Gmku (303) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JUN 9, 2005
My first experience with this beer. Wonderful. Christmas in a bottle. Spicy, full of roasty flavors, hint of cinnamon and other things i can’t quite put my finger on. Great and good. Rballs01 (282) - Madison, New Jersey, USA - JAN 3, 2007
2004 vintage opened on December 28th 2006. This was worth the wait. What an unusual beer this is. The smell is of pine, licorice and heavy cream. Pours dark with a creamy head. You are able to see through the glass as though it was a Dunkel. The flavors were odd. Licorice, pine, smoke, vanilla bean. I would love to know the secret to this holiday beer. What a great crowd pleaser. Well worth the wait. daniela (9) - Berkeley, California, USA - NOV 6, 2004 does not count
This year’s edition is fantastic and beautiful, chocolate brown with a tan head. Spruce and gingerbread flavors are very strong but blend well. More dark-roasted flavor this year, slightly less sweet. This beer has evolved from a one-pint sipper to a smoother-drinking stout. Be sure to drink it cold. Probably my favorite seasonal beer of all time. muzzlehatch (4959) - Beloit, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 1, 2004
12 oz bottle. Deep, clear but nearly opaque garnet, enormously stable caramel-flecked head...licorice, spruce, vanilla enliven the subtle roasty-malt with late charcoal/chocolate character...very roasty in the body, coffee-chocolate dominating with sprigs of spicy anise, nutmeg and white pepper swirling...medium carbonation, good bitter espresso finish that lasts, and lasts, and lasts...wonderful, my favorite OSA since I’ve been keeping track! scraff (2121) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - DEC 2, 2004
Deep mahogany, hints of brown, rocky tan head. The aroma hits hard with lots of fresh cut spruce and evergreen, spicy cinnamon, nutmeg, fruitcake, with a nice underlying chocolate tone. Spiced up malt carries the front load, while some bitter hops mop up the rear. Balance is very nice Full bodied, pillow soft carbonation, creamy, dry spicy finish. It certainly is special every year, and this one is no exception.....
LaFinca (6) - state college, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 21, 2004 does not count
This beer has a nice head and is very dark and full-bodied with a slight aroma of nutmeg. I’m not a lover of nutmeg in beer but I really love this stuff because there are also other complex flavors doing their job in this beer that offsets the nutmeg.
At different sittings I have detected a hint of cherry and sometimes a hint of a banana. Could they be using a wheat beer yeast? This beer is really complex and should be tried at least once.
After swallowing,the taste lingers in the palate for quite a while but it’s astringent and dry in a good way -- the balance is excellent because it does start off very sweet but ends up refreshing nonetheless.
Most of the others seasonal beers except for Winterhook and Sierra’s Celebration that I have tried, come through tasting like Jagermeister -- this one doesn’t.
haddonsman (1234) - Derby, Derbyshire, ENGLAND - FEB 15, 2005
Bottled at Derby Winter Beer Festival 2005. Deep. Dark. Liqorice. Sugared nuts. Spice. Wonderful. harrisoni (18578) - Ashford, Kent, ENGLAND - MAR 27, 2006
Bottle from Utobeer. Very dark brown with beige head. Dark roast malt and spicey aroma but with good hop too. Softer than the 2005 that I had a couple of weeks ago. Good dark choc flavours, it also has good depth and length. I love this stuff. It’s like a mulled porter, but the spice is integrated in this. sthlm (790) - Blank, Alabama, USA - JAN 30, 2012
[Bottle] This is a really, really solid beer. Perfect balance between spices and underlying malt, with vinous notes, and just mild oxidation. Good mouthfeel, smooth, and a long finish. Wow, I appear to be in the minority in how much I enjoyed this, but I thought that this was one of the best spiced beers that I have ever had. Much better than the ’05, which I tried immediately after this. slowrunner77 (12044) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 5, 2014
"this was one of the first years i really started getting into this beer (2002-present) and i remember the first three being the best, although it’s close every year. the quintessential American Christmas ale."