BelgianGirl (89) - West Chester, Ohio, USA - JAN 11, 2004
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Very easy to drink. Good caramel flavor and smell. It went down easy. Medium body
beerhugger (542) - Oshawa, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 8, 2004
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
2003-2004. I like the minimal carbonation and general look of this amber ale but I find the flavour to be lighter than hoped for. Basic hoppiness and slight bitter aftertaste are nice but seems like a fairly standard decent ale.
Cashazza (217) - Morganville, Maryland, USA - JAN 4, 2004
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Decent brew with little head that fizzled out quickly. Color was a deep amber and the taste reminded me of Sam Smith's Nut Brown Ale, however, with less hops. There was a slight skunkiness to this bottle, which is expected because of the CLEAR BOTTLE...why do they do that???
heemer77 (5217) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - JAN 2, 2004
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: JAN 12, 2004 2003-2004 vintage. Small white head. Little carbonation. Nice spicy aroma with a little malt and slight skunk. The flavor is subtle and has a little caramel and some bitterness. Nice smooth finish.
Enniskillen (2044) - Salinas, California, USA - JAN 2, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
I thought it was a good ale, very smooth. A good finish to the beer. I'm new to this since I just turned 21, but this is one of the better beers I have had thus far.
RichardGretton (4523) - Leicestershire, ENGLAND - JAN 1, 2004
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Relatively flat looking ale with a strong and caramel aroma, and a fairly basic hopped flavour. Overall a very basic strong ale.
Jedsbrew (465) - Rhineland, Missouri, USA - DEC 31, 2003
2.1 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 5/20
Medium copper color with a moderate head that left a long lasting layer of foam on the surface. Mildly skunky malty aroma and taste. The mouthfeel seemed thin with a citrusy nutty flavor and a short bitter finish. I tried this one last year and it was so off that I didn't rate it, so this was a rematch. 2003/2004 so I dunno...
davesarman (159) - Waconia, Minnesota, USA - DEC 27, 2003
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Appealing aroma of stone fruits and slight caramel malt. To others that have indicated their beer is "skunked", THIS beer is perfect. I guess that's the risk of clear glass bottles and inferior beer retailers. (I do wish Sam Smith would go away from the clear bottles, however.)Color is a gorgeous copper-orange. Virtually glows when held up to the light. Carbonation is light, as it should be. Head forms, but dissipates quickly, but sticks to the sides of the glass. Sublime taste of stone fruits, slight caramel malt. Hops and fruitiness combine for a delectable finish that is long, but not overpowering. The hop flavors and bitterness are a bit more aggressive in this new beer than in cellared beers of previous vintages. Year after year, this is my favorite winter release. Compared to many big, overpowering, highly spiced beer (many of which I like), this is a subtle, complex brew that challenges the drinker to search for everything going on. I cellar a few bottles every year and do a vertical comparison each year of earlier vintages. This year I compared the 2001-02 with the 2002-03. If well cared for (dark and cool), this beer ages gracefully. Very drinkable with the hops mellowing out beautifully. But keep in mind, since the bottle is clear and the beer somewhat delicate, care must be taken in storage. A winter classic!
beastdog75 (363) - Brick, New Jersey, USA - DEC 25, 2003
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Kind of dissapointing for a Sam Smith's beer. Smell reminded me of a Scotch ale a little bit. Light malt sweetness in beer with some "dark fruit" flavors, but too much of an alcohol taste was present. Decent spicy/citric hop presence. Nice and warming going down. Nothing really memorable and the alcohol taste was a little overdone in my opinion.
harlequinn (2744) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - DEC 25, 2003
2.3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
This was really not what I expected. The aroma is awful and musty and filled the room with a smell of green bottles. The taste is very doughy and buttery, like eating a biscuit. I could not finish it.