Ibrew2or3 (5823) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - APR 7, 2011
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Courtesy of markwise. Pours clear amber with thin tan head. The aroma has lots of winter like spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger running into caramel malts and maltiness. The taste is similar with lots of spices, caramel, some spicy maple and a mild level of boozy barrel notes. So so really as it doesn’t come together too well. It could be the spices don’t meld all that well with the base beer and barrel aging.
markwise (3834) - North of Tampa, Florida, USA - APR 7, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bomber from my Ohio connection. Thanks! Pours dark brown-amber with a tan head. Nose is ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, whiskey, nuts, and more spice with a hint of booze, but mostly well-hidden. Flavor starts off with a burst of spice (ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and maybe some cloves) followed by some vanilla and whiskey. Flavor is much more balanced than many of Hoppin’ Frogs other barreled offerings. Overall it has a medium to full body for a Christmas beer as it finishes with spices lingering. It is like drinking the better tasting parts of Christmas, and would go great as a digestif with Christmas dinner.
Brigadier (2275) - Bloomington, Indiana, USA - MAR 22, 2011
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
22 oz bottle
Finally getting around to opening my solo bottle towards the end of the winter I found myself pouring a solid representation of the base beer. Either this is a new recipe from last year’s batch or the aging has mellowed some of the spiciness. It is still potent but there is more balance such that I could actually drink the bottle.
Aroma / Appearance - The deep maroon body is thick, dense, and heavy visually. A soft dusty head looks like chunks of powdered sugar. Vanilla from the aging sticks with the peppermint to offset some of the potency. Figgy and sweet it has a trace more depth. Overall though it is similar in many ways to the base.
Flavor / Palate - Heavy carbonation bubbles like a soft drink which has just been shaken. Vanilla, chocolate flakes, spices, and winter berries brighten the palate before the alcohol then dulls it again. It tastes as if someone mixed a shot of bourbon into a bottle of Sierra Mist cranberry soda and then added a single tootsie roll. Age may mellow it out but right now it is too dominant to enjoy more than a pint.
JK (3989) - Uptown, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - MAR 12, 2011
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
MN Ratebeer Winter Gathering, January 29, 2011. A nice Christmas beer. Nutmeg and some cinnamon. Brown color. Lightly sweet with malt and some hop presence for balance.
Savvy1982 (1705) - Lethbridge, Alberta, CANADA - MAR 9, 2011
4.2 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle, at RBWG 2011. Pours clear brown, thin off-white head, lacing is spotty to poor. Nose is big cardamom/vanilla, with ginger, black pepper, and red fruit. Crazy complex and profound aroma. I am torn as to whether this is the best Christmas beer I’ve ever stuck y nose into, or the bestest... Flavours of cherry-cola, vanilla, pepper, red and black licorice, oak. I HATE Christmas beers, but I adored this brew. Must find me more Hoppin Frog.
Sledutah (3260) - Utah, USA - MAR 7, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle shared during a RBWG stop at the Az Wine Co for some great food and beers
Appearance: Clear dark brown with a medium sized beige head and good lacing
Aroma: Christmas spices
Taste: Christmas spices and some wood and vanilla
A nice Christmas beer, full of spices.
douglas88 (4598) - Salt Lake City, Utah, USA - MAR 7, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bomber at RBWG. Pours a deep copper color with a small white head. A awesome spicy as hell nose, fruity, hot bourbon and vanilla. A smooth flavor but with loads of aggressive spices, nutmeg, bourbon, vanilla, a bit boozy. Very nice, unusual and would be awesome around Christmas.
itsonlybeer (1) - - MAR 7, 2011 does not count
0.7 AROMA 2/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 1/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 1/20
overkill over rated bitter nutmeg and earthen (dirt) overtones somewhat sulphury Allowed Unrefrigeratedon store shelf for way Way too long Great Lakes used to be better Now tied with Top 25 best Xmas Spiced brews
RCL (2029) - Waltham, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 16, 2011
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
This beer smells like straight up fruitcake. Super cinnamon-y. Cinnamon bun and spice cake in the flavor. It’s all malt and spices.
badgerben (4255) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - JAN 31, 2011
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
MN Ratebeer Winter Gathering, January 29, 2011. Courtesy of Skyview. Dark brown color with a medium head. Spicy aroma, lots of clove, cinnamon, cardamom and some light bourbon/corn notes. Ginger, coriander and cinnamon flavors. Dry maltiness. Very light corn. It didn’t scream ’bourbon barrel’, but it definitely added something compared to the regular version.