kespecial (100) - - DEC 14, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
On tap at the Trappist, Oakland. Very solid, smooth, unusual Christmas beer. Almost black, with small tan head. More of a smooth stout; Belgian style is subdued. Dark caramel, roasted malt, plum, hint of raisin. Kind of thin, but really drinkable. Would get again.
bytemesis (4105) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - JAN 2, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Tap @NOPA, New Years Eve. I would call this a stout, myself, but what the hell. Pours opaque black with a small brown head and nice lacing. Aroma is of dark roasted malts, yeast, molasses, and perhaps a bit of musty mushroom. Aroma is the same (thankfully minus the mushroom), plus a bit of coffee. Lightly sweet, medium bitter, lightly astringent. A bit of tobacco on the finish. Medium body and creamy in the mouth. Quite nice.
ineedbeer (1016) - Oakland, California, USA - DEC 19, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
On hand pump at Toronado.
Aroma is muted but contains a lot of dark roast malt, burnt dark caramel and chocolate. A touch of a phenolic note with some dark fruit esters as well. Dark fruit is plum and cherry. No alcohol or hops in aroma.
Pours a dark brown that is lighter on the edges with a short, thick, light tan head with good retention and lacing.
Flavor is light roast, some dark caramel and a touch of bitter chocolate. The flavor also has a bit of dark fruit, mostly plum and fig. Low dank, woody hop flavor with a touch of citrus. Finishes with sweet dark caramel and light roast. A touch of light alcohol and phenolic spice.
Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy as expected for something from a hand pump. Medium bodied with low carbonation. A touch of astringency in the finish. Low to medium alcohol warmth.
Overall an enjoyable beer. Nice dark malt character without being too roasty and stout-like. The astringency in the finish is a bit strong.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
ngeunit1 (1555) - San Francisco, California, USA - DEC 21, 2011
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
A - Served a dark black color with a touch of red mixed in and a finger of frothy chocolate colored head atop. The head fades down very slowly leaving behind some nice lacing.
S - Aroma is a mix of roasted chocolate and caramel malts with some earthy hops and some holiday spices mixed in.
T - Starts off with some roasted chocolate malts with some earthy hops in the background. Through the middle some light bitterness comes through with some caramel malt sweetness and some holiday spices. The finish is a mix of earthy hops, caramel and chocolate malts, and some light holiday spices.
M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and dry finish.
D - Very drinkable. The spices are at a very nice level as they are noticeable, but do not take over like they do in many winter warmers. The earthy hops also compliment the spices and the malt flavors well.
944play (366) - Santa Rosa, California, USA - DEC 1, 2011
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Cask at Toad in the Hole. Deep red-brown with fine taupe sparkler head. Fairly strong piney, herbaceous, resiny nose. Almost a mentho-lyptus kind of cough drop thing is happening with the flavor, where a bunch of anesthetic bittering matches up to a complementary sweetness. Fresh but brusque, unsubtle finish and biggish body.
brokensail (12361) - Orange County, California, USA - JAN 17, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
A: The pour is quite a dark brown color with a finger of off-white/khaki colored head.
S: Smells like what I expect from a winter warmer. Very reminiscent of some of the (good) vintages of Anchor OSA. Lots of pine, spice, and chocolate with a bit of a roasted malt character.
T: The flavor is good as well. Lots of malt flavor that is somewhat roasty and a fair amount of chocolate. There’s some caramel and molasses, too. There’s a good herbal/spice quality (perhaps juniper?) and a touch of pine.
M: The body is medium and the carbonation is low to medium. Pretty smooth and somewhat creamy.
D: A well done winter seasonal from Moonlight. Really easy to drink my pint of and wouldn’t mind having this again.
popery (1575) - San Francisco, California, USA - JAN 1, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draft, Beer Revolution. Enjoyed this one quite a bit. Lots of chocolate malt flavor and good spicing. Coriander, peppercorns, spruce-y hops. Full mouthfeel. Very good for a spiced holiday beer. Relatively sweet, which probably goes along with the chewy body. The malt is rich with chocolate and dark pit fruit flavor. Very dark brown beer with little head.
joeneugs (3817) - Livermore, California, USA - DEC 23, 2010
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap at Toronado. It pours dark brown with a creamy tan colored head. The aroma is surprisingly bright with hops and some dark fruits with a hint of roast. The flavor is the same with an incredibly rich mouthfeel and a big bitter toasted finish. This one shines with the appearance and mouthfeel. A very nice winter beer!
bhensonb (12023) - Woodland, California, USA - DEC 14, 2010
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tap at Beer Revolution. Pours black with no head. Aroma is burnt malt and maybe juniper. Flavor is that plus a little resin. Very clean. Not at all sticky. Finishes nicely bitter.
kmweaver (3207) - Petaluma, California, USA - DEC 2, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draft @ Toad in the Hole. Pours a dark, cola-brown color; very light cocoa-colored head with lacing that coats the glass like paint; nice pour. Nicely dry, roasted aroma: cocoa, bitter chocolate, and heavily roasted malts; very bitter, but not necessarily from a hop note; heavily bittered roast. Medium-to-full mouthfeel: lively bitterness, minerals, roasted malts and bitter dark chocolate; tastes almost bittersweet, like it could perpetually stand to breathe a little; tight carbonation, sharp bitterness; the juicy mineral and citrus hoppiness becomes more prominent as it warms, outshining the bitter chocolate core. Lasting, bitter mineral hops, bitter chocolate; perfectly dry, as always.