irishsnake (355) - Oakland, California, USA - JAN 15, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
(on-tap @ Cato’s) pint is a not overly dense, ruby-tinted black poured in a very full glass so no head, but a tan film hangs in there and leaves good lace. prominant floral hop nose on top of a very pretty chocolate maltiness. flavor is full of creamy dark malt character, blended with a spicy, floral hoppiness. nicely balanced, easy to drink beer.
I would have to say this is not a belgian-style ale in any sense.
Orion1800 (51) - Piedmont, California, USA - JAN 29, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Good looking stout. Though strong, the alcohol was masked by the smoky malt flavors. And the hops were quite well balanced, floral and a bit spicy.
joeneugs (2616) - 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!
marcus (5639) - Sacramento, California, USA - DEC 22, 2005
3.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at Toronado. This black ale poured with almost no head. The flavor is of roasted malt and treacle, with a lasting bitter finish. Overall, a very pleasant and rich brew.
SamGamgee (2452) - down the whirlpool, California, USA - DEC 28, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draught at The Trappist. Black with a tan head. Piney hops and roasty aroma. Great dark chocolate flavor with a strong piney and citrucy hop flavor as well. THey said this was an English style winter warmer and I have to agree that there was nothing Belgian about it. This walks a fine line of dark malt and hop flavor combinations, but the chocolate flavors go quite well with the hops.
bhensonb (9866) - 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.
popery (1218) - 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.
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.
brokensail (9213) - 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.
bytemesis (2175) - 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.