AceOfHearts (1374) - Mountain View, California, USA - DEC 2, 2002
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
RE-RATE: Had this head-to-head against Sam Adams Winter Brew at a tasting. Nice, subtle winter spices. Somewhat winelike, a tad bit acidic but nice! Well balanced malt/hops. Original rating 6/16/02: 7-5-5-3-10: Pretty head which sticks to the side of the glass as it dissipates. Quite malty, overly prominent woodiness in the flavor. A bit weak.
Braudog (5949) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - DEC 1, 2002
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Dark copper with foamy head and airy nose. Bitter coffee overtone. Smooth. Bland finish.
jazz88 (2577) - San Francisco, California, USA - NOV 29, 2002
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Hazy amber color with a light tan head. The aroma has malts, citrus, spice, strong caramel, and grapefruit. The surprise from this beer is how light it is, but I found the spice and flavor to come through well.
Shadallion (534) - Sacramento, California, USA - NOV 25, 2002
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
From a brewery whose specialty beers (such as Rasputin, Pranqster, Old Stock Ale) rank among the finest in the country (but whose rank and file beers are indistinguishable swill). This one is a lightish interpretation of a Belgian strong ale. Presentation could be better, as the head is fairly tame and rapidly fades. The flavor is very good, featuring nutmeg, corriander, cinnamon, and a touch of yeasty-leatheriness. Body is a tad watery, especially as it warms. No one is going to confuse this with Rochefort 10, but it is an excellent introduction to Belgian big ales. Nice job, North Coast.
herbjones (742) - Orange, California, USA - NOV 23, 2002
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 16/20
Alright brew. Seems like it got confused with trying to be a tripel and a spiced holiday beer. I love the winter brews but this year is a disappoint so far.
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 22, 2002
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: FEB 22, 2003 2002 edition: bronze in color with a thick head of microscopic bubbles..aroma hurt me with yeasty banana coriander..owe..not as spicy as the aroma lets on..which is a good thing..but not much flavor at all IMO..might be too cold at the moment though..the spice is warped to subtleness, some hop bitterness hiding in the background..not all that bad..
belgianhomebrew (646) - Acworth, Georgia, USA - NOV 19, 2002
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Nice slightly malty aroma with a touch of caramel. Malty body, not too heavy...finishes a little dry.
Andrew196 (1091) - Katy, Texas, USA - NOV 14, 2002
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
As I rank this I kept getting more and more out of it...I experienced the following: banana, corriander, yeast, spice, raisin, grapes and alcohol. It was like a cross between a spicy belgian and a good wheat beer....interesting!
fly (1420) - austin, Tejas, Alabama, USA - NOV 13, 2002
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
I was actually making an attempt to like this more than I did. I like North Coast quite a bit, but while this one has a nice mouth feel and malt character, it just didn’t come together for me. Think it has to do with the type of malt used. Leaves a metallic aftertaste and something sharp that I can’t quite decipher. Guess I’ll head back to the Red Seal.
beerguy101 (5319) - Newark, California, USA - NOV 6, 2002
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2002 version Medium brown color, small head. Aroma is malty, sweet and spicy (nutmeg?). A lighter bodied winter beer. Mild malts are spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon and coriander and ??. Starts out sweet and mellows to a spicy, slightly hoppy bitterness. Flavor is a little light for a winter beer, and its a little thin tasting, but there is something I like about this beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.