jtw (1170) - farmington, Michigan, USA - DEC 15, 2005
hmm, spice/herb/vegetable? i would say it’s more like a spiced porter. smell is chocolate and cinnamon sweetness, and the only role of the hops in the aroma is to balance an amazing amount of malt. the flavor is very sweet and warming thanks to the spice and chocolate/crystal malt, and there is just a hint of hops in the finish that keeps it from feeling like syrup on your tongue even after you’ve drunk it all. a very nice holiday brew, and where the heck did 8.6% alcohol go?? hopdog (13102) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 12, 2005
thanks to tom (CaptainCougar) for this bonus brew!
1 liter, flip top bottle dipped in red wax (first time I’ve seen a waxed flip top bottle). Poured a dark brown color with an averaged sized white head. Aromas of spices, dark fruits, and caramel. Tastes of spices, caramel, and chocolate. Alcohol content hidden (never would have guessed it was over 8%). southgadawg (6) - USA - DEC 9, 2005 does not count
Festive pours a clear black with a small white head. Smells incredible - sweet, a little spicy, but not overly so. Taste is mostly comprised of alcohol sugars, various spices, and malt. Overall, a good Winter Brew. kramer (6905) - Sunbury, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 9, 2005
12 oz bottle, 2005 vintage, via trade with CaptainCougar. Pours a dark mahogany, clear, with a small bone-white head. Subtly spiced aroma with a sweet malt base and some alcohol as well. Finally a decent Christmas beer that’s not over spiced! Flavor is akin to a thinnish porter or a heavy brown ale. Not really sure of the spices in here, maybe nutmeg and cinnamon, either way they only really shine thru on the finish. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Competing for top 5 Christmas beers for me, very similar to Anchor OSA, just toned down a bit. I drank this bottle in big gulps. Very, very drinkable. scraff (2125) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - DEC 9, 2005
Deep brown, thin light tan head. Soft aromas of milk chocolate, spruce, nut, cinnamon toast, and citrus. Flavor was x-mas spiced chocolate malt throughout with a nice hop bitterness late to provide decent balance. ABV was non-apparent. Full bodied and slightly syrupy, pillow soft carbonation, spiced finish. Good festive brew for sure...
sammy3D (141) - Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA - DEC 1, 2005
Poured from a bottle this beer (2005 batch) appears a dark brown with a thin head. Aroma is spicey, malty with notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. Spicey cinnamon on the tongue with plenty of malty sweetness. The nutmeg (mace) really comes through in the finish along with a roasty smokiness and hop characteristic that balances the sweet flavors. Some lacing on the glass as I sip. Full mouthfeel with just enough fizz and the 8.6 ABV is barely noticeable making this a sneaky beer. A nice holiday brew. Pailhead (6543) - Rochester Hills, Michigan, USA - NOV 26, 2005
Bottle: Courtesy of aracauna via trade. Very spicey aroma with lots of nutmeg and light clove. Pours a dark brown with virtually no transparency and an insignificant off-white head. Lots of nutmeg and light clove up front with a touch of molassesand brown sugar. Hints of roastiness in the background. Moderate cinnamon in the finish. silver15 (15) - USA - NOV 16, 2005
On tap and out of bottle here in Atlanta. Great beer this year, goes down so smooth. I’m not usually a huge fan of the darker beers, but this is great. The alcohol is well hidden, I can’t believe it’s 8.6%. IMtheOptimator (1170) - Brookfield, Connecticut, USA - NOV 14, 2005
Thanks to CaptainCougar for this beer.Gachupines (1252) - USA - NOV 12, 2005
Poured dark with ruby highlites and a fizzy light tan head. Aroma of dark fruit, caramel, cinnamon, allspice, like a rich fresh bread. Taste is lightly sweet with a smoky spiciness, with dark fruit and cinnamon dominating. Very subtle flavors. Aftertaste is dry and hoppy. The alcohol is well-hidden. Big thick velvet body on this one. Nice winter ale.
Dark brown, with a tan head. Taste is malty with a slight spice taste. Fairly thick and subdued, the spice appears in the finish. A little dry, it lingers on the tongue. Fairly pleasant, could possibly benefit from a somewhat stronger bite in my opinion.