ChrisPants (317) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - NOV 24, 2004
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Best enjoyed on tap, the open hops seem to approach the polecat in the bottle. Dark consistent color with a touch of burgundy. Medium pace across the palate, and a mid-decibel finish create a brew fit for IPA fans and porters alike. Not a rock star, but a pleasant performer nonetheless: the ticket price is rather fair for the show.
PattyBoy (302) - North Liberty, Iowa, USA - JAN 25, 2005
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Dark Brown, thin head. Flavor is sweet, raisins and plum, with a hint of roasts. Hops are slightly spicy. There are a few things going on in the beer, but they don’t seem to be working real well together. It was OK.
BrianHagmeier (296) - Coralville, Iowa, USA - FEB 20, 2008
3.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
large foamy head with a very dark brown pour. mild rosted malt nose is no warning for what your about to taste. Sweet roasted malt flavor that lingers into a slight bitterness at the end. One of these before bed will help with those long winters naps. Very nice.
Gmku (293) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - DEC 3, 2003
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: MAR 4, 2004 Not spectacular, but defiinitely okay. Still a seasonal favorite I keep coming back to. It's not exactly a winter ale, in my book--not like Blvd's nutcracker, for example. More like a porter, or even a dark alt. Nice hoppy aroma and taste. Just a tad watery in the mouth, but then that's my experience with most domestics, even the best ones. Nice roasted flavors. A lingering bitterness. Clinging circles of lace. Overall, a nice brew for these dark and cold evenings. I've found it tastes best around 60 degrees F; more flavorful at a slightly warmer temp than where I normally drink beer (around 50-55F). Although there are other winter and dark domestic beers I might prefer over this, I still think this is worth picking up at the right price.
antisnobJP (275) - St. Michael, Minnesota, USA - NOV 28, 2003
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Nice roasty aroma with a slight spiciness. Root beer color with a thin head and some rings of lace. Tastes of roasted malt and some spicy hops. Finishes slightly sweet. Hop flavor profile similar to Redhook ESB, but works well with the roasted malt flavor. Thinner mouthfeel and lighter body than it appeared it would have at the pour. Overall, very drinkable with no off flavors or aftertastes. Alcohol is hidden well(until you finish the sixer and try to function).
djroehler (272) - Minnesota, USA - NOV 20, 2013
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2013 bottle. It is a slightly changed recipe. Pour is cloudy reddish brown with thin tan head. Aroma is roasted malt, sweet brown sugar, caramel. Taste is roasted sweet caramel malt, some dried fruit, slight earthiness, good round richness.
SODAK14 (257) - Rapid City, South Dakota, USA - JAN 31, 2009
3.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
A decent ale. At first I did not think I would like it. It poured a dark color but was not as...flavorful as I thought it should be. I may have over-rated this one but it is not bad.
jollyraider (252) - Los Angeles, California, USA - JUN 1, 2006
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours very dark brown with inner ruby hints, contrasted nicely by stark white head. I love this color combo more than almost anything, for some reason. Smooth mouthfeel, somewhat light body. Toasty with only a hint of a wintery dark fruitiness and spices.
amishcaravan (247) - Winona, Minnesota, USA - MAY 17, 2008
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
tastes a little like a porter. scent of burnt roast and coffee and some molasses. taste is the same and is quite enjoyable. I would probably purchase this again.
baseballguy (246) - Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 25, 2001
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Satisfying without being quite distinctive: not worth a special search, but worth drinking if it is in front of you. (Downgraded after I finished the sixpack I bought:
it just wasn’t a beer I looked forward to every day.)