Floback (550) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - DEC 21, 2008
Bottle from Knightly Spirits. Pours an opaque black color and a tan rim. Lacing is loose and spotty. A full aroma envelops with notes of dark fruits, subtle hops and coffee, chocolate, and soy sauce. Flavors are rich with toffee and coffee, more chocolate, subtle hints of cherry, plums, and other dark fruits. Superbly balanced malt presence here. Soft carbonation and full body. This beer achieves a refreshing quality despite the darkness in color and flavor; not an easy feat to do. An excellent all-around brew. Grzesiek79 (4297) - Radom, POLAND - NOV 17, 2015
Perfectly Old Style Ale. Swiateczne piwo, niemal doskonale, bardzo smaczne tresciwe i rozgrzewajace. W zapachu dominuja swierzo zmielona kawa, pierniki i sliwki a takrze troche borowki. Smak to kakao, cynamon, gozdziki, wanillia i prazony slonecznik. Swietne wyraziste. Wyglad sporej i trwalej piany rajcowal niesamowicie, ciemna kremowa piana brazowawo szara. Juz podczas nalewania stawalo sie bardzo ciemne nieprzepuszczajace swaitla, a po dolaniu resztek drozdzy zrobilo sie bardzo ciemne brazowe. Geste i krzepkie i konkretne, takie powinno byc wlasnie zimowe ale. Goraco polecam Furseth (2161) - Kungälv, SWEDEN - DEC 19, 2005
UPDATED: OCT 5, 2006 A werry good sweet /bitter Christmas beer from Hanndbryggeriet. One of the best Christmas beer this season in Norway. It have it all, for a tratinal Norwegian Christmas beer. Malty, sweet,and a light bitterness in the end.
nbutler11 (1267) - Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, ENGLAND - DEC 16, 2008
The champion of my holiday beer tasting. Pours and tastes like an imperial porter. Brimming with dark fruit, milk cocoa, dry roast, and maple syrup with an awesome label to boot. This beer is magic. wlajwl (6811) - Quad Cities, Iowa, USA - MAY 5, 2011
This has a very complex aroma of malts and fruits and appearance is great as well, although a bit of a pain to pour. The flavor itself is also very complex, with the malts dominating and also having a strong fruit flavor to it. Very good as far as Christmas Ales go.
Cybercat (5834) - Georgia, USA - APR 3, 2013
Robust, smoky, oily aroma has a firm overtone of spice, mainly cinnamon and ginger with more than a smidgen of licorice. It pours an opaque, warm coffee brown with a fairly thick and fine-bubbled light tan head. Hearty, malty flavor has licorice, honey, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and caramel notes of various strengths. Each sip seems to be a little different. Texture is firm and smooth, if not too fizzy. Makes any day Christmas - or Yule, or Winterfest, or whatever you wanna call it. GirlFriend (37) - Stavanger, NORWAY - NOV 15, 2013
DWS My third beer today, a bit tipsy wich could affect my rating :)
Deep brown with creamy foam. Aroma of chocolate, liqorice, coffee, prunes, spices and spruce..Fantastic :) Taste sweet coffee and dry fruits, chocolate.. Mirrors aroma.. Well balanced. The perfect beer for winter and christmas :) !
BDR (2534) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - DEC 15, 2008
Black color with a frothy brown head. Oak and dark pitted fruits and a faint spice meadly in the aroma. Smooth roasted and caramel malt body with faint chocolate and a dominant woody character. abstractbeer (241) - NORWAY - MAY 11, 2010
UPDATED: JAN 6, 2012 This is my 25th rating! Yay! Bottle, from Vinmonopolet. Batch #250, from 2009.
Derbeth (936) - Kraków, POLAND - DEC 21, 2015
Pours an extremely dark red-brown, with a gigantic, very lively beige head.
Nose is very delicious and fills the room with the smell of chocolate cake, raspberries, caramel and some fruit and coffee. Wow!
I tried this beer right before christmas 2009 as well and can’t remember it being so good!
Aroma is mainly dark chocolate malt with some great fruity edges (peach??!), and a roasted, long-lasting aftertaste. Interesting pairing with parmesan cheese.
I’ll buy some more of this while it’s still available and store them to see if there’s any development!
Addendum: Bottle of batch #238, brewed 04.08.2009, best before 04.08.2012, tasted 14.08.2010. Yes, I know it’s a christmas beer, and yes, I drink it in august! Mainly to figure out if this batch is any good and perhaps worth storing till next christmas.
I open it carefully, but out pours almost nothing but a brown foam. I let it settle for a while, then continue pouring. As before, the room smells like a christmas cake. a sweet, golden-red smell, of good times to come. I haven’t gotten all of the bottle into the glass, but the head still looks like the head of a muffin, so I’m letting it settle. Damn, it smells good, like gingerbread cakes mixed with kittens. I’m lovin’ it, and McDonalds has nothing to say in this matter.
OK, so now it’s in the glass, a pitch dark brew, with a thick golden-honey-milk-chocolate head.
It tastes like coffee with a bit of cinnamon, surrounded by a frame of red berries, with hints of roasted nuts at the edges - just about perfect! Very lively. Very good! I’ll be buying more of this for christmas(es) to come. The aftertaste is quite bitter, like a worn out leather shoe, yet in a pleasant way, actually. It’s just on the right side of the border of what I personally consider acceptable bitterness, while my mouth is still mostly covered in that red-berry-coffee-happiness which makes me love this beer.
Addendum #2: Batch 309, the 2010 edition. Still quite young. Smells amazing, like strawberry jello with vanilla sauce! Mouthfeel is a bit thin, and carbonation is pretty much absent. I don’t know if that’s intentional, but it doesn’t bother me that much. Aroma is pretty much like a less intense version of last year’s batch - mainly caramelish and red berries -, and I’ll buy more of this and try it again in a year or so, because I think it’ll benefit from some age.
Addendum #3: The 2009 edition is awesome right now, one year after becoming available! The head is brown and everlasting, consisting of beautiful little beehive-constructing bubbles. Aroma is still beautiful fruity coffee yum!!!
Addendum #4: New tasting, 2012-01-06. 2009 edition (batch #250, brewed october 2009, best before october 2012), cellared for over 2 years! Fruity aroma with milk chocolate notes and red berries. Huge, thick brown head. Amazing flavors of chocolate and nuts with fruity edges, roasted malts and lots of coffee in the aftertaste. I can’t say I detect much difference from my first rating, but it’s still delicious! And it still goes nicely with parmesan cheese! It’s a bit overcarbonated though, very lively bubbles.
Bottle, batch 592 with expiry in April 2016. Black colour, small brown head. Aroma is intensive dark chocolate, coffee, praline, some ash. Light bitterness. Full body, thick, smooth. What more can I say - HaandBryggeriet makes exceptional dark ales. Fantastic.