beerinmarch (2830) - Washington, USA - FEB 14, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Out of the bottle this brew pours a dark glowing red with the faintest off-white head. Very sweet alcohol accented aroma, brown sugar and some subtle earthy spicing. Taste starts with a hint of chocolate up front followed by some earthy malts in the middle, and finishing with some light spice, a hint of alcohol and some bigger bitterness to ease all that malt.
Oakes (11408) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 30, 2005
3.3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draught, at the brewpub
Slight haze. Reddish-brown colour. Rather butterscotchy aroma with a little bit of malt. Palate is rich and malty, with butterscotch (much less than in the aroma, thankfully), earth, a hint of pine, and plenty of toffee. Chewily sweet finish. Alcohol lingers late on the palate. Despite the problematic aroma, this is actually quite a good ESA.
motelpogo (6111) - Plzen, CZECH REPUBLIC - JAN 26, 2005
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
bottled. copper brown colour. decent pine and orange rind aroma, quite full, slightly woody, vanilla character. some raisins and port but thankfully not ridiculously sticky, just could use more bitterness. pretty festive anyway
presario (4522) - Stampede City, Alberta, CANADA - JAN 4, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Thick syrupy aroma with spice notes. Red brown liquid with a wisp of foam. Flavour is hops, light alcohol and malt. Very nice. Like a lighter Barley Wine, light on spice but very drinkable.
kaosse (3) - Point Roberts, Washington, USA - DEC 21, 2004 does not count
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Not for the weak of heart.
Forgot one opened bottle and next morning the taste was very dampened (like the Chrismas Tree on Boxing Day morning) --- but the hops were completely uneffected (undrinkable but interesting)<g>
IndianaRed (2157) - Boise, Idaho, USA - DEC 20, 2004
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle Pours a very dark redish brown with very little head and thin but fine lacing. Aromas are carmel, dark malts and some chocolate. Flavors are mostly the same. The ABV is noticeable and the bitterness comes through a bit. Feel is good and carbonation os soft. Finish is a woody bitter note.
EddieG (169) - Palos Heights, Illinois, USA - DEC 11, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
A very rich slightly burnt/toasty flavor dominates. Deep red with a lasting head and a nice fruity backbone to offset to toasted malt. Hop are secondary but nicely placed.
Thanks Bakersfield Cali Santa
OldGrowth (2417) - North Carolina, USA - SEP 16, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle, from Bottleworks. Good nose. Malty.Chocolate, Root beer,caramel, honey, piney. some spice.. Hazy orange brown color. Small head that faded quickly. Bitter sweet flavors. Same as aroma with a little burnt grapefruit.Thin body., creamy mouthfeel. Dry burnt finish. Very tasty. Not xmasy at all. Wish I had bought more than one.
Sickboy282 (1115) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 16, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a deep amber/brown hue witha minimal slight off-white head. Aromas of aged hops, honey, flowers, caramel and a little oatmeal. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with very little carbonation. Flavors of chocolate, (yes, chocolate!), caramel and dust. mmmmm....
3fourths (7769) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - AUG 15, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: AUG 20, 2010 2003 vintage. Has an exceptionally nice aroma full of juniper, scotch, light alcohol apparency, with some resiny, grassy porter-style roasted malts. Resiny coating, super rich and peaty up front, slightly buzzing the tongue. Great flavor, and the hops are quite evident. Rich and structured and robust without being chewy. 2.5 years old at the time of sampling, and it held up very well. I don’t buy that most mid-to-high strength American ales improve with age, or even hold up well, but this one was amazing with a couple of years.
First rating the numbers were considerabley lower, about 3.7 overall. It was a different experience.