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Wreck The Halls - Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

Not Rated.
Wreck The HallsWreck The Halls

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very good

271 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 271
Hads: 481
Avg: 3.81
pDev: 11.02%
Wants: 11
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: dolem98 on 11-19-2002

"This annual favorite is a sublime hybrid of an American style IPA and a winter warmer. The result is a bold brew that celebrates the holidays with an intriguing blend of Centennial hops providing elegant citrus notes balanced by a backdrop of a rich caramel malt body. Dry hopped to amplify the aromas and flavor. Available in 22oz. bottles and draught. ABV 6.5% IBU 68"
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 271 | Hads: 481
Photo of Nordicmonk
2.18/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Initially cautious because of the name.

A - Clear medium amber color, nice frothy head, fair retention, slight lacing.

S - A bit of a bland generic nose, mild bitter hint and slight malt aroma.

T - Flavor has a hoppy taste but seems as a poor cutting of the hops, not a good flavor A generic bitterness with a mild spiced taste, nothing much in the way of a remotely enticing hop profile, hints of mal.

M - Medium to medium-light body, and moderate carbonation. Light metallic sense in the lingering flat bitterness.

O - Not impressive, rather poor for the style. The group of us that tried the it were disappointed at best.

Presentation: 22 oz brown capped bottle. . Served in a tulip glass.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.62/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

6.5% ABV confirmed. 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard Full Sail label art and branded pry-off pressure cap acquired at me local HEB grocery and served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are below average given the brewery, which tends to disappoint. Best before: 01/22/14. 68 IBUs. Reviewed as a hybrid winter warmer/IPA because the label description identifies it as such.

Served cold, straight from me fridge, and allowed to warm slightly over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a one finger wide head of dull white colour. Decent creaminess and thickness. Okay complexion. Decent uneven lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is bad - about 40 seconds.

Body colour is a dark auburn red. Translucent. Nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it looks terrible for an IPA and underwhelming for a winter warmer. I can't say it's horribly inviting, but outside of style conventions it's decent. Not unique or special.

Sm: Floral hop character is dominant. Some resinous hop character. A touch of pine. Pale malts. Caramalt. Amber malts. Bread crust/brady malts. Light burnt sugars. Some toasted malts. Light onion. An inoffensive aroma of mild strength. Not spicy or toasty enough to be within winter warmer conventions, but not hoppy or bright enough to be within IPA conventions. I'm optimistic.

T: Burnt sugars. Bready malts. Amber malts. Char. Toasted malts. Poorly integrated floral hop notes along with some oniony/garlicky character and a hint of pine. Way too much caramalt is present, which lends it a sickening sweetness about the climax. The hoppy bitterness on the climax goes untamed, tanking the balance. Lacks complexity, subtlety, nuance, and intricacy. I'm not a big fan. Overripe orange.

Below average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through. There's no spicing here. Should be toastier. I'd like it to commit more to the winter warmer aspect, and to abandon the IPA aspect. The two different builds are clashing here, and the beer isn't better than its constituent parts.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Strange unbecoming presence on the palate: it's too light up front and too heavy towards the backend, lending it a lopsided structure. Overcarbonated. Unrefreshing. Weird body. Too thick. Doesn't suit the flavour profile all that well.

Not oily, harsh, rough, astringent, gushed, hot, or boozy.

Dr: Drinkable but unremarkable. I wouldn't get it again or recommend it to friends. Even its seemingly low price point doesn't justify a second purchase. Not terrible, but pretty mundane.

A largely unsuccessful attempt at merging two styles that just don't go together. Not sure what they were thinking. More mediocrity from Full Sail.


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Photo of mithrascruor
2.63/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy caramel-amber color. Minimal off-white head quickly becomes a very light film.

Smell: Hardly any aroma, just a vague hint of caramel.

Taste: There's lots of caramel and apple up front, followed by grains and some hops. They just don't fit together well; everything is a bit off, and by the finish it is just a bit muddy. And after a while, the finish and aftertaste is a big, and slightly unpleasant, combination of bitterness, caramel, and alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, but a bit too slippery. And somehow combined with a bit of graininess. Weird. Medium-bodied, with light carbonation.

Drinkability: For such a low ABV, there's a surprising amount of alcohol in the taste.

Full Sail has always been hit-or-miss with me. This one, unfortunately, missed by a long shot. Sorry guys, this just doesn't work.

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Photo of Kegatron
2.71/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22 oz bottle into a couple of tulip glasses.

