Theydon_Bois (9273) - The ’Sham, Surrey, ENGLAND - MAR 29, 2013
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Purchased from Carrefour in Steenvorde (petrol stop) and split with Leighton and Bruce in J98 LLY en route to Kortrijk.
Lightly hazed dark amber with a big frothy biege head that retains well.
Nose is toffee, yeast, clove, banana, spice.
Taste comprises yeasts, toffee, light spice, brown sugars, touch of booze, hint of smoke.
Medium bodied with fine carbonation, some bitterness in the finish.
TAR (2506) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - MAR 2, 2013
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Chestnut-hued rust. Persistent creamy eggshell foam holds beautifully. Refined almond skin and breadcrust maltiness comprises the aromatically malty nose. Equally pleasant suggestions of sponge cake, sassafras, black tea, candied fennel seed, plum jam, and puttylike yeast. Soft carbonation. Fully malty, initially, with a luscious plum jam punch laced with deep poundcake girth and a finespun cookie firmness. Endlessly deep malts yield a plethora of bouncy, mouthwatering vanilla-kissed melonoidins which provide a sturdy foundation and buttress the captivatingly lustrous esters. Explosive Special-B-like character partly succumbs to the medicinal tackiness and considerable alcoholic warmth. Otherwise very mineralic and clean. Scratchy yeast and fallen leaves displace some of the sugars as they combine with the daintier nut skin malt to lend delicateness and rusticity which immediately beckon you for another sip. Expertly polished shades of cookielike malt line the well-rounded malt-centric finish. This is borderline cloying, but nonetheless it’s a rather exquisite malt showcase. Love this brewery.
erickok (3706) - Tours (and Paris), FRANCE - FEB 20, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
It’s brown bodied, slightly misty and light tanned head might look Christmas-y, the aroma immediately makes clear the intent of this brew: to be a lightly spiced yet very drinkable ale that many can enjoy. And although I’m not overly impressed with the light bready and nutty aroma - a bit too mellow for me - the palate brings forward a sweet bittersweet brew that combines caramel malts, cookie spices and surprisingly high drinkability. Certainly a well made beer, but probably the best part about it is how it does not try to mimic the well-known Belgian Christmas sippers or turns around and be nothing like it. Instead, this delicate yet rich tasting brew brings a well flavoured and enjoyable beer for those winter night that aren’t quite as cold as tv would like you to think it is. Suits me well. (33cl bottle from Auchan in Tours in 4-pack with glass)
anders37 (16948) - Malmö, SWEDEN - JAN 19, 2013
3.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Pours a clear amber color with a small off-white head. Has a fruity malty spicy caramel aroma. Sweetish malty spicy caramel flavor. Has a Fruity malty spicy caramel finish.
czar (4540) - Québec, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 16, 2013
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
on tap at la fine mousse, paris. hazy amber, light brown with low light beige head, little retention. bready and toasted malts, but mainly caramel, very few spices, light banana esters - some belgiumness. average carbonation, light body, decent dry herbal and slightly spicy finish. ok. nothing really christmas-ey though.
notalush (4920) - Denver, Colorado, USA - DEC 24, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Medium amber beer - lively at first, but the fizzy head sinks to a small lace - aroma of toffee, toasty maltiness, moderate esters, candied citrus, dusty/cobweb yeast notes - moderate carbonation in the mouth - light to medium bodied - flavor is fairly sweet (candied fruit, toffee, baked apples), but with balancing notes of hops (bitterness, floral notes), earthy, dusty yeast, and some spice/warmth on the tail end - finish of toasted malts and lightly caramelized sugars, but with a light balancing tartness - another subtle but delicious beer from this brewery.
3fourths (8110) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - DEC 17, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
bottle-conditioned 750ml. lightly-hazed chestnut brown body with a medium-sized sandy head. fruitcake nose of nuts / nut oils, wood, berries / jam / maraschino cherries / fruit / melanoidin malt. soft texture dark baked cracker malt with lightly musty / tart yeast. a slightly-dark sweet, woody, nutty, fruity, estery winter beer that I would peg for Belgian.
Ernest (6270) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - DEC 16, 2012
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Head is initially small, frothy/fizzy, light brown, mostly diminishing.
Body is dark amber.
Aroma is moderately malty (caramel, cookie, cake), lightly to moderately hoppy (flowers, herbs), lightly yeasty (cobwebs), with notes of Mandarin orange, cantaloupe, cinnamon, black tea, alcohol.
Flavor is moderately to heavily sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, lightly bitter.
Finish is lightly to moderately sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, lightly to moderately bitter.
Medium to full body, syrupy/watery texture, lively carbonation, lightly alcoholic.
Another delightful brew from the Page 24 line. Life-affirming kind of estery-fruity aroma chock full of Mandarin (think Satsuma) orange and cantaloupe, two of my favorite fruits of all time (I’mma let you finish, but seriously...of all time!). Along with sweet malt notes, floral hops, and cobwebby yeast (and no off notes) it’s an easy 8 or 9 for aroma. I will admit the syrupy sweetness is a bit much in the mouth, so it’s a challenge to drink a lot of it, but for a glass or two’s worth it’s delicious. I know it’s a winter warmer and all, but balance is critical no matter what IMHO and frankly this could use more bitterness. Drink on the chilly side and don’t blow out too much of the carbo on the pour, and you’ll have a better experience...both help a bit to counter the sugars.
badlizard (5538) - Berkeley, California, USA - DEC 14, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap. Clear light brown with a fizzy white head. Sweet malty, toast, caramel, and toffee aroma and taste with a malty finish and a lightly sticky medium bodied palate.
jmgreenuk (4681) - The Hague, NETHERLANDS - NOV 26, 2012
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Draft at La Fine Mousse, Paris. Reddish brown pour with a bubbly broken head. The aroma is malty with yeasty notes. The flavour is bitter with fruity notes on the palate. A rather drinkable ale but the range of flavours and the smoothness and warmth that one might expect in this kind of ale is sadly missing.