JohnGalt1 (1721) - Boise, Idaho, USA - AUG 23, 2016
Almost no head on top of pretty dark brown brew. No lacing to speak of.
Smell is like most run of the mill PNW winter ales (I think I need to change things up). Caramel, roasted and toasted malts with enough hops (citrusy) to balance while still making it feel "warm".
Taste is again pretty standard ... still pretty good though. raisins and rum cake... nice and warming ... definately makes me think of Christmas. BillKismet (4057) - Seattle, Washington, USA - FEB 19, 2016
Amber body, tanned head. Feint nose of candi malt with accompanied by fruitiness and a touch of wet shoe. The body is of watered down candi malting and diffuse fruitiness. Pretty lackluster. GreatDane1632 (1169) - North Dakota, USA - JUL 16, 2015
rated based on notes taken 12 aug 2012 -- from a bottle; decent winter ale, not extremely impressed, not at all disappointed. Darkmagus82 (2302) - - JAN 25, 2015
Poured from bottle into a pint glass
Appearance – The beer pours a slightly hazy lighter mahogany-brown color with a one finger head of tan colored foam. The head has a good level of retention, fading over time to leave a light level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma of the beer heaviest of a sweeter caramel and darker fruit smell of cherry and raisin. Along with these aromas comes notes of caramel and some spice is there as well.
Taste – The taste begins with a sweeter dark fruit flavor of cherry and raisin, just as the nose would have suggested. Along with these flavors are some lighter roasted malt tastes, which grow stronger and stronger to the end of the taste. The fruit while heaviest upfront, is later overtaken by a caramel and slightly bready taste. A hint of a boozy rum flavor and some spice flavors develop later in the profile, melding well with the sweeter caramel and fruit to leave a nice warming flavor on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thicker and chewier side with a carbonation level that was rather average. Overall the feel was rather good for the fruit, syrupy and warming tastes of the brew, although just a hint less carbonation may have been slightly better overall.
Overall – This was a very tasty brew overall, with a great drinkinability nice light warming feel and just enough spice to balance the sweet.
Hanuta06 (469) - Washington, USA - JAN 23, 2015
Serving: from bottle on Horizon Airlines.
Aroma: lightly sweet, malty aroma.
Appearance: average-sized, frothy, off-white initial head with fair lacing and mostly diminishing longevity. Clear, dark-red body.
Taste: lightly sweet initial flavor and lightly sweet, roasty finish with average duration.
Palate: medium bodied with oily texture and lively carbonation.
maxwelldeux (4374) - Snohomish, Washington, USA - DEC 25, 2014
Bottle. Pours a hazy reddish brown color with a moderate tan head on there. Some hay and subtle toffee notes are coming through for me. Taste is lighter than I expected, with some toasty malts being most salient, and a mildly bitter finish. Not too bad. ttoadee (1491) - Austin, Texas, USA - DEC 18, 2014
Opaque medium brown pour, not much head. Carmel malt in the nose with a whiff of alcohol. Sweet. Middle is cola nut, coco, malt. Finish is bittersweet. drjay44 (3707) - Salida, Colorado, USA - DEC 14, 2014
651 ml. bottle. Pours a medium thick, well retained, tiny bubbled ivory head, with slight lacing, over a clear, dark amber (SRM 15) body....nose is light toffee/caramel from the toasted malts, light dried fruits with hints of plum, raisin, no hops....taste is lightly sweet, with toffee/caramel hints, light dried fruits, finishing dry with hints of hop.....mouth feel, light of medium body, slight alcohol, light carbonation. This is a very light and simple example of the style. It need a great deal more in malt complexity and strength in both aroma and flavor. It is not a bad beer, just not a very good English Strong Ale. It really could use more caramel/crystal malts. BJCP 6/3/12/4/6 slowrunner77 (12037) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 27, 2014
"man, i;d had this a couple times in years past and liked the malty, subtley spiced goodness...this year’s was overwhelmingly boring. no aroma, little body, little taste. what the hell is going on here? older versions at least a 3.4. currently a 2.4 at best."
TXBadger (2811) - Dallas, Texas, USA - MAY 21, 2014
Pours an amber color with off-white head. Caramel malt, butter, and a little spice on the nose: follows onto the palate. Finish lingers and is somewhat dirty.