FlacoAlto (4228) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JAN 24, 2009
November 2008 Bottle Date; Sampled January 2009,br>
A soft pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a three-finger thick, lightly browned, full tan colored head. The beer is a very dark, burnt brown color that shows a brilliantly clear, deep ruby hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells quite sweet more from spice notes and a touch of cinnamon than from the actual malt. I do believe I detect a touch of spicy chile in the nose as well, it is just a touch in the finish, but seems to add an earthy chile note. Caramelized malt adds some brown sugar like notes and there is also a light toasted grain character. By far the sweet spice notes are the most noticeable part of the aroma, but as the beer warms a bit more of the chile starts to come out; this accentuates some berry notes and there is also a touch of cocoa now towards the finish.bhensonb (15963) - Woodland, California, USA - JAN 16, 2009
A prickly carbonation greets my tongue up front and adds a tartness from the carbonic acid. Some aggressive swirling releases some of the excessive carbonation, but there is still a tartness to this brew. This has a spiciness reminiscent of sweet baking spices (a mix of cinnamon, clove and perhaps a hint of nutmeg), that also add a touch of bitterness to the finish. The chile adds some spice and chile flavor to the finish without really being hot at all. There is a bitterness here in the finish from the roasted malt, which also adds some roasted, toasted character to the front end of the beer as well. This is pretty light bodied, though it does have some heft to it that becomes a bit more balanced as the beer warms up. This is quite fruity tasting at times and reminds me of tart currants, some berry notes, as well as some tannic red grape flavors. The malt also seems to contribute a touch of dark cocoa flavors in addition to the toasted notes.
This is an interesting beer. The ancho is not quite prominent enough and the beer itself doesn’t quite seem like it is rich enough to support the additional ingredients. This definitely has a certain tartness to it as well, though I think this is due to the dark grain and mash schedule than from any infection.
Purchased: South Bay Drugs, Imperial Beach CA
Bottle from Ledgers Liquor. Pours a dark ruby color with a fine four-finger tan head. Aromas of cocoa, malt and spice. Flavor is somewhat mild chili over chocolate. Quite a spicy treat. Body is medium with fine carbonation. Finish comes on chocolate/cocoa with a little chili - not really hot, just chili. Really well done. JohnnyJ (5569) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 10, 2009
On tap at stone. Pours a creamy dark brown. Mostly chocolate flavor, creamy milk chocolate, cocoa powder, caramel malt, and spice. The finish has a bit of pepper chilies that leaves some spice in the mouth, but it is not very much. Medium mouthfeel. I thought this was a fairly enjoyable spiced winter ale, worth a try. StefanSD (2468) - Ouray, Colorado, USA - JAN 8, 2009
750 ml bottle from Bev4less. Pours a murky dark brown with a dissipating beige head. The nose is complex with cocoa, spices, and some funky sour grapes. The flavor is sour and spicy, with pumpkin, cocoa, grapes, apple and chestnuts. The mouthfeel is full and silky smooth. The finish is long and dry with lingering spices. Overall: A very enjoyable winter ale, it kinda reminded me of Alpine Ichabod 2007. Beerlando (3343) - Orlando, Florida, USA - JAN 2, 2009
Courtesy TheCheeseMan. Pours a clear, dark, chestnut brown color. A foamy, beige colored head is well retained. Sudsy lacing mostly rejoins the body. The aroma shows a fairly complex and inviting blend of dried caramel, dehydrated figs, chestnuts, nutmeg, and allspice. A hint of vanilla lurks somewhere within, with a glint of smokiness, but no heat, stemming from the chilies. Flavors are basically the same, dry and earthy, with a light caramel and dark fruit sweetness, and slightly bitter, woody wintertime spices. Medium bodied and semi-dry, the palate is perhaps a shade weak and overly active for the style. This is a fairly nice, tasty wintertime brew.
hopscotch (11411) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - JAN 2, 2009
Bottle… Clear, dark ruby ale with a small, creamy, off-white head. Smells like ketchup – spicy and sweet. Medium-bodied with fizzy carbonation. The flavor is spicy, herbal and moderately sweet. Finishes spicy, light sweet and mildly acidic. daknole (11048) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - JAN 2, 2009
bottle from Oakes and Beershine. Amber pour. Aroma is spicy as hell. Ovedone on the spices. Flavor is also too spicy. Base beer seems like it would be good, but they went nuts with the spices. bb (9790) - Alamo, California, USA - DEC 29, 2008
Draft. Rich amber beer with an off-white head. Slight dark fruit, caramel aroma. Berry fruit and caramel flavor with some spice. Medium body. Fruit, caramel, spice, andbready malts linger. alexanderj (3605) - Branson, Missouri, USA - DEC 20, 2008
On tap at PP San Clemente. A darker than expected brown color with an off white/tan head. Aroma of peppers, spice, chocolate and bread. Flavor tated a bit hot, so I wonder what the alcohol content was. Maybe it was the spicing. Overall it was a bit strange and I am not sure the flavors meshed too well. That being said, there were a lot of prominant flavors, such as bread, spice, fruit, pepper and bread. Just ok for me. mjg74 (3199) - La Mesa, California, USA - DEC 20, 2008
Bottle from Whole Foods. Deep amber in color. Aroma is quite spicy with an almost sourish note. Spices and chile in the flavors. Somewhat smokey. Interesting take.