walter (359) - Staunton, Virginia, USA - DEC 20, 2005
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Beautiful deep red color with no head. Nose is roasty, toasty malt and dry, tart cherries. Flavor is a very fresh grainy malt, full and rich, with a hint of cherry and a wonderfully dry palate. Dry cherry aftertaste lingers. The alcohol is completely masked in flavor but provides a nice warmth throughout. I really enjoyed this one, a nice surprise!
pjk33 (390) - Sligo - Curllsville Heights, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 20, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Had this one on a Saturday visit to D’z Hot Dog Shop in Edgewood. Pours a red- amber with no head at all. They just got this one into the cooler, so I have great nose and taste. Sweet, spicy, malty, and great on both nose and flavor. Nice and thick with a perfect carbonation. Good beer. I’ll keep trying this one until I’ve had enough!
jefcon (1536) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - DEC 19, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Reddish, but not ruby red. Aromas of cherries, then with the yeastiness of a tripel. Cherries and strawberries hit you, then dissipate with toffee and milk chocolate malts. Very clean. Honey with some cereal on the tongue, too. I have to say this is lighter than I expected for an 11 percent brew. Maybe a little sour as the glass grows shallow. I’m not disappointed, however, in the inventiveness and execution of this beer.
BeerandBlues2 (11054) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 19, 2005
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
12-oz. bottle via trade with kramer17801. Pours copper with a small off-white head and falling lined lacing. Yeast wheat and malt, caramel, aroma with honey and berry (cherry) hop notes. Yeasty wheat honey and cherry flavor, caramel malt body. Medium and lightly fizzy palate, refreshing.
Thaichile (599) - 10aFly, New Jersey, USA - DEC 18, 2005
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Tap. Pours a amber/red with hardly any head. A spicy nose mixed with fruit. Flavor is thick and fruity, malty and mouth coating. A little bit sweet, but not cloying. Enjoyable, but definately not a session brew.
IMtheOptimator (1164) - Bethel, Connecticut, USA - DEC 17, 2005
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Poured an effervescent reddish amber iwth a fizzy white head that dissipated completely. Aroma is cherries, strawberries, cinnamon, caramel, and a bit of alcohol. Aroma is lightly sweet caramel and dark fruit with some cinnamon, a bit of biscuit dough and toffee with a semi-dry clean finish. Pleasant fairly complex holiday ale.
HighlanderOne (1102) - Bergen County, New Jersey, USA - DEC 16, 2005
3.4 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
OK, I poured it sloppy from bottle on purpose to get some kind of a head, but it didn’t work. Iced tea has more of a head. Nice dark red amber color. Whew, that aroma is something - fruity pebbles and sewer gas. I’m beginning to worry. But wait...Flavor is good - it resembles a belgian ale in spice and malt content. Sweet and sour theme in the flavor is nice, good texture, cherry is noticeable in the aftertaste, not overpowering like some winter ales. Finished with a bit of a sticky feel, but that’s not unusual for the style. Yep, looks like Troegs has another winner.
TAR (2526) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - DEC 15, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2004: Shimmering rufous. Frothy ivory ring of head clings to the glass. Doughy yeast and green banana aromas. Hint of yeast autolyzation and herbal hops under it all. Soft, yet snug, carbonation. Opens with an influx of yeasty bubblegum and clove flavors. Touch of medicine, although there’s a significant level of cherry brightness to compensate. Substantial heat from the esters and alcohol, but it’s never burdening. More green banana notes lend yet another layer of slickness to the array of esters. Still remarkably soft and florally hoppy despite its “busyness,” and clearly outshining the malt. Finishes timidly malty, with trace leather and vaguely astringent medicine, but overridden by a smoothly flowing river of cherry juices and soft, floral hops. While the aroma of this is more polished than the 2003, it suffers from being a touch too yeasty. But once again, the alcohol is marvelously concealed and the overall subtlety of this is astounding. I don’t see the point of aging this, as it doesn’t seem to have gained much complexity. And it’s not like the alcohol could be better concealed. A heck of a seasonal, this is. (8,4,8,4,15 = 3.9)
2003: Foxy orange. Creamy and pasty ring surrounds a scattered center of bubbles. Inviting nose of sherry soaked bready malt. Hints of smoke, clove, dates, and oxidation. Tightly woven carbonation. Glassy-slick body and so well-rounded. Delicate cherry juices tease the palate, initially. Understatedly sweet, but coarse with alcohol and lightly kilned malts. Dainty fusion of succulently flowery hops, fruity yeast, and fresh cherries soak up the peppery yeast accents and make a valiant attempt at allaying the remaining harshness. Alcohol imparts some coarseness, but, remarkably, provides no burn, whatsoever. Finishes playfully soft and elegant with a sneaky attack of rose petals amid a scratchy mixture of alcohol and hops. I much prefer the 2004 over this, as the nose has lost some of its brightness and the Munich imparts too much astringency. FWIW, the appearance is a shade darker than the 2004. (7,4,7,4,13 = 3.5)
maniac (3800) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - DEC 12, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: DEC 27, 2010 Bottle on 12/27/2010. Clear dark amber body with ruby highlights and a small creamy off-white head. Sweet caramel, cherry and light alcohol aroma. Sweet caramel, fruit and cherry flavor with some alcohol burn. Medium full body with moderate carbonation. 7/4/7/4/15 - 3.7
12/12/2005, updated 12/11/2006 - Clear ruby color with a thin white head. Sweet caramel aroma. Sweet caramel flavor with some vanilla hints. 6/4/7/4/15 - 3,6
Numenor (871) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - DEC 12, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Ruby gold color with a medium head. A nice sweet fruity aroma. Very light on the pallet with malts and spices. Mellow ending.