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RATINGS: 359   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.23   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 204   ABV: 6.8%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Prelude Special Ale is full-bodied in the true English Style. Itís a rich and nutty ale with a hoppy finish and an inviting deep amber hue. Available November-December.


3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
dnlsartin (80) - Portland, Oregon, USA - DEC 29, 2008
Fizzy, medium-bodied, amber pour. Pleasant aroma. Nutty, brown malts with fairly strong, bitter hops in the finish. A respectable (but nothing special) example of an English strong.

1.7
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 5/20
Davetopay (53) - Leesburg, Virginia, USA - NOV 30, 2010
HORRID. It was a drain pour. Odd sour notes, overly fizzy, hot alcohol notes, thin brittle mouth feel....all around not a good beer. Almost as bad as their Pumpkinhead ale. We poured it out and are taking it back.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
danfosha (51) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - JUN 27, 2007
UPDATED: JAN 20, 2008 2006 - Long lasting foam, smells of malt, molasses, taste is sweet, does have some oxidated flavor, like a PX sherry, with the same toffee notes. Good for winter. 2007 is not quite as sweet and little note of oxidation. Still a little bitter for my taste. Pours clear brown, foam not quite as lasting.

2.8
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
irishpenguin13 (34) - Leesburg, Florida, USA - NOV 30, 2006
what a tasty treat. its hard to find this where i live. to me, its something to look forward to every year like most seasonal brews. quite bitter and has a pleasant appearance and flavor.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
zestytaco (34) - Niceville, Florida, USA - DEC 31, 2011
Pours a clear, dark reddish brown color with a small head. Aroma consists of sweet caramel malts and a hint of candied fruits. The taste starts out with the same caramel malt flavor that is present in the aroma along with subtle candied fruit flavors. Pretty decent beer, good for warming up your gut on those cold nights.

2.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 9/20
Hugerat99 (26) - USA - JAN 31, 2002
Not that good. The finish had a citrusy bite that really wasnít very pleasant at all.

2.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
fiddler26 (23) - New York, USA - FEB 18, 2013
Room temp out of bottle. Bread, hay, caramel, esp the latter. Drinkable? Yes. Memorable? Meh.

2.8
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
viverlee (18) - - FEB 26, 2013


Thereís no way itís just 6.7% ABV. I wonít believe it.

Hereís a simple rule, for Winter Warmers, Doubles, Imperials and other Strong Ales: Beer shouldnít sear your nostrils or your mouth. Whatís really at fault here are my expectations and the thought that hereís supposed to be a warming booziness. Instead for some reason itís cold. Real cold that shoots straight from the glass up the nose and doesnít improve with the first or second sip.

Toffee, pomegranate juice and rubbing alcohol mix awkwardly in a fine mahogany glaze.

Itís Chimay PremiŤre without the distribution or the flavor.

Beeradvocate Rating: 85

ratebeer Rating: 73

Hayward Abbey Rating: 72

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
ALavery03 (16) - Massachusetts, USA - JUL 17, 2010
This is an outstanding winter brew. Somewhat sweet, malty, spicy, and I picked up a bit of nuttiness in it. Really smooth, decent carbonation but not too much that it deters from the beer. Looking forward to when this comes out this year so I can enjoy Prelude once again.

3.5
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
WestsideThreat (13) - Los Angeles, California, USA - APR 30, 2006
Looks a bit like a Marzen. Reddish brown hue. Crystal clear. Bubbles in the slightly tan head are too big...this head wonít be lasting long. Actually, by the time I had taken a sip the head was almost gone. Might be ok for this style though. Thin wisp of head has remained thru the beer but no brussels lace. I like the aroma of this beer. Slight hint of the alcohol its hiding within. Slightly malty and fruity. I get a sense of strawberries, maybe prunes. First sip is very bitter, more bitter than I expected... thats my first impression. Needs to warm up, the maltiness hasnít blossomed yet. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, bit astringent on the tongue. Sweetness of the beer matches up well with the aroma, but not as malty as I thought it would be. Iím getting essence of hazelnuts with roasted coffee. As it warms up, the true personality of the beer comes out. Bitterness subsides a bit and the alcohol sweetness shines thru. Very prevelent on the tip of the tongue. Aftertaste is roasted malt on the sides and back of tongue with a full track of bitterness down the center/back of the tongue. Overall: Beer is a bit unbalanced but quite tasty. Too many bittering hops and not enough floral. I would have prefered more hop nose to balance the aftertaste, or less bittering hops to balance the sweet nose. Bit too thin for my tastes. But I do love winter beers and cherish any experience I can have with one Iíve never encountered. Its a cold weather beer, it fits the style well. Overall a decent beer, thanks for sending this out Wilked.


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