bubslang (438) - Kentwood, Michigan, USA - NOV 28, 2003
copper with a small off white head. mild herbal hop and spice aroma. thin bodied with a mild hop bitterness, with hints of nutmeg and some fruitiness. OK but nothing special. desurfer (1302) - Melbourne, Florida, USA - NOV 26, 2003
Copper hue, no head. Spice and malt in the nose, but not very strong. Taste of nutmeg and spice. Too thin bodied and weak for a so-called strong ale. It's pretty good, but nothing special stands out. wulfhere (218) - Billings, Montana, USA - NOV 25, 2003
Medium red/dark amber with a small to negligible head.
Nice hop nose with hints of your traditional spices (which may or may not be in this "strong ale")and maybe some fruit.
The body is pretty thin, and this isn't a warming beer--which is the point of winterfest ales--to warm you up.
The mouthfeel is thin--a nice malt/hop finish. koatis (50) - Maryland, USA - NOV 24, 2003
This is a really nice seasonal entry from the folks at Redhook. Not crazy strong like a lot of winter brews. Hops at the start remind me of Flying Dog Pale, but the finish is much stronger and balanced. Check it out if you can get it. raymow (1865) - Bensalem, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 24, 2003
Nice dark copper color and slightly hoppy aroma. Decent flavor - tastes like an IPA plus (I just made that up).
kujo9 (1095) - North Ridgeville, Ohio, USA - NOV 24, 2003
Off white/light tan head on a light copper body, but it just doesn't stick around very long. Herbal hop aroma, but it lacks a malt presence in the nose as an English Strong ale should. But at 5.58% ABV, it's not that strong! What little malt aroma there is seems caramelly with hints of roast and chocolate and only mildy fruity. Flavors seems rather sweet and lightly acidic, but well balanced with a hop flavor that dominates mid palate into the finish. A light fruitiness comes into the finish as well as it warms; The malt flavors seem muddled and one does not dominate over the others as in the aroma making this a fairly non complex winter brew. Medium bodied wiht moderately low carbonation and dry mouthfeel, borderline astringent. This isn't a bad beer by any stretch of the imagination, but it's not terribly complex for what it's supposed to be. I can't say I'm not disappointed in this one. beermoose (25) - Blainville, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 24, 2003
Brown Beer, Nice foaming, with a nice aroma of caramel and hops. I found it mild and closer to a brown ale than anything else. When drinking it, everything seems to be blended not letting anything special come out. elnadeau (786) - Laguna Niguel, California, USA - NOV 24, 2003
2003 bottle. Brownish copper color, medium foamy head. Enticing hops/citrus aroma. Nicely balanced with good malt character vs a good piney hops presence. With this much hops, it does not really seem to fit the style, but it was very enjoyable. I really thought I was drinking a very decent APA, in fact Redhook would be well served to use this recipe to market an APA, it's certainly the best beer I've tried from them. whaleman (2178) - North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 23, 2003
2003 draught. Dark body and soft, frothy head. Has properties of caramel, fruit, and even tobacco with a considerable dose of piney hops in the finish. Aftertaste is a bit astringent, as if from soap. The 2003 is a hoppy brew and quite unlike any true English Strong Ale. I think the recipe has changed (and improved) considerably for this one. antisnobJP (274) - St. Michael, Minnesota, USA - NOV 21, 2003
UPDATED: FEB 5, 2004 Strong Cascade hop aroma. Some malt aroma after it warms up a bit. Deep copper color with creamy head that lasts. Clinging rings of lace. Tastes very hoppy when fridge cold, nice roasty malt flavors come through as it warms. Decent mouthfeel. Dry with a lingering bitter aftertaste. Not a typical "winter" brew- no spices- but excellent for sipping away while watching the snow fly(and I am}. Overall rating seems low for this beer, I wonder if this years version is an improvement, since I've never tried it before. BTW, this year's version is 6.11 ABV. Re-rate-2/5/04- Have grown tired of hop dominance-too much for this type of beer. Having a hard time finishing one.