Embrouille (2854) - SWITZERLAND - NOV 25, 2007
Bottled 33cl. It pours a copper beer with a small brownish head. The nose is of cherries, coriander and some vinous notes. Slightly bready aroma too. The taste is overly sweet, cloying and woody. Cherries and coriander again in the flavors. Full bodied. Slightly peppery. Grassy and buttery. Lots of bubblegum int the taste too... Quite an alcoholic punch before a warming dry bitter finish with a hint of licorice and woody elements. A bit too violent for my liking. vyvvy (6517) - Florissant, Missouri, USA - NOV 24, 2007
2007 version 330ml bottle. Pours orange . copper with a small dirty tan head. The aroma has bread, toffee, cream cheese, light spice, meringue, banana and light cotton candy. Medium body with semi-sharp carbonation. The flavor starts with some caramel, Belgium yeast, mustiness, raisins, spices and richness. The finish is lightly metallic and astringent. I like this a lot better than last year’s version, but remember this as being much better in the past. On sampling some vintages I’ll hopefully be able to add to the notes and bump up the score as well. badlizard (5533) - Berkeley, California, USA - NOV 23, 2007
750 ml bottle from Wholefoods. Clear rich golden amber with almost no head. Apricot aroma with hints of sourness and spice. Nice fruity tart taste with a good breadiness and some mild spice to the finish. BDR (2534) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - NOV 21, 2007
2007 vintage. Hazy brown with white head. Caramel, dark fruits, winter spices, and yeast. Similar flavor with a little bit of a rough finish - but then again, I prefer this beer after 12 months of aging. 3 bonbright7 (181) - Jacksonville, Florida, USA - NOV 18, 2007
The sweet aroma of the Christmas ale let me know that the ale was going to be different from the Belgians of my past. The sweet sugary taste of left me wondering what it was. Very smooth and drinkable after a few minutes of air with the distinct tastes of raisins made the finish easy .
Skyview (6076) - Papoose Jct, Minnesota, USA - NOV 17, 2007
sampled at Cellar’s Wine & Spirits in St Paul, MN. A 2007 vintage. Pours a slight hazy caramel brew with a fast dissolving off-white head that disipates to a fine film and ring. Aroma of caramel malt, a touch of raisin, yeast, some dry spice and some toffee. Taste is medium bodied, light carbonation , with flavors of dried pitted fruit, cramel malt and some holiday spice. Finish has a high alcohol metallic texture with a caramel and spice aftertaste. Hammster (187) - Eagan, Minnesota, USA - NOV 16, 2007
750 ml. bottle. Poured a medium brown with a modest off white head. Aroma is malty spiced and yeastey. The flavor is pretty strong fruit notes. Finish is warm and smooth. ABV is well hidden. Good beer nothing spectactular. Not especially seasonal flavor. 1FastSTi (3360) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 16, 2007
2006 vintage 33cl bottle. Pours to a vibrant reddish amber body that’s full of medium particulate. Likely broken up chunks of settled yeast. A thin creamy white head sits on top. The aroma is very strong with yeasts, yellow apples, light cinnamon. The flavor is a nice yeasty apple bomb with cinnamon and nutmeg. The palate is sweet, smooth, nicely carbonated, and warming. jhumphries69 (1034) - Tyrone, Georgia, USA - NOV 9, 2007
33cl bottle. Pours a hazy amber with orange-brown and gold highlights and a medium-sized though short-lived off-white head. The smell is very malt heavy. The aroma hides its alcohol content better than its other, lighter-weight Delirium brethren. In addition to sweet candy malts and caramel, the aroma carries a tinge of grass with a subtle, earthy bitterness that smell like English hops. The flavor starts with lots of sweet malts and a strange acidity - like a lemon-flavored hard candy was dropped in the beer. The middle of the tongue picks up more hints of sourness along with bittersweet flavors not unlike an English Barleywine. Large doses of fruit and sugar line the middle of the tongue, and the beer finishes dry and strong with a complex mix of flavors: smoke, orange zest, toffee, caramel, toast, oak, vanilla, alcohol, and a drop of lime juice. The mouthfeel is thick and sticky and quite effervescent (though now it is creamy and slightly low on suds - because I swished it around the glass a lot, hoping that lowering the carbonation might lower the strange acidity in the flavor). Overall, not bad - the aroma and appearance are very alluring, but the flavor doesn’t quite live up to it. The acid bite just tastes a bit off to me - perhaps this bottle belonged to a poorly handled case... Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - NOV 2, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 5, 2007 750ml bottle, aged about one year. Pours a dark, cloudy, nearly opaque chestnut body. A massive, spongy, cream colored head shows nice retention, settling to a thin film only after about 10 minutes. A minimal, spotty, sudsy lacing dots the glass. The aroma is nothing short of divine. It shows a complex blend of lightly toasted caramel, nougat, heavy cream, hazelnuts, oak, and heaps of vanilla. The nose resembles a well crafted English barleywine blended with a strong Belgian. The flavor is similar, and very solid, though a bit sweet. Caramel blends with faint hints of coffee and chocolate on the tongue. An oaky, woodsy earthiness is present throughout, with vanilla making a strong push for top billing. Hazelnuts also play a strong role. Medium-full bodied, smooth, and just a little sticky. This is a damn fine brew. Considerably better than the Nocturnum. I would bet that a year of aging has done this one well.