sethdude (704) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - NOV 4, 2004
4.3 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: SEP 2, 2005 2004: Holy Crap! That’s a lot of hops! Pours a deep bronze color with a volumnous "rocky" tan head that lends fantastic lacing. Aroma is INCREDIBLE. Piney, citrusy hop aroma overwhelms the nose, with a slight sweet malt undertone. Flavor is HOPPY, with little to no balance. Leaves the sensation in the mouth similar to that of lemon zest. If not for the blind lack of balance, this could have been the best beer I ever had. It’s still damned close.
roacheater (43) - Alabama, USA - NOV 3, 2004
0.9 AROMA 1/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 1/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 1/20
UPDATED: NOV 17, 2012 2012 version - fuck off sierra nevada... something is seriously wrong at this brewery... celebration, bigfoot, and the pale ale are all drain pours at this point.
2011 version - another max out effort from the lads in chico. ’09 and ’10 were like wallpaper... this stuff properly strips off that wallpaper. i wish they were able to make it like this every year.
2008 version is outstanding... very harsh and piney. i’ve been drinking this stuff a long time and the ’08 is completely over the top. it’s nice to see that sierra nevada has dropped any pretense of this being some goofy "holiday" beer ----- previous review: 2004 version comes roaring back after the muted 2003 effort. The flavor totally dominates this year’s offering and it is harsh and oily. A single swig can last over a minute on the tongue and back half of your mouth. Awesome.
thegreenrooster (3603) - St.louis, Missouri, USA - NOV 3, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2004 version. Pours is a nice red with a white head. Aroma is very hoppy almost winey. Flavor is a dry hoppy bite with some malts at the back end. Very fresh and full bodied. Good stuff!
mjg74 (2891) - Salem, Oregon, USA - NOV 2, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JAN 28, 2006 2004 bottle. Pours a nice reddish brown color. Aroma is a little sweet and quite hoppy, floral and fruity. Maybe a little grapefruitish. Big hoppy bite up front. Little bit of sweetness. Finish is hoppy and a little malty. Good quality IPA.
ZOSOMAN12020 (28) - Malta, New York, USA - NOV 2, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Very consistent year-to-year in bottle. Best fresh; loses something when held from years past.
Katefan0 (5) - USA - OCT 31, 2004 does not count
1 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 1/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 2/20
Very little head, but the bitter hop taste destroyed any hint of malt for me -- just way too bitter for my tastes.
NobleSquirrel (3438) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - OCT 30, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 3, 2008 tap-2004. Clean red/amber color with a nice looking fluffy offwhite head. Smell is sweet and citric hoppy, kinda nice. Taste is good at first, with the fruity esters jumping through, followed by some biggish malts and a clean, crisp hop finish. As it warms, though, gets a dusty taste and become kind of bland and almost muddy tasting. I have a feeling it would be a better bottle beer for some reason.
Update-this is a better beer than I had rated it back in the day. A nice, big resinous IPA that is super tasty and drinkable. Plus, its well priced.
biz82 (1328) - austin, Texas, USA - OCT 29, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
bottle-2004.Clear amber color with a solid tan head. Sweet, hoppy aroma with some rubbing alcohol and a bit of yeast. Fruity, malty and very hoppy flavor. A touch of diacytl. Extremely well balanced ale. The body, bitterness, sweetness, malt flavors and hop character all compliment each other with out dominating. That said, it doesn’t seem as amazing to me as years past. Perhaps it is my own palate changing.
verymerrymonk (413) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - OCT 29, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
2004 Edition - A big tan head sits atop a beautiful dark orange body. Big hop aroma. Very hoppy, spicy brew with a bit of sweetness. Dry finish.
Kevin (2158) - New Mexico, USA - OCT 29, 2004
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
04- pours a nice orange themed light amber with a marshmallow like fluffy head. hops are dominant in the nose very citrusy. very sharp hop grapefruit/pineapple flavor up front. malty sweetness is evident throughout but comes out more as this baby warms.