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Full Sail Wassail - Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

Full Sail WassailFull Sail Wassail

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

741 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 741
Reviews: 468
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 12.57%


Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
"A deep mahogany color, Wassail is brewed with four different malts and a blend of Pacific Northwest hops, giving it a malty full body and a pleasantly hoppy finish that appeals to both hop and malt lovers alike. In other words, a Christmas miracle."

ABV 7% IBU 56

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-25-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Full Sail Wassail Alström Bros
Ratings: 741 | Reviews: 468 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Offa
Offa

California

4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a wonderful, tasty, complex and interesting beer.

It's deep red-brown, almost black but notquite, with a thin, light tan head steadily thinning to a wispy top and ring, with a tiny bit of lace.

The aroma is prunes, chocolate, brown bread, caramel.

The taste is fermented plums, stewed prunes, hints of black pepper, chocolate and dark bread, with a slightly hot-spicey and zesty quality. It's sweet with a light spicey bitterness dominating the finish and it very full-bodied, a bit on the heavy side that perhaps adds to the character yet brings down drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2008 22:39:35 | More by Offa
Photo of whoneeds8
whoneeds8

Texas

4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with a good sized off white head. The lacing is very good and the head lasts a long time. Smell is of roasted malts and chocolate. Tastes of roasted malt, with a nice warmer hop finish. Mouthfeel is a little dry for this style. It's not a bad thing. Over all, this is a top 5'er winter brew for me.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2008 00:06:37 | More by whoneeds8
Photo of pmcadamis
pmcadamis

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - I poured this one into my new tulip glass, and got a nice purplish brown nearly opaque brew with a big two finger beige head. Some nice lace is left on the glass, and the head shows really nice retention capabilities.

S - Toffee, brown bread, and some hints of what almost smells like good cigar smoke. There are hints of some really nice hops and a touch of cinnamon, but this is very much toffee oriented although it doesn't smell sweet.

T - Spiced carrot cake, peanut brittle, toffee, and big time hops. This is a really flavorful brew; more so than the gentle nose suggests. I'm really impressed with the combination of gentle suggestions of spice on top of a nice toffee malt backdrop, all while pushing the really tasty hops to the forefront.

M - Medium bodied, hoppy, and dry as hell. The hop finish lasts for days, and retro-olfaction (breathing out through your nose after the swallow) brings spiced coffee cake to mind.

D - This is a damn good winter warmer. You never know what you are going to get with this grab bag catch all style, but this one manages to embrace the wintry spirit while still managing to be a good solid drinkable, and hoppy beer. Well done Full Sail, well done!

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2009 21:22:46 | More by pmcadamis
Photo of latercol
latercol

California

4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a dark brown with reddish highlights minimal lacing.

dark fruity smells. plenty malty.

Taste is excellent. Kind of like a stout mixed with an old ale. Very fruity and chocolate/coffee combined. very nice.

Mouth feel is smooth and rich with just the right amount of carbonation.

Very drinkable and very tasty:)

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2009 23:55:13 | More by latercol
Photo of ocelot2500
ocelot2500

Arizona

4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep reddish brown with a tight off-white head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Smells of brown sugar and toasted notes.

Tastes of the toasted malt with some spices. Caramel malt is prevalent with notes of toffee as well. Fruitiness comes through and adds a bit of fig notes. Clove like spiciness and citrus peel come on the finish and help contrast the sweet. A good amount of sweetness. Alcohol is noticeable, but pleasant and gives a little warming.

Mouthfeel is medium with a creamy amount of carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2010 03:10:21 | More by ocelot2500
Photo of wolfinthemirror
wolfinthemirror

Oklahoma

4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a darker, cola color, a small head of about half an inch results and reduces to patches of suds. Transparent for the most part, a slight haze and some radiance when held to the light.

smells of spicy hops, almost like a helium balloon. some candied malts as well.

Very interesting flavor development, a sweet malty middle, with christmas time flavors like cinnamon, maybe some dark fruit and sugar plums. Nice spicy hopping for balancing, as the smell hinted. Very tasty.