Pours a hazed copper rose, with a finger of foamy off-white head. This retains with a smooth layer of creamy foam that skims the surface of the liquid, stays frothy, and leaves back some thick patchy lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is floral, herbal, and bitter smelling with grapefruit character, which just dominates this. There seems to be some spicing underneath, which combines with sweet breadiness across the back and fruity citric orange notes to give off a bit of a holiday cookie feel but the strong hop presence just seems to run those flavors over at times.

Hops are bitter in the taste, with a good bit of grapefruit, pine, and citrus rind being present. The malts are sugary and bready feeling and much like the nose, I'm also picking up some sweet citric fruit notes as well. Festive feeling spices (it's hard to tell if they were coming from the hops themselves or maybe something else was added, that's how aggressive the bitterness is) linger in the back end of the profile but the flavors get leveled by a gritty lingering finish of earth and rind. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a crisp feel to the carbonation but there is a tad too much hoppy oily slickness going on in the body. I will say that the alcohol is well hid here though, so at least this has that going for it.

It seemed like they were shooting for a holiday IPA or Hoppy Amber (akin to Alesmith Winter Yulesmith) with this one but it unfortunately seemed to lack balance and the hop varietals they used clashed fairly heavily with the more festive flavors that were present. This one just didn't work for me at all. I had trouble finishing even my 11 oz portion of the bottle.

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Photo of palma
2.71/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer tastes like a double ipa. Im looking for more balance
Where is the malt. Where is the winter warmer in this beer. Not only that but i dont think its a very good ipa. Way too prickly and harsh tasting. Not very enjoyable. A beer can be super hoppy and still smooth and drinkable. This beer is not that.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
2.75/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a tumbler pint, the beer is Brewmaster Reserve 2011. The beer pours a hazy, ruby highlighted, pale orange coloring with a thin film of white head. The nose has light cedar highlights overlapping a strong grapefruit and citrus aroma profile, with a little pineapple, too. Flavors are sharp and tart citrus and tropical fruit blends, with a light and peppery edge to it. Slight sourness to the brew, both from the subtle malt backbone and the different fruit characteristics. Light bodied for the flavor profiles, which leads to the sharp mouthfeel. The aftertaste is tart, and the citrus becomes somewhat astringent, leading to a drying, tart finish. Tart almost to the point of a lock-jaw citrus brew. Interesting, but not one of my favorite IPAs.

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Photo of MetalHopHead6
2.8/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Full Sail Wreck the Halls is yeasty, sweet, metallic, and mild.

It poured a nice copper color with no head and no lace. The glass finished crystal clear with nothing at all clinging. The smell was all sweet metallic malt and the flavor was caramel-sweet, dominated by yeast, with an acrid metallic aftertaste. The feel was slippery-sweet with very little bitterness.

Wreck the Halls is an average IPA, with nothing citric, earthy, or aggressive. It doesn't compare well with several readily-available year-round IPAs and has no distinguishing characteristic that makes it special at holiday-time.

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Photo of BurpingtonDC
2.82/5  rDev -26%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cloudy copper/carmel color. Minimal head that dissipates quickly. Bomber poured into a pint glass.

A - Not a pretty brew I must say. The cloudiness combined with a somewhat non-descript color make is so.

S - Floral hoppy aroma with a touch of citrus and malt.

T - Nice balance of hop and malt for an IPA, Hops don't overwhelm. Slight taste of oranges.

M -A little carbonated with a small, fuzzy bubble. Not a full bodied feel.

D - I was a bit disappointed by this ale. Nothing special.

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Photo of largadeer
2.9/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Dark, clear amber; darker than your average IPA. Pours with about an inch of head, which settles into a ring.

Smell - Herbal and citrus hops with a big grapefruit character and faint dry malt. It smells like a generic IPA.

Taste & mouthfeel - Moderate bitterness with flavors of grapefruit and orange peel; subtle herbal/medicinal notes. A thin and fairly dry malt flavor is present but lacking in character. Medium in body, slightly slick on the palate - pretty standard for an American IPA.

Notes - Blah, yet another uninteresting IPA. Nothing particularly wrong with it; nothing particularly good about it either. People that can't get enough IPA may find this interesting, but I personally struggled to finish my glass.

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Photo of dedrinker
2.93/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Slightly hazy amber with cream colored head.

Aromas of not very much. Aromas of boredom. Aromas of a drab socialist planned economy. Grey.

Flavor is pretty much the same, but wait! There is a little bitterness on the finish from hops and a little harsh bitterness from the spice. Sometimes I imagine I'm detecting actual citrus peel.

Medium body, prickles the throat and tongue in places, and finishes slightly bitter.

I haven't had a single interesting beer from these guys yet, and I'm no extremeist either. There is more character to Old Milwaukee than this.

