daleharshman (1064) - Escondido, California, USA - JAN 30, 2010
Corked and caged 750 ml bottle from Holiday Wine Cellar ($6.99). Pours a nice deep dark brown-red with generous three fingers of foamy head. Strong aroma of "holiday" spices (cinnamon, nutmeg) along with weaker aromas of chocolate malt, anise, juniper, wood, and a hint of chili. Flavor is again dominated by the same "holiday" spices found in the nose. The chili taste is weak but there, but the chocolate and malt flavors are noticeably weak. Good carbonation but disappointing finish which is dominated by the spices yet again. This is a good idea -- I certainly enjoyed the Mexican hot chocolate I had when I visited Oaxaca in the winter. There in Mexico the rich chocolate, spice/cinnamon, and chili flavors comes together very well. This beer needs to tone down the spice while increasing the chili and especially the chocolate flavors. Getbetter (1033) - East Palo Alto, California, USA - JAN 23, 2011
From a bottle,coriander is the strongest flavor on my palate,a great example of a wit for a california beer. Naven (1000) - Poway, California, USA - JAN 20, 2008
Bottle, shared with Bartzilla. Dark brown color. Trippy spicy sweet aroma. Flavor is cinnamon, clove, toothpaste and bubblegum. A little pepper on the finish, but I was surprised that the chili’s weren’t more prominent. Just not my thing. mattyb83 (737) - Minnesota, USA - JAN 2, 2012
750mL bottle from thome50. Bottle opens with a nice pop, and there is an immediate spice presence emanating from the bottle. Deep mahogany color with a medium sized, barely, off white head. Aroma is mainly cinnamon and all spice. Pretty potent with those two ingredients. There is also a small cocoa and caramel presence. Wow!! That’s a beer filled with all spice and cinnamon. Flavor starts off with a nice dose of cinnamon and finishes with a long lasting, intense, all spice flavor. There is a hint of heat from the chilies towards the finish, but honestly I wouldn’t know it was there if it wasn’t for the fact that it is listed in the description. Don’t get a ton of the malt profile in this, but there is a hint of chocolate, but it is so masked by the spice profile it really doesn’t add much. I guess this would be considered unbalanced due to the extreme presence of the spices, but it is still really enjoyable if you like a good spice presence in your beer. fro2218 (471) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - OCT 23, 2007
Dark brown in color. A ton of spice in the aroma. Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and mace. Some chocolate and wonderful dark malty caramel. very good.
burpfrank (299) - carpinteria, California, USA - DEC 23, 2006
This had an average aroma.It had a great head and color.The color was a very dark brown,almost black.It tasted mostly like a stout,with hints of chocolate,has a bit of a sour bite.Very slight hint of musky spices.Pretty good beer,but for this style I would rather be drinking Fuller’s London Porter.This beer is very close to being a stout. mtjoseph (244) - Murderapolis, Minnesota, USA - JAN 2, 2012
750ml courtesy of thome50. Pours medium brown into a snifter with a big off white head. Aroma of BIG cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove notes with almost a hair of some pumpkin like vegietal presence. Very pungent aroma. Flavor is just a blast of all spice, with cardamon, nutmeg, whole cinnamon sticks, graham crackers, banana bread and pumpkin pie. Just a hair of the ancho chilies shine through towards the back of the finish. Medium bodied with some nice carbonation, which helps clean the palate at a steady speed. Sure enjoying this one. AHTOH (101) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 23, 2011
750 mL bottle. Bottled on 10/30/09. Drank 2/22/11. Poured into Duvel tulip.
APPEARANCE: Pours a very dark brown color that is opaque. When held to light, is deep caramel brown with slight hues of ruby, as well as pink and amber.
Thick tan head is 2-3 fingers and has long duration. Head eventually settles in a pillowy fashion.
AROMA: Sour – like an oud bruin – is the most prominent aroma. Chocolate (like powdered light milk chocolate) and caramel. Subtle notes of spices – allspice and nutmeg appear most discernible. Faint hint of chili on nose.
TASTE: Tart and acidic – similar to an oud bruin.
Front of palate is acidic.
Mid palate is some light malt sweetness with notes of chocolate and light caramel. Spices on mid palate as well.
Back of palate has a nice amount of chocolate come through (behind the tart/acidic character).
Finish has pleasant touch of heat from the chili – discernible, though hardly overbearing.
MOUTH FEEL: Lighter body than expected. Somewhat crisp. Lively carbonation.
OVERALL: Oud Bruin (Flanders brown [a sour]) with Mexican hot chocolate notes. Given its classification as Spice/Herb/Vegetable instead of a stout (eg, Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence is grouped as a stout), was unsure what to expect. Hardly expected something this tart. At first thought it was infected. Still unsure if Telegraph was going for a sour with this. Wanted to like this, though must admit: better in theory than in practice. Aroma much more pleasant than taste. Although oud bruin has its time and place, this would have been much better if it had a different style as a base. Furthermore, it seems the sour character mixed with notes of Mexican hot chocolate hardly work well together.
BayAreaBeers (85) - Fremont, California, USA - JAN 13, 2012
Pours a fantastic medium brown with 1 finger. The aroma is of brown sugar and a great Belgian spice! Taste follows the nose. Thus us just a great winter warmer beer.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone Craftbrewhaha (80) - - NOV 17, 2015
Wonderful cinnamon and chocolate on the nose. Smooth drinking Winter Ale with just a touch a spice, nothing overwhelming. Perfect for sitting down with on those cold winter evenings. Definitely one for the holiday seasons!