It has a very smooth feel to it with some good body to it. Medium carbonation.

Over all, this is a great winter warmer, a great choice for Christmas.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2010 05:32:31 | More by wolfinthemirror
Photo of Beer4Baltimore
Beer4Baltimore

Maryland

4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

- from a 12 ounce bottle and my notes
A - a clear deep dark brown that is almost black. Two fingers of creamy head that fades a bit quick and leaves traces of lacing.
S - chocolate malts, hops, and a hint of dark fruity aromas with spice.
T - same hops in the taste as the smell and quite nice. Moderately sweet caramel middle with some traces of a zesty spice overlaying it all. A small figgy/pruny taste in the back end.
M - medium bodied with good carbonation. It leaves a sweet spicy fruity pleasant aftertaste.
D - a very nice smooth drinking winter warmer that is not over the top but still a very good one.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2011 00:21:57 | More by Beer4Baltimore
Photo of mttaylor1066
mttaylor1066

Connecticut

4.36/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Put this in your regular Christmas rotation.

A lot to offer. A dark ale with a spicy nose, it might even make fruitcake palatable. Cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. A sharp attack of hops on the first sip, but it's needed as you get into this ale. The malt and spice needs a balancing element.

The taste as it warms in the glass is satisfying, rich and makes you glad it's a holiday.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2013 18:03:06 | More by mttaylor1066
Photo of clickpush
clickpush

Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour: 12oz bottle to tulip glass. Brown bodied beer marked with ruby highlights. About an inch of tan cover over top, clinging to the glass along sides while in the center fluffy active bubbles make the head come to life and combine with the lazy bubbles within the beer to create some nice lacings as the head melts down.

Nose: Warm and pine-like with some berry notes up front. Bread and yeast combine with alcohol to give it some peppery qualities. Accented with caramel hints.

Mouth: An excellent combination of warm roast flavors and bitter grapefruit hops. Very bitter finish with some burnt toast and coffee notes. Up front some caramel but not sweet, differing from the smell. Delicious.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2006 23:56:04 | More by clickpush
Photo of yen157
yen157

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear and garnet in color with a puffy tan head that left lace on the glass that sparkled as the level of the liquid went down. Crisp fruity, floral hop aroma with a tiny bit of toastiness thrown in.It could have been just another tasty beer, but there was a slight sourness that pushed the brew from good to good and interesting. Hop flavor and bitterness are a major part of the beer, and both manage to be strong but not dominant and overpowering. Caramel, alcohol, and big toasted grain flavor with only a trace of burnt grain characteristics fill the mouth after the hops leave the palate. Fairly malty without being overly sweet, this beer was very well balanced.

My first Full Sail beer and if I can help it, it won’t be my last. Thanks to TXHops for the brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2003 18:09:56 | More by yen157
Photo of Rumrunner
Rumrunner

California

4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle. Enjoy by date is 11/04.

I believe this is the 2003 version. The sticker shows a winter scene with a snow covered tree on the right and the Full Sail red logo to the left. The neck has a 'happy holidays' greeting and a 'Cheers!' in white lettering. Cheers to Full Sail as well for this wintery ale.

A deep dark reddish mahogany color. A burnt quality to the color as well. A small to medium off white head. Not much lacing from this one. Scents are bold sweet malt and earthy spices. Some cinnamon and a hint of clove. There is some softening grain and oats. A slight bite of alcohol and fruits with a brown sugar quality. Very enjoyable.

Flavors are many and complex. The malts are sweet. Caramel and molassas. Wonderful earthy spices with a pine crispness. Cinnamon and a burnt spicey flavor. A dash of pepper as well. This ale has a wood flavor quality. Hard to follow that one but it is enjoyable. Some coffee grounds and a good bite of hop bitterness. A finish of oats, brown bread and dark fruits with brown sugar and even dates. The flavors represent the season exceptionally well. Flavors evolve as ale warms.

