VENOM (941) - Connecticut, USA - NOV 19, 2001
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Head quickly dissipates on a gorgeous clear dark amber body. Warm alcohol fuzz on first sip with a mix of strawberries and green peas. Lightly thick with a nice spiciness. Balanced well with a mix of citric and piney hops. A brew that doesn’t attack your taste buds bud will deliver a subtle flavor that is a sipping pleasure. Kind of had a cognac like finish. Thanks legion242 for this most impressive seasonal.
carboloader (673) - Houston, Texas, USA - NOV 13, 2003
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 9, 2009 *****Re-rating of 2009 batch, officially on sale at Spec’s in bottles. This is, to me, the best version of their Christmas Ale that I’ve tasted in years. I taste apples, clove, and less sugary sweetness, with more hoppy bitterness instead. I love it.
Pours a dark copper with a small head that dissipates. Aroma is hops and delicious malts of the, dare I say, barleywine variety. Flavor is similar to their brown ale, but with a bigger alcohol kick. Excellent balance of hops and malt. I will definitely seek out and purchase again. On sale for 5.99 for a six-pack. Worth the money!
Signalwriter (86) - Houston, Texas, USA - NOV 6, 2010
4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap at Pappy’s Café – no pretension, lovely pour into the classic “frosty mug.” The color in a gold-orange; since the bar is having trouble with the draft set-up, there’s quite a bit of initial foam which quickly dissipates. The taste is medium sweet…caramel, toasty, a bit nutty – wonderful flavor in a Christmas seasonal, without being overt. The mouthfeel is creamy without chewiness. Above all: fresh!
johnnnniee (2293) - Bedford, New Hampshire, USA - JAN 23, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Review from notes, sampled 1/23/2008
Received in a trade with RickSawyer. Thanks for the opportunity.
Pours a bright, crystal clear dark golden/amber with some red highlights when held to the light. Has a fluffy white head and lots ’o lacing. Beautiful color! Aroma is of caramel malts, and some nondescript spices. Taste is weak caramel malt and some grapefruit. Mouthfeel is a bit thin. Not a bad brew, could use some more malt and a bit more body. Didn’t really notice the 7%abv.
Wordsworth (131) - Austin, Texas, USA - OCT 28, 2012
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
My favorite seasonal Christmas beer. A lightly sweet malty flavor with a hint of spicy hops. Goes down very smooth despite the high ABV. Great beer.
AceOfHearts (1375) - Mountain View, California, USA - DEC 27, 2001
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pretty strong ale. Very distinct sweet taste with definite citrus hops, hints of orange and strawberry. Powerful alcohol, perhaps throwing the overall impression a little off-balance. A good beer.
jbrus (4992) - Delft, NETHERLANDS - MAR 10, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Strong fruity aroma with raisin and hints of vanilla. Brown color, off-white head, fair lace. Smooth, sweet, fruity, little bitterness. Long lasting finish with raisin and a alcohol burn. Not bad at all. Reminded me of some good but macro ales from Belgium.
jtxx (148) - san antonio, Texas, USA - NOV 30, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Just a very very smooth beer. Light malt with some nice spices. not much head. alcohol is well hidden.
SaintArnold1977 (26) - McKinney, Texas, USA - DEC 13, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
I like this Christmas Ale.. 7% Alc. hidden well. Deep caramel pour with a light head. Smell the cherry, spices, and prunes. Great hearty flavor..Taste the MALTS!!!! Great winter beer for holiday parties.. Leaves almost a tarish feeling on palate. Makes you drink more.. Yes I like it...
DrZao (128) - Houston, Texas, USA - NOV 18, 2007
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 8, 2008 Dark amber with big foamy head. Unique malty aroma...I didn’t find it stale, but rather estery malt, like buttered biscuits. Flavor is dominated by malt, with a hint of banana/ester fruitiness and some unique "spice". Herbal hops are very mild, and the aftertaste is smooth and malty. A retasting of the draft version &#40;2008 batch&#41; makes me rate the palate higher as it is very nice and smooth. The flavor and overall impression are also much higher. I was quite impressed.