JoeM500 (1906) - Crown Point, Indiana, USA - JAN 2, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
I thought this was going to be a honey flavored ale due to the big yellow script on the label. I was very surprised when my first sip was packed with grainy malts and a big fistfull of hops!!!! This is a fine ale that also has a bit more alcohol than it hints of. Nicely complex for a beer that I decided to gulp down right out of the bottle! 2002 version.
krisbierjaeger (844) - dolores, Colorado, USA - JAN 2, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
aah, at last, a huge winter beer capable of warming even my stoney and jaded palate (i’ve tasted too few of the highest rated ones and a spate of the wimpish wannabes). decants a deep rosy amber like red x-mas lights seen through the squinted eyes of a beautiful beer buzz; tresses of silky foam. aroma of very lightly scorched wood and brown sugar made incendiary with plenty of alcohol. taste of bourbon malts, lightly smoky, allowing only a bread-like sweetness. ultra-soft bristles of carbonation airlift spruce cone hoppiness way to the back. this gorgeous beer kissed me like she meant it--at midnight, 2003.
fly (1419) - austin, Tejas, Alabama, USA - DEC 16, 2002
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Really enjoyed the rich malts in this. First seasonal that didn’t have that odd bitterness that I find in alt biers. Just had one before moving on to others, so a reratemake be forthcoming. Right now, I’m looking forward to more.
Nuffield (3713) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - DEC 12, 2002
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
A beer that doesn’t know what it wants to be. I think you could classify this one a number of ways. First observation, both in color and flavors, is the dark, very malty tenor of it all. Aroma definitely of an English strong ale, as promised, then roasted flavors, sticky sweet, passing into the hoppy phase, the grapefruit phase, the warming strong ale phase, then the IPA bitter phase. All over the map. It’s good, especially the malts, but it leaves me unsettled. Some nice parts, but I can’t stomach sweet sour bitterness.
hoorayforbeer (105) - Denton, Texas, USA - DEC 9, 2002
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Rerate: This got a bit better after sitting in stores for a couple months. Much smoother with spices and hints of spruce and pine. Original: Very interesting brew--has a bitter ’wild berry’ bite to it, but as it warms up the malt and roasted flavors kick in.
erway (1004) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - DEC 8, 2002
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
A great beer from a very good brewer. Pours like mollasess. Thick rocky head. Hoppy in the 60 IBU area. Very pronounced. Abv is perfecrt; while not absent it does not dominate. Very malty with a due amount of sweetness. A great warmer.
AceOfHearts (1375) - Mountain View, California, USA - DEC 2, 2002
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Re-rate: Amber, dark. Yeasty-malty flavor, very warming; chocolate prominent. Nice! Original rating 6/20/02: 7-4-7-4-14: I found this rather unique. It has the smell and crispness of a pale ale, but has interesting hints of chocolate in the flavor. Not all that complex but still interesting and tasty. I rather enjoyed my bottle.
Ringo (963) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - NOV 19, 2002
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
One of the better warmers of the year so far - if not for the grapfruity aspect that ecrvich spoke of, this one would be over 4.0.
Rockinout (966) - Kent, Ohio, USA - NOV 17, 2002
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2002: Dark ruby color, lasting tan head. Hint of berry, warming alcohol taste.
Ernest (6319) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - NOV 4, 2002
2.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 9/20
UPDATED: SEP 28, 2011 2011 bottle. Head is initially small, fizzy, light brown, fully diminishing. Body is dark amber to medium brown. Aroma is moderately malty (caramel, malt syrup), lightly hoppy (apricot, grapefruit), with a light note of vanilla. Flavor is heavily sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, lightly bitter. Finish is moderately sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, moderately bitter, slightly unclean. Medium to full body, syrupy/watery texture, fizzy carbonation, moderately alcoholic. Wow. What the hell is happening to Great Divide? Terrible carbonation, ultra-simple nose, very syrupy icky-sweet (Karo syrup) with a sour twang, and absolutely no charm or depth. This was phoned in, like some kind of beginner extract homebrew. So sad.