3fourths (8879) - 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.
JohnC (3004) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - JUL 18, 2004
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
sampled at RBSG 04
This pours clear dark brown with a spicy aroma. It’s interesting trying to get into a Christmas beer in July. It’s a good winter beer.
5000 (6599) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - JUL 15, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle pours reddish amber, fairly dark, off-white dishwater like head, virtually no carbonation, with sparce lacing.   Aroma is quite interesting, woody, minor chocolate, molasses, and maybe light alcohol on the nose.   Forwardly piney, hoppy, slightly nutty, with subtle hints of cocoa, molasses, and peanut brittle.   While the flavor is quite interesting, the mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side.   Otherwise, good combination of malts and hop bitterness, with a nice warming feeling.   A fairly good winter warmer.
duff (5484) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - JUN 25, 2004
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle-In the vaulst of HI International. Pretty piney and hoppy in flavour. Woody, citrusy. Syrupy texture, slightly sticky, leafy finish. OK, a touch too sweet and sticky.
Gromit (479) - Port Orchard, Washington, USA - MAR 30, 2004
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: JAN 7, 2005 Rerate, with my previous 3.9 deScription below. I’m only noting the changes.
Man, this has really gone downhill.
Pours the same brown but no head or lacing. The flavor is less complex and more syrupy. Palate isn’t as crisp and is a bit cloying. Overall, this has taken a dive, IMO. What was once a great Winter offering is now just average.
Pours a cloudy brown with a nice head and some lacing, despite a vigorus pour.
Aroma is strong of molasses and caramel with some nice floral hops.
Flavor took me a while to figure out; there’s some pine flavoring. Well balanced dark malts with some strong hops make up most of the flavor, but the pine and other spices make it complex.
Palate is very full and crisp for the style. Overall, it’s good and worth seeking out.
Zach Diesel (906) - Sisters, Oregon, USA - MAR 28, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
citrus hop and slight chocolate aroma, cloudy ruby hue, sticky and hoppy with hints of spruce
heykevin (1281) - Decorah, Iowa, USA - FEB 27, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Piney and fruity hops wast toward me. Sweet and spicy aroma. Deep rich and warming. Great smooth dark malt flavor, not a touch of astringency. Very well-balanced, good hop flavor without being overpowering. Could use just a touch more carbonation. I'm not sensitive to low carbonation, and even I think it needs more. Reccomended.
DrunkAsASkunk (847) - Lynnwood, Washington, USA - FEB 27, 2004
3.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
This beer was sampled at the San Diego Strong Ale Festival. The great Tannenbaum poured a mean reddish maroon color with a slightly pearlishy white head that was fairly lean and faded quickly. The aroma was all about the hints of cherry and vanilla spices but there was definitely a hint of woody and pineyness in there. The taste is definitely hoppy...very dry in the finish with a fruitiness in mid sip. Definite acidity here..but really it seemed like your typical american strong ale. Very citrusy/fruity right up front followed by a total dry hopped finish. There's a slightly sweet finish as you hit the bottom, where you can finally taste those malts..but man what a struggle it was.... overall it was nothing special..but fun to taste at the moment.
BückDich (5464) - McCall, Idaho, USA - FEB 8, 2004
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark red color, lots of light tan head with sheets of lacing. The aroma is full of bittering hops, dark caramel (molasses?) and some alcohol. Sweet finish with some maltose and hops in the finish. Blends very well, good balance. Thanks Brian!
CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - JAN 20, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a dark ruby brown with a thin off-white head. Very complex caramel malty aroma with plenty of western hop presence. Body starts thick and caramely sweet with some fresh bittering hops and puckering oak tart-like finish. Good complexity and balance throughout. A very nice English strong ale.