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RATINGS: 540   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.49   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 225   ABV: 7.5%
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Our "winter warmer" ale, brewed with copious helpings of English malts and US and English hops, a ruddy hued "Imperial ESB" in style. Full malty flavors dancing with powerful hop aromas and a lingering, firm hop bitterness. Seasonally available from mid October to February.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jasonp (1555) - Leesburg, Virginia, USA - DEC 6, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 8, 2005 2005 version: Much different this year. Pours a dark clear amber/red with a medium off-white head. Aroma of kilned malts and floral hops - not as vibrant as last yearís. Flavor is heavy on the side of caramel/toasted malt, then comes the grapefruity, piney hops. Doesnít have that fresh-baked pretzel California Ale Yeast character this time around. Lingering bitter finish, a little metallic. Medium body, seems light for the style, moderate carbonation. Overall, a nice beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
blank (996) - Austin, Texas, USA - DEC 5, 2005
on tap, RFD Washington. A nice dark yellow, light orange. light aroma. A heavy, bitter flavor with a dark heavy bittering hop taste. Very nice bitter.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
xproudfoot (750) - Paleolithic, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 5, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 6, 2005 Bottle. Pours with a frothy root beer head, and a thick reddish brown color. Lots of hops on the nose, quite tangy, like a zinger. The taste is full of malt and quite bitter, with a decent bitter finish. Fairly straightforward flavor with the alcohol showing. Iím not usually a fan of bitter/malty beers, but this one is fairly pleasant [many such beers leave too long abitter, dry finish in my mouth to enjoy]. This is nice but not really my favorite style. I can see the grapefruit and melon notes some are detecting, but not the other subtleties. And it is somewhat sweet, especially once you let it warm up a bit.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
BuckNaked (1230) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - DEC 4, 2005
12oz bottle: Clear, but beautiful medium amber, dark enough to obscure view until held up to light where it really glows, with a beige head that has nice retention. Aroma is dominated by fresh hops - definite fuggles in this one, and Iím fairly certain theyíre using both american and british fuggles here - also some light pine, earth, and caramel. Taste is fuggles, earthy hops, floral hops, a hint of grapefruit, pale malt, with hints of bread crust, berries, and fruity yeast. Medium bodied, light-medium carbonation, finishes watery and sweet, then quickly hops bitterness takes over.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
elnadeau (786) - Laguna Niguel, California, USA - DEC 4, 2005
Sampled at the Pizza Port 9th Strong Ale Festival, thanks to whomever opened a bottle of this at the "ratebeer" table. Aroma is somewhat spicy and hoppy, flavor is malty and spicy with hops backing up. Iíd say this works as a decent winter warmer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
whaleman (2178) - North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 4, 2005
Clear, dark orange body with a modest, uniform, sudsy off-white head. Aroma of dried mangos, nectarines, caramelized toasty malt, and floral notes. Nutty flavor plus well-baked bread crusts with medium sweet residual malt sugars plus moderate, emergent bitterness. A decent winter seasonal. It was fun to play guess the style with this. My guess was double amber. Close enough. Thanks Eric.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
argo0 (11638) - Washington DC, USA - DEC 4, 2005
(12oz bottle, best by 4/06) Medium beige head topped by crystal clear copper body. Aroma is moderately sweet, floral, pine, caramel. The beer bursts with flavor-- moderately sweet, pine, grapefruit, melon, caramel, some floral, some alcohol warming. Smooth medium-full body. While at first it is very enjoyable, the sweetness does overwhelm somewhat by the end of the bottle, detracting somewhat from the experience.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
chilehead (186) - Laguna Niguel, California, USA - DEC 4, 2005
Thanks to ratebeerians for bringing this to pizza portís strong ale fest. Iím not sure who it was, but thank you! A medium-strength ale with nice hop notes. Some coriander and spice on the nose. Not bad.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
GreenDragon (219) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 4, 2005
Pours with a medium white head with a little lacing on a deep amber-red body with a sweet, cherry like aroma with hints of other fruits. Fruity taste with nice tannin hops in the finish on a lively medium body.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
maniac (3800) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - DEC 4, 2005
Dark amber color with a frothy off-white head. Bitter aroma with a more bitter flavor.

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