BBB63 (6392) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - DEC 29, 2012
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle and served in my Stone IRS Snifter: Pours basically black with an initial huge tan head that left outstanding lacework upon the glassware. The nose strikes out with massive spice overtones of cinnamon, clove, ginger, allspice and orange zest along with the backing chocolate and walnut bread notes. Some black tea and charred smoked bacon too. Minimal hop character which would have helped IMO.
The taste is smothered sweet malts with lot of holidaze spices. The ginger really kicks it into high gear. Again, it does need more hop and espresso like bitterness for balance, nearly cloy. I can not escape the Earl Gray tea character this beer has, I like that! Some charred notes as well. The mouth feel is sticky and lush but has a dry almost thin finish. Bizarre and unique but not something I would really want more than a glass of... what to do with the rest of bomber... maybe some chocolate ice cream?
DYCSoccer17 (3459) - Woodland, California, USA - DEC 29, 2012
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
22 ounce bottle purchased from Nugget in West Sacramento. The aroma on this is bizarre. I get some significant lime in the nose. I also get a little bit of a chile peppery aroma, too. Floral notes are also there, with a slight, underlying roasty and chocolate maltiness. Bizarre aroma. Gorgeous beer. Opaque black body with a large, creamy, brown head. Good retention. Starts super sweet and milky, with a ton of chocolate creamy flavors in the middle. Quite sweet, and sticky, full body in the middle. Finishes with a dash of chile pepper flavor, and light spiciness. Light floral flavors come through late. This is a really thick, sweet, decadent beer. Unfortunately, it is a bit all over the place, and not overly enjoyable
jbruner (2852) - Athens, Georgia, USA - DEC 29, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours an opaque black on tap with a bubbly tan head that dissipates to leave light lacing; looks like a stout with more carbonation. Aroma Aroma of roasted malts, belgian yeast, and spice: cinnamon, nutmeg, allpsice, and clove. Taste follows, with the belgian up front, followed by a cinnamon and ginger middle, then a serious nutmeg and allspice ending that last for a good long time. Complex, interesting, awesome; can’t wait to try the one I have cellaring.
lukemundy (33) - California, USA - DEC 28, 2012
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bomber into a snifter. Pours a deep, dark brown with espresso lacing. Aroma is heavy on clove and cinnamon with some fruitiness. The flavor is more of the same with the clove really over pouring everything through the finish.
Even Stone says its a beer to be aged. I'd like to revisit this in a year or two!
dcschiller (2207) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - DEC 28, 2012
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
22oz bottle. Pours near black with a creamy, espresso head. This is much darker than I expected and smells more like a pumpkin porter. Aroma is very much dominated by the spices. Taste is semi-sweet with a bit of roast and bitterness. Finish is dry. This is one I’d be interested in trying with some age because the spices are a bit too agressive for me. Not bad though.
jhgrantjr (449) - Tennessee, USA - DEC 28, 2012
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Poured from a 22oz bottle. Surprised me with the deep, dark brown pour and the (almost) two finger tan head. Immediately the aroma hit me while pouring the beer: spices. Brought back memories of my wife boiling spices on the stove during the holidays. Wasn’t expecting this strong of an aroma from Stone. Clear smell of cinnamon and brown sugar, but the dominant smell is Allspice. I love that smell, so I really like this aroma. Taste is sweet, but I don’t get a clear flavor. Maybe its the mix of spices. Full body, but the alcohol is well-hidden. I like this offering from Stone. Very unique and appropriate for the December release.
Pawola22 (3262) - Plainfield, Illinois, USA - DEC 28, 2012
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
22oz bottle from Binny’s Lakeview. Pours a very deep brown colored body with a finger-width, creamy and frothy, dark brown head that dissipates slowly and leaves a nice lacing. Aroma is well spiced and floral with nutmeg, cinnamon, and touches of clove with some orange peel and flower petals. A bit of a ginger-bread sweetness with some plum notes, Belgian yeast, caramel, and chocolate. Flavor is similar, but a bit jumbled. Lots of spices with plenty of orange peel and cinnamon as well as some nutmeg and clove. Sweet ginger-bread with lots of plummy chocolates, caramel, and Belgian yeast. Clove really picks it up at the end as this finishes dry and heavily spiced with some ginger-bread sweetness before leaving a lengthy aftertaste. Medium-full body and a soft, medium-light carbonation. Overall, this wasn’t terrible, but it was pretty heavily spiced and somewhat sloppy at times. I was hoping for better. Maybe once the intense spices die out a bit, this will be more enjoyable.
AxlLives (288) - Maryland, USA - DEC 28, 2012
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
22 oz bottle - pours jet black, big tan head, frothy and lasting. Big aromatics of nutmeg, allspice, cloves, gingerbread and dark malt. Taste is dark fruit, dried malts, touch of cocoa, spice all over it finishing dry and slightly bitter with dark chocolate notes. Medium bodied, crisp finish. Well done.
GTAEgeek (1401) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - DEC 28, 2012
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at Summit’s. Dark brown with a small, beige head. The aroma is cereals, caramel, cinnamon, and dates. Sweet, with a very dry finish. Medium to heavy body, velvety, grainy, and astringent. Overall, this is an interesting beer; thick, dry, and fairly difficult to drink, but tasty nonetheless.
matty (241) - Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 28, 2012
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
22 oz. bottle. Pours black with a tan head that settles to a semi-thin head. Aroma of cinnamon, clove and some ginger. Definately a (Christmas) season ale. Full body, Some chocolate in the taste with same spices. Clean finsih with a little alcohol warming. Very good! Will try to find one to save for cellaring.