beerbuzzmontreal (3488) - 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 (10884) - 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 (3835) - 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 wasn’t 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. There’s a fruity side, too, that hasn’t 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, it’s a good beer that doesn’t 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 (10082) - 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!
mgumby10 (1856) - Jupiter, Florida, USA - AUG 1, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a lightly hazy caramel brown, with a very small, light tan head. A lot of sweet malts, caramel, dark fruits, and bread in the smell. Tastes of carmale and candy corn, vanilla, some cinnamon, pretty much like Halloween in a glass. very sweet and sugary, left the palate begging for more, as I am a sweet tooth. Kind of like a candy beer. i enjoyed it, it was fun to drink.
alexanderj (3414) - Branson, Missouri, USA - JUL 28, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle; poured an auburn-brown; with nice off white head. Earthy aroma with various spices, caramel and vanilla. Very distinct flavor with lots of vanilla, caramel and spice. One of the most distinct I have had in a while. Good mouthfeel, felt slightly creamy and smooth. Would be nice to have this actually during winter next time.
BBB63 (6449) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - JUL 21, 2007
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Tasted at the post-release DLD party: Clean caramel hue with good lasting frothy head and very good lace. The aroma has notes of juniper, cardamom, saffron, anise, wild flowers (i.e. very herbal) along with some caramel malt vapours. WOW, very spicy and sweet with a lot of malt leading towards a fruity midesection of candy apple, fig and peaches. The finish is spicy, minty and dry with a chalky aftertaste. The mouth feel is soft and smooth despite a high amount of carbonation. A nice spiced winter warmer but could use a tad more hop character.
DarkElf (3038) - La Jolla, California, USA - JUL 1, 2007
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
06-Sep-06 (1 liter flip-top bottle: Obtained 25-Mar-06 in trade with Jonathan3584, thanks Jonathan!) Ruddy brown in appearance and semi-translucent, the beer is capped by a half-inch, light-tan head that settles to a wide ring. Sweet spices, dark malts and brown sugar in the nose. First impression: wow, that’s spicy! Lots and lots of cinnamon bombards the palate, but once over that initial shock, the dark, lightly roasty malts able to stand on their own. However, the finish reverts back to cinnamon, plus brown sugar, candy caramel and hot cocoa mix. Not much in the hop department, and any bitterness is probably from the light roast, but this is clearly a spice and malt-dominated beer. Medium-bodied with good carbonation. Overall, despite the heavy dose of spices, the beer is still enjoyable, though a slight reduction in the amount of spices might serve this beer better. One final note: in a group tasting at O’Brien’s (who can drink an entire liter of beer like this?!), some really liked the beer, others thought it was overtly spicy, but it certainly generated a lot of good discussion, pro and con, and that’s the sign of a successful beer.
blankboy (6583) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JUN 20, 2007
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle (650ml) courtesy of ross. Pours a deep orange-copper with an average size diminishing tan head. Aroma’s sweet, malty and fruity along with spices and vanilla -- smells nice! Flavour of toasted malt, quite fruity and spicy along with vanilla and light hops -- really tasty! Medium bodied. Wow, this is really good stuff, well done!