2013: The beer pours mahogany brown and garnet. There is about an inch of very thick and somewhat creamy off-whtie to very light tan head. The aroma is rich, malty, dried fruits, caramel, roasted, with the light hint of spices. The taste is rich and creamy, following the aromas, lots of roasted malt, light coffee, dried fruits, with light spice. It is medium to full-bodied, and very smooth, rich and creamy. There is a moderate bitterness and a dry finish. This is elegant and so good. One of the best winter warmer strong ales I have had in a long time.
2014: The beer pours a deep brown with ruby tints. There is nearly an inch of thick, creamy light brown head. The aroma is dark roasted malts, roasted and toasted, dark caramel and nutty, with dark fruits. The taste follows the aroma, deep, rich malts, roasted and toasted, dark caramel and nutty, but never veering towards the dark roast of a stout or porter. The malt is rich, but the finish is very dry and moderately bitter. There is an excellent balance and interplay between the dark rich malts and some grassy, bitter hops. Some dark fruit tones show up in the aftertaste. The beer drinks, smooth, rich, but not full, with a subtle and tingling carbonation.