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Photo of AndoBrew
2.94/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

*did not like it, would not ever buy it*

app: brown red, plain bland. no head.

smell: nice, hops, malts, beer, yummy. it has some pine type hops, nice mild brown amber ish malts.

taste: sour, hops, mild malts, acidic unbalanced. Not a fan, where is the balance?

mf: nice, lil silky, good.

drinkable?: very hop acidic, but for that, yes.

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Photo of olfolxholme
2.95/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25


22 oz bottle of 2012 release, into Deschutes tulip snifter

A - Small head. Little retention. Would like more foam, but the color of the beer is a deep pleasant amber. Nice clarity.

S - Faint bready malts. Very faint hops. Nothing unpleasant, but not much to work with.

T - Can definitely detect those "winter warmer" malts. They play nicely with the hop notes, but it's all pretty faint. I want more from this beer. Gets better as it warms.

M - Kind of thin. Almost but not quite watery. Not bad, but not good.

O - So basically I wish this beer would go farther with the concept. In fact, I think the concept is great, and I really enjoyed the taster of this I had a few years back at a Winter Beer Festival. Unfortunately, this beer fails to meet any of my expectations. It's not bad or offensive, but it isn't doing much. Actually, if you are newer to craft beer, etc - you might really like this. I think I would have enjoyed this a lot more at the beginning of my craft beer journey. I'll certainly never turn one down, and I may even check in with this beer next year.

It has a LOT of potential, but Full Sail needs to kick it up a notch. WRECK the halls, please! But really do it next time!

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Photo of jdhilt
2.96/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a one finger cream head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Clear amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Hoppy nose. Flavor is smooth but hoppy, maybe spices in the background, lingering bitter aftertaste. Typical IPA. $3.79 for a 22oz bottle from John's Marketplace Portland, OR.

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Photo of mactrail
2.99/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Oh, arf! A wet dog sort of bite to the flavor. Smell is canned tomato soup and some spoiled canteloupe. It's the 2010 edition, but I don't think it is aging well. Looks OK, though, with a classic dark amber, nice head, and lacing along the snifter. Thinnish body.

Very dry and austere, yet with a touch of Old Ale fruity funk. The hops are just plain bitter and sharp. Very harsh for an IPA, where you hope for some mellow resins or something to balance the bitterness. Aftertaste makes me not want to have another mouthful.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.06/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2004 - 22 oz bottle. Pours a hazy copper-orange with a medium sized fine off-white (almost orangey) head that recedes to a thin skimming that leaves some nice lacing. The second pour has a lot of cloudy yeast sediment.

Its aroma is spicy, piney hops and some musty leather. Some fruitiness (orange) comes out as well.

The flavor is crisp spicy, fruity (orange) malts leading to a musty reserved hop finish. As the beer warms, a lot more hop bitterness appears. There is a kind of acidic medicinal twang to it. The mouthfeel is thin to medium. The carbonation seems a bit low. The mouthfeel has a kind of sharp harshness (maybe from the acidity/medicnal qualities).

Overall, a mediocre IPA - it is not offensive, but nothing special either. A bit too sweet and fruity for me - the orange kind of pervades throughout. The musty yeast is a bit much as well.

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Photo of ccrida
3.06/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic, Wreck The Halls is bronze with slight chill haze and large ivory head that settles to a thick skim, leaving heavy lace.

Smell is moderately strong, pine and citrus hops, hint of gingerbread, I think just malts, perhaps a dash of spice?

Taste is spicy hops and sour citrus, bit of alcohol and caramel malt. Big hoppy ambers fade fast and this one is probably a bit long in the tooth - the hops are getting soapy and a bit to sweet. I missed it at most of my beer spots when it came out 6 weeks ago or so until I spied this bottle at room temp at the co-op....moral of that story is to drink 'em fresh!

MF is a bit oily, med.thin body

Drinkability is average, not to bad, pretty smooth, but going downhill I thinks...next year i'll get this asap an not slack.

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Photo of RJLarse
3.08/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This one was on tap at the Elk Public House. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a dark copper bronze color, with a tight foamy head.

The smell is typical of an IPA, a lot of citrus and pine fragrances.

The taste is very acerbic and sour.

Mouthfeel is crisp and clean.

This beer is ok but not great. A little sour and bitter. It gets tiresome. I'll probably avoid this one in the future. It's a bit of a "wreck."

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Photo of Daniellobo
3.11/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Barely fair and forgettable Christmas offering.

Presentation: 22 oz brown capped bottle. Label offer the seal layout of Full Sail with a red background, green center shape, and general typography. Side narrative offers an overview of the intent, and ingredients. Notes IBU´s (68), and Alc. by Vol. (6.5%), and vintage as 2010 brewmaster reserve. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Clear medium amber pour, nice frothy head, average retention, fair surface memory, small touches of lacing.

