Hoppy Holidaze - Marin Brewing Company
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Ratings: 96 | Reviews: 78 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by paulthebeerguru:
3.9/5 rDev +9.9%
A: pours a nice rose colored amber. Nice, big bubbled, off-white head. Great rate of head retention and a nice amount of lacing to accompany it.
S: nice big earthy hop aroma, some flowery notes, with a hint of evergreens. Slight funky aroma, like a wild ale. Light sweetness from the malts in the nose.
T: very unusual ale. Good amount of flavors from the hops, mostly floral. I do pull a holiday flavor out of this, which is nice. I pull some strawberries, light notes of vanilla. Light flavors of orange peel as well.
M: wonderful holiday brew, light, crisp and refreshing. Higher carbonation level than expected. Medium bodied.
03-22-2009 16:51:38 | More by paulthebeerguru
More User Reviews:
3.35/5 rDev -5.6%
Beer review from BA Mag Nov 2007.
The winter warmer is yet another style to be revived by American brewers. Every year a new artist is showcased on the label; this year is L. Gruger from Seattle, WA. [lgruger.com]
The dark crystal malt used gives the beer a deep mahogany color, that has excellent clarity when put up to the light. Multi-sized, tan-bubbled lacing is promising even after a few sips, with patch rings left over on the glass. Soft aromas of dried plums, raisins, brown sugar and a spicy mix of hops and faintly warming estery alcohols suggest a holiday spice cake to the nose. Tiny bubbles roll around the palate with a creamy smoothness that opens up the malt character. Huge caramel note with an orbiting toasted grain that circles closer and closer. Hops offer a solid balanced bitterness with a minty, floral citric flavor. A tad fruity middle to end with a slow and modest warming alcohol. Finishes on the sweet side with a long path of toasted grain and hop flavor.
A bit too drinkable for its size and alcohol, flavors are perfectly balanced and small spikes of complexity everywhere. We can imagine a plate of warm, spiced molasses cookies to pair with this beer.
07-07-2010 01:06:55 | More by BeerAdvocate
4.55/5 rDev +28.2%
A great seasonal from Marin and a unique one as well. The beer poured a hazy peach color with a very nice white head that rested atop the beer the whole time. The smell was wonderfull with a huge wiff of vanilla and nutmeg. The flavor was very interesting but quite well done. There was not much in the way of hops, but the great blend of spices and Belgian yeast notes more than made up for it. The beer had a nice delecate sweetness to it but not overpowering. This is one of the best holliday brews I've had yet.
12-06-2004 09:26:51 | More by Dmann
3.58/5 rDev +0.8%
Reviewed from a 22 oz. bottle
A --- nice straw color (almost Kellerweis like)
S --- hops, hints of honey, spices and sweetness
T --- nutmeg, orange, honey and sweet
M --- medium body, smooth, oily, and creamy
O --- This is a delightful beer. It's very sweet, but goes down very smooth. A bottle now and then is perfect (22 oz. is about my max on it). A little something to spice it up would be nice. At it's price point it's worth buying --- I will add it to my yearly holiday beer buying list.
11-18-2011 02:07:40 | More by mikechance
2.25/5 rDev -36.6%
Expecting an IPA, but got something I really did not like. Pours gold with a minimal white head. Dusty, dank aroma. Taste was not good. Mix of apricots with spice and vanilla. Hops were undetectable until the end of the bottle, and then they tasted like vegetables. Blech.
12-10-2008 19:01:13 | More by magictrokini
3.38/5 rDev -4.8%
Comes out looking like liquid caramel, but there is a ton of haze in the beer. Small white head. Aroma was very sweet, that was the most obvious thing. For having hoppy in the name, it was one of the least hoppy beers aroma wise.
