haddon90 (1634) - Newport Beach, California, USA - DEC 29, 2003
Nice amber color. Poured well out of the bottle. Thick white head. Nice sweet aroma. Floral taste. Not too bitter, but just enough to make me happy. A very good bitter. thegreenrooster (4627) - St.louis, Missouri, USA - DEC 23, 2003
Nice abmer color with a think white head. The flavor is very bready with hops on the back of the tounge. The floavor will stay with you long after the first sip. I would rate this as one of my favorite seasonals for the look and taste alone. argo0 (14127) - Washington DC, USA - DEC 19, 2003
(bottled 11/6/03) Crystal clear amber body with tiny beige head, leaves dense lacing. Aroma is rich, sweet floral and cantaloupe, some caramel. Taste is earthy, floral, rye, dry finish. Medium-full body with nice chewiness. Many thanks Hopscotch. Terminus (3740) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - DEC 15, 2003
bottled on nov 6, 03. Pours a clear dark copper hue-medium carbonation. small head that did not last long. Nice palate of sweet and bitter hops-slightly piney in the mid palate, especially after it warmed a bit. Aroma was not all that interesting. definately a good bitter, but dont know if its the best tout there. sethdude (708) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - DEC 14, 2003
UPDATED: DEC 16, 2003 Fantastic and amazing. POurs a copper color, excellent thick head, great lacing down the glass. Medium carbonation. Aroma is a perfect balance of hops and malts. Has a nice bready flavor, followed by a grassy hop taste, followed by an intense but pleasant bitternes. This flavor is long. From start to finish, each sip stays with you for 15 seconds or so after you swallow. Easily my favorite Schlafly beer so far.
Gromit (478) - Port Orchard, Washington, USA - DEC 13, 2003
A very nice Winter offering. If it were darker I'd swear it was a PNW beer.
Pours an amber color with a respectable head and a very nice lace.
The scent is *very* hoppy, which explains in part my PNW comment. There's a nice malt component there as well.
Taste...hoppy for sure, with a citrus aftertaste. Far more malts than an IPA, of course, but not quite balanced enough for style (one of my favorites). There just doesn't seem to be enough meat to this. I think the hops would mellow and the beer become more complex with a few months aging.
Mouthfeel is good but just a bit thin for my preferences. Overall this is a very good winter beer.
Oakes (19426) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 8, 2003
Orangey-amber. Hazy. Wispy white head. Chewy, caramelly earthiness and mango fruitiness in the aroma. The palate is rich and woody, playing off again light tropical fruitiness. Caramelly, rich maltiness in the back. Long, sweetish, earthy finish. Robust rendition of the style, to say the least. MarkR (68) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - DEC 2, 2003
Brilliantly clear, vibrant pale amber with a foamy tan head that settles to a respectable cap with crazy lacing. The aroma is well balanced between the leafy, floral hops and the malt which is bready, toffeeish, and nutty. A bit of rye spiciness rounds it out, and adds some complexity. The flavor starts out firmly bitter, and while the bitterness stays strong throughout, all of the malt complexities come out around the midway point. Lots of toffee, toasted bread, and nuttiness form a wonderful backbone underneath the biting, floral hop bitterness and flavor, which combine with the rye for a spiciness which accentuates both the hops and malt. Round and medium in body, with a lingering dryness from the rye on the finish. Ends with a splash of hop flavor. Overall, a fantastic ESB and a hearty winter brew that I look forward to every year. It’s worth noting that this is heavenly when cask-conditioned from Schlafly’s hand pump.
raindog (560) - Evansville, Indiana, USA - NOV 30, 2003
UPDATED: DEC 30, 2005 Bottled 11/06/03:
Clear copper. Nice,lasting white,head. Drooping lace. Huge spicy/piney hop aroma. Malt/rye undertones. Creamy mouthfeel with the soft carbonation. Medium to full body. Grainy up front,followed by leafy hops,rye,malt flavors. Finish is loaded with flavor. Tons of hops(spicy,leafy),with some toast,malt. Lingering hops. The rye dries the beer out more than the hops,which are spicy and fresh. thedm (6320) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - SEP 20, 2003
This rating was from the Hop In The City event where brews from the previous year were sampled (5 oz) by the attendees from kegs. This brew poured a medium sized head of fine to large sized bubbles that left behind a hazy transparent orange brown colored body. The aroma was mildly hopped and the mouthfeel was smooth yet had that hoppy feeling and bite to it. The flavor was all bitter hops.