The mouthfeel is bold. It is very present. It has a bit of an alcohol bite and some slickness. The drinkability falls in the sipping category for me personally. It goes down very easily but I will still sip. All I need now is for it to snow in So.Cal. and a fire place.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2003 05:51:14 | More by Rumrunner
Photo of alexgash
alexgash

Connecticut

4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich, dark ruby with a small, off-white head. Nose is made up of grapes (vinous), raisins, tangy malt, backed by evergreen boughs and pine resin. Like a Christmas tree dipped in jam. Sweetish, vinous malt flavors up front. Hops come on big and early. Resinous, piney, and delicious. Finish is bitter and piney with sweet, sugar cookie notes. Yum. Medium-bodied, refreshing, yet warming enough for the winter.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2005 04:01:22 | More by alexgash
Photo of EagleTalon
EagleTalon

Arkansas

4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this is a real treat. It pours to a thick bubbly off-white head with lacing. Deep brown color and good clarity. Aroma is of fresh, spicy hops. There is also a very rich maltiness in the aroma that smells delicious. Flavor is very big and a pleasure to savor. It starts with a blast of slightly roasty malt and spicy hops and then the hops take over the palate in a very good way. The malt sweetness is perfectly balanced by the hops. Finishes with a spicy hoppiness and a very nice lingering caramel and roast malt goodness. A very fine beer I wish was available year-round.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2006 19:17:25 | More by EagleTalon
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark russet that becomes cherry skin red with backlighting. The buff colored cap is currently filling the glass from the nonic bulge on up, and has a firmly creamy texture that looks even better as it deflates than it did right after the pour. A cheese grater-like lace display is the capper on a wonderful appearance.

Generally speaking, I like spices in my winter warmers. I couldn't find anything that indicated that spices are added to Wassail and it doesn't smell like they are. To me, the beer smells like a quality English pale ale or an ESB (albeit, one brewed with darker malt than usual). I initially thought the nose needed a hook, something to set it apart as a winter seasonal to be reckoned with. Quality is hook enough.

The flavor is hookless as well, unless one considers deliciousness to be a hook. I definitely do because Wassail has begun to reel me in and I've only had a few mouthfuls so far. Spicy hop flavor (clove-spiced oranges and apricots especially), as well as the interplay between malt sweetness and hop bitterness, is the key to the beer's success. I can't begin to guess at the hop bill, but I absolutely love it. My undying appreciation continues to increase with each passing ounce. This is great beer.

I'm a little surprised that alcohol is so noticeable at only 6.5%. It tastes like 8% at least. Having said that, it's so well-integrated and such an desired characteristic in a beer of this style, at least according to me, that I wouldn't change a thing. I can't help but think that something other than malt, hops, yeast and water is present. If not, then Full Sail has hit on a unique recipe that I hope they don't decide to tinker with. Unless they can improve things even more, of course.

The mouthfeel is expansive and lightly creamy. It's probably on the lighter side of the winter warmer spectrum, but then so is the rest of the beer. I love the well-buried nature of the bubbles.

This is one of those ales that snuck up on me. I liked what I tasted in the first few ounces and I love what I'm tasting in the last few. This is yet another outstanding winter warmer from the Pacific Northwest that favors hops at least as much, if not more, than it favors malt. Wassail is one of Full Sail's best beers and would be an automatic purchase every winter if I was lucky enough to live in their distribution area.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2007 14:46:01 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of Bounty628
Bounty628

Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With an ABV of 7.00%, Wassail certainly is a nice beer to be stuck inside the house with when there is a blizzard on your doorstep. There is a nice drinkability to Wassail that certainly makes the beer one that could be used as a good session beer for such an occasion.

Wassail pours a very deep amber to almost deep brown color and gives off a minimal amount of a tan head. There is minimal lacing present as the head dissipates rather quickly.

Some winter warmer style beers often times lose the hop presence when brewed but Wassail has a very nice hop presence noted. The smell also lends way to some winter spices with aromas of nutmeg and cinnamon dominating the nose. And while there is a clear presence of the hops noted in the nose there is also a rich malty chocolate characteristic to the beer, as well.

