hopscotch (9555) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - SEP 12, 2006
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle... Murky orange lager with red highlights and a mid-sized, fizzy, beige head. The nose is of fruitcake and gingerbread. The flavor is sweet honey and toffee with ginger snaps. Lightly bitter and mildly acetic. Full-bodied and chewy with gentle carbonation. Finishes spicy and sweet. Thanks to headbanger for the bottle!
DarkElf (3035) - La Jolla, California, USA - AUG 31, 2006
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
(12 oz bottle: Obtained 27-Jan-05 in trade with CaptainCougar, thanks Tom!) When they say "Holiday Spice Lager Beer", they mean it. Lotsa spice in this one, and it’s the usual assortment for the holidays: plenty of nutmeg, cinnamon and clove. Despite the significant spicing here, the underlying malt isn’t lost. It’s mildly sweet and somewhat bready, but also dark and earthy, the earthiness probably a product of the 18-month aging process. And with this beer going strong after 18 months, it could probably help you rock around the Christmas tree 18 months from now. Bitterness is mild to moderate, mostly due to the spices I presume. Modest tartness helps keep the sweetness in check. The nose is quite a bit sweeter than the flavor, but also very spicy and fairly malty. The dry and well-carbonated mouthfeel of this medium-bodied beer hints at a bit of dusty apple skins, and that comes through in the flavor as the beer warms up. Bright-amber in color and fairly clear in appearance. The off-white head pours fairly small and settles to a smattering of filminess encircled by a wide ring atop the beer. A few small spots of lace remain on the glass. Overall, the spicing seems a bit forward to me, but it’s still a pretty good beer that apparently ages wonderfully.
walleye (1067) - Sterling Heights, Michigan, USA - MAY 9, 2006
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
thanks goes to ughsmash for this beer. poured a brown copper with a small off white head that left no lacing. aroma sweet cinnamon, honey, ginger, alcohol got most of that before it got close to my nose, than got raisins, caramel. flavor honey just jumps out there in 1st place than all those spices the alcohol is well hidden, nice dryness good beer, wish I had this at the holidays
Gurst (338) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - FEB 28, 2006
3.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Drinking this is kind of like putting a few juicy oranges into an old sock (for that spicy kick!), pouring in honey until it begins to ooze out the heel, and then smacking yourself with it in the face. This is the most extreme over-the-top OMG’d bloody saccharine beer I’ve ever tasted. In order of noticing: Orange, honey, nutmeg, licorice, alcohol, molasses, raisin, apricot, cinnamon, ginger, pine. Smells awesome, though.
frankenkitty (1959) - Oak Lawn, Illinois, USA - JAN 25, 2006
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 15/20
A huge head is creamy & tan over a rich, vermillion body. Aroma is soapy and piney, spiced with cinnamon and clove. Caramel holds the flavor together but there is a spicy sweetness that can overwhelm like an intense potpourri. Sugary-honey mouthfeel. This is better than many holiday beers in the fact that it has some real personality... many I’ve tried this winter have been standard IPAs or weak winter warmers.
<font size=-4>Single bottle from <a href=http://www.worldmarket.com/costplus/findstore Plus World Market, Orland Park, IL 60462<font size=-1>
JohnnyOS (646) - Golden, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 21, 2006
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours an amber brown color with slightly tan head. Mild aroma of caramel and spice (similar spice scent to Leinie’s Apple Spice). Flavor of sweet malts, burnt brown sugar, molasses, ginger and nutmeg with a carbonation that makes the flavor dance in your mouth. Medium bodied with a light malt finish.
I don’t generally prefer any of the Holiday beers, but this one is done very well.
beervana (781) - Libertyville, Illinois, USA - DEC 19, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Sampled at a 2005 Christmas and Winter beer tasting at Delilah’s, Chicago, IL. 2003 vintage. Clear amber hued lager having a long-lasting average off-white head with good lacing. No discernable carbonation. Nice aroma of caramel and spice. Medium bodied that starts smooth with light sweet malt, clove and other spice flavors. Finishes with light malt aftertaste. An enjoyable spicy winter beer.
Pailhead (5074) - Brownstown, Michigan, USA - DEC 14, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle: Courtesy of MrFacto via trade. Nice spicey aroma with ginger and cinnamon. Hints of orange barely sneak by all the spice. Pours a cloudy orangish-red with a moderate off-white head with good retention. Moderate orange up front that seems to turn to a light orange peel when it mixes with the big ginger, cinnamon, and bitter finish. Lightly acidic in the finish. Lingering bitterness in the aftertaste. Don’t get any honey like I expected after reading the commercial description until it warms. It’s very subtle though. Nice creamy mouthfeel.
RAYBOY01 (2012) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 14, 2005
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Ginger, nutmeg, orange slices, on top of a rich caramel/toffee base. A bit of hop bite in the finish. Not a bad attempt at a winter warmer.
argo0 (11652) - Washington DC, USA - DEC 11, 2005
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
(12oz bottle, bottled 3rd Week November -- 2004?) Small tan head atop a murky dark brown. Aroma is moderately sweet, gingerbread, some cinnamon. Taste is moderately sweet, ginger, brown sugar, candied orange, some earthy, light caramel. Medium body, very drinkable. Alcohol well hidden, with only a little bit of warming noticeable.