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RATINGS: 1941   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53   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 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
mansquito (3761) - Nueva York, New York, USA - JAN 22, 2007
The version from the year 2006. The beer pours a nice dark brown colour with a thick, tan, moldable head. The smell is not very pronounced and I could at no time detect exactly what it smelled like, though two of my friends mentioned mint bubblegum. As for the taste, it is complex at worst. There is really a lot going on in this beer. I’m not going to bother identifying whatever spice goes where, but just mention that the finish is definately chocolate. I have no idea what they threw into this beer, but at the end of the day it made for a quality, full-bodied ale.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
GRM (3154) - Aylmer, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 22, 2007
Bottle, 12 ounces, Old Stock Tasting IV with Dum, Ian and Steve at Lubière’s, savoured on October 13th, 2006; eye: burgundy, no effervescence, clear, no head; nose: thyme, light malt, floral hops, small berries; mouth: light bitterness, caramelized malt, candied fruits, "at my dentist", finale in bitterness with a hint of pepper, medium body, light astringency, lightly sweet, medium bitterness, light acidity FRANÇAIS Bouteille, 12 onces, dégustation de Vieux stock III avec Dum, Ian et Steve chez Lubière, savouré le 13 octobre 2006; oeil : bourgogne, pas d’effervescence, claire, pas de mousse; nez : thym, léger malt, houblon floral, petits fruits; bouche : amertume légère, malt caramélisé, fruits confits, « chez mon dentiste », finale en amertume avec pointe de poivre, corps moyen, astringence moyenne, légèrement sucrée, amertume moyenne, petite acidité

2.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 1/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
shendrix (478) - Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 21, 2007
Well, a decidedly interesting brew. More complexity than I expect from an ale. The boquet of this one gives something away immediately--it smells vaguely of pine. Sure enough, the flavor betrays a bit of lemon zest on the back of the tongue, a hint of nutmeg, and an overtaste of spruce. Not so bad as one might think, though nothing I would want in a daily drinker. Worth trying once though.

2.1
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 7/20
wheninhell (488) - chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 16, 2007
dark brown with a tan head. aroma green pine. flavor weak bitter pine. finish bitter mild spice and pine. watery fizzy mouthfeel. not good. almost a drain pour.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
jcwattsrugger (11310) - Florida and, New Jersey, USA - JAN 15, 2007
‘06-on tap @Gaslight NJ-pours a bubbly tan head and dark mahogany color. Aroma is dark malt-sweet/caramel and chocolate, secondary spices. Taste is roasty, dark malt-sweet/caramel and chocolate, secondary spices, faint hops. OK carbonation.

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
IndianaRed (2677) - Boise, Idaho, USA - JAN 14, 2007
Bottle Pours a very dark redish brown with a full tan head. Lots of hefty lacing as well. Roasted aroma and slight chocolate and spicy hints. Flavor is full and chocolatey with sweet spices. Not overdone, and a very interesting combo. Slightly bitter and alcohol notes in the trailer. Different, but good enouigh I will be watching for it again next year.

3.6
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
jrohn92 (105) - USA - JAN 14, 2007
I tried the Anchor Christmas ale and loved all of the unique spices in it. However the malt was a bit too roasted for my taste but it was overall a very good brew.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
detroiter (958) - Euphoria, Minnesota, USA - JAN 13, 2007
2006 Version. Pours a dark brown, with two inches or more of soft and sudsy tan foam. Good head retention, decent webby lace. Mild spice and chocolate in the nose. Flavor dry chocolate malt with LOTS of drier spice that reminds me of Celestial Seasoning’s Roast-A-Roma herbal tea. I’d enjoy these flavors better in a subordinate role, rather than as the main attraction. A bit of licorice and leather in there too. Smooth, nice carbonation, medium body. A bit too much spice for my taste.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
slimchill (1044) - Austin, Texas, USA - JAN 11, 2007
UPDATED: JAN 7, 2009 2006 Bottle. Nose is pine, some malty sweetness, cinnamon and clove. Pours a dark amber with a patchy but steady brown head. Taste is very Christmas, also very piney and lots of spice. Palate is somewhat thin but crisp.

2007 Bottle. Sweet grape nose with a touch of caramel. Very little spice with a touch of alcohol. Deep amber with a thin brownish head. Lots of grape flavor, mild sweetness with a soft palate well-balanced malt complexities.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
irishsnake (355) - Oakland, California, USA - JAN 11, 2007
beer pours a very pretty, ruby-tited deep brown, with a tan head that retains well and leaves massive lace. nose is of course spicy, but not as over-the-top as some years (no pine sol, not super clovey). chocolate notes in the aroma, along with, perhaps, some light cinamon, and maybe some cardamom. flavor is again more beer-like than some other years, with the spices adding nuance to a flavor that again has bitter chocolate notes. pleasing vintage of this brew. perhaps some astringency in the finish.


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