superspak (6359) - Waterford, Michigan, USA - FEB 4, 2018
22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, 2017 vintage bottling. Pours lightly hazy very dark brown color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big caramel, brown sugar, toffee, cinnamon, bay leaf, brown bread, toasted biscuit, and nuttiness; with lighter notes of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, dark fruit, herbal, pepper, and roast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready/light roast malts, spices, and light earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big caramel, brown sugar, toffee, cinnamon, bay leaf, brown bread, toasted biscuit, and nuttiness; with lighter notes of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, dark fruit, herbal, pepper, and roast/toasted earthiness. Mild herbal, spice, and roast bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, cinnamon, bay leaf, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, chocolate, cocoa, herbal, pepper, and roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready/light roast malts, spices, and light earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitter/spiciness balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Slightly increasing dryness from bitter/spiciness. Medium carbonation and medium-plus body; with a very smooth, creamy/bready/silky, and slightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Zero warming alcohol for 7%. Overall this is an excellent winter warmer. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready/light roast malts, spices, and light earthy hop flavors; very smooth and easy to drink with the very mild bitter/spicy finish. For an American style this was spot on, imperial red/brown base beer. Very rich English malt complexity and pleasant spice presence that isn't overdone. Clean American yeast with mild malt fruitiness. A very enjoyable offering. AirForceHops (8171) - Epping, New Hampshire, USA - NOV 26, 2017
Sample snifter at the source. Brown in color, some foamy head.Aroma and flavor mirror each other. Nutty malt, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Body is on the lighter side of medium. Nothing wrong with this just a very simple style and not really my type of brew. DrnkMcDermott (3193) - Downers Grove, Illinois, USA - JAN 20, 2017
22 oz. bomber sent for review.
I get a light spicy smell after popping the cap. Not so much cinnamon, more of a general spice, a bit more prominent than in an Anchor Our Special. The color is a ruby red to brown, with a thin layer of foam that persists after several minutes.
The taste is rather smooth. There’s kind of an English Old Ale base, but not very alcoholic at first. A lot of malt backs the spice up. Would not know much about the bay leaf: that’s the thing we have to take out after cooking with it. But it is a nice Christmas spice ale, only slightly similar to pumpkin pie spice. I also get a side note of red wine at the sides of my mouth.
This is very much a beer for this holiday season, as I suspect it might get a phenolic edge if it ages too long, the bane of malty beers. So buy enough for this year, and open it along with your main course. Niko100 (3014) - Chicago, New York, USA - JAN 12, 2017
Dark amber/cider color; Medium slightly creamy body; Aroma of sweet malt, nice nutmeg/spice, caramel, & some dark fruit; Flavor of sweet malt, caramel/toffee, dark fruit, and spice; Pretty decent. troyc (2869) - Illinois, USA - JAN 14, 2015
[Tap] Reddish brown pour with a beige colored head. Sticky caramel and toffee in the nose. Noticeable ginger, mulled spice and licorice in the aroma too. The spice notes carry over to the flavor, but are balanced and not overwhelming. Brown sugar and fruitcake notes round out the flavor profile here. I definitely would put this in the top 1/4 of holiday beers.
rubbishystuff (2537) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 4, 2015
UPDATED: JAN 20, 2015 Thanks to the neighbors. Quite a nice Xmas ale. spiced but very slippery smooth about it. Hides the booze well. All of the sudden you’ve had a few. Serving: Growler. Christpuncher (3215) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 4, 2014
typical christmas ale from begyle. overly nutmeggy and egg nog flavored. very malty and sweet. pours deep copper with a thick tan head. smells like nutmeg and cinnamon. Had a draft pour at dryhop. jaymobrown (1845) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 29, 2013
Nice malt character. Pours a dark cola ruby color with a bit of head. Spice, cardamon yeast sugar and hops. Nice. BBB63 (6567) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - DEC 25, 2013
Bottle served in my Corsendonk XMAS Ale chalice:crossovert (14233) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 13, 2013
Pours a muddly light brown with an okay head and lace. Plenty of cinnamon and sassafras along with what I guess is bay leaf that is providing an interesting herbal twang on the finish. Moderately malty with toffee and figgy bread pudding. While not over the top, the spice combination will not make this a holidaze tradition. Meh is what I say here.
Draft at the Radler. Really solid christmas ale, not super spicy, could drink a few of these.