Nickls (2357) - Alexandria, Virginia, 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 (4959) - 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.
TomDecapolis (4618) - Milton, Delaware, USA - DEC 7, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Tap pours a deep brownish amber with a medium creamy tan head that left some lacing. Aroma of chestnuts, dark fruits, gingerbread, cinnamon, vanilla and belgian yeast esters. Flavor of dark fruits, same spices as mentioned in the aroma. Very well done holiday spiced belgian dark strong.
Lagunitasfan (1323) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 5, 2011
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
750 bottle for $13.00 or so. Bummer of a beer. Pour is dark dark brown with light tan head. Nose is raisins and figs and cinnamin. Taste is same, only more rich. Figs and allspice and nutmeg and cinnamin and tons of raisins and figs and allspice and nutmeg and cinnamin and TONS of raisins. Taste every bit of the 11% and then some. Couldn’t finish a 12 oz pour.
badlizard (5533) - Berkeley, California, USA - DEC 5, 2011
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. Very dark brown with a creamy light brown head. Aroma and taste of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice with a gingerbread-like flavor as advertised, but it has an odd unpleasant plastic taste to the finish that reminiscent somehow of the way band-aids smell. Starts strong finishes weak.
hopscotch (10563) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - DEC 5, 2011
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle... Pours murky and dark brown with a mid-sized, fluffy, khaki head. Good retention. The aroma is a blend of cinnamon, ginger and other holiday spices layered upon dark malts and dark fruits. Full-bodied and silky with modest carbonation. The flavor is both spicy and sweet - not cloying though; a real holiday treat. Finishes chocolaty and spicy. Thanks go out to newcigarz for sharing this one!
ICEatALAMO (1300) - Troy, Michigan, USA - DEC 4, 2011
3.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
More ale brewed with spices than a rich and robust dark ale in my opinion. One of the better Christmas Ales that I have had because the spices are controlled. The pour left a nice warm head and rich mahogany color beer.
j12601 (9548) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - DEC 4, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle that I brought to the Cuvee de Castleton release. Pours a dark brown with a thin beige head. Soft spices, malt, toast on the nose. Thins out a bit. More spices, sweet roast, gets creamy. Spices on the finish. Toast, warm plums and booze on the finish.
abcfan (913) - New Jersey, USA - DEC 3, 2011
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Fantastic brew. Pours dark brown with a tan head. Carbonation is very lively. Aroma is ginger and spice. Taste is sweet and dark fruits. Very light finish.
patrickfannon (1241) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 3, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Split with Tom and Dave. Courtesy of Tom. Thanks, meh. Pours a dark chicory maroon with a light, wispy tan head. Lacing is ringed out and spotty. Aroma of oatmeal, cream, Belgian candied sugars, slight smoke, Dr. Pepper, and cherry. Tastes like a fudge brownie with dark chocolate and some malty, rootbeer flavors in the finish. Heavy bodied with a thick, robust palate. Tons of chocolate in this. Really nice Christmas ale. Heavy, strong and warming, but without much of the brutality in the taste.