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James Squire Pepperberry Winter Ale - Malt Shovel Brewery

Not Rated.
James Squire Pepperberry Winter AleJames Squire Pepperberry Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

18 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 18
Reviews: 16
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 19.43%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Malt Shovel Brewery visit their website

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: vancurly on 07-08-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 18 | Reviews: 16 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Kulrak:
Photo of Kulrak
3.9/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark ruby red color with a minimum of creamy tan head that fades away pretty quickly, but does lace the glass. Smells fruity, like cranberries and blackberries, with some black pepper there as well. Don't smell much in the way of hops or malt, but the pepperberry smell is very pleasant anyway. Tastes a little malty sweet, but with a fruity tartness to balance it out instead of hoppy bitterness. There's a slight hoppiness on the back end, but mostly it's just sweet & tart. Mouthfeel is heavy and creamy, as is usual with james squire beers. Overall, it's a very drinkable beer, good for the cool winter night.

Kulrak, Jul 18, 2008
More User Reviews:
Photo of eric5bellies
3.45/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Drank from my Duvel Tulip

A - Nice dark ebony colour with an off white foamy head that dies pretty quick.

S - Interesting pepper notes, with some roasted malt.

T - This is basically a porter with pepper (try saying that after 10 pints!)has plenty of dark roasted malt and a little dark fruit as the name suggests.

M - Mium carbonation with a medium body.

D - A good brew with interesting notes.

eric5bellies, Jun 03, 2010
Photo of pin
1/5  rDev -71.4%

pin, May 21, 2013
Photo of joecast
3.63/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

well, looks quite attractive in the glass. deep ruby highlights with a nice tan head. could use a bit more head retention, but other than that, cant fault the appearance.

aroma is pretty reserved. giving it time to warm helps slightly, but still nothing too in your face.
a bit chocolaty like the porter but does have some concentrated fruit sweetness. interesting. leaning towards medicinal, but not the bad kind.

did they forget the pepperberry? not picking up much. not that i know what it should smell/taste like anyway. a bit of spice in the after taste but mainly its just a decent porter. could use a bit more malt character really.

mouthfeel is on the lighter side.

kind of reminds me of those chile tim tams. still good chocolate, just with some late heat thrown in.
this ale though, is still lacking in the heat department so i am left wondering if i missed something.

joecast, Aug 20, 2008
Photo of rjimlad
3.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A deep garnet colour like black tea or cola. It poured with a tan head that didn't last long. I got some initial estery notes in the aroma but very faint and they didn't last. Flavour is pretty full-on with a complex caramel, spice and something that reminded me of ginger beer but only faint. I've never had or heard of Australian native Pepperberry but maybe that's what's giving this a distinct flavour that's difficult to define. A curious beer from Oz kind like Baron's wattley number. I like it but as a curiosity. Good on MSB for putting it out though.

rjimlad, Jul 27, 2008
Photo of Macca
3.73/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a dark tan in colour with a good sized beige head.

The nose is all pepper. I close my eyes and could swear I had a pepper steak in front of me. Love it.

The pepper is not as evident on the palate, more chocolate.

Light bodied with a medium to high carbonation.

At the lighter end of winter beers but a good one.

Macca, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of WHROO
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Attractive look, dark brown (coca cola colour), with a chewy 1 finger beige head. The tiniest beads of bubbles up the side of glass.
S: Sweet - caramel, coffee, sweet roasted malts, nutty.
T: Lots of wild berry (pepperberry) up first, then coffee, chocolate, burnt notes. Hints of sour & finishes with some bitterness & a tad dry. Enjoyable across the whole palate.
M: Very palate cleansing, fresh & dancy on the tongue. Full flavour mouthfeel, with character & the high carbs leaves a tang.
D: Enjoyed the wild berry start, dark mid palate & bitter/sour/dry end. Easily enough to keep me very interested & wanting more.

WHROO, Oct 15, 2008
Photo of koolk
3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Deep brown darkness in colour, with a strong head that persists.

Strong aromas of chocolate and peppermint...has a very "peppermint crisp" smell to it. Intriguing nose, not overly complex yet very different. Becomes a little mundane as the beer goes on.

Stronger fruit flavours on the palate, with cassis mingling with dark roast flavours and even some cola like flavours. Low bitterness with a overly strong sweet kick.

Creamy mouthfeel and good carbonation is over run by the cloying sweetness on the finish.

Interesting, but nothing special and not a beer I will be hunting down anytime soon.

koolk, Aug 11, 2008
Photo of Lukie
3.33/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out very dark mahogoney, with tints of red-brown bark in the light. Minimal thick head which dissipitated to thin lacing.

Lot's of spice in the aroma. Peppery, woody, some mellow spices.

Similar to the aroma. Some malty lingering qualities, with a peppery bite to the finish. It seems to have this wood quality through the taste and aroma.

It's... okay. A bit of a letdown given how great most other MSB offerings are (and seasonals have been much better in the past). Easily drinkable, with moderate mouthfeel.

