TheAlum (5909) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - DEC 10, 2011
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Small draft on tap at Haymarket (Chicago, IL). Excellent. Pours a rich blackish brown hue, dark but glowing copper reddish edges on the bottom and edges. A frothy tannish head that laces small. Aromas are touches of cinnamon and spice, vanilla and ginger. Some gentle cocoa, spices, caramel and spices. Decent sweetness is rich with a dominant spice, not overpowering, but good. Initial is cinnamon and ginger, touches of nutmeg and vanilla, some red fruit. Toffee and caramel, faint toastiness, but fairly sweet and spicy up front. Middle is a touch bland, some mellow sweetness as the spices grow on the palate. Mellow sweetness, gentle vanilla and ginger, spice. Some sufficient sweetness, not too dry or bitter, instead a mellow sweetness and faint dryness, aided by spices into the finish. A one trick pony Christmas beer that could be aided by some gentle hops or cranberry jumps out in my mind. Overall. Sufficient. A decent dryness and red fruit grow into the fold, hides it’s ABV quite well. Caramel, ginger, vanilla, dulche. Nice.
beerbill (3531) - Laurel, New York, USA - DEC 10, 2011
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
750 ml bottle. Pours a dark brown with a moderate, fizzy brown head that just about made it to the second sip and left no lace. Very pleasant aroma of malt, cinnamon, and a touch of molasses. The flavor is malt, caramel, cinnamon, and molasses. Very mild alcohol warmth at the finish. Nice holiday ale.
emacgee (4136) - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA - DEC 10, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours an almost still dark burnt copper with 1-2 fingers of burnt tan head. Nose shows a lot of delicate ephemeral spices, sweet anise with notes of fig and prune and caramel. Interesting, similar to the this years Anchor OSA. Sweet spices dominate the flavor with some alcoholic notes. Raisins and fig in the flavor. Medium body and warming alcohol.
smboselli (101) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 10, 2011
3.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours black with off-white head. Rich, smooth, and an explosion of flavor. Anise flavor is the standout above all.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
timfoolery (1124) - California, USA - DEC 9, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
3oz tasting at Davis Beer Shoppe. Aroma is nutmeg and some all spice. Look is nice and dark, no lacing, no head. Carb is limited to "just enough" and has a caramel/molasses aspect. Very good and flavorful.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
jcweaver (768) - VA Beach, Virginia, USA - DEC 9, 2011
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Pours dark brown with a medium beige head. Aroma and flavor of dark fruits, dark malts and spices (cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg). Alcohol is well hidden and the finish is smooth but spicy.
Aarond (150) - Wilmington, North Carolina, USA - DEC 9, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a deep dark brown with a khaki head that fades rather quickly. Aroma is dark fruit, oak, belgian yeast. Taste is similar with dark fruit, cinnamon, and ginger. Body is nice and rich. Warm aftertaste.
jstraw (1937) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 8, 2011
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Dark mahogany with thin, tan, head / Rich, sweet, winey, nose of dark fruit, oak, and chocolate / Full body, sweet, thick, and syrupy, soft carbonation, with decent hop balance and long, smoothly, only lightly hot, finish / Big flavors of cocoa, fig, dates, and oak with restrained spices of nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger / Terrific. Would be interesting to age.
Nickls (1883) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - DEC 7, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Lightly tan head that goes thin quickly, but stays like a thin sheet on top of a nearly black but mostly mahogany body. Lots of ginger and breadiness in the aroma, holiday spice, nutmeg, and some light toast. Ginger, nutmeg, chocolate, toast, bready, and a slight dark fruit sweetness...only slight. Medium body with softer carbonation. Better than last year’s edition.
michael-pollack (4960) - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 7, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
750ml Bottle: Complex aroma of malt, Belgian yeast, holiday spices, toasting, flowers, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, more spices, carob, and a tiny hint of alcohol. Poured dark brown/mahogany in color with a large, creamy, dense, brown head that greatly diminished but lasted throughout as a film on top of the beer, as well as around the edges. Hazy and unclear. Complex flavor is heavily sweet. Tastes of malt, Belgian yeast, spices, cocoa, molasses, caramel, nuts, chocolate, and toasting. Medium body. Average texture. Average carbonation. Malt, chocolate, Belgian yeast, cocoa, caramel, nut, finish is heavily sweet. 11%ABV is slightly noticeable in the aroma, but extremely well hidden throughout.