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RATINGS: 236   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.36   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
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A warming winter ale that blends the spices of the season with sweet caramel malt. Orange peel, juniper berries, ginger root, cardamom and cloves are added to spiciness.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
sneagrams3 (2337) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - FEB 17, 2008
Tasted 2/11/08. 12oz bottle. Got this from Dan and the sticker on the bottle cap read 10/25/06. I don’t know if that’s bottling or purchase date? Regardless, its 2006 vintage. Hazy with an amber hue. Spotty beige head. Totally spicy nose. Cinnamon nutmeg and clove. Totally spicy palate. Quite similar to the previous pumpkin beer, sans the pumpkin. Similar spice. Clove. Sticky finish with an English style dry palate.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Dogbrick (8657) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - FEB 15, 2008
Bottle from Party Source. This beer is a hazy amber color with a medium thin light beige head. Spotty lacing on the glass. Aroma of citrus peel, coriander and sweet cookies. Light-bodied with a sweet spiced character. Flavors of clove, caramel malt and mild hops. The finish is citrusy with a lingering sweet spice aftertaste. Slightly above average overall.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
bleeng (1543) - Houston nowhere near Beersel, Texas, USA - FEB 9, 2008
Tap at downtown brewpub. Spicy, malty nose. Nice spicy, malty taste with a noticeable alcohol presence. Good winter quaffer.

   AROMA 2/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
EithCubes (5087) - New Jersey, USA - FEB 8, 2008
UPDATED: JAN 13, 2014 Bottle. Aroma is a mess – an overload of cloves and juniper / tree fallings with a macro sort of sweet corn/grain and raw rubbing alcohol. Dust and cobwebs. Deep copper-mahogany pour with a soapy light brown head. Brown sugar and pithy malt with some orange peel and clove. Medium-full body with a pleasant prickle and a little wittish slurry – good mf. Alcohol is much better integrated than expected. After the rocky start, revealed itself to be a drinkable, mildly satisfying wintery ale. [2008:01.08]

Update: Confirmed on ALL points. YIKES. [2014.01.13]

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
natedoggkc (164) - Overland Park, Kansas, USA - FEB 5, 2008
Pours a hazy amberish color with an off white head. Aroma of cloves and other spice and some citrus. Taste is better this time around compared to the first time I had this. Palate holds some honey, clove and other spices, and citrus. It might be better than before but still doesn’t do anything for me.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 10/20
andyhite (308) - Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA - JAN 14, 2008
12 oz bottle, served at 48 degrees. pours burnt orange haze to my pint, faded retention on the head; a bubbly, oily film remains. on the nose? up front is pine needles, nutmeg/clove and fir trees. a slight creamy apricot/banana creme may be underlying in the midst of all the sap, though faint. taste is odd. it’s a bit heavy on the tart citrus peel, faint on the "spicy" hops, and overall, just a bit too fruity. it’s lacking body and structure. perhaps too 1D for me. the finish is bitter, but not in the hoppy sense. there’s also a lingering steel/mineral taste that doesn’t go away on the finish, which is kind of turning me off to the ale.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
wickedpete (634) - Lexington Park, Maryland, USA - JAN 13, 2008
UPDATED: JAN 14, 2008 Thanks to Vance for this one. Amber colored with a pillowy head that quickly fades. Aroma has some orange, and a bit of pumpkin pie like spice. Flavor is smooth, some caramel and spice. Tastes a lot like a pumpkin beer. Pretty nice a holiday beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
barleyPops (1141) - Quad-Cities, Illinois, USA - JAN 13, 2008
Served in a snifter at the Tap Room just b4 Christmas 2007 when illini08 & I met up with some of the St. Louis crew. medium amber color on the pour with a small khaki head which lasted about half way thru the glass. Aroma is spicy with clove, orange peel and some earthy grain. Flavor is more of the same, combined with the tingly carbonation, the clove is too strong. An interesting holiday brew, but not one I care to re-visit.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Illini08 (542) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - JAN 12, 2008
Sampled on draft in the brew-pub and also had a 12 oz. bottle. Clear, copper colored pour with almost no head. Spicy clove and some citrusy orange in the nose. Flavor was spicy, some slight citrus present and very slight hop presence in the finish. Decent holiday beer, but nothing I will seek out in the future.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Brigadier (3095) - Clevelandish, Ohio, USA - JAN 5, 2008
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 wouldn’t 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 can’t 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 can’t 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.

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