ARH (158) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 4, 2014
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JAN 6, 2014 12 oz bottle poured into brandy snifter. It starts out with the sweet smell of vanilla and chocolate, with a touch of butterscotch, with perhaps a note of earthiness to it. As the head recedes, the aroma morphs into something more similar to ripe, tart dark red cherries with some woody notes (maybe some raisin in there too?). A deep, dark cranberry coloring to the beer stands out (although itís probably more mahogany, but the fluorescent lighting is playing tricks on me) with a tan head that sits atop the beer as a moderate to thin film with some sparse lacing. A moderate sweet-tartness is most noticeable, in moderate amounts, with some light toasty, woody notes. After a little time, some hop bitterness pokes through along with a touch of sour cherry. An average amount of carbonation keeps the beer relatively medium to light bodied, although it definitely has a slightly syrupy quality to it. Thereís a mild aftertaste consisting mainly of toasted malt with some dark chocolate and floral notes. By mid-glass, this taste changes into a smooth caramel with some light spice - the floral notes are still present. Thereís a pleasant warming quality to this beer at the finish.
ChrisFields (70) - Ashtabula, Ohio, USA - JAN 4, 2014
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours an amber brown with a very thin film of a head. Aroma is malty, sweet dark fruits and nuts. Tastes of roasted malts, chocolate covered raisins, and a slight bitterness with just a touch of warmth from alcohol. Pretty nice ale for the winter months. I like it.
superspak (2215) - Michigan, USA - JAN 3, 2014
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 8/30/2013. Pours crystal clear deep ruby red color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big caramel, toffee, cocoa, chocolate, coffee, brown sugar, roasted malt, nuttiness, toast, brown bread, herbal, wood, pepper, light pine, and roasted earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and hop notes; with great strength. Taste of caramel, toffee, chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, nuttiness, brown sugar, toast, brown bread, herbal, floral, wood, light pepper, light pine, and roasted earthiness. Minimal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toffee, chocolate, cocoa, coffee, wood, brown sugar, roasted malt, nuttiness, and herbal earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice balance and complexity of dark malt and moderate hop flavors; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately creamy and smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent old ale! All around great balance and complexity of dark malt and moderate hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.
northropfrye (1950) - Steinbach, Manitoba, CANADA - JAN 2, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Orange body. Sweet rice pudding with a bit of hops. A nice beer. On tap at republic mpls.
cards04 (1459) - Steinbach, Manitoba, CANADA - JAN 2, 2014
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
A really nice ale. Though I donít know why itís rated so high. Aromas of dark fruit and some spice. Similar sweet and malty flavors. Nice.
flannelnomad (52) - portland, Oregon, USA - JAN 1, 2014
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Smells like dry cocoa, multigrain cereal and a crisp hit of roasted coffee beans. This beer pours a dark dark mahogany but isnít the least bit hazy. A beautiful beer for a style that usually isnít. Drinks like roasted, toasted cereal dusted with a little malt powder and cocoa. The finish taste like bitter, dry roasty coffee along with a nice hop presence mixing in. Bottom line is this is my favorite winter/olde ale. I mean what does winter ale mean anymore anyway? Some breweries call a seasonal pale a winter ale and then sometimes you get a beauty like this. Well when itís dark and cold this is my go to, and in my opinion this yearís is the best batch yet.
Maxbier (80) - Maryland, USA - DEC 30, 2013
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 31, 2013 Oak brown color, thin head. Aroma of tobacco and smoked barley. Flavors of fruits, booze, hint of honey. Delicious smoked flavor. Thoroughly enjoyable winter ale.
Dragonfly1 (462) - Colorado, USA - DEC 30, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Just awesome aroma of milk chocolate, black licorice, and roasted coffee. Pours much darker than expected, nearly black. The flavors are everywhere with this. Actually starts with piney hops, with a middle of sweet chocolate, and finishes spicy and a bit sticky. Really pushes the boundaries of flavor. Only downside was that the body was thin, a little flat. But overall good and unique.
atlrizzob (136) - Aiken, South Carolina, USA - DEC 30, 2013
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a deep amber almond color with moderate white head. The nose is hoppy with a malty caramel note. Has a very rich flavor of hops, citrus, and a kind of molasses hint. Very good righteous brew.
ESPh (48) - Branchburg, New Jersey, USA - DEC 29, 2013
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours with a nice creamy head and a caramel/coffee color. Nice coffee malt aroma. Medium body with a slightly spicy, coffee, caramel, chocolate taste. Very smooth. Overall very tasty and nice for sipping on a foul weathered evening.