Brigadier (2890) - Clevelandish, Ohio, USA - JAN 5, 2008
3.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
12 oz bottle
Another bottle from the trip to Party Source in Kentucky, this one had me a little wary when I say it was roughly a year old. I figured it might still be good and was rewarded with a nice treat. I wouldnít want to age this much longer but this experience shows that it will hold up at least 12 months.
Aroma / Appearance - The reddish orange body was close to most of the other Christmas ales I have tried this year. Orange peels, cloves and hints of red wine were strongest. Underneath was cinnamon and a spicy kick. For the most part it was subtle and perhaps a little predictable (though I canít fault it as there is only so much you can do with the style).
Flavor / Palate - The spiciness is more evident in the mouthfeel. From the start it fills the mouth with vanilla, cream and cloves. A hint of peanut butter and jelly comes next (as if one had made a smoothie and watered it down). The taste is better than the aroma which was nice. By the end the alcohol is obvious; I canít imagine trying to drink more than one in a single sitting. This was a solid beer from a company that seems to do a good job. I look forward to trying more beers as I find them.
csbosox (1221) - Prairie Village, Kansas, USA - DEC 17, 2007
2.5 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Copper color. Aroma is spice, strong (really overpowering) clove. A bit of nuttiness in the background. I do not care for the high spice level. Taste is clove, sweet malt, and I get some orange peel in the finish. I generally do not care for spiced beers. Maybe if the spice is in the background, but this spicing in not in the background... (Thanksgiving 2006)
SubstanceT (1092) - Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - DEC 16, 2007
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Rating #1084, on tap at the Bottleworks in Maplewood. Lighter ruby copper in color with a medium sized, medium lasting off brown head. Nose is sweet with some grains and just a hint of orange. Taste bland, coppery and just about the same. Nothing too exciting but refreshing towards the end. Better cold.
tjthresh (1865) - Greenfield, Indiana, USA - DEC 9, 2007
2.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
Poured from a 12 ounce bottle at the Power Plant SAF.
Hazy amber with tan head.
Mild spice aromas. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and maybe some ginger.
No real spiced flavor here. What the hell?
Medium body. Average carbonation.
Really, what was the point of this beer?
Gregis (1281) - Shawnee, Kansas, USA - DEC 3, 2007
3.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours a hazy, light copper with a lot of fine sediment and a frothy, creamy, off-white head that laces fairly well. The aroma is a big and malty with notes of orange and more clove than I would prefer; not particularly enticing, I get a strange, almost soapy, "off" note that must be the hops duking it out with the cloves for dominance. Light to medium-bodied and slick with a quick hit of soft yet assertive carbonation on the swallow. The finish is also fairly quick with just a mild lingering flavor of the cloves at the end. The flavor is an improvement over the aroma, but I have an aversion to overly spiced beer (Anchors OSA for example) and this one has just way too much of the cloves out front for my liking. Sweet and malty up front (it reminds me, at first, of some pumpkin ales that Iíve tried), but an orange note comes forward, along with some spicy hops, to kick the pumpkin comparison in the teeth. Not particularly well balanced, I was a bit disappointed with this one. Unless you really go for the orange and clove wassail thing, this isnít really one that I can recommend with any enthusiasm.
thewolf (11131) - Kolding, DENMARK - DEC 2, 2007
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. [thank you, drmatt!]
Pour is a hazy brownish amber with a head that fizzes while pouring. After the pours it settles as a quite small yellowish dense creamy head. Aroma is powerfully spicy. Cinnamon, orange peel, cloves (lots!) and malty caramel sweetness. Rather light mouthfeel. Flavour is very spicy as well. Cloves dominate again, some caramel maltiness and a clear frutiness; slight sourness. Finish is peppery hoppy. Aftertaste is long, sweetish and very spicy again. Nice, but I think Iíll only have one :o)
MrBunn (2456) - The Wet Side of a Dry Town, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 23, 2007
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle (Oct. 30, 2007 on label). Pour is a slightly opaque orange with a dense, but small head. Aromas are of orange peels, spices and bread dough/yeast. I found this a delightful winter brew with a nice and full spicing that sits over a body of caramel malts with a touch of a hops finish. Sometimes there is a bit of a medicinal/herbal flavor that isnít quite right, but Iím wondering if they tinkered with the recipe a bit since the 2006 batch. I really liked this one... it will rank as one of my favorite Christmase brews.
drfabulous (3851) - Lexington, Kentucky, USA - NOV 23, 2007
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Moderately spiced ale. Not as intense as Anchorís release this year...and that may be a good thing. Whereas I found Anchorís too intense and too spice-cake like, this one is a bit more pleasant. Though it doesnít work as hard to differentiate itself from Schlaflyís basic pale ale...it is decent. Maybe I should age a couple.
SkyinBrian (430) - Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - NOV 10, 2007
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at Taproom...smell is sweet like christmas candy. Taste has some alcohol burn, balance is definately towards the sweet and malty side, I agree with xmarcolanxís rating beolw that notes the slightly disappointing finish (even though mine is obviously a 2007 version vs 2006), maybe iím too much of a hop head. I will say that Iím glad that they didnt make this overly spicy. all in all I really enjoyed this.
xmarcnolanx (929) - Kirkwood, Missouri, USA - OCT 7, 2007
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
2006 bottle, sampled tonight, oct 25th 2006 is the brew date. So, nearly a year old. Aroma is fantastic deep caramel and sweet hops. Taste is very similar, but the spices have dropped a little. The clove and coriander are not that present, but somewhat there in the background. Everything about this beer is great, up until I swallow. Finishes crisp and slightly wet and spicy, but then, nothing! Jesus, where did the beer go I just drank? Very decent start, then disappointing finish. Make this a few degrees "bigger in the body, add some stinky hops, age it for a few years, and this could be very solid.