harrisoni (10909) - Ashford, Kent, - DEC 27, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
500ml bottle from Caskj & Glass in Tonbridge. Pasteurised I guess as no mention on BCA. Very attractive winter scene on label of oast house in snow. Amber, thin beige head. Plenty of the promised crystallised citrus fruits. Its better than the 2007, less heavy, more of the crystallised fruit. Some Xmas cake spice. More of a Belgian tripel but without the yeast. Malts are more toffeeish. Faint Sheps yeast aroma. Crystallised clementines, satsuma and mandarins. Toasty aroma. Some pasteurisation evident on the candy sugar empty malts. Alcohol is never evident. REally drinkable. Lovely fruit and strong hop presence on finish. Yep one to have again
Earlier Rating: 12/27/2007 Total Score: 3.6
500ml bottle at King’s Head, Wye. Copper no head. Some yeast, lots of citrus on the aroma. Lots of hops for a Sheps beer. Bit of fine carbonation, some toffee flavour in mouth. Rich, Xmas cake aroma, then orangey citrus and heavy hit of hops. Another decent Sheps Christmas beer.
Lilja (950) - Malmö, SWEDEN - APR 13, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Smak och doft av humle, malt, citrus och apelsin toner, karamell. Lätt kropp med en enkel beska.
jercraigs (6472) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 27, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
2013-03-24. Crisp dark red amber, modest white head and lace. 3+ Modest spice, English malt character, light biscuity caramel notes. Flavour is similar, bitter up front, malty middle, mild spice is pleasant, very light fruity character throughout. 7+ Average plus palate with pleasant carbonation. 3+ Does what it sets out to do rather nicely. I would happily drink more but I can’t see myself picking up a dozen more. Bottle from the LCBO
zenkis (243) - Ogre, LATVIA - MAR 21, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours glassy copper reddish with beige to yellow top. Foam is thick, frothy, good stamina, foam laces from the edge of the glass. Nice performance. On nose it comes dominant pine, hoppy, far away toasted malt, a bit berries.
Taste is sweetish malty backbone with pleasant spicy bite of hops bitter. Tongue feels hops. Middle dry mouthfeel, berries like sweet, bitter finish, also from toasted malt. Weird to me but some very far away complementary sour in flavor, nice tone. Medium body, thick not watery palette. After aftertaste - toasted bitter sweet symphony.
O.A. - very nice ESA brew, good intensity of aspects, nice, mild combinations, enjoyable.
Quack-Duck (6811) - Down South, GERMANY - FEB 28, 2013
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
bottle, kindly donated by MoritzF! Red-brown colour, mid-sized off-white head and a strange aroma. Sweet and malty start with (artificial?) fruit flavours, slightly herbal. Not bad, but not convincing.
GoufCustom (216) - HONG KONG - FEB 23, 2013
2.6 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
500ml bottle bought at CitySuper in Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui this mid-January (!) after it was quickly sold out during the X’mas holidays.
Clear redish amber colour; One finger head and off-white foam which last for 2 minutes; Good lacing and active carbonation; Smell of sweet malt, faint orange, light alcohol, plus dark fruits shows up as it warms. Overall aroma is not strong at all; Light sweet taste of malt, light orange, citrus and grass; Light body and close to watery palate, with profile of moderately sweet taste malt, followed by some orange and light citrus and end with grassy hops. Bitterness shows up at the end in a mild and raw grassy manner; Fairly dry after taste, Very easy to mouth.
Comments: compares to Fuller’s Winter Ale, this is really one dimensional - weak aroma and dull taste with almost no variation. Its raw grassy hoppiness strikes me pretty odd for a X’mas brew, when I was looking for comfy coziness during that wonderful time. Make no mistake, this is a decent, fully drinkable English ale, but it lacks any sparks or incentives to make me get another one for the coming X’mas. Glad I drink this now or else my last Xmas could be ruined.
beerman89 (35) - Greater London, ENGLAND - FEB 22, 2013
2.8 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Got this in Tesco. I first tried it chilled and thought "meh" another boring supermarket ale, but as it warmed up it actually developed some quite nice aromas & flavours. It has a sweet medicine aroma with some mild dried fruits, almost edging into barley wine territory. The flavour is a bit flat and the 7% abv is well hidden. Its nothing special and I probably wouldn’t buy it again.
Strangebrewer (631) - Chatham, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 8, 2013
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
bottle. Poured clear copper with a thin off-white head. Nutty and sweet dark fruit aroma. Medium-full mouthfeel, average carbonation with an alcohol touch. Caramel malt flavour with an oaky hint.
BoltonDK (321) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - JAN 28, 2013
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bottle at home.
Strong nose, alcohol, hay, nuts.
Clear amber color, fine white head.
Medium body, sweet, hay, pepper.
Russo (1244) - Campinas, BRAZIL - JAN 13, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Amber color with a nice off-white head, keeping a good lacing. Aroma is quite spicy, hints of alcohol. FLavor is malty and again hints of alcohol and some caramel. Mouthfeel is bitter. Good one!
GregClow (2735) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 10, 2013
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle from the LCBO. Bright and clear reddish-copper with a small creamy white head. Mellow aroma of toffee, barley candy and subdued orange peel hops. Medium bodied, pleasant on the palate. Flavour follows the aroma - decent balance of caramel malt and orange peel, with a suggestion of ground ginger in the finish. A nice enough beer, but a bit plain for a Christmas ale, and nowhere near as complex as the commercial description claims.