drinkbeer (283) - Redondo Beach, California, USA - DEC 10, 2003
UPDATED: DEC 17, 2003 Very dark brown color, fluffy light tan head leaving good lacing. Aroma of plums and alcohol. Pretty full palate with medium carbonation. Taste is sweet at the start and reminds me of ommegang because of the twizzler-esque flavor. Bitterness comes through in the middle till the finish, which ends up being rather dry with a slight black licorice taste. PeterA (342) - EL SALVADOR - DEC 10, 2003
I noticed hops and caramel in the aroma. The beer had a nice dark copper (the brewer's mahagany description is a good one). I found the taste to be hoppy and a little too bitter for my taste, I would have expected more spices in it. However, the finish was very smooth.
thehoff (598) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - DEC 9, 2003
Dark brown amber looking beer. Nutty smell, sweet. Tangy, sweet, bitter nutty flavor to the beer. OK. Good. Nice winter beer. ClarkVV (6839) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 9, 2003
2003 Bottle. True to the description its a fairly dark mahogany. Small orange-beige head. Clear. Smells of Goldings hops, quite dry. Begins with a relatively very large bitter hops flavor with lingering acidity through the body. Finally on the very end, some malt, mostly light cherry flavored comes out. Moderate complexity, some woodiness, touch of spices. Medium body, quite carbonated. Too unbalanced at the beginning. Bitter, dry hops overpower this beer. Tastes like a typical unbalanced IPA. I guess it gets more palatable as it warms, but still needs work. egajdzis (6693) - Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 7, 2003
Poured a clear mahogany color with an off white head and some lacing. Mild aroma of clove and some sweet bubblegum. Spicy taste of nutmeg and banana. Average mouthfeel, average beer.
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - DEC 4, 2003
Dark ruby with a medium tan head that diminshed quickly. Very spicy malty cherry aroma. Flavor is very dry and not nearly as sweet as I remember previous vintages. The alcohol is fairly prominent. Kind of one dimensional. Disapointing. JCW (1278) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 1, 2003
Like the commercial description, mahogany colored, translusent. The aroma is a neat mix of malt and fruit, cherry is the most obvious. Flavor is on the dry side, I would guess this beer is wood aged, although it isn't mentioned. British hops are very evident. Dry finish with a mild amount of bitterness. This one would take a bite out of the winter air. papajohn (1250) - San Diego (Mira Mesa), California, USA - NOV 29, 2003
The pour is beer bottle amber with a small tanish head. Nose is sweet with a hint of cherry and some spice. Flavor starts rich and sweet followed by a balanced hop bitterness. The finish is dry and lingers. A little lite on the palate with some carbonation, but overall a quite drinkable brew. irishsnake (355) - Oakland, California, USA - NOV 28, 2003
UPDATED: DEC 13, 2004 A very nice amber/brown-ale with a good English hop nose. The flavor is quite good-not to sweet for its size, and with a nice bop bite (flavor and bitternes) in the back.
Re-Rate for ’04: pours a very pretty reddish-amber with a short-lived white head. aroma of toasty and sweet malts well balanced by earthy hops. unfortunately, that malt falls right out of the flavor-no where near enough to balance the harsh, astringent bitterness. like a tea bag boiled for an hour, leaving some serious fuzzy tounge. becomes marginally more drinkable as it warms; the malt ties to come out a bit.
Nuffield (4189) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - NOV 27, 2003
Bottle with 2003 label. Reddish brown color, little head. Before it gets too warm, this keeps a very Belgian quality. Generous aroma, caramel, alcohol, slightly plastic (like a brand-new rain poncho). More fruity complexion in tasting, and though malty it is still dry, with a moderate burnt bitterness in a long finish (grill-roasted asparagus, anyone?). Substantial carbonation in the mouthfeel, lively yet soft like a Belgian dubbel. As it gets closer to room temperature, it takes on more strong ale qualities, minimizing whatever fruitiness I had found earlier. Good beer, generally satisfying as it took me through a journey of some complexity, even though I wasn't amazed by where the journey ended up.