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RATINGS: 1829   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.


3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
mreusch (851) - Olathe, Kansas, USA - DEC 5, 2006
2006 bottle, pours dark reddish brown with a super thick tan head that slowly dissipates; good lacing. Slightly sweet aroma of dark cherry, plum, and a good dose of clove/spice. Very clove filled, spicy earth flavor that started nice but became a bit too much the more I drank. Little noticable presence of hops or malt, primarily clove/spice and a mild alcohol warmth. A very unique winter seasonal; an interesting divergence, but not something I would want very often.

2.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
Glouglouburp (6022) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 5, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 20, 2008 In short: Very spicy candy-like beer. A bit too much on the cloves and anises for my taste.
How: 2006 12oz bottle. 2007 12oz bottle from dmac621. Thanks Dave
The look: Very dark mahogany body, medium tan head with good lacing.
In long: Aroma is like opening a cherry-tree chest containing a lot of spices (anise, cloves, and more). Taste has too much anise and cloves for my taste. A bit overdone. There was also some cherry pie, cinnamon, woods, grapes, black berries and why not some black forest cake too. All that without being sweet. Fruity and spicy but body lacked malts and hops were nowhere to be seen. This was a strange mix of spices creating the illusion of flavour. Would have scored higher at a tasting session but I found a full bottle to be hard to finish. I like beers that are different but to tell you the truth I think this one is a bit “out there”. Add to that the esoteric text on the label about the rebirth of life or something like that and you’ve got a beer that would be perfect for the annual convention of the Apostles Of The Eternal Life Renewal.

4
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
rsauermann (38) - Arlington, Texas, USA - DEC 5, 2006
2006. Dark red color. Tannish head. Dark fruit flavor combined with burnt caramel’s. Spicy finish. Can’t wait to try after a year of aging.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Stefano (1876) - Esbjerg, DENMARK - DEC 3, 2006
Deep mahogany brown with thick foamy tan head. Sweet aroma of dark fruit, brown sugar, molasses, soy sauce. Flavor is biting at first, but has a good malt washout to balance the bite.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
johninmelb (1126) - Bristol, Gloucestershire, ENGLAND - DEC 2, 2006
2006 bottle. Cinnamon and cloves on the nose. Pours quite dark with a vey quickly dissipating ruby head. Flavour very nice with some astringency (not unpleasantly) and more cloves balanced with some sweet malt. Mouthfeel lets it down a bit as it is a little thin and watery, but all in all a pleasant sesaonal.

2.4
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
redlem (1301) - Ohio, USA - DEC 2, 2006
Had a small sample at a bar, on tap. Clove overload. Muddy dark brown color with a small tan head. Like I said cloves, in aroma and taste, I could not detect anything else, which is not surprizing since this is a powerful spice. I could not see myself drinking a 12oz of this, well maybe if I had all night. Never been a big fan but this sample was a little too much for me.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
molassesfan (202) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - DEC 2, 2006
2006 bottle. Pours dark with a big head that laces well. Aroma of nutmeg and coriander. Taste is of a brown ale with the aforementioned spices. Mouthfeel is just right. Not an anytime beer, but very good for winter.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jason (1681) - Easton, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 1, 2006
2005 bottle. Decent aroma of holiday spices-cinnamon, nutmeg, clover. Pours a very dark body with good size head that stayed. Flavor is well balanced and smooth. Very smooth actually. Lite malt presence. Good brew.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
edden (926) - cow- lumbus, Ohio, USA - DEC 1, 2006
12/1/06: Bottle. 2006
X-tra dark brown head- almost black. Enormous tan head - resembling a Boston cooler. As head diminishes, lace clings to glass. Vanilla & novocaine nose – spicy with clove and cinnamon. Flavor is predominantly ginger with other notes of carrot, nut, and clove. 2006 seems a little less gingery/ spicy than 2005. I have not been a huge fan of Our Special Ale’s flavor in the past, but this year I think I am finally coming around.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Arayaga2 (1784) - portland, Oregon, USA - DEC 1, 2006
Mostly opaque reddish brown with huge light brown head. Taste is a bit weak, and thinly malted with a hint of spice. $2/12oz


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