cking (1175) - North Canton, Ohio, USA - MAY 31, 2007
Rated 11/25/06: Not one to let me down, I had a feeling Summit would have a nice winter seasonal. This is a fantastic strong ale. Abundant roasted aroma very rich and appealing. Awesome pour amber/brown color with a long lasting one inch light tan head and layers upon layers of lacing. Mouthfeel isn’t as full as expected but it’s smooth and gratifying. Flavor is a half step under the great aroma. Very malty almost drinks like a porter, if it were darker I would be fooled. Some smokiness with mild flavors of chocolate, licorice, and coffee. Small hop presence. Overall a great beer any time of the year. Heathen (1500) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - JAN 27, 2012
THOUGHTS: Nice. Better than I was expecting. A little bit all over the map, but not in a bad way. Fairly British. Tons of flavor and complexity in a fairly low ABV beer. Very nice. I could see myself drinking this in after shoveling out of a big snowstorm. They should really do a better job describing this one on the label. I almost passe up a great beer because it seemed unexciting in name and had no description.
TECHNICAL: Bottle. Poured a very dark red that was basically black in the glass with a small, off-white head that mostly diminished. The aroma had moderate to heavy roasted and nutty malts, caramel, molasses, and coffee; lighter chocolate; raisin; plum; cherry; toffee; brown sugar; a little fruitcake; hints of vanilla; ever so slight vinegar; hints of some sort of spice toward the end and hints of Baileys Irish Cream. The initial flavor was moderately sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter and slightly sour; while the finish was moderately sweet, light to mod bitter and lightly sour. There was caramel, cherry, a little chocolate, hints of coffee, toffee, prune, plum, roasted malt, slight hops that were just enough to balance things out. The medium body was a bit oily and then dry with rather fizzy carbonation and a slightly astringent finish. dreamflower (791) - Steinbach, Manitoba, CANADA - NOV 13, 2012
I was a nice red british style beer and it was nicely balanced and quite enjoyable. superspak (5883) - Waterford, Michigan, USA - JUN 27, 2013
12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 3/19/2013. Pours moderately cloudy reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of caramel, toffee, toast, biscuit, nuttiness, chocolate, light roast, brown bread, light raisin, light floral, and toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark and nutty malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big caramel, toffee, chocolate, toast, biscuit, nuttiness, brown bread, light roast, light floral, and toasted earthiness. Light earthy spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toffee, toast, chocolate, brown bread, light roast, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of dark and nutty malt notes; with very nice robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice winter warmer style. All around nice balance and robustness of dark/nutty malt flavors; and very smooth to drink. Really enjoyed this one. BeerKurve (520) - - NOV 21, 2013
Dark Clear Brown with a semi fluffy head, sparse lacing and very light carbonation. The nose is mainly spices, caramel, toffee, a touch of vanilla and some mild hops. Taste is Rich Chocolate, Toffee, Coffee flavors with some barley and yeast notes. Fairly lightweighted body and mild carbonation so it’s very easy to drink. Good Beer!
jebert (500) - Watertown, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 6, 2014
Pours dark brown with a light tan head mostly lasting. Very creamy and full bodied on the palate. The taste is malty, of dark roasted malts, with some molasses and caramel overtones. A bit of hops and spice on the finish. A fine sipping ale on a winter’s eve. Pairs well with nuts or pretzels. Obfuscate (593) - Minneapolis, - NOV 21, 2014
Living in Minnesota my whole life I have had many of these, however, it’s been years since I had my last one and couldn’t remember the taste. Great balance and drinkability. Light spice, nice ale, Summit is a fine brewery. djroehler (290) - Minnesota, USA - NOV 20, 2013
2013 bottle. It is a slightly changed recipe. Pour is cloudy reddish brown with thin tan head. Aroma is roasted malt, sweet brown sugar, caramel. Taste is roasted sweet caramel malt, some dried fruit, slight earthiness, good round richness. HighlanderOne (1365) - York, SC via NJ, South Carolina, USA - DEC 8, 2013
Poured from bottle. Aroma of spice, hops and malt. Nice lookin dark mahogany with a bit of tan head. I taste a mix of roasted malt, banana, pepper, nutmeg, chive, lager hops and maybe some cocoa. Dry feel - just bit watery. A nice surprise. Darkmagus82 (2302) - - AUG 17, 2014
Transfer from BA review on 12-6-12-
Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass
Appearance – Served a dark brown beer with a off white head of one and a half fingers. The head had a decent level of retention, fading over time to give a decent level of lacing on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma of the brew is heaviest of caramel malt. Notes of chocolate and dark fruits are also mixed within giving it an overall rather sweet smell. With this is a light roasted nut aroma which rounds out the smell rather nicely.
Taste – The taste begins with a roasted malt and chocolate flavor upfront. Some toffee sweetness then enters the taste mixed with a nutty flavor. As the taste advances further the chocolate seems to get even stronger with a tiny bit of coffee, herbal hop and spice join the taste. In the end a roasted and sweet flavor are left to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the light to medium side with a rather moderate carbonation. The lighter body makes for an easier drinking style, but with all the roasted and dark flavors of the brew it may have been a bit better with some chewiness and/or creaminess.
Overall – A nice blend of chocolate, sweet, roast, and spice flavors. While in some ways it drank more like a porter then a winter warmer it is a good easy drinking brew.