beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - DEC 9, 2003
4.3 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Light brownish, burnt orangy yellow color thats quite clouded and has a strange glow from the bottom up with a medium ivory colored head from a vigorous pour, sits soft and thick but dwindles down somewhat fast; minimal stringed lace. Aroma is a whole lotta spice! Allspice, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, fly across the air and is very fresh and lovely into the nose, a light touch of dulled plum and sweet potato and toasty malts are in the back but are hard reaching due to the very spicy array this holiday keeper has. Taste is much more subdued then the smell gives way too, which is a good thing, I don't think I would like a glass of allspice, would you? But the spices are there but favorably mixed with a soft toasted Vienna-like maltyness with a slight sweetness underneath some of the allspice and ginger. Quite a nice semi-milding taste thats very pleasant and subtle. Good medium body feel and has a lingering spiced dryness for the finish. The 9.5% ABV surprised me, its no where to found if that is truely the ABV, no where. This was gone in no time and goes down super easy with a good little zip of spice. More please.
Frank (2189) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 1, 2003
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: MAY 27, 2004 Rerate: Well, the first time I tried this I was pretty tanked... My original rating was 4.2 which is rediculous given my opinion of this stuff now. Rather thin bodied and a bit on the flat side. Big notes of orange and clove which is nice but it lacks the malt depth to hold it all up.
Original rating: Wonderful copper color. A thin foamy head leaves sheets of lace behind. Nose is full of warm spice--cinnamon, clove, allspice... It's all about the spice and I love it! Medium bodied, nicely sweet with soft but assertive carbonation. A hint of bubblegum in the malt malt backbone compliments everything perfectly. Certainly one of the finest winter warmers ever made.
TheDean (786) - MIlwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 22, 2003
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
So i thought i had rated this one, but I guess I haddedn't. Had a glass of this at the brewery today and throughly enjoyed it. A nice dark beer which taste like a combo of a stout and an IPA. Me likey
Drew (2413) - Kent, Ohio, USA - NOV 18, 2003
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Nice aroma - spices and sweet. Color is deeper amber with hints of cherry. Taste is thick with spices, cinnamon, honey, nutmeg, cherry jello. Yes, Chris is going to hate me for saying it, but this is too cloying. I don't care for the balance of this.
bac080 (398) - Boardman, Ohio, USA - OCT 6, 2003
4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This smells fantastic! Just honey and cinnamon all over. It doesn't taste quite as amazing as it smells, but still very good. A pleasant surprise.
cb (810) - Roeland Park, Kansas, USA - SEP 25, 2003
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
I noticed a ton of honey and malt in the aroma, along with ginger. The brew itself was heavily cinnamon and nutmeg spiced, although it was tempered with brown sugar and a boatload of ginger. Not a lot of breadiness though. Somewhat flat in texture, the orange aspect had grown a bit overwhelming during the year of aging. I'm not sure it is enough of a craft brew to be laid down. After tasting, I used a bit to flavor pumpkin bisque, it was delightful and added a lot of diminutive spice fullness. I wonder what it would be like added to carrot or pumpkin cake.
GermanBrews76 (675) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - JUL 7, 2003
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2002 bottle: Hazy, lots of suspended proteins I suppose. Quickly dissipating head, nice pumpkin/amber color. Nose of ginger bread and pumpkin pie, cinnamon, orange and spices (clove, cinnamon and nutmeg). Thick, full, creamy and smooth. Like liquid ginger bread and pimpkin pie in a blender. well balanced and well presented. I'll be sure to have one next christmas, hopefully picked up right at the brewery. An awesome holiday offering.
jaymobrown (1521) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUN 12, 2003
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Smelled and tasted quite like a ginger bread cookie soaked in rum. The alcohol came rushing in the middle and just stayed there knocking all others off.
JoeM500 (1900) - Crown Point, Indiana, USA - JUN 12, 2003
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
The first of two holiday beers that Jaymobrown and I shared on this unseasonably chilly June afternoon. Reddish brown with a thin lifeless head. Nose was gingerbread cookie. First taste had the alcohol all upfront and made us look up the page to check it's content. Some gingerbread cookie and my Grandmother's spiced pumpkin pie come to mind as far as taste. Interesting, but not what I want in a beer. High alcohol was a bit rough, too.
TAR (2349) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - APR 28, 2003
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 29, 2003 2002: Light rust liquid. Only a ring of foam. Soft, elegant floral essence matched with assertive overtones of nutmeg, wood, pumpkin, brown sugar, sassafrass, and cinnamon sprinkled bread. Slightly chalky. A trace of coarse, earthy hop. Firm carbonation; lightly prickly and watery. Starts with a lightly fruity, acidid hop twang and luscious caramel glazed malts. Finishes with notes of cinnamon bread, honey, lemon oil, fresh mint leaf dryness, and flowers. Very subtle lingering notes of dessert apples and caramel. I expected a fuller body and aroma, along with more hop depth, which would have contributed more complexity. But the sweet, bready, caramel malt profile, coupled with rich fig flavors and soft spices were very well executed. Nonetheless, I welcome any bottle conditioned lager, especially of this strength.