szkot (100) - Minnesota, USA - NOV 17, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a nice dark red. Smell is flowery and hoppy. The taste is dominated by hops, but not as much as their pale ale. Very easy to drink.
Hopgeek (90) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 16, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Deep copper to amber hue, light offwhite head and light lacing on glass. Smell is rich of nutty roasted barley and sweet citrus fruits. Flavor is a solid sweet malt backbone with strong citric hop overtones. Medium body, not too sticky on the palate, crisply carbonated. Very easy to drink, SNCA is always welcome at my house during the holidays.
whiterabbit81 (244) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - NOV 16, 2004
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Oooh man this is nice. Pours a beautiful dark red color with very ncie head. Smells strongly of hops and, low and behold, it tastes like it too. Very nice tasting hops present here; strong but not overpowering. Just lick your lips after having a sip. Amazing!
fourway4 (4) - atlanta, Georgia, USA - NOV 16, 2004 does not count
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
I am a huge fan of this beer, so I purchased a 1/2 keg last week. Lots of hops and no added spices make this unique winter warmer. The beer is much smoother on tap and does not need time to mellow like the bottled version. Highly recommended if you are a fan India Pale Ales.
crzybob77 (530) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - NOV 16, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Most definitly enjoyed this beer, especially considering that I am quite the hop head. Hops are plentyful in flavor and aroma. Everything is well balanced and smooth for a enjoyable brew that would be great for any winter evening.
Saarlander (1686) - Saarlouis, GERMANY - NOV 16, 2004
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
A nice hoppy beer, a bit spicy, warming. It will do much better with age, will try it again in a year or two.
crizay (1050) - Brook Park, Ohio, USA - NOV 15, 2004
2 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 7/20
This was another grapefruit tasting red ale. I thought there would be some spice or different flavor to it, after having a great lakes christmas ale then this there was no comparison,i went from the best christmas ale to the worst which i wouldnít even call this a christmas ale. I would never tell anyone to buy this.
Goodfella (60) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - NOV 13, 2004
3 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
bottle- poured into frosted glass. great long lasting head. strong alcoholic taste, a bit bitter. great winter ale, but almost too strong to enjoy.
skaughty (647) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - NOV 13, 2004
3.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
2004 vintage Bronze colored pour with medium carbonation and nice nice fresh west coast (pine) aroma. Flavor shows some caramel malt strength, almost like a light barleywine. The finish is ruination-like harsh. A Hophead treat, an OK beer to me - likely preferable with some age.
billk (353) - Coeur díAlene, Idaho, USA - NOV 13, 2004
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 4, 2010 bottle 12 oz. $7/6 @ Fryís Yuma, AZ. 2004. Clear copper color w cherry tint. Very good medium sized bubble carb w good beige/straw head that lasted. Sporatic lace. Aroma is rich, creamy, (a bit like malted milk balls without the chocolate sensation) light/medium roasted malt w moderate hops & a slight trace of green apples. There is a faint smell of varnish/plastic styrofoam. Flavor is plenty of medium roasted caramel malt & a pronounced hop bitterness but I feel the hop flavor could be somewhat fuller. On the palate its just a bit sharp and harsh w alcohol slightly noticible. There is a slight sweetness right before the lingering finish which is malty and bitter. Its well into the medium bodied category. The bittering hops are quite noticible but not backed up enough by the noble hop flavors. To me its a bit unbalanced with a concocted in bitterness that doesnít quite "fit". It stands up very well with food though. Rerate 12/6/04: Iím bumping it up .1 to 3.6. This beer stands up well with food. I donít notice its quirky aspects when my mouth is full of chow. Reminds me a bit of Victoryís hop devil. Its also widely available and reasonably priced. 2/7/06 Iím putting a 3.7 onto it now. rather tasty when warmed up. Its availability and price are its best virtues.
Iím dropping the 2010 down .2 to 3.5. Seems the malt & hop flavors are less/weaker and the bittering hops stand out too much.