drinkbeer (283) - Redondo Beach, California, USA - NOV 24, 2003
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
This is my first OSA; it is amazing. Let's start with the label: red and green, pine tree with latin name, shout out to the winter solstace...AMAZING. I didn't even have to crack this bottle open to know it would be a treat. Fizzy light brown head sits upon a dark, stout-like body. Aroma is spicy. Ginger, nutmeg, clove, and classic "anchor" aroma. Taste: wow. Ginger is there. Awesomely smooth. wow. Hops fight their way through near the end. Overall a wonderful brew that is truly synonymous with the holidays. Cheers!
raymow (815) - Bensalem, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 24, 2003
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours a beautiful dark reddish-brown. Smells great - nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and just overall Christmasey! Excellent flavor - it reminded me of ginger snaps cookies that you get around Halloween. This was my 1st Anchor OSA and I'm looking forward to my next.
3fourths (8038) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - NOV 22, 2003
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: DEC 3, 2004 Black with a dark brown head. Spicey wood aroma full of alcohol, scotch, cedar flakes and other neat things. Soft mouthfeel, very smooth plums and wood flavors. Even though it’s smooth, there is a residual grittiness that is pleasent. Very very bland compared to the 02 and 04 in a vertical... like there’s nothing to taste, no depth at all. Same thickness, but no flavor.
Cobra (1100) - Banned City, - NOV 22, 2003
4.1 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
12 oz. stubbie brown Anchor bottle. Poured out a very dark brown, with red highlights to it. Aromas are of pine trees, spices, and dark malts. Still kind of green tasting, maybe some aging would help it mellow out. Hops make a brief but bright appearance. Malty & thick on the tongue, but only average in mouthfeel, to me at least.
Since it's my first OSA, i'll have to try it next year & see how it ages.
unclebleen (620) - California, USA - NOV 22, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 5, 2003 Pours an interesting matte black color with an light tan head. Aroma is wonderfully spicy with nutmeg dominating. Flavor is very spicy and sweet but not overpowering. Taste nutmeg and cinnamon. Based on the flavor I expected a very syrupy body but it was surprisingly dry. Nice bitterness on the swallow. A very nice and different beer.
LordHedgehog (144) - Westminster, Maryland, USA - NOV 21, 2003
2.3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
The aroma matches the taste perfectly. Grab one of those gummy coke bottle candies and suck on it; it's a cheaper version of the same thing. Overpoweringly sweet and soda-tasting, with some hints of other spices in there (mainly cinnimon and nutmeg).
Kasteelfreak (341) - Fallbrook, California, USA - NOV 21, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 16, 2004 This is pretty darn good. Very spicy aroma; mainly cinnimon, nutmeg and clove. Very dark black red color that is slightly translucent. Spicy, burnt flavor with a bit of citrus like grapefruit or orange. Finish is rather dry and bitter. The clove and nutmeg flavors numbs the mouth. This and Descheutes are my favorite holidy ales so far. Although they are very different. ReRate: At the end of the bottle, it got a little harsh. It was too dry and bitter. I wish it was sweeter. I suppose this needs to age. I still have a 2002 that I'm going to try soon. I'll see if that got better after a year. Rearate 021604: Just drank the 2003. The bit of age it's had has done it right. The bittereness mellowed out a little and the mouthfeel is very creamy. Excellent.
Syd (921) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - NOV 21, 2003
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a deep amber, almost black, but garnet seeps through when looking at it with back lighting. There is a nice creamy head that sustains and provides good lace. The aroma is nice and piney, spicy, and grapefruit. The flavor starts out somewhat mild, but then explodes into a real spice show (mostly clove) with a fruity and spicy finish. The palate is nice and rich. Overall, this is good for this weekend's forecasted blizzard.
belgianhomebrew (646) - Acworth, Georgia, USA - NOV 19, 2003
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Big spiced aroma. SPices really hit you at first, but seem more blended with each drink. Finishes a little rough with a bit of a bite from the spices. SHould age nicely.
omhper (19381) - Tyresö, SWEDEN - NOV 18, 2003
3.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottled. Dark ruby with rich head. Strong aroma of nutmeg, grapefruit and cinnamon. Sweet with short, rounded maltiness. Medicinal finish with a lot of bitterness. Still a bit raw. A lighter version of Traquair Jacobite Ale.