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 wouldn’t 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 (652) - 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 d’Alene, 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 @ Fry’s 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 doesn’t quite "fit". It stands up very well with food though. Rerate 12/6/04: I’m bumping it up .1 to 3.6. This beer stands up well with food. I don’t notice its quirky aspects when my mouth is full of chow. Reminds me a bit of Victory’s hop devil. Its also widely available and reasonably priced. 2/7/06 I’m putting a 3.7 onto it now. rather tasty when warmed up. Its availability and price are its best virtues.
I’m dropping the 2010 down .2 to 3.5. Seems the malt & hop flavors are less/weaker and the bittering hops stand out too much.
beaconstreet (811) - Washington DC, USA - NOV 13, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: DEC 22, 2004 Mm... tasted this and then ordered a pint for myself. On tap at the Gaslight. Jumps and celebrates off my tounge. A good, strong-tasting IPA with unoffensive loads of hops in it. Rich color. Not the winter warming flavor, more like the I will make your palate soar variety. RECENT UPDATE: Do not mix this drink with Chianti. Holiday disasters occur.
Jine (903) - Nutley, New Jersey, USA - NOV 13, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Presumably the 2004. On tap at the Gaslight . Spicy and Holidayish. Perfect for tonight and the first New Jersey snow. Going back for more.
jmuhops (669) - Winchester, Virginia, USA - NOV 11, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 8, 2004 Ah, finally got ahold of this year’s. Pours amber with a fairly large head. Great hop aroma. Very good hop taste with a little spice thrown in. Great aftertaste that leaves you wanting more. Good beer.
jimmack (1223) - Nutley, New Jersey, USA - NOV 11, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2004. Crystal clear amber color with a small off white head. Nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of hops, citrus and sweet malt. Hop flavor is very assertive at first, but is quickly balanced by the malt.
Bitter finish. Not like most winter ales I’ve ever tried which tend to be more sweet and malty with more spiciness.
This was a pleasant surprise. Not that I
should be surprised by Sierra Nevada.
Myklanjlo (3) - California, USA - NOV 10, 2004 does not count
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
(From the bottle, 2004 batch). Pours a clear amber with an orange tint. Bubbles are mild, but large. Head is small with moderate retention and little to no lacing. The aroma is slightly reserved, smelling of floral hops with grapefruit notes and a hint of candy sugar. The sip is mildly effervescent on the palate, tasting initally of citrus and spice, and finishing fairly bitter, oily, and hinting of nutmeg. Like most Sierra Nevada brews, this too is well-crafted. If one had the patience to cellar this beer for 1-2 years, the resulting smoothness would carry this beer from excellent to exceptional.
shadey (2020) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - NOV 10, 2004
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: FEB 21, 2009 on draft at MacGregors in Henrietta - It wasn’t in the correct barware but it still looked nice. Bright red color with a soapy looking head. Very nicely balanced and quite refreshing. I will have to see if I can pick up a case of this stuff. Very tasty.
2005 Version aged one year. The hops have died down quite a bit, and the malt has really stepped up. There is still some bitterness that keeps the finish clean, but the hop aroma is severely diminished and it changes the perception of the beer. 6/4/7/4/17
2005 Bottle, consumed November 2007, almost 2 years old. Aroma has really evolved to show off its malty side. The hops are still there, but far more subtle. Its obvious this beer has experienced age but only because of its smoothness and faded hop character, not because of any noticeable oxidation. The flavor is a good match to the aroma. Still quite delicious. it doesn’t age quite as gracefully as Bigfoot, but for its reduced alcohol, it holds its own. 7/4/8/4/17
2005 Bottle. Almost 3.5 years old. The head is minimal. The aroma is actually a fruity sweetness. The hops are only present in the finish. The pleasent sweetness is the primary character but the hops are still there and the beer is still nice. Doesn’t taste stale at all.
2005 Bottle consumed in Feb 2009. 4 years old and still going strong. Nice hops even now. Impressive.
2007 Version. Bottle. Fresh. Aroma is fresh bitter grapefruit hops. Nice. Chewy hops constantly change the flavors of the buried caramel malts. It’s like a swirling twister of smooth caramel malts and fresh dancing hops. Really a beautiful beer. 7/4/8/4/18