ThisWangsChung (826) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - JAN 22, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Reviewed 1/9/2013. 22 oz bottle into a Samuel Smith pint glass.
A: Pours a dark chestnut color with high levels of haziness. The head is a somewhat fluffy one finger light caramel color. Good texturing, retention, and lacing in general.
S: The well-hopped nature comes out immediately - there seem to be a lot of Centennial hops in this one, as the grapefruit peel and piny qualities make themselves known somewhat strongly. After a slight period of warming up, caramel, marzipan, toffee, and delicate winter spicing pop up. An enjoyable aroma that harkens back to Arrogant Bastard.
T: It’s hoppy, but pleasantly so. Definitely a pine-forward hop profile, but the hops also seem to bring forth a slight nuttiness forward, as well. It will take a couple sips, but some very subtle spicing (ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, maybe even some vanilla) enters the back end nicely. The general balance of flavors is the trump card here - it could have been overhopped, but it skirts the line between winter warmer and IPA nicely. Once it warms up, it becomes sweeter and less hoppy.
M: It’s a bit tingly and sharp, likely due to both the malt backbone and the carbonation. The flavors linger strongly on the finish and aftertaste, leaving both a lot of bittersweet syrupiness and slight hop oils. Feel wise, it does a good job of fulfilling the premise of a typical winter warmer.
O: I know I compared this to Arrogant Bastard in the aroma synopsis - but with the nuttiness, the piny hops, and the subtle spice esters, this bears a passing resemblance to Stone’s ubiquitous strong ale, albeit with a bit more balance and craftsmanship. I wouldn’t necessarily seek it out, but I’m nonetheless enjoying this one very well.
UXO (757) - CANADA - MAY 3, 2015
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Pours clear medium amber with one finger of loose tan head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, moderate patchy lacing. (3/5) Nose is caramel malt, light spices, faint fruit. (5/10) Taste is mild to moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (5/10) Medium to light body, moderate carbonation, mildly bitter and warming finish. (3/5)
Yes, I know it’s a winter warmer - I still have snow in my back yard. That said, not much “winter warmer” character here - light body, not much spice, little warmth. Maybe a bit elderly, but I’d expect the style to hold up better. Not one of No-Li’s better efforts. (10/20)
JohnDrinkwater (15) - - MAR 19, 2015
2.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 5/20
This is a decent beer, but it’s not a winter warmer. It’s just a malty, strong red ale. There are no spices or anything here that qualify it as a winter imo
stantheman (767) - British Columbia, CANADA - FEB 9, 2015
3.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
On tap at Hops Northwest in New Westminster. A dark bronze beer with moderate carbonation and fruity esters on the nose. A very nice viny and slightly sweet strong ale. 3.6.
brenn79 (1705) - Idaho, USA - JAN 18, 2015
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
16 oz draft- Pours mostly clear reddish amber with minimal head. Aroma is malt, caramel, generic but appealing. Taste is caramel malt, very bready with an alcoholic bite. Quality, could be a bit less boozy.
Alanthebeerguy (202) - - JAN 17, 2015
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
From the bomber. Pours dark copper, medium head. Smells of malts, spice and bitter citrus hop. Taste is malt forward, balancing citrus hop and warming spice. Little much on the malt for my palate, but a nice fireside beer.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
jdshep (13) - Texas, USA - JAN 15, 2015
2.8 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
full review: http://wp.me/p5urG4-gL
Poured a nice amber head. Small and lacy. Great amber/red hue. It was really difficult for me to get the light caramel smell I finally got. With the taste and palate this could almost be a year round beer. In my opinion, it wasn’t what I have come to expect about the winter seasonals. Not saying it was a bad beer, just not what I was expecting. To me, I got an acidic taste up from with the bitterness coming in on the backend. It was on the lower end of the medium body.
luttonm (2909) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JAN 14, 2015
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle in Seattle. Dark ruby red, good foam. Thick hoppiness, good alc warmth. Sweet citrus and darker malt. Nice wintery heavy red beer.
stevoj (2811) - Boise, Idaho, USA - JAN 10, 2015
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Nice pour, great aroma, but goes downhill from there. Average maltiness, not a lot of warmth, decent overall. Much better winter ales to be found
TimE (4058) - Tokyo, JAPAN - JAN 5, 2015
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Beautiful Amber brown color. Frothy white head. Big pine hoppy nose with big malt character. Definitely reminds me a bit of Celebration ale. Nice big malt backbone with agressive hoppiness with pine and chocolate poking through. Balqnced, a touch sweet, but very approachable. Decent hoppy finish.
RumRunner101 (875) - Alberta, CANADA - JAN 1, 2015
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Deep amber pour with a red tinge. Aromas of sweet malts - toffee, caramel, some spicy hops. Sweet malt base, some fruit, spicy bitter finish. Tasty.