SilkTork (5752) - Southampton, United Kingdom, Hampshire, ENGLAND - DEC 23, 2002
UPDATED: SEP 19, 2011 Dec, 2002 Cask @ McMullen’s Millstream, Herts Liquid Christmas pudding! Dark. Thick. Sweet. Tembling Joy. Orgasmic. The oral sex of ale! Christmas beers are what makes Christmas special.  LordCrabapple (109) - Merseyside, ENGLAND - OCT 13, 2011
Dec, 2003 Cask @ McMullen’s Millstream, Herts. Seductive darkest scarlet black appearance. Plummy aroma with orange peel, port, alcohol, opal fruits, etc. Lovely soft fulsome mouthfeel - washing around the mouth in a satisfactory yet stimulating manner. Perfect. Flavour remains gorgeous throughout. This is the perfect Winter Warmer. Licorice, opal fruits, sweet and bitter in harmony. Quality throughout. It hits the mouth and explodes out, spreading, warming, lingering. Wonderful. An absolutely stunning ale. [4.8]
Sept, 2011 500ml bottle - filtered. Sainsbury’s Beer Challenge. I love this beer on the cask. And I always had a pint when taking my eldest daughter and her family for a pub lunch at Christmas. I’ve not done that for a while, and have missed this beer, as it’s generally only available in pubs close to the McMullen brewery. It was available at the St. Albans festival in 2004. I was there, but for some reason didn’t have it at the time. Probably too busy chasing after scoops! Good to see it now available in bottle, albeit in filtered format. It doesn’t do well filtered, but it’s still a dream of a beer. Plenty of deent chewy malt, and not too much of the hop flavouring - just enough to add balance and seasoning. The joy is in the magic way the yeast treats the malt. And because in this filtered version, the active yeast has been removed, there is, inevitably, something missing. It’s flatter, duller, and far less interesting. Still damn lovely though! [4.4]
I have to say that this beer has grown on me. At first, as is often the case, I can’t say I particularly enjoyed it, but now I have to restrain myself from opening the remaining three bottles I have. How will time change this fine beer? Both bitter and sweet, better than the British beers of this strength that I have tasted, it is too good to be in supermarkets! harrisoni (18808) - Ashford, Kent, ENGLAND - SEP 9, 2011
500ml bottle from the Sainsburys beer competition 2011. Wish I’d been at St Albans BF in 2004 when most of the ratings for this came from. What a great group of people were there. Clear deep russet colour with thick lasting mid beige head. Syrupy malty aroma. Touch of nuttiness and likeable malty fruit on aroma too. Mmmmm. Yes a full thick tasty English Strong Ale. Just like it should be. Now that is a beer. Yes it has a cake quality to it. Just the malts are just so wonderful. Yep, good beer. After a couple of not great things, and not being a huge fan of McMullens, this is stunning. Just perfect blend of malts. With a slight dry edge to the finish so the sweetness never gets out of control. Pretty special. Fin (10609) - Merton, Oxfordshire, England, Oxfordshire, ENGLAND - SEP 7, 2011
Bottle from the Sainsburys Beer Challenge range, Sainsburys Kidlington, 2011 purchased & consumed 07.09.11 Pours dark brown with a very good clarity and a light beige rim of bubbles. Very malty beer, this is tasty the alcohol showing some warmth otherwise very well hidden. Soft in the mouth and smooth as it slips down, sweetness showing with a little chestnut honey type bitterness, great beer, loved it. A7 A5 T8 P4 Ov16 4.0 Philym (1003) - St Neots, Cambridgeshire, ENGLAND - MAY 16, 2014
Appearance: Clear ruby/brown with 2 finger thick beige head.
Aroma: Dried fruit, toffee, golden syrup, slight spiritous note.
Taste: Medium bitter and sweetness with low sourness.
Palate: Thick coarse texture, light/medium body, average carbonation, lingering dry, burnt toffee, syrupy, fruity finish.
Davros IX (381) - Hertford, Hertfordshire, ENGLAND - FEB 3, 2017
It was Christmas pudding in a bottle! Lovely flavour of malt, stewed fruits and a bit of coffee with an underlying flavour of the alcohol. chriso (7569) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - OCT 15, 2004
Beers from this small brewer in Hertford are rarely seen outside their own estate and neither of their London pubs seem to serve their occasional/seasonal brews. I had always found their beers to be solid, but unexciting. This beer was something of a revelation. The colour is a deep brown with a reddish hue. Plenty of fruit and sweet hops in the aroma - almost Belgian in feel. Rich mouthfeel, with dried fruit (mainly raisins), candied bitter orange, plums, burnt malt and a woody edge. Not too sweet. Excellent, warming, stuff. Cask (gravity dispense), St Albans Beer festival.
Martin243 (1199) - Tyne & Wear, ENGLAND - SEP 22, 2011
500ml bottle, cellar cool. Pours deep reddish brown with an offwhite head. Fruitcake aroma, juicy blackcurrant, raisin, licquorice flavours with lurking alcohol. Delicious. tombyars (1702) - Saltcoats, SCOTLAND - FEB 9, 2012
First tasted this at the Glasgow Winter Beer Festival in February 1997. Cask, gravity dispense. Ruby black in colour with a thin off white head. Sweet toffee notes in the powerful malty aroma. Creamy but thin mouthfeel and poor lacing. Dark malts give a moist maltloaf base with sweet juicy damsons, sultanas and prunes mixed with treacle toffee notes. There is a slight prickle of earthy hops in the aftertaste but this is short lived. Robust powerful malt returns with booming notes of dry oak cask and vinous fruit. A superb, strong Old Ale in style and highly recommended. BlackHaddock (7410) - Shropshire, ENGLAND - AUG 4, 2013
500ml Bottle: BBD end of Aug 2013, poured into an Abbot Ale glass tankard on 4th Aug 2013, at home.
Ruddy brown body with a good, full head of tan coloured foam.
The nose is of dark fruits and malty molasses.
The taste is moist fruit cake and extra sweet malts with a mild liquorice undertone.
Rich and heavy in the body, hides the alcohol nicely: this is an armchair and coal fire sort of brew, a Winter Warmer!