OldMrCrow (2446) - Seattle, Washington, USA - FEB 1, 2008
brewandbbq (269) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - JAN 26, 2008
This is a beer with something of an identity crisis - and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We get three interesting elements coming together: spicy belgian dubbel elements, brown ale nuttiness and gentle sourness, porter-type baker’s chocolate roastiness. These elements play off of one another in ways that are interesting, even enjoyable, but not ultimately satisfying. A good experiment; not a total success.
Pours perfectly clear dark ruby. A massive, three-inch head rose up to the top of the tulip glass. After several minutes the chunky mass of beige seafoam settled to a good quarter inch. Lacework aplenty.
A real beauty.
Aromatics are fruity, malty, and somewhat chaulky. A Burton slant no doubt.
Caramelized malt with a hint of cherry juice.
The nose finishes a bit biscuity.
Mouthfeel is medium and a bit sticky. Mildly creamy, but crisp.
The pallet starts off decently, with bready malt and plenty of fruity esters. Hopping subdued but plenty of caramel and bitterness to keep things interesting.
The beer finishes with a somewhat scortched malt character. A bitterness that lingers in an odd way that detracts.
Alcohol is very subdued and some more drying chaulk lingers amongst the acrid undertones.
hopdog (12953) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 7, 2008
22oz bottle. Poured a deeper and cloudy amberish color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of toasted malts, some chocolate, christmas spices, and citrus. Tastes of caramel, spices, chocolate, citrus, and roast. 5000 (6862) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - JAN 1, 2008
Bottle: Deep ruby, large frothy beige head, spotty lacing.   Heavy toasted malt nose, good dose of cocoa and spruce.   Malty
start, toasty, much like a robust brown ale.   Not as spicy as I thought it would be.   Comes across as a light Porter, or a hefty
Brown Ale.   Toasty on the tongue, not bitter, low hop bitterness.   Some cocoa aspects, but the Spruce character is not there.
Does not seem that spiced to me.   Come across as your average brown, maybe a bit heftier.   Body and mouthfeel are moderate.
So what is this beer?   Its a fairly smooth, low bitterness Brown Ale.   More spices on the nose than on the tongue.   Not
sure what makes this a Winter Beer... but whatever.   Decent, but a little bit of letdown for a special seasonal.   Where are the
spices?!?! 19Ei8hty (1166) - Washington, USA - DEC 27, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 20, 2008 Interesting drink - definetly am picking up the vanilla and spice. The malt is very thin and characterized by a wet breadiness. Bits of roasted coffee bean and a slight nuttiness. Also has a nice sweet molassas finish which complements the spices very well.
Re-rate: Nov. 2008; Still agree with previous rating. Seems like I could make this beer very easily - very simple.
oldno7 (137) - Spokane, Washington, USA - DEC 20, 2007
Pours a dark amber with a thin tan head. Aroma is very faint of malts and vanilla. Flavor consists of fruit, malt, spices and caramel. Not too bad for a S.H.V.
bhensonb (15609) - Woodland, California, USA - DEC 20, 2007
Draft at Belmont Station. Aroma of roasted malt and coffee. Dark brown color with a lightly lacing beige/tan head. Full bodied with creamy carbonation. Somehow the whole flavor thing turns into coffee. Lots of coffee. Maybe a bit of chocolate. Definitely roasted/toasted malt, but the coffee rules. Something like a strongly coffee brown ale? Good. greenhorn1 (850) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - DEC 9, 2007
22 oz bottle from bottletrek.com. Pours a beautiful chestnut with a one finger head. Aroma and flavor of roasted malt and citrus. You can barely, and I mean barely, detect a hint of spice. However, there is a spice that is detectable in the finish. Medium to light mouthfeel with lively carbonation. Overall a decent brown ale, but would not classify it as on "steriods". robforbes (2260) - Bremerton, Washington, USA - DEC 2, 2007
pour is a dark maroon, thin off white head.
smell of spice, a bit of fruit, malt, and way in the back so burnt caramel.
taste is sweet, spices really come through, cinnamon, touch of nutmeg, malts, end is dry, tongue tingling, and slightly bitter. after4ever (8025) - Mukilteo, Washington, USA - NOV 25, 2007
22. Pours opaque grainy dark brown, very very close to black. No real highlights. Even in a well-lit room, I suppose I am not honestly sure how I can tell it’s not quite black. Thick, sudsy, moussy tan head that falls quickly to a thick ring of foam. Dense, webby but scattered lace. Roasty, somewhat charred spicy nose. This burned thing is obviously a bit of a risk to face with brewing the S/H/V holiday beers. Medium, slightly chalky body, decent and active carb. Spicy, peppery mid-palate, with pie spices and roast and white pepper notes afoot. Sticky, clinging spice notes on the finish. Definitely one of the better efforts from LB, despite that burned note in the nose.