Taste, still not much in the way of hops, but who jacks up a bunch of hops in their winter warmer anyway? More big time caramel sweetness. Pretty sticky stuff. Legitimate amount of malt heft to this one. Not overly spicy, just a bit of cinnamon and mint in very low leves. Might as well round that out with a pinch of nutmeg and a somewhat peppery aftertaste given how sweet the initial sips were.
12-27-2011 03:14:14 | More by Beerandraiderfan
2.8/5 rDev -21.1%
Despite the 9th grade humor name it had, I decided to give this 22 oz. bomber a go.
Poured into a pint glass - it had a hazy orange color with a slight head that retained well. It had a strong nutmeg aroma with hints of cinnamon and to a far lesser degree - hops. The smell would indicate more flavor than it actually had - the winter spices were there but light and very subtle. I kept hoping some hops would kick in, but to no avail. It had a smooth feel with slight carbonation and a crisp finish.
With the name, I expected far more hops. The beer style was confusing: part winter warmer / part pale ale - and it didn't really mesh all that well together. It is unique though and worth a try for that.
02-09-2006 20:48:48 | More by sloejams
4.13/5 rDev +16.3%
Pours much like a nice IPA...golden yellow crystal clear liquid topped with a half finger of off-white foam that melts to a covering of sticky lacing.
Aroma is soft citrus hops, primarily, with just a hint of spice.
Flavor is an amazing surprise. Definitely not the run-of-the-mill winter warmer. Light amber malt blended very well with fresh cinnamon, nutmeg, and mace....then a softening of vanilla, then orange and finally light citrus peel hops.
Mouthfeel is warm and smooth.
Aftertaste of spices and orange peel cleans out quickly leaving a bit of alcohol warmth behind.
11-17-2006 01:20:03 | More by IntriqKen
2.65/5 rDev -25.4%
Pours a dark golden color topped by a small off-white head that quickly disappears. Carbonation is rather tepid. Aroma of nutmeg, cinammon, and other holiday spices, along with some light sweet malt and a hint of adjunct grain. Palate is overly sweet - very sweet malt with a touch of caramel, along with very assertive cinammon and nutmeg notes. Medium body is a decent vehicle for the abundance of overly sweet malt. Couldn't finish the bottle. Maybe it's just a personal dislike of sweet and spicy brews, but I didn't like this at all. Oh, and where the hell were the hops? If hoppy is in the name, I'd expect to at least be able to discern a whiff, but nope, not in this one.
11-28-2006 07:34:21 | More by ElGordo
3.88/5 rDev +9.3%
22 oz. bomber into a pint glass. Pours a slightly hazy deep golden/apricot. A thin head of white foam settles into a light cap rather quickly. We seem to be stretching the boundaries of a 'winter warmer' once again. Gases off fully by the lower third of the glass.
Mace and light cinnamon take the nose by storm, sweeter nutmeg and white pepper in the background. Light hops and a citric backdrop as well as some sweet clove. Interesting spice nose yet I'm not picking up much in the malt department aside of some orangey malts.
Sweetness comes forward in the flavor however with some orange caramel and spice. Spice notes diminish with exposure as the beer outgasses and reveals a slightly sweet side. Overall rather light in body and an interesting take on a Winter Warmer. I'd surely consider this more of an Herbed/Spiced Beer regardless of the typical winter spices employed, particularly given the light color and malt presence. Interesting nonetheless and worth a try, hiding its 7.0% well without undue sweetness.
Rated as Herbed/Spiced vs. W.W.
12-29-2009 05:56:35 | More by HalfFull
4.05/5 rDev +14.1%
A 22oz bottle (2005 edition) purchased at the BevMo in Brea, CA. and poured into my Duvel glass.
Appearance: semi-clear rust color, a well-formed white head that took on a whipped egg white look, and a bit of webby lace.
Smell: lots of different spices in here; nutmeg at the top of the heap with cinnamon and vanilla bean also vying for attention. Citrusy with orange peel notes and a decent level of fresh floral hops tossed in.
