Hopswagger (199) - South Carolina, USA - FEB 1, 2014
P: Clear ruby red body with a small layer of micro bubble head that exits fast. A thin layer of bubble remain on top but most flock to the edges.
S: Earthy hops, dirt, pine resin, faint cocoa dust, roasted caramel, molasses and candy malt. Butterscotch and peppery spice.
T/M: Follows the nose with a healthy dose of earthy hops , cocoa powder and nice warming sensation. Bittersweet dark chocolate, orange oil and roasted caramel apple peels on the super dry finish. Light-medium prickly mouthfeel.
O: Gotta love a hoppy warmer. Intense earthy flavors bordering dirt in the mouth. Pine and hints of fruit compliment the roasty sweet malts. A great treat for winter that I’m eager to try the slightly altered version next year. Cheers!
POD (198) - USA - DEC 28, 2006
Free Bottle. Poured beautiful amber with a nice lingering foam head. Aroma was of a rich spice typicl to winter ales. Flavor was citrus and hops. Neither too overbearing. Aftertaste was clean dry slight malt and hops. I drank this ice cold and it really hit the spot. I would drink this again. dankfor20 (193) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - DEC 5, 2002
A clean dry roasty palate i’ll agree. I’m not a fan of spicy winter brews so i liked this one ivan9856 (191) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - JAN 6, 2006
A 12 oz. bottle pours a clear, dark amber body with an average light tan head that left good lacing. The nose features a pleasant, by nondescript fruity aroma barely disguising the malt base. Initial palate is mildly sweet, but quickly yields to hop resins. The midpalate presents a rather plain flavor spectrum, which is reminiscent of orange pekoe tea. The finish is dry and fairly long lasting. blindeyedbetty (189) - Utah, USA - DEC 29, 2008
12 oz. bottle pours clean coppery brown with slight fluffy off-white head that leaves thick lacing as it dissipates. Aroma is of caramel and nutmeg with hints of malt. Front palate is malty, middle is nutty and rich and finish is roasted. Very, very roasted. Past the point of roasted to the point of bitter. Drinkable beer that could stand up to a nice wintery dish like pot roast with roasted veggies and potatoes.
I.C.suds (189) - Da U.P. eh?, Michigan, USA - DEC 8, 2003
Dark amber with a frothy but short lived light tan head. Spicy hop aroma. No chance to identify the malt- overly hopped- Resiny aftertaste reminds me of doing bong hits in college back in '75. uvajed (187) - Ravenna, Ohio, USA - NOV 28, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 12, 2014 2014: I like this a little better now - the initial hop and toasted nut flavors are well balanced and mellow. This is tasty and agreeable because it doesn’t try too hard.
2005: A little sweet, and not overwhelmingly flavorful, but the hoppy flavor dominates. A little caramel and malt. Not what I hoped for from a winter ale, though I love hops and I like this. hero12 (184) - Minnesota, USA - JAN 21, 2010
Extremely good beer. Very heavy coffee malt nose and taste. Minimal carbonation and a clean/bitter finish. Very enjoyable. xsketchyx (184) - Oregon, USA - OCT 27, 2003
Pours with average head leaving a lot of lacing on the glass. Dark red almost brown color. Light brown sugar smell. Awfully watery when it hit my mouth, and didn't taste much other than carbonation. Finishes dry. Nothing exciting to see here, but not overly offensive either. lunaticharness (183) - Torrance, California, USA - APR 29, 2003
UPDATED: OCT 19, 2003 re-rate 2003 edition ok either the original i had was a way dif recipe... or this went down hill really fast, a stale malt aroma that is kind of doughy - with a bit of light hop scent, very nice ruby color with an offwhite huge rocky head that dissipates to a thin ring, man the flavor used to be so good! but now it tastes very metallic and very bad medicinal bitterness - has hints of fruity sweetness but is majorly hidden behind the metal and bitter, my thoughts are this bad boy needs some time to age, ill stuff 2 in the closet and rate in 6 and 12 months later and see how it goes!
definitely ESB's big brother, better than all the other redhook brews, just too bad they dont make it year round..