When tasted, Wassail lends way first to a sweet and malty taste that then brings in a hoppy nature that is bolstered by the seasonal spice notes present in the beer. There is a good balance in the taste of this beer with there being just the right amount of both hops and malt working in unison to not overpower one another. There is a noted smoothness to this particular winter warmer and a lack of a sweet and syrupy nature that I find so many winter warmers falling victim to. Wassail maintains an ideal toasted flavor to it that is quite appealing to the palate.

There is a medium level of carbonation to the beer which truly allows you to sip the beer and not have the carbonation do all the work for you. The mouthfeel of the Wassail is one that is smooth but also quite robust in the sense that there is not a loose or lacking nature to the beer. The beer is a rather strong offering and as such it should hold a bit more weight in the mouthfeel than a lighter beer and the Wassail does just that.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2008 18:36:24 | More by Bounty628
Photo of electricfields
electricfields

Idaho

4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've never been a huge fan of this style (perhaps because I've just made a lot of really bad picks that turned me off of it), but I generally like Full Sail's stuff, so I figured I'd give this a try.

A: Dark red - almost black with a frothy head and lots of lacing, at first. The head dissipates fairly quickly and so does the lacing, however.

S: Not very strong. Brown sugar malts and sort of piney spices. There's a nice citric hoppiness that gives me a really good feeling about this one.

T: This is probably the best winter warmer I've ever tasted. Pine and citrus are the clearest flavors, but there's a nice caramel sweetness underneath balancing them out and a subtle hint of coffee. The lack of overwhelming flavors is very, very welcome. It's "seasonal" without being cloying about it. Very pleasant.

M: I have nothing to complain about here. Fairly light carbonation with a little bit of a bite to it. A little bit syrupy and it sticks to the back of your mouth a bit, but not as thick as a stout or something like that.

D: This has always been a big sticking point for me with winter warmers, but this one is the exception to the rule. There's no single disgusting flavor overwhelming everything else. It tastes "seasonal" without being self-consciously "seasonal." That said, I will probably drink another one of these when I'm done with the one in front of me right now.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2009 02:46:29 | More by electricfields
Photo of gkunkle
gkunkle

Oregon

4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As described by Full sail, this beer pours a mahogany color. Head is light tan, very thick, dense, good retention. As I drink it leaves some very nice lacing. Body of the beer is too thick to really see into. Very pretty beer. Smell is of floral hops and a little caramel malt, very crisp clean smell. Taste starts with a bit of earthy bitterness, then I get some of the more roasty malts. Ends with an piney bitterness, and a touch of light sweetness once it has really left the tongue, maybe a little bit of a citric hop in there or something. I haven't let this warm up too much yet, but I have not yet detected any alcohol taste. Mouthfeel is just a little heavy, perfect mouthfeel when designing a winter warmer for hop lovers. Overall this is a really solid beer, I'll be buying more of this next winter. It's a fantastic nightcap for the beer lover who doesn't want to drink a $7 22oz bottle. Well done Full Sail!

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2012 07:46:35 | More by gkunkle
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off, I found that this beer only really reveals itself as it warms and I'd suggest that you enjoy it starting at @ 50F. Additionally, as it warms the carbonation subsides a bit allowing it to become more creamy in the mouth; and rounding it quite a bit.
The body is a hazy mahogany with hard to find orange and ruby highlights. A short and very creamy light tan head comes up during the pour, but it drops off almost as quickly. It does, however, maintain a nice creamy collar, and leaves some spotty lace. The nose is subtle but enticing. It offers some light-toffee-ish maltiness, some gentle fruitiness, a touch of almost indistinguishable spice (nutmeg, all-spice?, light cinnamon?, coriander?) and some mild floral hops. The body is medium/light with an exceptionally fine-bubbled, mild carbonation that's creamy and smooth in the mouth. The flavor starts with some soft berry-like fruitiness that develops into a light candyish note before revealing its caramelish malt character as it crosses the palate. It finishes with a flair of spice that dries more than the underlying bitterness. Generic spice and candyish sweetness linger in the mouth and throat along with some piney hop character. Definitely and interesting brew if given the chance! Worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2003 19:57:13 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of stephens101
stephens101

