• Ridgeway Santa’s Butt (England)

    Deep amber to black color. Intense malt aromatics with a hints of earth, brown spices, toasted nuts, and ginger biscuits. The palate is in full agreement with rich, warming malt flavors touched by caramel and nutmeg. 3 Stars

  • Ridgeway Very Bad Elf (England)

    Bright amber to copper color. The nose filled with scents of toasted grain with accents of dried fruits, caramel, and iodine. Malty while fresh and vibrant delivering complex flavors of malt and grains with a tough of earth, juniper, and fruitcake. 3 Stars

  • Full Sail Wreck the Halls (USA)

    Bright amber with golden tones. Semi-cloudy with a thick, rocky head of foam. The nose is fresh with sweet malt and citrus forward hops. The palate carries on where the nose has led us offering a firm hop driven profile with a sharp, bitter finish. This brew will thrill the hopheads. 3 Stars

  • Eel River Brewing Climax Noel 2009 (USA)

    Dense amber to brick red with a good bit of haze and a creamy layer of foam. The nose is bright and assertive with berry fruits, cherry, sweet caramel, allspice, and dried raspberry. The palate confirms the nose being rich and quite sweet veering toward dessert flavors with pumpkin pie spices, ginger, and caramel. Far from shy. 3 Stars

  • Otter Creek Quercus Vitis Humulus (USA)

    Bright, deep copper color with a rocky white head. The nose is wild and complex and while the wine notes come through (it is made with the addition of Sauvignon Blanc juice) the malt and hops take center stage. The palate is much richer than the nose suggests but all in line with the 12% alcohol by volume that the label states. Very malty and fruity with a good deal of alcohol burn that detracts from the overall experience. 3 Stars

  • Uncle John’s Fruit House Winery Apple (USA)

    Bright, pale golden color. The nose is filled with the scents of ripe and sweet apples with tart accents and hints of apple skin. The palate concurs fully with the nose being more tart than the nose would suggest with soft apple skin tannins. Finishes tart and clean with trailing apple and mineral notes. 3 Stars

  • Farnum Hill Ciders Farmhouse (USA)

    Bright, pale gold color with a faint head and fine bubbles. The nose is filled with scents of tart apples, earth, autumnal leaves, and a dose of wood. The palate echoes the nose delivering a complex tart apple wave with accents of earth, mineral, coriander, a hint of salinity and skin tannins. Tart and vibrant. 3 Stars

  • Belle-Vue Framboise (Belgium)

    Pale brown-red hue. Aromas show cocktail cherries and oak. Sweet, dried cherry flavors with lingering oak spice character. A very pleasant oak-aged fruit beer though this shows very mild lambic tartness. 3 Stars

  • Pinkus Jubilate (Germany)

    Brilliant copper to amber color. The nose is filled with scents of toasted grains accented with a touch of a floral hop note. The palate comes across as quite light initially but it really grows on you blossoming with each sip. It shows great depth with a richness that is never heavy or imposing. If finishes clean with trailing notes that echo the nose perfectly. 3 Stars

  • De Ranke Pier Noel (Belgium)

    Hazy copper color with a thick, rich head. The nose is quite vinous with deep accents of sweet malt, toasted grains, sour cherry, wood, ginger, nutmeg, citrus zest and gooseberry. The palate echoes the nose with soft cider flavors trailing on the finish. Often a favorite but this year’s version doesn’t live up to years past. 3 Stars

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