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RATINGS: 1956   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
This is our special ale from the brewers at Anchor. It is sold only from early November to mid-January. The Aleís 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.

Editorís 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
rmussman (1702) - California, USA - MAR 1, 2007
Another classic Anchor winter brew. Flavor is full of shaped spices that release a very nice aroma. Appearance is dark with a frothy head. Mouthfeel is incredibly smooth for a dark beer. A wonderful brew if you can get your hands on it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
dj (538) - Gloucestershire, ENGLAND - FEB 28, 2007
Bottle, 355ml, 2006. A dark ruby colour with a medium-sized brown head. Aroma is wine, hops and citrus. Taste is rather like a mince pie: tannic, raisin, cherry, orange, a little malt, some hoppiness and a touch of chocolate. Moderate carbonation. A somewhat sweet, fruity finish. Really tasty.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
doublebock (528) - California, USA - FEB 27, 2007
Ruby color, solid dark head that actually sparkles. Starts with a sweetness that carries the flavor of ginger and orange peel Feels like a piece of candy in the mouth. Ends with a perfect transition to fresh hoppiness. Whoever said beer should be made from only 4 ingredients never tasted this beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
drewbeerme (3901) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 27, 2007
UPDATED: JAN 23, 2008 2006 12oz bottle, pours dark brown with huge tan head. nose is very unique, earthy toffee notes mixed with brown sugar and orange. flavor has of cardmom, cloves, and sweet orange spices against a nicemalt backbone of bakerís chocolate notes. mouthfeel is rich and smooth but a tad thin. a very tasty brew indeed.8/4/7/4/15=3.8.

1/23/08, 2006 vintage, aged 16 months. pours dark brown with tint of red, creamy tan head. nose of vegetal, licorice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and hint of chocolate. flavor of cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate, nuts, and hint of caramel. age has melded this together wonderfully. tasty and aging well. 6/4/8/4/16=3.8.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
uhlerja (24) - USA - FEB 25, 2007
A good beer to try for the first time. Pours an amber brown color. Taste has a strong orange zest and other rich spices. A smooth and rich ale that is good for an occasional try.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
DrD (61) - Lakewood, Ohio, USA - FEB 25, 2007
The clove, nutmeg, smoked paprika, oranze zest, coriander spice of this brew makes it a certain favorite each December. Itís just a little on the bitter side, which is offset nicely by the smooth mouthfeel. This brew ages well--the spice notes get more complex in just few months.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
voota (765) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - FEB 24, 2007
Dark clear brown with a creamy light brown head. Aroma is very strong, vanilla, chocolate, cinnamon, caramel... well balanced and not overdone. Smooth palate, vanilla, light chocolate malt, and bark flavours and a soft sweetness. The finish is lacking a little, not sweet, warm or spicy enough for my Christmas drinking purposes. Otherwise its a good beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Boutip (5198) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 22, 2007
Bottle courtesy of Boboski: Poured a deep brown color ale with a ice off-white foamy head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of roasted caramel malt with strange spice mix. Taste is mix between some roasted caramel malt bordering on chocolate with some strange spices which make this beer feel really different. Body is quite full with some medium carbonation. Iím thinking that this beer would probably benefit from some additional alcohol but it was very good nonetheless.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Ron (3058) - Rochester, New York, USA - FEB 21, 2007
2005 version aged one year in the beer cellar. Bottle poured a clear dark mahogany with a large, lasting brown head. Aromas of carmel, coffee, vanilla and spices. Palate was medium bodied. Flavors of chocolate, vanilla and spices with a hint of smoke and a smooth finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
OleR (4804) - Oslo, NORWAY - FEB 15, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 25, 2007 2006 . 355 ml bottle. Dark brown with a red glow. Nice tiny light chocolate head. Sweet spicy nose. Nutmeg and cinnamon. Meduim sweet taste. Spices, chocolate, (dark) berries, with an appropriate dry/acidic aftertaste. Medium body. Dry spicy finish. Yum! ------� 355 ml bottle from Vinmonopolet labelled as í Merry Christmas and Happy New Yearí. Creamy light brown head. Body is clear dark brown with ruby highlights. Beautiful and complex aroma of toffee/caramel, refined suger-sweetness, various dark dried fruits and Christmas spices. Taste is light sugery and malty. Spiced and sweet with some nice fruity undertones. Mildly hopped. Rather light-bodied. Spice and gentle bitterness in the finish. Delicious.

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