TheBeerLover (1019) - DC Metro Area, USA - DEC 22, 2006
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: DEC 23, 2006 12 oz bottle, 2006 version. Now this is a Christmas beer! Pours to a slightly hazy burnt orange color, with a tall, white head, that fades, and a soft carbonation. The nose on this beer is wonderful. Lots of zesty and spicy aromas of clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and orange peel, mix with some honey sweetness and peppery alcohol. The plate is rich, and oily on the tongue, with lots of good sweet malt, toffee, orange flavor, and honey sweetness that coats the tongue. This beer finishes with more wonderful spicy flavors of clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger that linger with some soothing, peppery, alcohol. This beer is Christmas in a glass. The perfect beer to sip and savor next to a roaring fire, and a beer I will enjoy while reading Charles Dickinsí classic A Christmas Carol.
julieimagery (182) - Coconut creek, Florida, USA - JAN 29, 2012
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAR 8, 2012 One of the best smelling beers Iíve had, itís very tasty and thick with tons of spices. It tastes like they shoved pumpkin pie and gingerbread cookies in a beer form. The honey isnít too prominent but I do agree it balances the malt taste and makes for a very smooth feel on the tongue (especially on the finish). The alcohol is masked perfectly where it isnít overwhelming. I would buy it again if I want a very "pumpkin spicy" type beer.
jebert (439) - Watertown, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 15, 2012
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours dark mahogany with a thick frothy head of tan foam. Nose is cloves, spice and malt. Very palate pleasing- thick viscosity and creaminess. Taste is sweet- of malt, honey, caramel with hints of ginger, clove and cinnamon. A surprisingly good beer that will leave you wishing for the holidays all year long.
Pjones6738 (500) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 11, 2003
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Ooh! Now thats a great smelling beer. Cinnamon and all sorts of fun spices. Has a cloudy brown color. Mmmmmmm...a cinnamon beer. Thereís other flavors in here too, Iím noticing the honey in particular, but the cinnamon is really what makes this beer. This is delicious. Iím drinking my only bottle of this, Iím going to have to find more while itís still in season.
ElGaucho (2116) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - DEC 16, 2006
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. 2006. Sweet honey, alcohol and nutmeg invade the nose...in a good way. Very holidayish. I love making up new words. Dark, muddy, orangish brown body. Large head that settles quickly to an off-white ring with an oil slick of a head whose light color contrasts starkly against the dark body. No lace. At 9.5% ABV, alcohol is quite apparent, and again, in a good way. This is one of the better holiday beers I remember having. Key word: remember. Quite sweet, but never cloying. Full bodied and delicious. Not a flaw to be found. Some aspect of pumpkin pie. I was in Binnyís in Glen Ellyn when I saw this brew. Called my wife who gave me the average rating over the phone which was high enough for me to go for it. Trust me; this brew is underrated. Perhaps the lower ratings are due to previous versions that might not have been as outstanding? In reading the recent ratings, it appears only the last 3 are this yearís vintage. With all due respect to those three raters, they have underrated it. Do yourself a favor and get your hands on some of this. As far as domestic Christmas beers go, it doesnít get much better than this.
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.
deprogram (114) - Renton, Washington, USA - JAN 5, 2004
4.3 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
12 oz. bottle Unbelievable! An aroma of baking gingerbread adorns this dark golden brew. Despite the amazingly heavy spicing and intense fragrance, this beer maintains a balanced body and proper flavor, with no cloying aftertaste. Quite simply the most dramatic yet drinkable spiced specialty beer I've had. I hope you like cinnamon!
gws57 (1271) - Saint Charles, Illinois, USA - DEC 30, 2007
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Found this one bottled at Binnyís in St. Charles, Illinois. Hazy copper red pour with a thin white head, profound spiciness in the nose and body, with a bit of citrus and lots of ginger, nutmeg and clove. Sweetness comes on late. This is a phenominal beer.
grimreeser (797) - Minnesota, USA - MAR 15, 2009
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
I had this in the cellar for about two months. Pulled it out, spiced lager. Didnít have much hope itíd taste good. Nice aroma, cinnamon and other spice. Citrus and a bit of the honey in the background. Didnít notice it is almost 10%. Good stuff.
muzzlehatch (4424) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - JAN 25, 2002
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 16, 2003 Jan 25: Rating is for a 1998-9 bottle, sample Jan 1999. From my notes: incredibly strong orange/honey/date aroma and flavor gives this beer the distinction of being the closest thing to fruitcake I"ve ever drunk. Nice orange-red color, large but quickly-diminishing head. Could have a stronger body, and perhaps a more assertive ending. 2002-wish I could get this in Vermont! Judging from the way other Lakefronts have held up as I"ve resampled them, this could be my favorite holiday brew out there. Very very strong in recent years -- 2001 was 9.5%. 9/4/8/3/16
2002: 2002-3 edition. Dark brownish/brick color, medium fast-dying head. Strong clove/orangepeel spicy nose, cinnamon, malt, slight alcohol. Just wonderful íholidayí flavor, not as thick or spicy as Anchor, but very creamy and full-flavored, with ginger, cinnamon, and cloves prominent but not overpowering. Great warming finish. The only beer from this brewery that has improved on a recent tasting; I"m hopeful, though it is no longer my favorite US brewer.