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RATINGS: 1825   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.


3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
brentfeesh (1207) - Mansfield, Ohio, 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 (1015) - 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 (1410) - 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 (1093) - 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 (4400) - 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.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
lgklotet (432) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - NOV 23, 2006
Bottle. 2006 vintage. Deep mahogany with huge head. Sweet and rich aroma, some hops. Taste is malty with notes of cocoa. My biggest problem is the palate, which borders to thin. Slightly disappointed.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Radek Kliber (6386) - Toronto (Can) Krotoszyn (Pol), POLAND - NOV 23, 2006
Botlle.2006. Pours as deep ruby red ale with reddish-copper fine top. Aroma very Christmas like, ginger, nutmeg, light hint of vanilla and perhaps juniper? Medium bodied, smooth soft texture. Above mentioned aroma blended with brown sugar and cookie dough. Late chewy finish with green and herbal hop charcter.There is a lot of ingredients here. Christmas beer indeed. Highly recommended for that night, celebrate with pleasure.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Beer4000 (4437) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - NOV 23, 2006
12 oz bottle. Nice dark red, almost black body with a thick light brown head. Aroma is slightly roasted and spicy. Very pleasant flavor, a medium body porter with a well balanced spice mix of cloves, ginger and fruit. Almost a bit cookie flavor. This gives me a nice Christmas feeling.

3.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
EithCubes (4818) - New Jersey, USA - NOV 21, 2006
Bottle. Spicy aroma with cherry, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, orange peel, light molasses, and unidentified herb. Really smells of the holiday season! Great brownish-bloodwine-colored body with a light brown head. Bitter and slightly sour taste. Light chocolate and cherry, spices listed above are restrained to the point of near-elimination. Extremely earthy notes, very dark feel on the whole. Heavy, full body with spice texture, otherwise silky cream. Aftertaste is very dry and bitter, of the earthy and woody variety. Earthy hops are light. Very unusual ... me likes, but me doesn’t love.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
MrBendo (1064) - Swedesboro, New Jersey, USA - NOV 20, 2006
UPDATED: NOV 7, 2007 2006 Bottle. Poured a cloudy deep burgundy, with a medium, long lasting head. Aroma of orange peel, cinnamon, sweet fruits. Taste of sweet caramel malts, raisins, finish of hops. Thick and mildly sticky texture. A very good christmas-time beer.


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