Lukie, Jul 09, 2008
Photo of vancurly
3.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted at the brewery, served by Dr Chuck himself.
Firstly, it's not really my cup of tea, this fad for spice & seed infused beers. So I approach the drop with trepidation....
Pours a dark chestnut, with a heavy pale brown head. Aromas mostly of cool blackcurrant notes, with malt undertones. I think is needs to be served less cold in order to lift more aromatics. And as a winter warmer, this makes sense.
Porter-like flavours, hints of wood, chocolate, roasty/char notes. The pepperberry provides a mint-like flavour. The overall effect is of drinking mint chocolate.
Body is medium, bitterness held back.
Not too bad.

vancurly, Jul 28, 2008
Photo of laituegonflable
3.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Flat, red wine-esque appearance. Reminiscent of the Pepperjack beers actually, or maybe it's just a pepper thing I have. Dark brown/red hue with no head. Flat and listless carbonation.

Nose is very sour and peppery. Kind of chilli spice and fragrant. Slight sweet kind of character but pungence definitely goes to the spice. Quite exotic and impressive.

Taste is quite intense. There's a smokey character to it and a lot of flavour. Thick, rich and tart with a hit of spice towards the middle of the palate. It's quite pleasant. There's a peppery finish to it. Interesting and quite nice but not groundbreaking. Mouthfeel is a bit watery.

laituegonflable, Jul 25, 2008
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark, but clear red-brown colour, with quite a light collar of beige foam. Nice lacing. A nice looking beer all up. I like the colour in particular.

Smells bring back images of some type of confectionery from my childhood. Vaguely sour, dark and pungent. Hint of cherry or bitter chocolate perhaps. Interesting.

Vague chocolate character on the palate with a slight hint of mint. Very odd. But it's nice, it has a really familiar, warm and comfortable character to it. I can't pick it, but it's nice.

Mouthfeel is nice, but a little thin.

This is a very pleasant, very drinkable beer. A great brew for winter indeed.

lacqueredmouse, Jul 20, 2008
Photo of Cs1987
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Almost black, 1 finger of head which reduced.

Smell - Strong, with the pepperberry standing out.

Taste - Quite malty, with great flavour added by the pepperberry.

Mouthfeel - Very good texture, low carbonation.

Drinkability - Pretty much as expected.

Overall - Very good, pepperberry is a very interesting addition. However, I would prefer a regular porter or dark ale.

Cs1987, Aug 28, 2008
Photo of jarmby1711
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Plenty of individuality about this beer.
Not being familiar with pepperberry (at least by that name ) I was intrigued by what was to come.
Overall A pleasant experience.The pepeer berry adds a distinctive spiceness that is , for me , somewhere between peppercorns , cloves and cardomoms.
All this on a thick toasted /roasted malted background.
A pint of this hand pumped standing by an open fire would be a great treat

jarmby1711, Sep 26, 2008
Photo of DrNo
4/5  rDev +14.3%

DrNo, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of madvoice
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a rich dark chocolate colour with creamy head that disappeared pretty quickly. Smells sweet and caramelly and malty. Has a chocolaty/caramel flavour with a distinct bite in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is full and smooth. I bought a six pack. I'm glad I did. I could drink the lot in one sitting!

madvoice, Jul 12, 2008
Photo of brendan13
3.35/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Dark brown body with ruby red highlights when held up to light. A centimetre of beige head that falls away fairly quickly.
S - Light chocolate and caramel notes with some light nutty & spicy notes.
T - Light chocolate & caramel also in the taste along with a spicy, minty taste.
M - Very light bodied for a winter warmer. Medium to high carbonation.
D - Worth a try & I'd drink it if someone gave me one for free but otherwise I wouldn't buy this again.

brendan13, Aug 22, 2008
Photo of LittleCreature
3.48/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - 4.0
Poured two fingers of chocolate milk coloured head that sits over a solid brown-black body that is red where the light catches it.

Smell - 3.0
Pepperberry is strong, it almost drowns out the cocoa and roasted malt aromas. Minty and nutty smells are also there, makes me think of the Australian bush.

Taste - 3.5
The pepperberry character is obvious, to the extent that it could ruin the beer for someone who does not appreciate the taste. Starts like a porter, sweet, dark malts give a subdued chocolate and burnt flavour, which then gives way to the woody, peppery, minty, fruity pepperberry. The finish is warming and nicely hopped for balance.

Mouthfeel - 4.0
Lightly carbonated, feels quite thick and heavy in the mouth.

Drinkability - 3.5
Surprisingly easy to drink, although I would not choose to have more than one.

OVERALL - 3.55
A really interesting use of a native ingredient, this is not a bad beer at all. Some will hate it, but the important thing about this beer is it starts from a solid porter base, and would have been good without the novelty ingredient.

LittleCreature, Sep 24, 2008
James Squire Pepperberry Winter Ale from Malt Shovel Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 18 ratings.