rajendra82 (1044) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - JAN 14, 2006
3.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Started getting the beer this year in Georgia in 22 oz. bombers (without the flip top), so went head and picked some up at Bullockís on Sandy Plains in Marietta to sample what the North Carolinians have been raving about for so long.
The body came out deep reddish brown with a smallish foamy head that started off at one finger thick, and stayed at that level for a while. The smell was just absent, with even deep inhalation revealing almost nothing, except some timid floral to citric hops. The taste on the other hand was much more expressive, comprising of sweet caramel malt with just a hint of chocolate, winter spices (ginger, cinnamon, and clove), and citric hops all complimenting each other quite nicely. Much lighter in body than most Winter Warmers, with the lively carbonation sparkling across the tongue like a soda, this felt more like a spice enhanced Bitter. Quite easy to drink, and relatively low in ABV, this is very suitable for the milder Southern climate, with its pseudo winter.
May be next year, they can pump up the recipe to the next level, now that the cap has been popped,
21iceman40 (1735) - Grafton, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 14, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark cranberry reddish tint to the black night color of this brew. Little if any head. Hoppy toffee aroma. I got a bit of licorice up front, but not the kind you get from a bw. A buttery feel to it as well and it finishes with a bit of bite. Interesting and not bad at all.
Pailhead (6385) - Plymouth, Michigan, USA - JAN 10, 2006
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle: Courtesy of Styles. Aroma of caramel, vanilla. roasted nuts, fruit, and light spices. Pours a dark transparent copper with a small soapy head that quickly fades to a ring. Quick nuttiness and caramel up front is quickly covered up by a vanilla, milk chocolate, butterscotch, and slight ginger finish. Pretty tastey, but probably couldnít drink more than 12oz or so without it wearing on me.
Styles (2014) - Lincoln Park, Michigan, USA - JAN 10, 2006
2.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bottle courtesy of Jonathan3584. Transparent mahogany with minimal head, fades to film quickly. Aroma all over the place, vanilla and spices up front, with some chocolate, mollasses and fruit. Spicy sweet caramel malt in initial flavor turns to all extract vanilla taste. Quite put off by all the vanilla.
HighGravity (926) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JAN 5, 2006
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
(2005/2006 Version) The nose is very fruity; perhaps cherries were used to make this beer. The palate is full of chocolate, spice, and cherry notes. Itís like a wassail without being overwhelmed with spice. I did not think that I would like this beer, but it is interesting. Nice winter ale.
SpringsLicker (3442) - Tennessee, USA - JAN 1, 2006
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a sparkling clear dark garnet with a small fleeting head.
Fruity aroma gives off grape and honeydew melon.
The flavor starts with a grape candy sweetness, a slight bitterness comes in as it fades to a dry finish. I didnít get and of the vanilla that others have noted, Iíll look for it when I try another one of these.
JCW (1278) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 31, 2005
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: MAR 12, 2007 Pours brown with an off white small head. Aroma of vanilla(almost enough that it tasted oak barrel aged) with caramel and chocolate. The flavor was pretty straight forward vanilla, which I found to be a little overwelming.
TheBeerCollector (633) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - DEC 17, 2005
3.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a medium brown with a small head. Aroma is of chocolate and vanilla. Flavor is melted vanilla ice cream with some chocolate syrup mixed in. Short finish with little aftertaste. Thanks to Brandon for this one.
OhioDad (2492) - Hilliard, Ohio, USA - DEC 17, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
22oz bottle via trade with jonathan3584 - Thanks Jonathan! - Pours mahogony with a film of an offwhite head that doesnít do much. Aroma is of vanilla, dark fruit, and brown sugar. Flavor is vanilla beans, a touch of spice, some caramel, a bit of molasses. Palate is rather thin and somewhat watery for a beer of itís color. Definitely drinkable though and a nice brew for the season.
Quixote18 (236) - Johnson City, Tennessee, USA - DEC 17, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Poured from bottle to Engligh pint glass. Smooth aroma of lightly roasted pecans and vanilla. Smooth dark color with a lasting cream head. Feels like liquid silk in the mouth. Did I mention it was smooth? Finished slightly sweet with vanilla hints. Wow, no wonder itís so hard to get this stuff before itís sold out!