yackery (168) - California, USA - NOV 1, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: NOV 15, 2011 12 oz bottle from Bristol Farms but widely available on draught in the SoCal. Aroma is woody, nuts, herbs, and clove. There’s a pine bite, but this is moonlight in the pines! The pine bites ever more as it warms and starts to overwhelm. But the aromatic experience is uniquely and well crafted.
The fenugreek (licorice), yams and sugars are burnt in giving a baked, spiced yam holiday quality about this beer.
Appearance is dark brown but quite translucent under a lively head and very fast lacing.
Taste is mildly salty / sweet, and umami and carrying the comistible aroma well.
Palate is quite lively at the very front but quite mild in the back with an enjoyable swallow.
This is the best unique piney beer absent the coffee/chocolatey subleties that I have enjoyed in a long time - a chewable beer.
skmikeg (1826) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 31, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours almost black with a small tan head and nice lacing. aroma is of roasted malts, lemon, birch, and some other earthy notes. flavor is of roasted malts, pine hops, some lemon, birch, and some earthness. has a medium mouthfeel with a creamy moufheel and crisp carbonation with a bitter, dry finnish. overall, a pretty good beer that I wish head more pumkin and yam notes as they were almost non-existent.
Naven (1000) - Poway, California, USA - OCT 30, 2011
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
On tap at Sublime Ale House. Dark brown pour, nearly black. Aroma: Spices, which I can’t really pick out, but it just smells spicy. Flavor: Weird. Can’t really pick up any pumpkin or Yam, but then again I don’t think it would be noticeable with all the other stuff going on. I don’t really see the point of this beer, but I drank half the pint and left the other half.
beersearcher (2382) - Glendale, California, USA - OCT 29, 2011
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Not much in the way of pumpkin or yams but quite nice mix of lemon verbena and birch. Odd at first but this beer really grows on you. Pours light orange.
JoeTheYounger (1183) - Lake Arrowhead, California, USA - OCT 28, 2011
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Reddish copper pour with thin bubbly head. Aroma is burnt toast and lemon citrus. Taste is lots of citrus with some nice hops. Pretty unique.
StormCoat (123) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - OCT 27, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 16/20
Tasted a 12oz bottle from Bevmo in San Diego, CA. Pours a dark brown with an off-white head that leaves nice moderate bands of lacing. Aroma is all smoky, woody skunk...flavors follow suit in general--very smoky. In one way, it has the woody richness of a brown ale, but I only detect a very small amount of the pumpkin and yam flavors, and honestly I was hoping for more in that area. I feel like I am definitely tasting the birch bark here above all else. Body feels medium-light, a little too light, perhaps. Overall, this is an interesting beer, but I feel like its actual flavor is not as complex as its ingredient list suggests it should be.
papajohn (1249) - San Diego (Mira Mesa), California, USA - OCT 27, 2011
3.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: OCT 29, 2011 12 oz. bottle from Baron’s Market Rancho Bernardo: Pours the color of maple syrup with a small fading beige head. Faint herbal aroma. Flavor is earthy with a sharp bitterness, from the bark I guess. Not much else going on, but the herbal bitterness lingers on in a dry bitter aftertaste. Light body is thin with moderate prickly carbonation.
bhensonb (14615) - Woodland, California, USA - OCT 26, 2011
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle from Fred at Beverages 4 Less in Santee, CA. Pours dark copper with a foamy light tan head. The aroma is really herb/veg, but it’s kind of a clean aroma. Comes out a bit citrus/anise. Med plus body. Flavor is sort of an herby pine over some nice, smooth heavily roasted malt. There’s an evergreen aspect. A little anise hint. Really pretty good.
jlieber17 (201) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 26, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Pours dark ruby with foamy tan head. Aroma is wood and other grasses, some spice, lemon, some sweetness. A bit dry, the presence of pumpkins and/or yams is completely absent, but this still a decent drink. Finishes with an earthy, woody, herbal-like taste that is very reminiscent of Stone’s recent green tea IPA collab.
tool2scream (188) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 26, 2011
2.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Pretty big disappointment. Bummer. Open this one up and the nose was already disappointing, in a strange way. The nose on this was fantastic, but completely devoid of any yam or pumpkin. Absolutely zero. However, the herbs and birch bark were readily apparent. This beer reminded me of when my mother took me antique shopping in small, old houses and buildings with really old wood and potpourri in Brunswick, Maryland. Nice wood and herb smells. The Fenugreek and verbena are stars here. The flavor is super disappointing, as it follows much of the same order. No discernable pumpkin or yam flavors, and your palate is bombarded with toasted and dried herbs, grass, and lots, and lots, and lots of tree bark. Naturally, this leaves the beer extremely bitter. The finish is harsh with bitterness, and the pumpkins and yams never show up to the party. You expect a beer like this to be sweeter - at the very least sweeter than this - and you expect seasonal brews like this to have nice fruit/vegetal flavors. This one absolutely fails to deliver. On top of that, the palate was slightly thin and unexciting.