pintsize (1042) - Austin, Texas, USA - NOV 5, 2007
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
10-7-07 bottle (shared with lb4lb courtesy of DrBayern). Although this beer is made in my favorite city in the world - it just isnít my favorite beer in the world. Ruby amber color with tan head. Hints of caramel and butter (yes, butter!) in the aroma. Decent carbonation - a bit on the high side. A bit bland and watery - but not the worst seasonal Iíve had. I think I rated this higher than I normally would just based on the brewery - but overall it really isnít horrible for a spiced beer.
JMFG (1585) - Florida, USA - OCT 11, 2007
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Liter bottle. Pours a reddish-copper with an off-white head that dissipates a bit. Pretty sweet aroma with a caramel malt aroma and some light winter spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla). Medium-bodied, medium-low carbonation. General caramel taste with some light spices in the finish. I thought thereíd be more to the taste here, but itís dominated by the caramel taste. The sweetness isnít cloying, just not part of something more complex.
lb4lb (2112) - Austin, Texas, USA - OCT 7, 2007
2.6 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 9/20
bottle courtesy of DrBayern
Rich maroon brown with a fluffy beige head. Smell is sweet, malt, vanilla, cream and perhaps some butteriness or butterscotch. Kind of reminds me of scotch ales, which iím not too keen on. Taste is smooth vanilla, cream and caramelly malt. A good beer, in all honesty, but something about the strong sweet vanilla like aroma that was a bit cloying or unpleasant to me.
unclemattie (3908) - Georgia, USA - OCT 6, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
2006 Vintage, 1L swing-top bottle. Deep copper color. Thick, creamy tan head. Heavy creamy aroma of toffee, buttery cream soda. Flavors of oak aged cream soda, could you get a little more vanilla in here?? Heavy bodied, super creamy texture, with no detection of alcohol.
jsquire (3230) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - SEP 28, 2007
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Deep reddish amber color with a thin beige head. Cinnimon spice nose, but I also get artificial vanilla and raspberry. Very malty caramel with buttered toast, cinnimon, artificial vanilla and other spices. The fake vanilla is interferring with my enjoyment, and I get a berry fruitiness that the description doesnít indicate.
beerbuzzmontreal (3490) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - SEP 26, 2007
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Pours a clear reddish brown color with a thin beige head. The aroma is sweet, with spices and fruits. The flavor is tart and spicy with some caramel sweetness and a dry finish. The body is light with a creamy texture and moderate carbonation.
kp (10887) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - SEP 1, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JAN 2, 2010
Date: November 05, 1999
Source: Brewfest, Durham, NC, Winter
Appearance: dark amber
Aroma: strong vanilla aroma
Flavor: sweet flavor with lots of vanilla, liquid qraham crackers
Date: November 25, 2005
Source: brick store
Appearance: clear very dark amber, thin beige head, nice lace
Aroma: candy sweet malt aroma with nice vanilla
Body: big body
Flavor: rich sweet malt flavor, lots of vanilla, brown sugar, stays strong sweet vanilla to the end but stays just this side of going too sweet
Date: December 21, 2006
all the candy sweetness and caramel plus vanilla of years past
Date: January 27, 2007
Source: brick store
picking up cinamon and other spices to go with all of the vanilla sweetness
Date: April 29, 2007
can it be getting sweeter?
Date: August 18, 2007
Date: December 03, 2009
Source: Ale Atlanta
holds up pretty well, caramel and vanilla strong as ever, spices receeding,
Date: December 22, 2009
Source: taco mac prado
Appearance: clear dark amber, fine beige head, scattered lace
Aroma: faint aroma from a chilled glass
Flavor: sweet candy caramel and vanilla flavor, touch of cinnamon, light chocolate
Overall: the Christmas candy of beers
Aroma: 7/10; Appearance: 7/10; Flavor: 7/10; Palate: 8/10; Overall: 15/20
Score: *** /4
Nuffield (3542) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - AUG 29, 2007
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
I knew that this wasnít supposed to be the ideal aging beer (too low of abv, in theory), but I had a bottle that I bought in Atlanta in January 2006, and I kept it mostly in the refrigerator until August 2007--so over 18 months. And I thought it was swell! There was a little oxidation, but it was all positive, giving the nuttiness a nice vanilla edge and a sense of woody maturation. Thereís a fruity side, too, that hasnít been lost, and it is nicely carbonated to be slightly frothy and not too aggressive. No hops to worry about in the finish (I like my beers all-malts, no-hops, basically). Overall, I conclude, itís a good beer that doesnít hurt it to give it some careful aging.
drewdogg (62) - USA - AUG 19, 2007
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Had bottle from 2006-07 winter. Very nice chocolatey ale with medium body. Hints of nutmeg, cinamon, vanilla, and caramel. Probably the best winter seasonal I have ever had as Highland has resisted the temptation to overly spice the beer or add gimmick flavoring like candy cane or licorice as some other south regional brewers do with their winter seasonals. I will definitely look for this beer again when it is in season this coming winter.
hopscotch (8375) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - AUG 7, 2007
3.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle... Murky, deep, caramel-colored ale with a small, creamy, white head. Malty, earthy nose with a boatload of toffee and a trace of Marciano cherry. Aged or stale hop flavor with subtle vanilla and cinnamon. No intensity, but nice. Medium-bodied with lively carbonation. Finishes minerally and slightly Flemish. Kudos to boboski for bringing this one down from Orlando!