alexanderj (3605) - Branson, Missouri, USA - DEC 18, 2007
Bottle from bevmo; poured a dark orange with a beige head. Aroma of grapefruit, pine and toffee. Was a little disappointed with the flavor in this one. Not that it was bad, but not quite as good as I expected from a beer in the 85th percentile for the style. Flavor reminded me of a mellowed american strong ale. Fairly one dimensional, although the malt backpone was present at the beginning. Hops were pine and citrus. Prefer the Coast Range Farmhouse Oasthouse IPA, which is fantastic. If you can get that one do it/ GG (2332) - NorCal, California, USA - DEC 7, 2007
This beer really needs to let the buyer know what style of beer they are buying. It says Merry Maker on the outside with a brief description of the hops. It’s a great beer but the name Merry Maker doesn’t strike me as a name for an IPA, espcially one during the holidays. I was thinking this might be a ESA or maybe a scotch, but it’s an IPA much in the same vein as SN Celebration. An aroma of a typical WC pine/citrus hop attack with some oxidation creeping in. No malts really to notice. The beer tasted good enough. Citrus hops mostly dominate the flavor with a interesting spicy hop jumping in there. Like in the nose, the malts take a back seat with this beer so to say it’s a bit unbalanced would be fair I think. Still, a nice beer. hayduke (5203) - Eureka, California, USA - JUN 19, 2007
From a 22 oz bomber this poured a nice orange to red color with a fat head that was a light yellow, and left good lacing. Big nose of pine hops, and light malts make this simple but enjoyable. Good mouthfeel. Flavor shows some citrus and the finish is nicely bitter. Like everyone else I am not sure where the 2004 date comes from as this seemed fresh to me. Nice brew, and very easy to drink. Odeed (1803) - Bakersfield, California, USA - MAR 20, 2007
orange in color with a light brown head that leaves nice lacing on the glass.pine hops and earthy type malts make up the aroma.flavor is much of the same with an ice tea like finish.pretty damn good stuff i must say. DYCSoccer17 (3696) - Woodland, California, USA - MAR 19, 2007
Ok, so I just bought this 22 ounce bottle at the BevMo in Sacramento Arden. It was in the winter beer clearance cart. Ironically, the label says this is 2004, but judging from other ratings and recent ratings, I am guessing the vintage of this is winter 06-07. I hypothesize that Coast Range has a bunch of old labels left over that they are continuing to use. There was a nice, initially grapefruity-pine hop nose to start, which becomes a bit grainy and metallic in the aroma. I also get a little bit of brown sugar out of this. Smells like a hoppy, imperial-ish red. Transparent amber body with a slightly ruddy hue and a smallish off-yellow head. Herbal, earthy hoppy flavors to start, which becomes nice a grainy and chewy in the middle. Plenty of malts come through. Some more lightly spicy hops come through in the finish, which creates a balanced and lightly bitter finish. Very well-balanced and quite drinkable. It doesnt taste as hoppy as they claim, but it is still a nice brew. It’s not an IPA, though.
rmussman (1701) - California, USA - MAR 3, 2007
Another nice winter brew. Seems like im finally finding the good ones after the holidays. Pour is nice and carbonated. Leaves a nice head. Appearance is dark brown. Mouthfeel is smooth. Slightly bitter but nothing to frown about. Flavor is full of hops and perfect for the holidays. bhensonb (15188) - Woodland, California, USA - FEB 3, 2007
It’s still 2004 (or at least the bottle says the hops are). Time warp. Really nice piney hop aroma. Ruby coppery color, a bit like Pete’s Wicked (current 2007 version). LIghe beige head that sticks. Light lacing. Starts with piney evergreen, some malty sweetness dances around the edge, and then the hops kick that stuff right out of the mouth. It’s hop. Hard to believe it’s only 56 IBU. It’s really, really good. The mouthfeel is medium, and the finish is tangy, piney bitter. It may get better than this, but not often. The preservative quality of hops could not be better proved. Two or three years old and pasteurized. It’s fresh. luvcasks (178) - USA - JAN 29, 2007
2004 Vintage - 22oz - Rare treat indeed
When cold smell of big citrusy, piney, floral hops... almost like the blas coming from the boil kettle when hops are added... yup that green after almost 2 years As the beer warms up a nice soft malt backbone comes thru
Pours a nice mahogany with a quickly fading tan head... with some nice lacing... almost looks like the SN Celebration.
Flavor: When cold... flavor of big piny, spicy and earthy hop character... with a long lingering dry finish.. the malt is very subdued... some chalkiness as the beer warms up, nice biscuity and soft honeyed malts and a low fruitiness comes thru yum!!!
Overall: Bottled fresh-hop IPA, not botltle conditioned & almost 2 years old... talk about blowing expectations away ... this is just great... I wish they would make this every year would give Celebration a run for the money.. my scores are probably skewed by the rarity of this... but who cares... a must try SDbruboy (1864) - San Diego, California, USA - MAY 3, 2006
22 oz. bottle, 2004 vintage, generously shared by DarkElf. Pours a beautiful deep amber color with a reddish tinge and a large but rapidly diminishing beige head. Nice malty aroma, fruity but with slightly oxidized character but still qute nice, a bit dusty, with bold citrus and floral hops as well. Sweet toasty and lightly caramel malts, hops still prominent after a year and a half add lemon and pine flavors. Medium body and lots of lively carbonation. DarkElf (3062) - La Jolla, California, USA - APR 25, 2006
(22 oz bottle: $2.99 at BevMo in Gilroy, CA) I long ago gave up hope that I’d get to try this unless Coast Range brewed another holiday batch, but miraculously, a bottle was procured. According to the label, this was bottled for the 2004 holiday season, so that puts it at roughly 18 months of age, and thus I expected the hops of this IPA to be pretty much dead, with possible signs of oxidation. Wrong on both accounts! The classic West Coast hoppiness is citrusy and moderately bitter, perhaps even a bit spicy. The solid malt base is moderately sweet, a bit grainy, but has enough muscle to balance the hops. Medium bodied with good carbonation, and like most Coast Range beers, it has that typical dusty and chalky mouthfeel and flavor. Dark ruddy-amber color shows moderate haze. Light-tan head, 1.5 inches tall, slowly settles to a thinning layer with a wide ring. Classic ringed lacing -- 5 of ’em to be exact -- is quite the sight to behold. One can only hope Coast Range will brew (and bottle!) this again as a holiday offering. Very nice.