Taste: candy sugar sweetness leads things off but is quickly overtaken by the flavors of nutmeg and cinnamon. Vanilla taste doesn't hold up against the other two and is suppressed. Orange peels and floral hops lend a nice balance to all that spice flavor.
Feel: medium-bodied heading toward the light side, well carbonated. Seems a tad thin.
Drinkability: pretty tasty and quickly quaffed. The nutmeg and cinnamon are a bit heavy-handed but overall Hoppy Holidaze is a well-crafted brew. Recommended.
11-17-2005 20:19:27 | More by Boilermaker88
3.5/5 rDev -1.4%
$4.99 at LaBodega in Riverside, CA. for a 22 oz Bomber. 2006 Version.
OK, I have been trying a lot of West Coast Hop beers lately- the Stones, the Alesmiths, etc. So when I saw "Hoppy Holidaze", I was expecting another west coast hop bomb. What a surprise when I found a beer of generally mellow malts with a sweet multi-flavored mix with no hops to be found. The label proclaims: "delicately spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, orange peel, and pure vanilla extract." OK, great- but what I taste is peach syrup. Vanilla. Some other winter spices that I can't identify. OK, I'm not so good at picking up subtle (or not so subtle) flavors.
Where are the hops??? Don't get me wrong, I am not a hop monkey like some I know- I like all different kinds. This one just surprised me from the complete lack thereof.
But the bottom line- do I like it? In a way, yes, I do. But it's one of those "a little goes a long way" kind of beers. Good taste, enjoyable for 8-12 ounces, but a 22 oz. bottle is just too much for me.
12-21-2006 03:56:50 | More by Dukeofearl
3.95/5 rDev +11.3%
2004. The golden yellow color was nice to look at but the nose is what draws you in - definite nutmeg and vanilla with hints of clove and honey. The taste does not disappoint as the spices in the nose are present in a dry, mildly hoppy (despite its name) light ale. This beer is always consistent - almost to a fault. This is one beer that needs some expert advice to take it from a good beer to an excellent world class beer given its high quality ingredients.
11-18-2004 05:35:35 | More by lou91
3.93/5 rDev +10.7%
This was another christmas present.
Appearance- light amber color, thin head
Smell- spices mostly nutmeg
Taste- nutmeg and cinnamon, very nice
Mouthfeel- medium bodied
Drinkability- Really good, I like it, really good spice flavors, I would love to drink it again.
01-20-2010 00:01:49 | More by jeffjeff1
1.9/5 rDev -46.5%
A: Nothing special - light amber color with not much of a head.
S: Smells like peaches mixed with malt.
T: Like many other reviewers have said, it has a distinct peach syrup taste. Unfortunately, this is true. It tastes artificial. It takes everything bad about most fruit ciders and puts it into a beer. Ugh. It's bad. One dimensional peach flavors. And where the hell are the hops?
M: Much of the same - and by same I mean boring one-dimensional mediocrity. Somewhat thin and boring.
D: You could drink a ton of this except for the fact that it tastes horrible.
Marin and Moylan's usually do some good beers. This is not one of those.
01-26-2007 09:05:40 | More by rallison
2.78/5 rDev -21.7%
Appearance: Amber-colored with a slight haze. Very foamy with good head retention.
Smell: Slightly funky - the nose is a mishmash of various spices, the dominant aroma being orange peel. Not entirely enjoyable.
Taste/mouthfeel: Very dry. The spices are dominant, primarily orange and vanilla, with malt taking a backseat to those flavors. Hops come out more in the finish, leaving a pleasantly bitter aftertaste. Sits well on the tongue with moderate carbonation and a medium body. Not bad, but the spices seem to overwhelm the malt. A less dry foundation would support the spices better.
10-24-2007 01:15:38 | More by largadeer
3.58/5 rDev +0.8%
A winter warmer brewed with spices and pure vanilla extract.
A- Poured into an imperial pint glass, this beer pours a clear yellowish-orange color with a white head that settles to a thin cap over the beer. Minimal lacing is left behind.
