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RATINGS: 530   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.52   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 258   ABV: 8.6%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Well, the temperature is dropping and the days are getting shorter. You know what that means don’t you? It’s time for our WINTER BREW… A full-bodied, high-octane brew capped off with our use of cinnamon and mace. This beer will warm you all the way to your bones. Brewed only one day a year. We only bottle 4200 liters, 550 12 oz. cases, and a handful of kegs, so get it while you can.

Malt: 2 Row, Munich, Chocolate, Black, 30/37 Carastan, 70/80 Crystal, Spice, Cinnamon, Mace

Hops: Centennial, Golding


3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
maltdog (621) - Colorado, USA - JAN 3, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 14, 2009 First rating, 2005 bottle. Numbers 8/3/8/4/18/4.1. Rich chestnut pour; nearly opaque blood red in the glass. Small hurricane-swirl head. Velvety hazelnut, milk chocolate, cinnamon, and coffeeshop aromas. Flavor is quite sweet and surprisingly fruity- prune, grape, peach, maraschino cherry- with decadent choclate and mulling spices (cinnamom/clove). Mild acetone taste in the finish. Rich and chewy mouthfeel, subtle prickly carbonation. Filling. Barely bitter cocoa nib aftertaste with some hemp herbality. 8+%... really? Delicious.*** 2008, bottle 3384. Very deep... well, brown...barely carbonated, thin fizzy mocha head. Interesting aroma combines dark rum, vanilla, molasses, mango, toasted raisin bread, faint smoke... and an unexpected sense of meatball sub! Malty sweet flavor, just shy of cloying... cola and roasty/chocolate notes... ints of orange, cherry, tropical fruit. Strange palate... spritzy and "milky" texture without being thick. Minty finish. Sweet anise, napthalene, and beefy aftertaste. No buzz at all after swallowing a liter of the stuff. A pleasant winter warmer with kind of a Memphis bbq sauce vibe. Most certainly NOT the same recipe as originally rated.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
pintocb (646) - Darsville, Georgia, USA - DEC 28, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 21, 2006 Maybe its just the name, but this beer reminds me of Christmas. Smells like nutmeg and has many different fruit flavors in there as well as some other spices. Great for sipping in front of a fire.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
alobar (3019) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 26, 2005
Aroma of sour malts, hops and caramel. Caramel/copper color with no head. Tastes of spices, caramel and chocolate. Very enjoyable.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Cletus (6354) - Connecticut, USA - DEC 26, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 27, 2005 2005 Numbered swing top bottle. Thanks to aracauna and jimbowood for supplying me with samples of this one. Whoever decided to wax a swingtop bottle, please reconsider in the future. After spending about 20 minutes prying the wax off the bottle and opening up this one, the contents poured out brown with a tan head. Smells of raisins, spices, gingerbread, vanilla, alcohol. Tastes spicey with some nice chocolate and coffee notes present. Some grassy notes pop in as the beer warms. Mouthfeel is thin and bits of alcohol can be felt. Warming alcohol, tarte fruit and sweet malty finish.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 26, 2005
Deep cherry black in color and barely translucent when put to light, with a bubbly tan rung and a few dust streaks for the head. Wonderful, festive aroma of raisins, nutmeg, brown sugar, cinnamon, dates and plum pudding, with a sweet and distantly encouraging waft of gingerbread men. Flavor definitely says Christmas. Cinnamon-heavy mulled apple cider and warming mince meat pie. Figgy pudding edge. Peppered spice wine with accentuations from black raspberries. Molasses / ginger snap cookies provide a sweet outtake after every sip. Light, substantive spice sensations throughout. Honed and controlled carbonation that lets the celebratory flavor shine, finishing with craisins, brown sugared cinnamon apple sauce and a touch of prunes. Thanks for the bottle, CaptainCougar!

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
mdi (573) - Nebraska, USA - DEC 17, 2005
1L swingtop, from 2004. Dark color, nice creamy head. Spicy, cardamon? vanilla cream soda flavor comes through...not subtle but not overdone with the spicing, although they have mellowed from when I drank another bottle of this last year...nice uniform flavor, slightly roasty reminding one that this is still a beer(porter-like), not a spice soup. Light bodied and quite drinkable, which is always nice! being able to drink your beer is good...

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
srauschenberg (7) - Suwanee, Georgia, USA - DEC 16, 2005 does not count
Sorta like a spiced porter. Very smooth with a hint of bitters, nutmeg, and mace. Medium carbonation, nice head and appearance. Pefect to have a keg on tap for the family at Christmas - which this is the second year I have had it. I drank a bottled 2004 this week - ages very well.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
willblake (2654) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - DEC 16, 2005
12.10.05 Crazy 1L swingtop, 2005. RLB YEHA-05. Dark brown pour with visible eff and solid but small beige head. Aroma is spicy, savory, and sweet. Full bodied with nice eff, busy carbonation. Background notes of christmas, trees and all.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jtw (1138) - farmington, Michigan, USA - DEC 15, 2005
hmm, spice/herb/vegetable? i would say it’s more like a spiced porter. smell is chocolate and cinnamon sweetness, and the only role of the hops in the aroma is to balance an amazing amount of malt. the flavor is very sweet and warming thanks to the spice and chocolate/crystal malt, and there is just a hint of hops in the finish that keeps it from feeling like syrup on your tongue even after you’ve drunk it all. a very nice holiday brew, and where the heck did 8.6% alcohol go??

thanks to tom (CaptainCougar) for this bonus brew!

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
hopdog (9618) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 12, 2005
1 liter, flip top bottle dipped in red wax (first time I’ve seen a waxed flip top bottle). Poured a dark brown color with an averaged sized white head. Aromas of spices, dark fruits, and caramel. Tastes of spices, caramel, and chocolate. Alcohol content hidden (never would have guessed it was over 8%).


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