ChrisBeest (43) - Corvallis, Oregon, USA - FEB 18, 2002
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Of all the seasonals I’ve tried, this tops ’em all.
hansvf (251) - - APR 6, 2015
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Donker maar helder, karamel kleurig schuim. Ruikt ook naar karamel. Smaakt vooral naar een roasted koffie. Niet verkeerd, ook niet heel lekker.
superspak (3164) - Michigan, USA - FEB 11, 2015
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 2/25/2014. Pours fairly clear deep reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big caramel, toast, toffee, raisin, plum, fig, brown sugar, dark bread, chocolate, herbal, light pine, light pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Nice aromas with good complexity and solid balance of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester notes; with good strength. A light metallic note is present in the aromas as well. Taste of caramel, toast, toffee, raisin, plum, fig, brown sugar, dark bread, chocolate, herbal, light pine, light pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Fair amount of herbal/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, raisin, plum, fig, brown sugar, dark bread, chocolate, light pepper/pine, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Good complexity and solid balance of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester flavors; with a solid malt/bitterness balance and minimal cloying flavors after the finish. Some light metallic/astringency in the taste, but not overpowering. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, fairly creamy/bready, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice English strong ale. All around good complexity, robustness, and solid balance of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on. I felt this could have been better if it were less hoppy, but was a nicely enjoyable offering otherwise.
trevor211 (1399) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JAN 27, 2015
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Dark, cola brown. Dark malts and raisins on the nose, transferring well to the flavor. Slightly tinny, but that’s fairly well hidden under some lively bittering hops and a hefty malt bill. Good balance for a winter ale -- really not bad.
78samh (200) - Olympia, Washington, USA - JAN 13, 2015
3.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
22oz bottle poured reddish brown with a tan head. Sweet malty aroma. Very malty and a bit hoppy. Ok
mintzmeet (309) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JAN 3, 2015
2.4 AROMA 2/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Interesting unnameable flavor. Think it's a strange hops varietal combined with the chocolate n roasted malts. Not real smooth, kind of bitter. Dark mahogany color. Oily head.
andrewje41 (1100) - Kenmore, Washington, USA - JAN 3, 2015
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draft pour. Pours a dark reddish brown color wi th a sweet malt aroma. Mostly sweet, caramel malt flavor with a hint of chocolate. Nothing here stood out, but it wasn’t bad.
fluffy (1894) - St Petersburg, Florida, USA - DEC 14, 2014
2.6 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
not a huge fan of this, though it was nice to try it. wouldnt get again though.
Arayaga2 (1869) - portland, Oregon, USA - DEC 9, 2014
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Darkish caramel color, with some off-white head. Aroma is slightly worty with caramel and some grain. Strong up-front tea-like bitterness chords well with high initial sweetness.
deusax (456) - Grenoble, FRANCE - DEC 3, 2014
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Not a Winter Ale as I expect: spicy is light, still present. But the roasted malt overall. Palate a bit light.
Darkmagus82 (1940) - - OCT 5, 2014
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Transfer from BA review on 12-5-13-
Poured from bottle into a pint glass
Appearance – The beer pours a chestnut color with a one finger of foamy tan colored head. The head has a decent level of retention, slowly fading over time to leave a lighter level of lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma is strongest of a roasted malt smell mixed with a moderate caramel sweetness and a nice chocolate smell. Along with these aromas are some lighter spice smells as well as a bit of an herbal hop smell.
Taste – The taste begins with a sweeter roasted flavor consisting of a moderate level of some brown bread flavors as well as a caramel sweetness. Along with these flavors at the start, there is also a nice semi-sweet chocolate flavor present as well. The caramel transitions to a toffee like flavor more toward the middle, taking on a more buttery nature. This toffee flavor is short lived however and later losses its ground as some bitter roasted coffee and some light hop flavors of an herbal nature come to the tongue. At the very end some grapefruit hop tastes come to the tongue, in the end combining with the rest to leave a moderately bitter and roasted flavor to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the averages to slightly thicker side in terms of thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is a bit on the higher side. Overall the thicker body is rather nice for accentuating the roasted, chocolate, and sweet flavors, although the bitter coffee and grapefruit are almost too strongly sensed due to the thicker feel, making these flavors stand out a little too much for the roasted and sweet malty flavors and the style.
Overall – An OK brew, but the hop, chocolate, coffee, and sweet just never really seem to meld all that well on the tongue. Worth a try, but not the best winter warmer out there.