Meilby (11111) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - NOV 8, 2014
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle 330ml @ Geokkjer
Pours dark reddish brown with a off-white head. Aroma has notes of malt, caramel, yeast, dried fruits, alcohol, brown sugar and hint of spices. Taste is medium to heavy sweet and light bitter with a long warm, brown sugar and caramel finish. Body is full, texture is oily, carbonation is soft.
Alengrin (4826) - BELGIUM - OCT 30, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JAN 30, 2016 Dilewyns’ fourth beer, tasted as Vicaris Kerst in the autumn of 2009, served by the brewer’s daughter at the Horeca Expo of Ghent; later as Vicaris Winter 2011, and now as Vicaris Winter 2015, but it’s still the same beer. Yellowish white, moussy, lacing head, deep mahogany bronze colour, very dark but still translucent, initially clear but cloudy with deposit. Powerful and very perfumey aroma densely packed with suggestions of candied cherry, marmelade, toffee / caramel, chocolate bars, liquorice candy, bayleaf, grass, Liège pear syrup, amaretto, thyme, fresh peppermint leaves, cloves, strong coriander and even aniseed, candied dates. Sweet fruity but notably canded onset, raisins, dates and baked banana, soft carbo, full caramelly, lightly chocolatey and somewhat nutty maltiness, deep and mellow, spicy notes overseeing the whole; mild roasted bitterness appears in the end, along with herbal hops and a glow of warming, rum-like alcohol in the finish. I regret not having followed the versions of 2012-2014 but seemingly, the recipe has not changed all that much; in this latest edition, this is liquid Belgian chocolates, a bit less resinous than e.g. Gouden Carolus Christmas or similar offerings, but equally rich and perfumey, with quite a demanding flavour navigating cleverly between the dominating sweet on the one hand and bitter as well as a certain amount of umami on the other hand. Spiciness proverbially has no limit in this, and still it manages to keep pace with the malts. Fascinating and surprisingly rich - this deserves a high score as its many flavours are quite well balanced against each other. Over the top in terms of spiciness and candied sweetness, but nevertheless exemplary for a Scotch-inspired Belgian Christmas ale.
Japalo (1853) - DENMARK - AUG 19, 2014
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Huge beige foam. Dark redbrown. Sweet Caramalty notes. Taste more dry than sweet. Alcohol well hidden. Heavy body. Dry finish. Solid Winter brew. Took it before a spicy Thailand dish.
mikske79 (1539) - Puerto Plata, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - AUG 18, 2014
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Een heel lekker kerstbier met een goede, volle smaak zoals het hoort te zijn.
Cuso (8114) - Bratislava, SLOVAK REPUBLIC - AUG 14, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle labeled as "Winter 2013"from trade with Douberd, many thanks Christos. Hazy brown color with huge persistent beige head towering over my glass. Dark malt, dark fruits, caramel in aroma. Sweet dark malty taste with caramel, coffee notes, dark berries, raisins, vanilla alcohol. Good.
Bullit (4510) - Burgos, SPAIN - AUG 6, 2014
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle @ Cafe Meijers, as Vicaris Winter 2011. Brown, ruby-red coloured, with an off-white head. Nose is toasted malts, caramel, dark and dried fruits, molasses, candied sugar. Flavour is caramel malts, dried fruits, molasses, some spices. Finish is slightly bitter.
martin00sr (3080) - Haderslev, DENMARK - JUN 5, 2014
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle, labeled "Winter 2013". Murky brown, small beige head. Aroma has brown sugar, dried fruit, raisins, yeast and alcohol. Flavour is similar - well rounded, well balanced. Quite smooth despite (?) the ABV.
deanso (9772) - the Hague, NETHERLANDS - MAY 5, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
33cl bottle from Speciaalbier, Leiden.
Thick creamy off white head. Clear dark amber pour. Well hidden alcohol, nice.
superspak (5015) - Michigan, USA - MAY 3, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 8/21/2013. Pours slightly cloudy nearly opaque dark brown color with a 2 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, pepper, caramel, toast, dark candi sugar, light chocolate, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/earthy yeast ester and dark/bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, pepper, caramel, toast, dark candi sugar, light chocolate, brown bread, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, pepper, caramel, toast, candi sugar, light chocolate, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity of fruity/earthy yeast and dark/bready malt flavors; with a great malt/yeast flavor balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth and lightly slick/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Belgian strong dark ale. All around great complexity and balance of fruity/earthy yeast and dark/bready malt sweetness; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.
Maakun (4493) - The Hague, NETHERLANDS - APR 30, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Deep dark brown with full light brown colored head. Sweet malts, light liquorice, chocolate, some roasted touch. Deep ripe plums, anver ripe berries, and some spices. Taste is quite sweet, but not overwhelming, balanced with a nice fruity tartness and slight alcoholic bitter in the finish. Full bodied with nice carbonation. Very good.