DarkElf (3050) - La Jolla, California, USA - FEB 26, 2007
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
08-Dec-06 (22 oz bottle: $2.99 at BevMo in La Jolla, CA) Years ago, I began experimenting with adding a bunch of spices to my pancakes and the first time, I went overboard on the nutmeg. The result was a bitter, unpleasant pancake and I tossed the whole batch. Just like those pancakes, the spices in Hoppy Claus have been added with reckless abandon. The grainy malts are moderately sweet and caramely, but are easily overshadowed by the strong spice component and a persistent bitterness from both hops and spices. Bitter spices seem to include an entire crop of ginger, plus nutmeg, clove and possibly cinnamon. Despite the moderate sweetness, the medium-bodied beer is quite dry right through to the long-lasting finish. Medium-high carbonation and enduring bitterness keep the palate lively and crisp, though a bit astringent. Spicy, grainy nose is more enjoyable because you can’t smell astringent bitterness. Copper in color and fairly cloudy initially, despite the lack of sedimentary evidence of bottle conditioning, but when the beer magically clears up over time, the cloudiness is obviously chill haze. Fluffy, light-tan head rises to nearly about half an inch in height before settling back down to a thin, filmy layer. Overall, there’s just too much focus on the spice for this beer to be truly enjoyable or a candidate for repeat purchases.
DirtyMartini (194) - Los Angeles, California, USA - FEB 12, 2007
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
aroma starts off as a light smell of spices...a little nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon. first taste is all hops, but not super hoppy like an IPA or DIPA....more like an APA. piney, spicy hops up front, but the after taste and linger is of the spices...but just lightly. as the beer warms, the spices come out more. over solid beer, nothing spectacular...very drinkable.
goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - FEB 8, 2007
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Poured a lightly hazed amber color with a small beige head. Spicey aroma with notes of ginger and cinanamon. Malty base. The flavor was malty with a big spice mix. The finish had a spicey bite to it. Medium-full bodied. Some warming sensation.
LinusStick (3156) - Moon Twp, suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 8, 2007
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
What an incredible different beer. Acquired via trade with Dirty_Martini...I owe you! I have never experienced a beer like this. The aroma was nutmeg and cinnamon....yes you read that right. The pour was a hazy brown with a thin white head with decent lacing. The taste was the same as the aroma with a hoppy bite. Very nice!
beerguy101 (5351) - Newark, California, USA - JAN 8, 2007
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
This spiced ale pours a light amber color from a 22oz bottle. Medium sized white foamy head. Aroma is fruity, spicy and sweet. A medium bodied spiced ale. Malts are caramel and sweet. Hops are grapefruit and floral. Kind of sweet, lots of holiday spices, but not overly obnoxious about them. Very drinkable X-Mas beer. There is lots of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg other stuff here. Sort of works for me, but I can see this one being a love or hate it beer.. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.
bb (8122) - Alamo, California, USA - DEC 30, 2006
2.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
Bottle. Ruby amber beer with an off-white head. Sweet malt, spice, and citrus hop aroma. Sweet malt, Xmas spices, grapefruit and pine flavor. Lingering sweetness that borders on sacharine - with hops. Very muddled. Nice hop flavor but spices don’t do anythign for it.
bu11zeye (12576) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - DEC 9, 2006
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
(Bottle) Pours a clear copper body with a small off-white head. Aroma of nutmeg, cinnamon, caramel, florals, and fruitiness. Flavor of hops, peppery, and cinnamon with a somewhat bitter finish. Okay, but hard to finish a 22oz bottle.
ChazMania (662) - Oceanside, California, USA - DEC 1, 2006
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bomber. This was disappointing after I have had a few really good Holiday Ales the past few weeks. This has way to much clove and nutmeg spice aroma and flavor. It was one of those "first sip interesting" because it is different, "second sip not so good" and downhill from there.
nahthan (129) - Oakland, California, USA - NOV 25, 2006
2.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
It seemed okay at first, spices with a decent hop flavor. But as it warmed up it had me second guessing about cleanliness issues: Cloves that were added or phenols that came from poor sanitation? Astringency or dry? Contaminated or well attenuated? I will try this brewery’s beers again on tap someday, but until then I suspect they haven’t achieved the cleanliness to be putting their brews in bottles.
SDbruboy (1864) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 25, 2006
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
22 oz. bottle from BevMo. Pours a clear deep orange amber with a large off-white head that leaves nice lacing. Aroma is sweet and spicy, malty orange, cinnamon and clove giving a mulled cider sort of character. Also sweet and spicy in the flavor, with brown sugar, clove and bittering spices leaving an astringent sensation in the mouth. Medium to full body, gentle carbonation.