luttonm (6482) - Seattle, Washington, USA - APR 6, 2010
Draft 12/09 at brewpub. This one surprised me, in a good way. Creamy body with light spicing. Not over the top in the ’winter’ vein. The hopping balances everything nicely. yemenmocha (659) - Glendale, Arizona, USA - MAR 19, 2010
Pours dark gold to brown, almost iced tea color. Head is thin and does not retain for long.
Nose reminds me of herbs & iced tea, and those hard crusty cinnamon sticks that are sold to go with coffee (biscotti?)
Palate has brown sugar sweetness, alcohol, iced tea bag, some cinnamon, and finish has alcohol warmth. cmonster (1000) - Portland, Oregon, USA - FEB 10, 2010
UPDATED: NOV 21, 2010 Bottle served in a snifter. Pours dark brown-amber in color with a short beige head. Shortish retention and decent spotty lacing. Fruit, floral, and caramel malts on the nose. The sweet flavor is mostly malty with a touch of roast of bittering hops. The fruit is there too. Nice mouthfeel. Medium body, medium-thick texture, soft carbonation, and a bitter, oily tasting finish. Good scotch ale. madmitch76 (24980) - , Essex, ENGLAND - JAN 17, 2010
11th October 2008. GABF. Aged in brandy barrels. Clear brown beer. Nice smooth brandyish malt. A little banana at the end. What’s not to like? robdogg (4) - Alabama, USA - JAN 12, 2010 does not count
UPDATED: OCT 12, 2012 wow.. like other commenters, not sure how to describe the taste.. but one thing came to mind was "mildewed tree bark" - you know the odor you smell when walking through heavy Northwest forest in the wet season? that’s really what it reminded me.. quite malty as well, which I am not a big fan of.. so maybe that was part of it.. thankfully the palate was fairly light, and the taste didn’t linger too long.. was hard to finish..
lukeherinckx (134) - mount pleasant, South Carolina, USA - JAN 12, 2010
Deep red/caramel color and a thick tan head. great aroma upon the pour (unfortunately i can’t pinpoint the smell) but that aroma kind of goes as away as the head does. The taste is a little disappointing, just kind of a bittery mess with a finish that definitely lacks. TLNash886 (228) - Idaho, USA - JAN 4, 2010
UPDATED: JAN 24, 2010 12 oz bottle pours a murky brown with minimal tan head into a pint glass. Aroma of caramel malts, bit floral with a touch of yeast, pear, apple, plumb. Tastes like the nose: starts caramel with the fruits, malt pulls through, finishing with a resiny astringency and some booze. Soft on the palate with low carbonation and medium body. Odd, but pleasant. Skyview (6076) - Papoose Jct, Minnesota, USA - JAN 1, 2010
Picked up a single 12-oz bottle at Brennan’s Country Farm Market in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Pours a hazy dark copper brown colored brew with a thick off-white head that has some nice retention and lacing. Aroma of dark pitted fruits, roasted caramel malt, some dark bread dough, some floral hops and a hint of toffee. Taste is full bodied, soft texture with flavors of caramel malt, roasted nuts, a hint of vanilla and floral hops. Finish is malty with minimal bitterness with a touch of alcohol warmth. highibus (823) - Vail, Arizona, USA - DEC 30, 2009
Pours a nice chestnut brown with decent tan head. Aroma of cherries and alcohol. Flavor is deep chewy malt with some more dark fruit. Clean finish with just a hint of the alcohol. Best beer I have had from hales. jimbowood (1036) - Freeport, Georgia, USA - DEC 23, 2009
Bottle. I remember trying this brew at the pub about 9 yrs ago and it blew me away. In the age of barrel-aged, high gravity, double everything, this beer shows a complexity and drinkability that is unmatched for a lower gravity brew. Nutty, malty, and delicious. The perfect Christmas beer.