slimchill (1044) - Austin, Texas, USA - NOV 1, 2008
Draught. Strawberry and cherry aromas with caramel undertones. Dark red/brown with a swirly head. Sweet with good hop balance, spice, and fruit esters. Creamy palate. Warming and enjoyable. kmweaver (3208) - Petaluma, California, USA - OCT 31, 2008
12oz bottle. Pours a deep, ruby-brown color; light-tan head with patchy, fine-bubbled lacing. Solid amounts of dried fruits, red fruits, and caramel in the aroma; red fruitiness aplenty; hidden alcohol. Medium-to-full mouthfeel: slightly sweet dried cherries, brown sugar, and chewy caramel; very malt-forward and just a touch syrupy and heavy; again, minimal alcohol if any; warming, comforting winter ale with plenty of red fruit throughout. Medium finish: red fruits, toasted malts, and some dry breadiness; nicely dry end. ditmier (1508) - Boise, Idaho, USA - OCT 31, 2008
2008 Bottle - Pours dk brown with a quickly dissipating tan head...aroma is burnt grain, fruit and bitter chocolate malt...flavour is well balanced, toast hop bitter on the front, caramel sweetness and light fruit in the middle, finishes with astringent hops on the end...great carbonation and alcohol...this is the winter beer that I go to every year... padrefan98 (854) - (San Diego) Santee, California, USA - OCT 31, 2008
12 oz bottle from Beverages for Less in Santee. Flavors of spice, hops, and caramel. I really liked this ale. OwenBytheway (6) - Washington, USA - OCT 30, 2008 does not count
Good years and bad years and nearly ugly years for this brew, but this year is the best I can recall.
A viscous army tan head which hides quickly over a rich copper not unlike madrona bark at sunset. Leading flavor edge is hops and ping pong malt interaction not unlike a barley wine with richness dancing in the foreground. Complex in the way it interacts with food. Some swigs offer more caramel, some sing a chorus of different spices taking lead. A steal with post-offs at $11.98 and $12.98 for half racks. Stock up now. Please, Deschutes, duplicate this in 2009.
tturner (111) - , Washington, USA - OCT 29, 2008
light copper, slight tan quick head. poured it cold, still waiting for warming to release the aroma. maybe getting slight subtle evergreen on the nose, hay/grass, and very faint maltiness. flavor up front is mostly hoppy. Gives way to berry seeds. StefanSD (2468) - Ouray, Colorado, USA - OCT 29, 2008
12 oz bottle from Bev4less. Fresh batch of the 2008 release. Pours a hazy amber-brown with a fair khaki head that has good retention and leaves some lacing. The aroma is moderately strong with berries, caramel and dust. The flavor is well balanced between biter hops, sweet berries, nuts (almonds and pecans) and caramel. The mouthfeel starts a bit thin and crisp, but builds to a sticky, malty conclusion. The finish is long and biter-sweet. Overall: This is one of the better winter beers. Recommended. iwc046 (22) - Kansas City, Missouri, USA - OCT 27, 2008
Just a really pleasant beer. Plenty of spice and layers of favor keep you guessing and make the beer enjoyable. The label is reason enough to give this beer a chance. biz82 (1327) - austin, Texas, USA - OCT 27, 2008
Deep clear red in color with a thin head. Full, malty aroma with a heavy fruitiness a hint of chocolate. Full bodied and rich. Sweet, fruity flavor with noticeable but not prominent hops. Has some astringency, probably from the excessive use of crystal malt. Moderate bitterness. Ibrew2or3 (8912) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - OCT 26, 2008
This 2007 offering poured clear brown with copper hues and thin tan head. The aroma is inviting to say the least with rich dark fruity esters coupled with rich and varied roasty malts. Very nice. The taste hits first with a bit of hop bitterness followed by roasty malts heading toward being highly roasted combined with dark fruity esters. The finish has notes of malt astringency rising up and drying it out a bit. Delicious brew.