good ale goes down warm. Creamy malty carmel flavor. Well hidden Abv. Recommended
jaymobrown (1649) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 29, 2002
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Medium brown color with a good sized head sittin atop. Muted dark flavors with black licorice, plum, raisins, and some cherries. Noticable alcohol with some balanced hops.