jskendzel (602) - Washington DC, USA - DEC 25, 2002
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
I didnt know this was an English strong ale until now; I would have guessed a pale ale. Nice copper color and a well balanced hop character that is typical of Rogue. Great balance and flavor, although I’m not sure how well this beer fits in the style guidlines for English Strong. Nothing English in this bottle.
JCW (1274) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 21, 2002
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Citrus aroma, dark brown in color. Slightly sweet, fairly bitter. Bitter on the finish also. If I was ask to classify this beer with out prior knownledge I’d call it an American IPA.
WISEGUY572 (1372) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 20, 2002
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
A beautiful ale with a coffee brown head on a crystal clear dark reddish brown body. I loved to look at it. Nose of floral west coast American hops. Loved to smell it. But wow, do these guys slam the hops around. I did not know that Santa’s private stock was made from Old Crustacean. At first I sort of lost everything but the bitterness; with this much hoppiness I could not taste the malt, or even the more subtle aspects of the hops! I liked it, but less would definitely have been more. I came back to the beer after a couple of hours and had the rest of it with food and it was like drinking a different beer. Still hoppy, but the bitterness was under control, and a strong taste of malt, grapefruit, and pine came through. Sort of as if someone had poured grapefruit soda into Stone’s Ruination. What a surprise. Second time around I loved it. One confusing beer!
PorterPounder (4960) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - DEC 20, 2002
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 15, 2011 Rerate Good wallop of hops, nice sprucer aroma, thickish mouthfeel. Solid still, just not 4.3 worthy. Original 4.3 Crisp piney, hoppy aroma upon opening. Deep copper colored pour with a cream colored head - that lasts a good while with a good bit of lacing. Very hoppy - like all Rogue’s - tends to overwhelm the malt flavor that most English Strong Ales have - but Rogue is famous for going over the top and this is a good example of that. Not somehting that I would partake often - but good for a once a year celebration like Christmas.
JoeM500 (1902) - Crown Point, Indiana, USA - DEC 20, 2002
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Cherrywood stain colored with a big foamy head that lasts. Big giant maple syrup aromas surrounded by hops, hops and hops. Gorgeous taste. Mine is warm, full of maple, pine, sugars, spices and a dry nutty aftertaste. Merry Xmas 2002 Version. Whew....650ml...... good to the last drop!
Ernest (5929) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - DEC 19, 2002
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: DEC 16, 2012 Bottle. Head is initially average sized, frothy, off-white to light brown, mostly diminishing. Body is dark amber. Aroma is lightly to moderately malty (toasted grain, caramel/cookie/cake), moderately hoppy (grapefruit, resin, apricot), lightly yeasty (dough). Flavor is moderately sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, lightly to moderately bitter. Finish is lightly sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, moderately to heavily bitter. Medium body, watery texture, lively carbonation. A fairly ordinary IPA-ish beer.
MaxPower (961) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - DEC 19, 2002
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
22 02 bottle, cloudy bright amber color, floral hoppy aroma, huge creamy off white head that clings to my glass. Starts sweet and malty caremel flavor, then finishes with a spicy dryness, the hops really stand out. Medium body, full soft mouthfeel, very tasty and drinkable, a great winter brew.
mpbro (132) - Stanford, California, USA - DEC 19, 2002
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
(18Dec2002--22oz bottle) Very good beer. Quite similar to Sierra Celebration.
Coarse, creamy, (surprisingly) non-lacy, but persistent head and effervescence.
Aromatic hops are the strong point of the beer, IMO.
It just smells....kinda piney, but not cloyingly so. Heavily malty, lots of
residual sweetness, and heavily bittered.
Surprised to see only 6% ABV--this is a punchy beer.
Not terribly subtle.
joet (1993) - Santa Rosa, California, USA - DEC 15, 2002
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: NOV 23, 2003 Well balanced holiday ale, slightly thin looking with nothing much in the texture and understated, 'just right' clove and pine flavors.
loweredsixth (946) - Clovis, California, USA - DEC 15, 2002
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Georgeous bright red color. Thick creamy off-white head that left thick lace all the way down the glass. Nice grapefruit, sour apple, sweet malt, and pine tones present. My only complaint is that the beer is just too bitter. I really think the wonderful malty tones would have a chance to come forward and round out this beer if there were not so much hops bitterness present.