rangerred (989) - Johnson City, Tennessee, USA - NOV 17, 2011
22oz bomber into a pint glass.
Pours a clear dark reddish brown with just a tiny tan head.
Smells of caramel, malt and spice. Some cinnamon and orange. No detectable hop aroma.
The taste is much like the smell although caramel and toffee come through quite strong. There is also an orange flavor that fades to an assertive hop bitterness although it is not too severe.
Overall this is an excellent beer and one of the best examples of the style that I have had. While I do feel it could use a little more alcohol to add warmth, the body does not suffer due to it only being 5.8%. I will definitely seek this beer out again.
Hank1980 (966) - Athens, Georgia, USA - DEC 11, 2008
On tap at Trappeze. This is a great beer. Pours dark brown with a nice tan head. Aroma of roasted malt chocolate, vanilla, spice, and maybe some faint fruit. Taste is somewhat similar with more vanilla and chocolate, light spice. Body is smooth and creamy. Finish is also very smooth. Overall, a very enjoyable beer, a new favorite from Highland. DrDavid (957) - Johnson, Vermont, USA - FEB 11, 2009
Bottle. Rich moderately sweet malty aroma. Deep reddish amber body, creamy tan head. Lots of sweetness and vanilla in the flavor, but not cloying. nolankowal (938) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - APR 26, 2007
Bottle shared by bdburdman. Crimson pour with a white head. Aroma of malt and light vanilla, and some yeast. Flavor of coconut, vanilla, and some sweet malt. Medium bodied. Not bad. weeare138 (936) - Collegeville, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 22, 2006
Thanks to hopdog for unleashing this ’05 bottle at the tasting...
Appears a semi-transparent orange toned brown with an ivory white head that fades into a collar. Little streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of caramel, vanilla, juniper, orange peel, cranberries, and biscuits.
Taste is of the aromas with a highlight of caramel and berries.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, mildly spiced, along with a light sourness that fades into a wild spiced and hopped finish.
HighGravity (926) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JAN 5, 2006
(2005/2006 Version) The nose is very fruity; perhaps cherries were used to make this beer. The palate is full of chocolate, spice, and cherry notes. It’s like a wassail without being overwhelmed with spice. I did not think that I would like this beer, but it is interesting. Nice winter ale. CelticBrew (912) - The Crystal Coast, North Carolina, USA - MAR 28, 2007
On tap at the Mello Mushroom in Wrightsville Beach, NC. Appears dark ruby with no or little foam. Aroma reminds me of vanilla soda, hops and malts. Flavor was sugary, like root beer. Very smooth, another great beer from NC brewery. kayres (883) - , Georgia, USA - JAN 18, 2015
Pours a very clear copper brown with a thin tan head. Medium bodies smooth. Malty fruity aroma. Sweet toasted malt with a bit of a berry finish?
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone woodychevy (874) - - NOV 25, 2014
UPDATED: DEC 2, 2015 On tap at Joni’s. So not worth the hype, , but decent. Pours copper/ brown with a soapy beige head with staying power. Taste mainly caramel and bready malts and vanilla with some winter spices in there. Not much hops or body to it. Too light for a winter ale. Erring on the sweet side. Sort of peculiar, really. Don’t need any more.
12/2/15 It’s just plain not good. Hats off to them for an incredible marketing effort but it is a thin, watery and synthetic tasting brew. The aftertaste just keeps getting worse as it lingers. Do not like. bgburdman9 (861) - columbus, Ohio, USA - APR 4, 2007
Bonus from captaincougar. Aroma and sweet maltiness with some spices. Flavor was a little weird with some butterscoth maybe. A little werid on the palate. Had some vanilla.