Cletus (6355) - Connecticut, USA - FEB 3, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 14, 2007 Vertical sampled on 11/10 and 11/11/07:Thanks to TBC for supplying a few of the older vintages from this series.
2007: Pours copper with a white head. Smells of pine resin, some dough, caramel, hints of citrus, earthy. Taste yields a nice bitterness atop some sweet malty undertones. Touches of sap are also present. Mouthfeel is thick with lots of bitterness. Bitterness, while welcome at times, seems to get in the way as this warms. Hints of citrus emerges as the beer warms. Finish yields some tea. Not quite as robust as previous years and still a little green.
Ar: 7/10 App: 3/5 Ta: 6/10 Pa: 3/5 Ov: 12/20
2006: Pours copper and fizzy in a fashion similar to the 2007 version. Smells citrussy and slightly tarte with some earthy undertones. Tastes of mild bitterness with some sweet and dry malt hints. This vintage did not hold up well.
Ar: 6/10 App: 3/5 Ta: 6/10 Pa: 3/5 Ov: 11/20
2005: Pours copper and slightly darker than the 2006 and 2007 versions. Smells earthy with lots of citrus, biscuity, sweet malt, caramel. Mouthfeel is thick Taste yields citrus, caramel, some maple hints. Finish is chewy.
Ar: 7/10 App: 3/5 Ta: 7/10 Pa: 3/5 Ov: 14/20
2004: Pours light brown and slightly hazy with a rocky white head. Smells of tea and some dough. Tastes of citrus and sweet with some peppery splashes. Finish is crisp and dry. This vintage consistently impresses me.
Ar: 7/10 App: 3/5 Ta: 8/10 Pa: 3/5 Ov: 15/20
2002: Pours light brown with a white head. Smells of citrus and sweet with some maple and caramel touches and hints of tea. Tastes resiny with some sweet malty hints. Great nose, but the flavor profile on this one is no longer there.
Ar: 8/10 App: 3/5 Ta: 5/10 Pa: 3/5 Ov: 12/20
2001: Pours coppery brown with a white head. Smells surprisingly resiny. Tastes sweet and spicy with lots of earthy qualities. The freshness of this vintage defies explanation. Nice bitterness on the finish. Great lace on the glass.
Ar: 8/10 App: 4/5 Ta: 8/10 Pa: 3/5 Ov: 16/20
Final Remarks: Most of these beers were still quite enjoyable, but were much better when fresh. A few notable exceptions that seem to have done very well are the 2004 and 2001 vintages. The 2007 edition is one that is a bit out of balance and might benefit from a year or two in the cellar. Itís also worth noting that the 2007 version is a pop top rather than a twist off.
Original rating dated 2/3/05:
2004 edition: Pours a gold/amber with nice hoppy aromas and strong hints of holiday spices. A truly tasty beer and a favorite of mine that I look forward to each year.
Ar: 9/10 App: 4/5 Ta: 9/10 Pa: 4/5 Ov: 17/20
UPDATE 2007 edition sampled 12/15/07: Pours copper with a nice white head. Smells of resiny hops that are more well mannered than before, tea, biscuits, lots of earthy goodness, hints of citrus. Taste reveals some nice hoppy spiciness, tea, pepper, dry malt, some pale malt, perfume, hints of bitterness. This has settled out nicely and the green elements found initially have died back. Ar: 8/10 App: 3/5 Ta: 8/10 Pa: 4/5 Ov: 16/20
Styles (2014) - Lincoln Park, Michigan, USA - FEB 2, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2004 bottle pours ruby amber with decent white head. Nice lacing. Strong aroma of citrus hops with some hints of malt. Taste exactly like the smell would indicate. Very well balanced easy drinking beer.
Madhatter707 (2) - USA - FEB 1, 2005 does not count
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
A winter favorite since 1981, Celebration Ale never fails to maintain its bountiful, full-flavored charms. The lively hop mouthfeel hints of caramel, citrus and spices. A zesty floral hop aroma rises from the creamy head. The dominating hops escort a swirl of malt sweetness and aromatic lemony notes into the long, satistying finish.
Jukkabro (3484) - Tampere, FINLAND - FEB 1, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark golden, somehow cloudy colored. Little white head. Bitter hoppy aroma, some citrus tones come up too. Strong flavored: starts with bitter fruits, ends with lasting dry and bitter tones. Medium to full bodied. Aftertaste lasts long with strong bitterness from hops. Nice brew!
Joem1 (5) - Portland, Maine, USA - JAN 31, 2005 does not count
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
They say the recipe is different each year, well this years batch was great. Hoppy without tasting too citrusy, great alcohol flavor without being too pronounced, just a world class beer
bitter (1136) - Henderson, Nevada, USA - JAN 31, 2005
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
on draft: huge tight tan head with a orange copper glow below. nose of citrus mango hops and vanilla. down the hatch is a perfect suttle sweetness and then the hops come to dominate fruity and flowery and crisp and spicy. a tangy buzz that pushes the palate and feels like a frothy pillow. good f@ckín stuff. better then i remember.
haddonsman (1234) - Derby, Derbyshire, ENGLAND - JAN 31, 2005
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottled, 2004 vintage. Rich copper with a silky white head. Familiar sharp hop nose tempered by creamy spice.This goes down like a sorbet; one minute you have this hops, vanilla, spicy but subtle and then itís gone, evaporating in a tingle. As I was only charged 79p in my local supermarket for this Iím going back down there to get some more before they get the price right.
TBone (14160) - Pori, FINLAND - JAN 29, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottled, 2004 vintage (BB 10/2005)
Dark copper brown, good creamy brown head. Aroma has aromatic American hops. Flavor has more hops! Mouthfeel is carbonated and soft. Balanced IPA.
sayravai (4691) - Helsinki, FINLAND - JAN 28, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
(Bottled) Hazy amber/orange color with a smallish, lacy head. Very fruity, aromatic-flowery-hoppy aroma. Somewhat port-wineous and sweet. Fruity, flowery, hoppy, slightly wineous. Long, aromatic and bitter, slightly sugary finish. Medium-bodied, very bitter, dryish palate with balanced carbonation. Slightly thin for a winter ale, and not very warming. Nicely hopped brew, but I expected even more.
GregClow (2976) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 27, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUL 6, 2005 2004 vintage. Copper-amber colour with a longlasting white head. Rich, full, piney hop aroma. Flavour is similarly hoppy, with a pleasant spiciness. Kudos to Ralph at Volo in Toronto for bringing this one in. (Not a real re-rate, I just had to correct a typo.)