JMerritt (1764) - Macomb, Illinois, USA - DEC 31, 2004
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 7/20
Very dark ruby red, bordering on black. Head is large, very light brown, and partially diminishing. Thick, gooey layers of lacing cling to the glass, and already look like a bitch to rinse off. Bittersweet chocolate, coffee grounds, wet grains, and perhaps the slightest hint of smoke in the aroma, though it is rather bland and difficult to pick up. Some lightly sweet malt, wheat, rye, and chocolate somehow found their way into the rather bland flavor. Soft, velvety mouthfeel with low carbonation is a tad watery.. Lightly bitter aftertaste is slightly grainy, but is very short lived.
arsenal (10) - Orange, Virginia, USA - DEC 29, 2004
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
usually, i’m suspicious of products that jokingly refer to hindquarters (like too many hot sauces)... but i wasn’t going to let that keep me from a porter when i needed one. the payoff: nearly opaque, even when held to a light (except for a hint of red around the thin head). nice, almost fruity aftertaste (kinda raspberry), syrupy mouthfeel à la imperial stout, pleasant kick. nice seasonal change from Yeungling’s fine everyday porter.
larsniclas (5519) - Billdal, SWEDEN - DEC 28, 2004
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
Not much aroma, nor flavour. Some maltiness to find there.
Nuffield (3657) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - DEC 28, 2004
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
The name of the beer was very amusing at our little gathering--the butt of many jokes (oh, the puns are painful). Very weak porter, dark with a soft white head, body 90% opaque. Hiints of grape and smoke, but not as much malt as you would expect. Smooth palate, almost like a handpull. Pretty mediocre. (2004 Christmas Party, my #12, group’s #13)
AlchemistZ (493) - Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA - DEC 26, 2004
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
Black with ruby highlights (the color of a classic porter) with a thin, but creamy, tan head. Cream and milk aroma with charcoal, black malt and caramel with an omnipresent green hop aroma. Very thin body that shows yeast fruit, overdone black malt, subtle caramel and green hop. Lots of flavor, though all of it is subdued.
jazz88 (2542) - San Francisco, California, USA - DEC 25, 2004
2.5 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bottle. A dark brown color with a light musty aroma. Thin flavors that lacked any complexity. How did this go wrong? Did you up Santa’s Butt? Christmas Party 2004 ranked 12/15 (mine) and 13/15 (group).
argo0 (11316) - Washington DC, USA - DEC 21, 2004
2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 8/20
Ridgeway made a mediocre seasonal last year, and because it was a winter seasonal, it probably sold relatively well. I have no doubt they reasoned that four winter seasonals, all with witty names, would sell four times as well. And of course, us raters all needed to try one of each. Small tan head atop a red-black body. Aroma is medium sweet, cherry, coffee, milk chocolate, some soy, faint anise. Taste is moderately sweet, coffee, some milk chocolate, lactic sourness. Very watery light-medium body. Definitely not worth a repeat purchase, and certainly not at the ~$5/bottle price. Hopefully next year, when Ridgeway comes out with eight winter seasonals, I will have the good sense to resist the new beers.
Drew (2411) - Kent, Ohio, USA - DEC 19, 2004
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
I’m not sure if Santa would appreciate seeing his backside on the label of this bottle. Poured a dark brown - clear around the edges, no head, some lacing. Chocolate and coffee in the aroma and flavor. Started off with a crisp sparkle that mellowed out into a near flatness as it warmed. Body was kind of thin and watery. Some licorice in the finish. Overall - kind of boring.
Rockinout (966) - Kent, Ohio, USA - DEC 18, 2004
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Black with translucent edges, chocolate cocoa nose with hints of vanilla in the taste. Overall rather flat and boring, non-eventful. Finish had something there, maybe a little spearmint. Too expensive at $4.99/500ml bottle in Ohio.
jimmack (1222) - Nutley, New Jersey, USA - DEC 17, 2004
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Dark brown with a very small head. Mild aroma of roasted malt and toffee. Flavor was also very mild roasted malts. Very thin and watery.