McGarnigle (660) - Rochester, New York, USA - JAN 17, 2009
633 ml bottle courtesy of Shelton Bros. 7% ABA, according to the label. Pours reddish amber. Medium body, somewhat oily, properly unobtrusive carbonation. Something different. The first hit is big caramel. Yes to cinnamon, but not sure about the figs. Over-spiced. I don’t think it is too sweet, as the hops balance it. But there is an odd, rough aftertaste. Worthwhile more for its uniqueness than its quality. zach8270 (4021) - Henrietta, New York, USA - JAN 16, 2009
(bottle - 22 oz) Ruby red pour with a fizzy off-white head. Aroma is spicy with some hints of cinnamon, cloves, allspice, very light figs, and sugar. Flavor is very sweet and malty with hints of cocoa, honey, cinnamon, yeast, sugar, and light figs. Very sweet and spicy and rather cloying. buzzoven (376) - JAPAN - JAN 3, 2009
This ale didn’t seem quite as festive as it’s namesake, but proved to be drinkable. Hints of clove, cinnamon, spice, orange peel, but nothing terribly solid and memorable. ON tap @ Cheers. jonno (3040) - JAPAN - DEC 28, 2008
UPDATED: JAN 3, 2017 Quite little for the alcohol here. As my drinking buddy mentioned this is a beer that is looking for an identity. Still quite nice and sweet and I am partial to cinammon so I enjoyed it. Could have a bit more body to it to compliment the festive ingredients RERATE, This year is drinking good. KyotoLefty (10931) - Kyoto, JAPAN - DEC 27, 2008
UPDATED: JAN 11, 2014 Draught at Qbricks fruit beer day, May 08.
Amber-orange color with a medium off-white head. Strong aroma of cinnamon, figs, drak fruit. Rather sweet and fruity. Big spice flavor, with figs. Low hops lacking balance. Too much cinnamon, but with a nice malt richness. Enjoyable but too sweet and too much spice.
highlandlad (1480) - Blue Mountains, AUSTRALIA - MAY 19, 2008
Another in a fascinating raft of unusual Japanese beers generously supplied to an Australian RB gathering by TimE. This Japanese take on a Christmas ale left me scratching my head in between writing notes like "peculiar" and "fucking weird". Burnt umber with a shallow head. Highly spiced aroma - cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and limes. Oily body. Strange mix of flavours, like a spiced lime shandy. Cinnamon again but dominated by strong citrus. The combination didn’t really work for me but it probably suffered from being poured in the midst of a long session. Would like to try again. (Bottle at Sully’s 2007 RB Sydney Xmas gathering) Capa (3716) - DC, Washington DC, USA - DEC 31, 2007
UPDATED: JAN 5, 2009 Bottled; 2007 version. Caramel orange in color with a firm, off-white head. Aroma is sweet and spicy. Caramel apples, fruits, chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, and milky. The body on this one is near perfect for the flavor. Sweet malts, caramel, cinnamon, and some milk chocolate. Finish is a little salty, with nutmeg and light citrus tones. Excellent. (The 2008 version loses some points. Much less exciting with less pronounced spicing. Still good, but in the 3.6 range. Rating is still for the 2007 version) TimE (6349) - Tokyo, JAPAN - MAR 17, 2007
Dark amber color. Sea salt candy, chocolate, nutmeg nose. Sweet malty mouth with notes of sea salt, milk chocolate, cherries, liquorice and oranges. Malty rich finish with milk chocolate and sea salt. Very unique. While other christmas beers from Baird reminded me of OSA, this was completely different and much enjoyed.