Oklahoma

4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours mahogany with some crimson hues when a bit of light hits. Has a one-finger dense tan head with fair retention and consistent lacing with the slight bit that's left. Smells spicy like red-hots candy with some pine in the background. Tastes malty up front, spicy in the back and some fruits all around. The hops start to surface furtively after a few drinks as they are mixed in quite well. Overall, the drinkability is superb. Mouth-feel is somewhat fluffy and open. You can hear all the instruments distinctly as they combine for a good by-the-fire drifting winter folk song. Gonna kick back a few of these.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2007 00:03:17 | More by stephens101
Photo of FatCaster
FatCaster

Washington

4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter, resulting in a disappointing head, that dissipated quickly. However, this one has merits far beyond such things.

A--Pours brown, but reveals a ruby red tinge in the light. What little head there is is pretty white. Still, awfully pretty in that light.

S--This is exactly what I would like from a winter beer. I immediately thought of Christmas upon smelling this. A sort of piney smell, mixed with a sweetness and a bit of spice.

T--A smooth almost sweet flavor, perhaps a bit of ginger. Blends into a toasty warm glow that fills the mouth with an unadulterated sense of well being.

M--Low carbonation, and a healthy weight that lingers for a moment or two on the palate. Could stick around a bit longer, though.

D--I'm imagining a warm, hearty dinner with family...and presents being opened...and a few (possibly too many) of these tasty brews accompanying the whole shebang.

Best winter type beer I've this year and highly reccomended for cold nights.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2008 06:49:00 | More by FatCaster
Photo of bret27
bret27

California

4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Michael Jackson raves about this beer in one of his books, so I thought I should give it a try.
Bottle off the shelf. Didn't notice until later it was drink by '05, so this bottle is 5+ years old. Let's see what it does...

S: Sweet maple, cereal, bready, little touch of booze, maybe just a little hint of cardboard. You can just smell the thick richness of this beer.

A: Deep deep dark ruby brown, w/ good off white thick small head. Lots of sediment.

T: maple syrup, spices, woody, tannins, little bitter brandy taste @the end, but almost no etoh presence amazingly. Super smooth.

M/D: Really smooth silky oily body, thin enough to be amazingly drinkable, but not so thin as to make it watery. Excellent. Aged well.
My favorite Full Sail beer thus far, aside from maybe the bourbon barrel imperial porter, but that's an entirely different animal.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2010 05:10:40 | More by bret27
Photo of baseballrock
baseballrock

Texas

4.28/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance is a dark black slightly red color. Head is light brown and fluffy.

Smell - the first thing i detected was a citrusy hoppyness. Also there are some notes of chocalate and molasses.

taste - the taste is full bodied, some hints of chocalate with an overall cream flavored taste. this beer is a little hoppy and is very good.

mouthfeel is full a pretty heavy beer. it is also very well balanced. 7% abv and really warms you up good.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2008 23:35:45 | More by baseballrock
Photo of grittybrews
grittybrews

Washington

4.28/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured dark brown with a faint cinnamon tinge into a tulip with a finger of fluffy off-white head. Roasty and slightly sweet aroma of spice, caramel, dark fruit and a trace of hops.

Moderate carbonation and an extremely creamy mouthfeel, though a bit on the light/thin side. Bready malts, toffee, nutmeg, and cocoa followed by assertive hop bitterness on the slightly smoky finish. Flavorful, well-balanced, and very easy-drinking (alcohol is almost completely masked).

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2010 05:24:20 | More by grittybrews
Photo of ely2000k
ely2000k

California

4.28/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Looks nearly black when poured into a pint glass. Not much lacing or head, but the color is very nice for a winter warmer style ale.

S- Hint of raisin, bread, cranberry... smells slightly sweet and festive. Not too overpowering. The aromas are faint, but work well.

T- Starts sweet, then end with a good hope flavor and a pretty good bite. The alcohol content is fairly well disguised but you can taste it a bit on the end of a sip. As a winter warmer style ale, I think the taste works great. Pretty much what I am looking for from a winter brew.

M- Smooth, medium carbonation, that works well. Great for the style.