S - A bit of a bland generic nose, mild bitter hint and caramel malt.

T - Flavor does not do much better, not bad but just a touch above. A generic bitterness with a mild spiced sense flows, nothing much in the way of a remotely enticing hop profile, hints of malt and caramel.

M - Medium to medium-light body, and moderate carbonation with an adequate texture. Light metallic sense in the lingering flat bitterness.

D - Not offensive but rather uninspiring and forgettable.

Notes: It's a pity cause I really dig their employee-owned story. And more so now that their brews are being distributed around here it is a welcome addition. But even before of the little I had a chance to try, it did not make a lasting memory, and while not torture this one is surely a brew that one could pass on without regret.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Best by 2/13/12.

Pours a slightly hazy honey orange with a 1 inch puffy light brown head that settles to a small cap. Thin foamy rings of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt and some herbal/vegetal hop aromas. I am getting a bit of onion in the smell. Taste is of toasty malt with herbal and citrus zest hop flavors on the finish. There is also a slight onion quality in this one just like the smell but not as noticeable in the flavor. There is a mild bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average IPA and the vegetal onion aroma/flavor sort of ruins this one for me.

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Photo of BradBLR
3.15/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a amber brown with a slight hint of red. It had a slightly yellow head that lasted most of the beer with a medium amount of lacing. the smell was was that of a sour malt with a slight hint of hops.

The taste was a slightly watered down malty flavor with hints of hops and lemon. It reminded me more of a red ale than an IPA. The mouthfeel was good with the CO2 being good, but the beer seemed a little thin.

I am going to try another one of these just because I have enjoyed Full Sail in the past. It was not a bad beer, I just did not think it was an IPA.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.15/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a blend between an IPA and a winter warmer. Bottle had a best by date of 2/20/2012, opened on 3/8/2012. I’m guessing that it’s not meant to age, after the fact mind you, and my rating bears this in mind. (I guess I was thinking more along the lines of an Anchor “Our Special Ale” than a Sierra Nevada “Celebration”… but if this is a blend of both then what does that mean for freshness and drinkability?)

This pours an amber orange color, slightly musty looking. Perhaps hazy is more accurate. Like a darker orange juice, without pulp.

I guess I’m thinking oranges because that’s the predominant aroma characteristic: a light orange hop smell, more like orange juice than orange zest or a floralness. Actually, it reminds me of the smell of orange concentrate. I have a feeling the hops have, by this point, faded a bit and what remains is more of the residual sweetness and whatever flavors the winter warmer brings to the brew. The beer has a peppery spice to it, and noticeable bitterness without any real hop flavor. It’s not terrible but there’s nothing exciting here, either.

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Photo of jobcrackerbah
3.19/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Hazy light copper with a fine, foamy head.

S: Strong piney hops, tiny bit of alchohol, and sweet burnt caramel.

T: If wreck the halls is a hybrid, the ipa peaks over the winter warmer. The hops come to the forefront being abrasive with slight notes of orange pith and pine. The sweet malt feebly supports the hop profile.

M: Moderate carbonation with a decently viscous mouthfeel.

D: Again the ol' overhopped without balance. Smells and feels good but tastes average.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.26/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep, brilliantly clear, amber-tinged, copper color. It is topped by a frothy, three-finger thick, tan colored head. The aroma is redolent of hops; I get notes of pine, a bit of menthol and some definite notes of grapefruit. There is also some notes of something like plastic or wax, which is a bit too dominate of the finish.

The palate is a bit lighter than I was expecting; initially this is pretty nice though. The beer is not quite as hoppy as I was expecting either, it is nicely bitter throughout and notes of pine dominate the flavor profile. The pine is supported by orange-like notes of citrus. Interesting, this beer is just weak, which in an of itself is not necessarily bad, but there are not shining flavors and the beer seems to melt away to nothing. The beer is quite clean and I don't notice any flavor flaws, but this beer is just plain lacking.

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Photo of JDV
3.27/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared with Fly, Dewbrewer, Humulone_Red and others. Thanks guys!
Transluscent amber pour. Nicely hopped nose mostly. Strong hop flavor balanced by slightly lingering "red" maltiness. Hoppy finish with a pleasant light charred flavor. Pretty good.

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Photo of beerandcycling88
3.31/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bomber into a mug

A Pours a nice clear amber color topped off with a thick white head that has excellent retention.

S Lots of pine hops with a touch of sweetness.

T Pretty similar with a lot of pine hops with a touch of malt on the back end.

M Pretty average body nothing noticeable.

Overall this is a decent but forgettable winter seasonal.

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Wreck The Halls from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
86 out of 100 based on 271 ratings.