overall
94
64
style
RATINGS: 149   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.63/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
This Special Edition Winter Ale is a robust full-bodied Imperial India Pale Ale. A rich blend of luscious malts is paired with enourmous amounts of Cascade, Amarillo, and Simcoe hops, giving our ale the perfect balance of malt to go along with unforgettable hop flavor and aroma.

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3.4
FlacoAlto (4221) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAR 17, 2007
Sampled February 2007

Pours with a hazy, dark amber color and is topped by a frothy, initially one-finger thick, light tan colored head. The beer smells of lightly aged, distinctly caramelized malt and still somewhat pungent hops. Notes of sweet citrus fruit mix with the chewy, caramelized bready malt notes. The finish has a nice dry biscuit or cracker type aroma to it.



Still sharply bitter in the taste; the bitterness hits the tongue from the beginning and lingers on in through to the finish. Chewy, biscuit like malt notes are what sticks around the longest though. A pungent hoppiness, lead by a solid herbaceous pine-like character & even some menthol like notes, is quite present and plays the leading flavor role here. There is clearly some aged malt character here, but the hops are still big enough that it is hard to dig out; lightly oxidized malt character seem to amplify a toasty cracker like note and, a seemingly paradoxical, dry caramelized character.



This is still drinking quite nicely, I am sure it was much more pungently hoppy when fresh, but the years worth of age has melded together flavors quite well and added a touch of light oxidation character that helps to boost the malt complexity. I am not sure I would want to age this much longer though.

3.2
bu11zeye (13239) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - MAR 2, 2007
(Bottle) Pours a clear amber body with a medium off-white head. Aroma of caramel, citrus, breadiness, and light pine. Flavor of hops, fruit, and caramel with a bitter finish.

3.8
hopdog (13102) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 28, 2007
12oz bottle acquired in trade with ughsmash (thanks!). Poured a medium and slightly hazy orange color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of citrus, pine, lightly earthy, toasted malts and light caramel. Tastes of citrus, melons, grapefruit, caramel and toffee. Light alcohol finish.

3
JohnC (3008) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - FEB 17, 2007
This beer pours an opaque amber with a small white head. The flavor is dry, bitter, hoppy with some citrus notes.

3.2
cbkschubert (2901) - BFE, Arizona, USA - FEB 15, 2007
12 oz. bottle via trade with OhioDad - Pours a hazy amber color with a 1/2 finger thick off white head. Very light lacing. Light floral & citrus hop and toasted malt aroma. Has a bitter hop flavor with a slight bit of malt. Palate is a bit thin. Slight oxidation is setting in. Medium body. This beers’ age is beginning to show. Too bad, I bet it was good when first released. Still, a decent beer now. Glad I got to try it. Thanks Scott.

3.2
Rockinout (966) - Kent, Ohio, USA - FEB 15, 2007
Golden orange color, very mild nose of mango and citrus, I wish it were stronger. Creamy citrus bitter taste with a lingering finish.

3.5
Ughsmash (7510) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 24, 2007
Bottled. Poured clear medium orange with a dusting of white head and a spattering of lacing as it went down. Aroma was quite nice, retaining the juiciness of the Simcoe, but definitely leaning toward the sweet, malty side with grapefruit meat, toffee, and some alcohol sting accenting it. Flavor was good, but a bit too boozy... sweet rum-laced toffee, caramel, and juicy grapefruit with unidentifiable hop and alcohol sharpness. Sticky caramel and pear finish. Felt OK at the various points on the palate, but didn’t necessarily flow well. Decent brew, and damn cheap.

3.6
boboski (1095) - Alabama, USA - JAN 11, 2007
12oz btl. Consumed fresh in December 2005, via Knightly Spirits Orlando. Pours a hazy amber with bubbles trying to coagulate into a small off white head. Protruding caramel malt and dry hops dominate the aroma, with tinges of lavender, grapefruit and toffee. Flavor is more of the same, additions of bitter hops(nice blend), melons and creamy sugar. A nice malt backbone keeps things on an even keel. Palate is a little watery in the finish, otherwise really well wrought. Finishes long, dry and slightly astringent. Good effort from Mendocino.

3.9
Tmoney99 (15036) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JAN 2, 2007
Bottle from Party Source, KY. Pours a hazy copper with a large fizzy off-white head that was mostly lasting with good lacing. Heavy hoppy citrus aroma. Medium to full body with a slick texture. Heavy hoppy bitter flavor with a good bittersweet finish of moderate duration. Very good brew.

3.6
Brigadier (3760) - Chagrin Falls, Ohio, USA - DEC 31, 2006
12 oz bottle



This was a decent suprise that I picked up on a run to Woodman’s a few weeks ago. As I triage some stuff, this came to the front of the list. Overall it was a well made double IPA though not really head and shoulders above the rest. I would compare it to Full Sail Slipknot or something similar. It has a nice balance and is very easy to drink. It was not long before the bottle and my glass were both empty.


Aroma / Appearance - Toffee, honey, spruce and cinnamon form an inviting nose. In the background is the smell of cheap waxy chocolate like that found in your average candy bar. It was a nice balance and not as hoppy as I was expecting. The body was a carbonated amber with bubbles flowing to the top at a steady pace.


Flavor / Palate - Chewy toffee fills the mouth on the first sip. It is almost like somebody blended a hard candy into a fluid form. After that a lingering astringincy supports the taste of hot molasses. The mouthfeel is very full and creamy. It has hints of west coast hops without being over the top. The finish is dry, leaving traces of orange peels and grapefruit on the throat.


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