BeerSquare (117) - - DEC 24, 2012
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Interesting beer. . . the nose is all cocoa, leather and cinammon, not hinting much at the sweetness of the beer.
Taste has all that Unibroue belgianity you would expect, but it’s way darker and thicker than most of their. . . somehow, strangely maintaining the very effervescent carbonation of some of their more champagne offerings (ephemere comes to mind. . . but only re: the bubble).
Good for a winter evening. . . I’d like it better if it had more richness and zing to balance the sweet spice, but it really is pretty good.
I think it would be in a good "introductory big belgian" for nonbelievers; big meaty belgianness, but nothing too out there and plenty of reassuring familiar spice flavors.
mikem409 (1844) - bloomfield, Michigan, USA - DEC 24, 2012
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle. Pours tan with off white head. Aroma of spice and Belgian yeast. Taste follows lots of spice not much else sweet chewy
k9coug (102) - USA - DEC 23, 2012
2.5 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Seems like an immature and forced carbonation version of a light-weight Holiday ale served with undeserved pretention. Has flavors of powdered nutmeg and pumpkin spice.
jefcon (1503) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - DEC 23, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
One of my favorites in the series. Nice berry complement to the vinuous notes... light hopping, but not astringent. I typically want more from these belgian strongs, but in this case the alcohol is just right for the fruity, biting nature of the palate... It’s a good sting.
benpickens (442) - Camarillo, California, USA - DEC 22, 2012
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Black with a tan mouse of head; plums, figs, and stewed dark fruits... creamy mouthfeel with nice long port like finish.
BMan1113VR (7904) - Los Angeles, California, USA - DEC 22, 2012
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Pours with a near black hued body with a lasting tan head that leaves good lace. Aromas are spicy, cardamom, Unibroue house yeast, dark fruit, candied figs, tobacco with a complex maltiness. Flavors show a low but slightly persistent roast, cardamom, spicy phenols, cola. Warming, medium malt, somewhat bitter, earthy, tobacco notes in the finish. Warming with lively carbonation and a dry, effervescent finish. Always a steal and something I look forward to every year. Possibly not my favorite vintage, but at $4 per 750, buying a case to drink/sit on might be in order!
dwyerpg (4871) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - DEC 22, 2012
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Yet another excellent unibroue beer. Tons of bubbliness and a good flavor that isn’t too sweet at all. The only redeeming part of the day as my fantasy team got crushed.
Damico (2894) - Royersford, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 21, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours dark unclear chestnut brown with a huge creamy beige head that has some decent lacing. Aroma brings rich Belgian yeast and some sweet and Chrismas spices going on as well. The flavor brings the Belgian yeast as well, some sweet subtle dark fruits with the spices bringing a delicious malty base.
JMerritt (1890) - Macomb, Illinois, USA - DEC 21, 2012
2.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
Very dark brown, bordering black, with no head. Ginger and nutmeg are heavy in the nose, though whiffs of cinnamon, vanilla malts. figs and dates are apparent (as is moderate alcohol at the tail end). Moderate-to-highly sweet flavor up front, turning a little dry and mildly astringent by the end. Finish has more ripened fruit notes and the Belgian yeast really pops. However, my bottle was tremendously under-carbonated - the cork didn’t pop upon opening (despite being stubborn as hell to get out) and there were only faint pricks of carbonation bubbles on the tongue. This was purchased around Thanksgiving and stored for the last month in a cold fridge, so perhaps these bottles needed more conditioning at room temperature before opening? Whatever the reason, this ended up feeling slightly cloying and a bit muddled.
nuplastikk (5071) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 20, 2012
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
750ml bottle. I don’t really think each years release warrants a new listing. Bigtime ginger spiced Belgian Black Ale, same as every other year. Not bad, but also not really good. Bitter, efferverscent champagne effervescence really carries it through the spicy sweetness. Too overbearing to really be a go to beer, The ginger and black malt combination sorts of lends a grape-like feel, sort of fruitcake. Probably a really enjoyable beer before the spicing or whatever they do, not so much afterwards.