S- Citrusy and floral. Sweet malts, oranges, and honey with indiscernible spices in the background. A bit chemically smelling though, which might be the vanilla.
T- Sweet and malty, with spices like cinammon and nutmeg followed by a flavorful finish. The vanilla comes through in the flavor profile.
M- A very pleasing mouthfeel. Smooth and velvety, with medium-light carbonation that feels just right.
D- Good tasting beer, good drinkability, good night. Kudos to Marin on the 7% ABV.
An all-around good winter warmer. I would have this again.
12-11-2008 05:32:01 | More by Tdizzle
4.38/5 rDev +23.4%
Buddy brought down a bomber from the brewing company. Thanks Mike!
Poured into a pint glass
A - Pours a hazy amber color with a finger width of cream colored head. Bubbles are visible coming up through the beer. The head dies after a few minutes and leaves no ring. There is some lacing on the glass.
S - I am fighting a slight cold, so I will give it my all on the smell.
Smell is of nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger with just a faint hint of vanilla - pretty much everything you want in a Christmas ale.
T - Taste is along the lines of the nose; nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. There is just a touch of hops and malt (or is that the vanilla?)for balance, but this is absolutely delicious.
M - Very creamy with just a bit of prickly carbonation notes
D - Wow. What a gem. I could a few bombers of this, and then sleep very well for the night. What a perfect way to spend on day 1 of the "biblical stormweek" that is supposed to hit the So Cal region.
01-19-2010 06:23:31 | More by Kaiser81
2.6/5 rDev -26.8%
This beer this year pours with a big head. Watch out pouring it.
Smells of slight hops, but more of a macro smell than anything.
Tastes like a Mr. Potato Head at Guernica. Some vanilla notes, some hop notes, some malty caramel, but just all over the place, not very uniform.
Good alcohol content is present, good beer to drink a lot of to get drunk if you like vanilla. If you dont like vanilla in your beer. Stay away.
10-21-2007 07:06:41 | More by Murchmac
3.5/5 rDev -1.4%
Pours a cloudy copper colored brew.
Smell is a sweet and sour combination like the scent of a sour mash whiskey. Fair amount of sugar in the smell along with malt and pickling spice scent.
Taste is sweet and malty with a sourness to it like cranberries or lemon. Fair amount of hop in this but it is hard to identify the exact spices in this. Mostly this is a sweet brew balanced by a good amount of hops to make it semi dry in flavor.
Mouthfeel is OK.
It is a drinkable brew but I expected more, their Starbrew is excellent this is just OK.
12-01-2004 04:48:48 | More by Zorro
3.3/5 rDev -7%
Pour is a hazy, limp gold. A little white head.
Nutmeg jumps out on nose. Sweetness of applesauce.
Smooth and creamy entry. Hints of ginger...honey. Sweet maltiness, some hops in the back help cleanse the finish. Long spicy flavors on finish - cinammon comes in on finish.
Lacks complexity of flavor and hops backing that I like from this style.
11-12-2011 06:52:21 | More by sweethome
4/5 rDev +12.7%
From Notes: 11/18/08
Marin Brewing Co. Hoppy Holidaze 2008 22 oz. Bomber, 7% abv.
Appearance=vigorous pour yields a 1 finger head that quickly dissipated, plenty of lacing and carbonation on sides of glass.
Smell=Hops, smells like Christmas. Can i say that? Can't pick up much else.
Taste= great overall taste, a Hoppy holiday beer for sure. Everything is dialed in, nothing out of balance. If anything is lacking, it's the fact that the taste does not linger in your mouth.
Mouth Feel= Almost perfect, not too think, not too thin. If it was slightly more resinous (thicker) i would prefer it.
Drinkability= highly drinkable. Great "holiday" beer.
02-07-2009 21:31:33 | More by Grabbin2nd
Hoppy Holidaze from Marin Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.