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RATINGS: 1810   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
davidflores99 (225) - Long Beach, California, USA - NOV 28, 2006
2006 bottle. Dark brown appearance, litte head. Aroma was sweet and spicy, flavor was pretty nice. You can taste the licorice, and was pretty malty. Overall I’d say it was decent, a good beer to try out.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
JohnnyJ (4078) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 26, 2006
2006 bottle. Pours a dark brown with tan head. Nice aroma of fruit, spices, nutmeg, even a little roasted coffee note. Flavors of various spices, roasted coffee, nutmeg, and some licorice and earthy notes.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
haddon90 (1383) - Denver, Colorado, USA - NOV 26, 2006
Had the 2006 version on draft at Pete’s Brass Rail and Car Wash in Danville, CA. Pours a deep black color with a thin tan head. Spices spring from the aroma. Pine cones, roasted caramel, and nutmeg. Nice flavor, with figs, pine cones, and various spices. Always an enjoyable beer to have over the holidays!

4.1
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
jaghouse (28) - Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA - NOV 26, 2006
A lightly bittered ale with a very prominent nutmeg spice. Definately has alot of character.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
GreatLibations (1854) - Last Supper, Arizona, USA - NOV 26, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 18, 2009 2008 version: Seems to drink like the 07. this version is noticeably creamy. 2007-90pts or 4- Pours almost black w/ a full, semi creamy froth. Superb hang tine and good lace work. Aromas of perfume and roasted nut shells. Full nectar w/ little carbonation producing a very oily texture. Bold flavors of perfumed bubblegum black fruit, licorice, clove spice, ginger, vanilla, tar, pine resin, and roasted coffee bean. A mild roast component. The finish lingers forever w/ abundant fruit and spice. This brew is very rich and generous. ............... -2006-score 3.4/- Pours midnight mahogany w/ a medium sized semi creamy froth. Aromas of spiced coffee xmas tree. Full nectar w/ mellow residual effers. Flavors of spiced, bitter sap and roasted caramel malts. Trace elements of ginger, anise, roasted coffee bean and leather arise w/ black cherry, brown sugar, pine, and vanilla bean. The finish is long w/ an almost milky feel. Nicely bittered. Overall: A complex brew indeed. Nice roast but you really have to dig for the complexities. The flavors seem to be muted. A bit perfumey. 12-6-2007 Just revisited a bottle aged in my room temp cellar. It has become very earthy with driftwood and musty tobacco. It has grown thin and bitter in it’s age losing it’s desirability.The perfume is still intact and is the only glimmer of what it once was. It doesn’t appear to age well, at least at 75F.

3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
brentfeesh (1207) - Gadsden, Alabama, USA - NOV 26, 2006
12 oz bottle, 2006. Pours Bombay mahogany color with a healthy head. Very spicy aroma that is mostly allspice. Lightly malty with a big spicy punch to the chops. I noted pepper, nutmeg and licorice hints. Semi-dry body. This was just too much for me. I thought the spice level was over the top and created an overly bitter beer. Nor did I really care for the spice components. Oh well….

3.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
sersdf (1013) - chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 25, 2006
really dark. cinnamon/potpourri aroma. some coriander, some mint. pretty crazy/complex aroma. definitely a christmas-type beer. most flavor front end. kinda bimodal flavor. way too soapy. like potpourri. no alcohol. got worse as time went by.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 12/20
Tranquillity (1387) - Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS - NOV 25, 2006
Sweet and sour aroma with a malty character. A bit akward. Dark red (as dark as it gets actually) with a small beige head. Very fluffy =) and foamy. Tastes more like a typical belgian dubbel, not like a christmas beer. Very drinkable.

2.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 9/20
islay (887) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - NOV 24, 2006
2006 bottle. Spicy but weak aroma. I detect ginger with a hint of cinnamon and cloves. Smells much like a watered-down dunkelweizen. The beer pours a deep, opaque dark brown with a tall and thick tan head. The spices, which seem to include those present in the aroma as well as pepper, are surprisingly subdued in the flavor. Tastes like a hoppy old ale with a spice mix shaken on top. The aftertaste is off. It is overly bitter and dirt-like. I can’t tell if this taste comes from the hops or the spices (I lean toward the latter), but either way it isn’t good. I have chosen to punish the palate, rather than the flavor, for this offense. Otherwise, this soft, medium-bodied beer is quite pleasing to the palate. Overall, the beer looks great, and the smell and the primary taste are good although understated. The unpleasant aftertaste, however, significantly mars what otherwise would be a fine brew, and that is quite disappointing.

3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
JK (4283) - St. Louis Park, Minnesota, USA - NOV 23, 2006
2006. This still has malt, fruit, and spices but is thinner and lighter than older aged vintages. Brown beer and no sediment; probably filtered. Malt and fruit aroma with medium sweetness. Flavor has more malt and spices, including cloves and pine.


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