O- Enjoyable beer. I had pretty average expectations for this, and came out really pleasantly surprised. It may just be that I like the winter warmer style ale quite a lot.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2011 05:23:19 | More by ely2000k
Photo of MaltsOfGlory
MaltsOfGlory

Oregon

4.28/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A pretty aggressive pour gives me a one and a half finger head into my standard pint glass. The head is a light brown and it is very pillowy and fluffy looking. Mostly small bubbles, but some medium sized ones as well. Head retention isn't bad, I still have about a half of a finger of head left. The lacing looks super good, but we will have to see how that goes as I get down to the bottom of the glass. The body is extremely dark, I get a lot of black, some brown and a little bit of ruby as well. Very nice color combination really, the ruby only comes out in a few areas. Visibility is almost 100% zero, the only reason it isn't 100% is because of the ruby, it lets a few things through. Can't really see the carbonation. Overall it's a really nice looking beer, the head is pretty much gone now, but there is some foam still on top of the body. We'll see how the lacing goes, but so far it looks really nice! The smell of this beer is very interesting, it has a very unique malt character on the nose. On the description it says that it is brewed with multiple kinds of malts, I'm not surprised at all. It's a very roasty and sweet malt smell, but it's not to roasty at all, in fact the roastyness probably takes a back seat to the sweetness. Still though, the sweetness isn't over the top either, they both smell very nice and they seem to compliment each other very well. Alcohol is present on the nose, but just barely, just enough so you know it's there, it too compliments the beer very nicely. There are some nice hops here as well, not super present, but for sure there. Finally there seem to be some spices, not extremely dominant at all, but the beer seems festive, and even though I am trying super hard to smell the spices and not coming up with much, it still smells like they are there. Perhaps cinnamon or brown sugar? Overall it's a really great smell, pretty darn complex, as well as deep and big on the nose. Very great smell. The flavor is also very good, not quite as god as the flavor, but pretty darn close. First off I get that big malt character, caramel malts perhaps, with roasted malts, deep, rich, with a little bit of cocoa perhaps? It a super super awesome malt character. The hops and alcohol compliment this beer excellently, they are both just barely there, but there enough that they make an impact and help the beer out. To me, it's really hard to make the flavor of alcohol actually compliment the beer, but they did it perfectly here. For sure a spice taste to this as well, not over the top, for sure behind all the other flavors, but it's there. I mean I don't know what else to say, complex malts, hops and alcohol are balanced, topped off with some spice, excellent tasting beer. I'm right between a 4.5 and a 4 for taste and I really don't know what to go with. I'm gonna do 4, just because it could totally go either way, and because I don't think this beer quite deserves all 4.5's, and it looks like that's where I'm heading. The mouthfeel is pretty damn good too. The carbonation is right about where it should be for a winter beer - below medium, probably even small. The carbonation doesn't feel like a bunch of big bubbles on your mouth, rather a bunch of small ones. It's a pretty subtle, yet festive and somewhat jazzy carbonation. The body is a little small for the style, but it works, and the perfect amount of alcohol helps you ignore the less than huge body. Overall a great mouthfeel. The drinkability is pretty damn high for 7%. I know 7% isn't through the roof in terms of ABV, but still, it's high enough that you should have a little trouble with it, and there is no trouble with this beer at all, it goes down as easy as pie. Overall this is a really excellent beer, I had had it a few times in the past couples of days and didn't pay much attention to it, the last time I had it, and this time (the review) it really grew on me and popped out as an awesome beer. Kinda surprising for a brewery that has screw off caps and is pretty mass produced in the state of Oregon, but there you go, I guess you can't always tell a book by it's cover. Great freaking beer.

The appearance turned out to be wonderful. The lacing followed me all the way to the bottom of the glass, and while it was a tiny bit patchy, it was still very present, and not weak like some patchy lacing is. The head didn't last forever but it had pretty good retention and it looked really nice a pillowy when it was poured. On top of all of that it had a nice looking body. The only reasons this beer didn't look perfect was because the lacing was a little bit patchy and the head didn't last forever, but whatever, it's still a great looking beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2011 10:49:03 | More by MaltsOfGlory
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