ClarkVV (3892) - 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.
IrishBoy (3853) - Bakersfield, California, USA - MAY 6, 2007
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle from Ross; nose of sweet caramel and vanilla; rusty red with a small straw head; sweet and spicy with some caramel malt, fruitiness, and a tiny bit of hops. A decent Christmas ale!
FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - SEP 4, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Winter 2003-2004 Release, Sampled August 2004.
Pours a deep amber-ruby color with an amber-tan head. Thick aromas of syrupy malt waft from my glass, I also get notes of caramelized oranges and cherries (which are strong enough that there might actually be some cherry additions to this beer). The taste is dry up front, but then moves to a weird, fruity note; cough syrup perhaps. This also has some interesting subdued dark malt character to it, a slightly acidic finish, as well as some candied cherry notes. The cherry is not nearly as strong in the taste as in the aroma. Up front this beer could just about pass for a malty Scottish ale. It is fairly light and interesting enough as a quaffing brew (good thing that I have a 1 liter bottle of this to enjoy).
maniac (3800) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - APR 19, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle courtesy of TheBeerGod on 04/19/2009. Very clear reddish brown body with a small off-white head. Big malty and molassas aroma with some spicy hints. Sweet caramel and molassas flavor with some faint vanilla and some spice. Medium full body with moderately low carbonation.
Butters (3787) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - DEC 2, 2008
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Sampled on draft at city beverage in winston-salemn. Nice translucent auburn pour with good tan head. Lightly malty aroma with a little hop spiciness. Surprisingly hoppy but well balanced by the malty tones and hints of anise. Medium chewy body with moderate carbonation and some carbonic bite. Decent winter brew.
SSSteve (3786) - - DEC 31, 2006
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: NOV 15, 2009 fruity aroma of plums, and ginger bread. clear burgundy with a small tan head. spicy flavor of ginger bread, raisin bread and cinnamon. light-medium bodied. flavors and aroma are a little bit subtle...but nice.----re-rate 2009---flavor has more vanilla than anything this year.
nearbeer (3774) - 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.
Ernesto987 (3768) - Connecticut, USA - NOV 23, 2011
2.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
Bomber, itís got the southern tier Creme burlee flavor. Luckily itís just a significant flavor not utter dominance. Dry finish, thin body. Lame brew
burg326 (3764) - Florida, USA - MAY 30, 2012
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at the Brass tap, poured a brown color with aromas of vanilla, toffee, nutmeg, and some nuts. Flavors are the same, but some sweet malts coming though, also light caramel flavor in the aftertaste.
Nuffield (3691) - 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.