nick76 (4303) - Tampa, Florida, USA - FEB 7, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
The aroma is very sweet and syrupy with both chocolate and maple. There is also spices, caramel, and vanilla. The appearance is deep amber with a three finger head. The flavor is like the aroma. There are a lot of good tastes going on but I must admit they come in stages and not always complimentary. The palate is smooth and the finish bitter. Overall a very unique winter beer.
emacgee (4299) - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA - DEC 25, 2006
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Vintage ’06. Poured a reddish amber. The head was thin and off white. The aroma was sweet and spicy. The flavor was layerd. Started with spice and little noticeable hop and finished with a very distinct sweet spice. Nutmeg? I was actually very impressed with this beer. It was the best spice beer I’ve had. It didn’t do too many spices or not enough, very well balanced.
sonnycheeba (4128) - Federal Hill, Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JAN 1, 2015
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Pours clear ruby brown with creamy off-white head. Aroma is bready and cereal malts, mixed berries, faint toast, and faint floral notes. Flavor is dry malt base with some dark fruit sweetness, light hops, and faint spice. Medium body and carbonation.
maxwelldeux (4119) - Snohomish, Washington, USA - NOV 27, 2012
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draught. Pours a clear amber color with a smallish tan head. I get almost no nose off this. Taste is malty and interesting, with a bit of caramel in there. Pleasant bite to this beer.
RobertDale (4088) - Lansing, Kansas, USA - DEC 24, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
22 ounce bottle. Pours reddish brown with an average tan head. Aroma of malt, spice, and vanilla. Taste is malt, spice, vanilla, and caramel. I thought this was not too spicy. Enjoyed the vanilla. Tasty.
ClarkVV (4058) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JUN 14, 2007
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
2006 Swingtop bottle from Oldgrowth, drunk on 5/26/07
Still plentiful carbonation resulting in a massive, auburn-specked-beige head that is slow to recede, yet eventually falls to cover, leaving light lacing. Mostly clear body, with nearly no sediment on the bottom is a chartreuse-orange with darker chestnut tints.
Smells meaty. Like gruit meaty. I was sort of expecting something of a spiced scotch ale, but I didnt really get that. Like they used lots of heather and a darker spice, not as dry and distinctive as cinnamon, but still quite astringent and puzzling. The rest of the beer seems to be an amber ale, with crystal malts hardening things and not really complementing the already dry spiciness. That meaty, almost vegetal quality returns on the end, with some vanilla and lots of toast. Maybe some anise in there too? Alcohol is well-concealed, but there could be a bit of DMS and the spices just dont provide any enjoyment that I can find.
Sweet caramel, with tons of esters providing plums, red apples and figs. Crystal malt hardness never really allows for a soft or full texture and the spicing goes from weird to astringent. An interesting cherry-orange-vanilla-anise thing going on on the finish, with lots of lightly tannic grains. Needs a lot more base malt, just gets too crunchy/earthy/toasty. Carbonation is quite high. Not really flawed, just overspiced and with a really strange malt bill.
nearbeer (4050) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - DEC 14, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
650 ml. Clear, deep garnet-brown with a lasting small head. Mild aroma of spiced caramel and light chocolate. Tastes of lightly spiced vanilla-chocolate mixture. The touch of earthy spices and hops provides harmony without being overbearing, resulting in notes of dark fruit, peppery oak, cumin, ginger, anise, cinnamon and clove. Medium body is dry and tingly with spices, and lightly carbonated.
Iphonephan (4039) - McLean, Virginia, USA - DEC 30, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
In draft at Trio in Kill Devil Hills NC. Pours a clear amber with an ecru head. Malty nose with a touch of fruity hop notes. Flavors of cocoa and cloves. Medium bodied. Moderate carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel.
TURDFERGUSON (4009) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - JAN 9, 2007
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Tap at Tyler’s in the Boro. flat coke appearance with sweet fruitcake and roasted malt nose. Flavor is mocha milkshake, nutmeg, and weird christmas cookies. I am not a huge fan. Creamy and smooth palate, but just not my thing.
JCB (3999) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - FEB 29, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: MAY 19, 2012 Nice to see this in bombers this year, after several previous seasons of swingtop madness! The aroma is even richer than I recall, a sweet blend of vanilla, clove, cinnamon, and sugar. Lots of sweet malt flavors coming through the nose. It’s very nice to the taste too, with a rich body, some hops for balance, and a lovely lingering aftertaste.