TheBeerGod (5568) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - JAN 4, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Black pour with a medium, thick, dense brown head. Aroma is rather spicy with ginger and cinnamon notes, toasted grains, roasted malt, smoky wood and light licorice. Taste is ginger, cinnamon, roasted malt, light licorice, faint clove, chocolate, toasted grains, burnt caramel and light candyish notes. Body is medium-full with a strong, dense carbonation. Finishes with mint chocolate, cinnamon, ginger, clove, roasted malt, burnt grains, caramel and licorice notes.
JaBier (5485) - Capital City, Ohio, USA - JAN 4, 2013
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at Market Garden on 12/30/12. Pitch black pour with a medium tan head. Aroma of ginger, cinnamon, malt, slight roast and Belgian esters. Malty flavor with notes of ginger, caramel, anise and toffee before a roasty finish. Pretty nice.
angrypirate06 (1387) - Texas, USA - JAN 4, 2013
3.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
Draught. Black pour. Aroma is all over the place: ginger, clove, maple, pancakes, Christmas, potpourri. Flavor is ginger, clove, cinnamon, with a huge roast on the end and too much bitterness for all the spice. Thick mouthfeel.
falco242 (326) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JAN 3, 2013
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Poura a really dark, almost black color from the bottle with a dark coffee head. Really nice aroma of some Belgian yeast, nutmeg and cinnamon and spice and a bit of sweetness to the nose too. Flavor is spiced and malt and a touch wheaty. Ends a bit bitter which isn?t my favorite, but it?s good overall.
quiznoaz (309) - Arizona, USA - JAN 2, 2013
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark oily pour, looks like a stout. The aroma is light, with some malt and sweetness. Nice taste of sweet bourbon and chocolate without being cloying, balanced by a nice bitterness that continues for a while.
vtafro (4827) - Wayne, New Jersey, USA - JAN 2, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 13/20
Draft. Dark to black pour with brown head. Ginger, cinnamon and licorice aromas dominate. Dark malts with very different spices and malty after taste.
Ernest (6727) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JAN 2, 2013
2.3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
Head is initially average sized, frothy, brown, mostly lasting.
Body is dark brown to black.
Aroma is moderately malty (cocoa powder, roasted grain), with a strong notes of nutmeg and clove, other notes of dirt/dishrag, plastic / Silly Putty, peppermint.
Flavor is moderately to heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly to moderately bitter.
Finish is lightly to moderately sweet, lightly acidic, moderately to heavily bitter, unclean.
Medium to full body, creamy/syrupy texture, lively carbonation, moderately to heavily alcoholic.
And we come to the end at last. I can say I’ve tried every single year, and sadly it’s been a mostly disappointing journey, with a few bright spots early in the run but with most vintages (especially in the latter half of the series) scoring in the 2s for me. Alas, this is one of the latter examples. Wayyyyy overspiced with some dirty/off notes. Very unpleasant aftertaste that’s likely caused primarily by the overdone spices. Might have been an ok brew if they had used about 1/3 the amount of spicing.
dnstone (2364) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - JAN 2, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Ours a black-brown with nice tan head. Aroma is spiced like a holiday drink with some roastiness and sweet fruit underneath, like chocolate cherries. Starts like a winter-spiced stout then finishes with a Belgian double...a nice mix....best described as a Belgian strong stout with holiday spices.
Friendly_Rob (24) - Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS - JAN 2, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
70 cl bottle @ home, imported by a friend from California. Thanks Dave! It says this is a Belgium Ale, but I would more consider this as a Stout. Indeed very complex, lots of different taste like licorice and cinnamon. Not what I expected!
mansquito (4101) - Nueva York, New York, USA - JAN 2, 2013
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Spitzer’s Corner, NY tap ($9): Pours black with a light brown head. Aroma is licorice, chocolate, cinnamon, and a bunch of other spices, along with roasted malts, etc... etc... (basically, they just threw every flavour they could into this beer). Beer taste is a wee bit sweet, with light licorice (anise), and a hefty backbone of roasty maltiness. It be plenty complex, sure. I don’t think that it is unbalanced either, but it ain’t really my cup of tea.