Dynamind69 (29) - San Miguel, California, USA - MAR 2, 2007
UPDATED: MAR 11, 2007 This is the best English Strong Ale I have ever had ,pours amber like honey,with a nose of fresh apples with notes of carmel .It poured with a nice foamy head. It has a crisp taste like a fresh pear, that leaves an aftertaste like a mild electrical current on the tongue.No strong bitter hops to mask the sweet malts, a very nice blend.It has a nice effervescence enhancing the palate.The brew was so refreshing after a hard days work,like a blessing. acsilver877 (10) - Arizona, USA - JAN 30, 2012
I am completely surprised at the rating for this beer. This is one of my favorite beers of all time. It makes November worth looking forward to for me. My only complaint about this beer is that it comes in a clear glass bottle. badpuppy69 (321) - orange, California, USA - APR 24, 2014
First let me say its a simple brew but its damn near perfect! what planet are these beer raters from? Pours a clear copper/gold with a thick dense soapy head that laced thick foam rings all the way down my glass! Aroma is apricots and a epic malt character with just enough hops to balance the brew out to damn near perfection!. Taste follows the Aroma well with some breadyness. Very smooth and easy to drink. Amazing brew!! Perfect malt backbone! I don?t understand why its only getting a 71 out of 100? This brew is awesome!! I could drink as a go to session beer. rappunzeldmb (3) - Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA - MAY 2, 2007 does not count
Very drinkable ale. It doesnt really have any flovors that really jump out at you. Wulfstan (509) - California, USA - SEP 18, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 28, 2007 For years one of my absolute favourites, this is a smooth but delicious, flavourful & satisfying ale. It is deep amber with a thick, long-lasting off-white head and some weak lacing. The flavour has plenty of malt with just enough hops to balance and give the whole a fairly complex, rich, but perfectly balanced taste, with an interesting blend of faint fruitiness, spice,toffee and toasty biscuit elements, all nicely balanced so nothing overpowers. At the same time, it is crisp, almost faintly tart, with a nice, lively palate. It is smooth and very drinkable with a nice, crisp finish.
davidm (2080) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - DEC 20, 2014
It has very long lasting flavour. Malts and hops are very well balanced. Spicy notes eraserhd10 (226) - new haven, Connecticut, USA - NOV 6, 2003
UPDATED: NOV 10, 2003 Pretty damned good on a cold winter's night. Toasty. Very Aromatic. A Creamy-Hopsy head. Golden-Red in Color. Not as "seasonal" as other winter/holiday brews, meaning there's not an overwhelming (or overbearing) cinnamon, mint or nutmeg flavor. Though cinnamon & nutmeg do linger everso mildly! Also can taste apricots, musty piano keys and the bark of an oak (all good things!) davesarman (159) - Waconia, Minnesota, USA - DEC 27, 2003
Appealing aroma of stone fruits and slight caramel malt. To others that have indicated their beer is "skunked", THIS beer is perfect. I guess that's the risk of clear glass bottles and inferior beer retailers. (I do wish Sam Smith would go away from the clear bottles, however.)Color is a gorgeous copper-orange. Virtually glows when held up to the light. Carbonation is light, as it should be. Head forms, but dissipates quickly, but sticks to the sides of the glass. Sublime taste of stone fruits, slight caramel malt. Hops and fruitiness combine for a delectable finish that is long, but not overpowering. The hop flavors and bitterness are a bit more aggressive in this new beer than in cellared beers of previous vintages. Year after year, this is my favorite winter release. Compared to many big, overpowering, highly spiced beer (many of which I like), this is a subtle, complex brew that challenges the drinker to search for everything going on. I cellar a few bottles every year and do a vertical comparison each year of earlier vintages. This year I compared the 2001-02 with the 2002-03. If well cared for (dark and cool), this beer ages gracefully. Very drinkable with the hops mellowing out beautifully. But keep in mind, since the bottle is clear and the beer somewhat delicate, care must be taken in storage. A winter classic! denzo45 (40) - Ohio, USA - JAN 11, 2012
I love this beer. This is one of the most flavorful malty strong ales that I have tried. I could drink these all year. opiate (199) - Sandy, Utah, USA - DEC 15, 2000
Wow....this is simply one of the best ales I’ve ever had. Great beer. Very balanced. This is just a great beer. It’s not terribly spicy as I’ve come to expect from a ’holiday’ ale, but the flavor is just out of the ball park. This stuff is great!! When I think of a good ale, this is what comes to mind. Just a wonderful blend of hops and malt. Simply perfect for a cold February evening.