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RATINGS: 1821   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.54   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
This is our special ale from the brewers at Anchor. It is sold only from early November to mid-January. The Ale’s recipe is different every year, but the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life. Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons appears born anew.

Editor’s Note: due to the significant similarity in style and strength from year to year (despite potential differences in the exact spice blend), this beer is no longer separated by vintage.


3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ESPh (63) - Branchburg, New Jersey, USA - DEC 24, 2013
2013 edition. Nice dark color with a decent head. Fairly sweet with hints of nutmeg and coffee. Little bitterness. Not too thick, body is right for the flavor. Very drinkable.

3
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
boisebeerguy (75) - boise, Idaho, USA - DEC 24, 2013
Good spice aroma and taste to this beer. Not to heavy for how dark it is. I’m always happy to see this on the shelf.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 15/20
jflopsu (492) - New Jersey, USA - DEC 24, 2013
Pours a dark black with a thick light brown head. A mix aroma of dark fruit, Christmas spices, and some malt. Taste is light with a mix of fruit, spices including cinnamon and nutmeg, malt, some raisins and light coffee. A light aftertaste. Overall a good Christmas beer which I purchased in a 51oz bottle.

3.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Blade86 (538) - Wrocław, POLAND - DEC 24, 2013
dark brown, rather clear, mederate tanned long-lasting foam; blackberries and other fruits, coffee, spices, maybe nuts; medium bitterness, light to medium sweetness, slightly sour; full body but rather thin(ish), average(-) carbonation, long bitter, coffeeish finish; Overall: pleasant beer for Xmas night

3.8
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
MercyDevice (340) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 23, 2013
Pours a rich dark brown with a full, light brown head. Complex; with fruit, nut, and coffee notes. Just the right amount of bitterness.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
shoulderbroken (1849) - Tokyo, JAPAN - DEC 22, 2013
2013 bottle. Dark amber colour with creamy golden head. Aroma is unsurprisingly spicy, ginger, cloves, parma violets, cinnamon maybe, bit of malty creaminess there too. Taste is not so spicy, lots of sweet maltiness, spice lingering in the background, light citrus, rasins, dark fruit. Bit thin maybe. Nice enough though.

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
portableparty (1909) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - DEC 21, 2013
12 oz. bottle. pour brown with a little thin wispy khaki head. Aroma has plenty of Christmas spice. Taste is more Christmas spice malt. Palate is medium and dry/chalky. Fine beer, not all that exciting.

4.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
gizmo_ber (150) - - DEC 21, 2013
2013 edition. Great spice blend, but goes down very smooth and creamy. A delicious ale.

3.7
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
majorchaz (24) - Augusta, Georgia, USA - DEC 21, 2013
Anchor’s 2013 version of their "Special Ale" during the holiday and/or winter solstice season. Pours dark, with big tan head. While dark, it is not heavy. Has a robust malty, spicy flavor. Much better than the last two "Christmas beers" I have had...

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
superspak (2411) - Michigan, USA - DEC 20, 2013
12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 10/24/2013. Pours crystal clear dark reddish brown color with a 2 finger dense and rocky khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, ginger, nutmeg, juniper, spruce, brown bread, licorice, floral, and herbal earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and spice notes; with good strength. Taste of caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, ginger, juniper, nutmeg, herbal, floral, brown bread, and herbal earthiness. Lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, raisin, brown sugar, juniper, ginger, nutmeg, brown bread, and herbal earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and complexity of malt and spice flavors; with solid robustness and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy and smooth mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good winter warmer style. Good balance and complexity of malt and spice flavors; and very smooth to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.


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