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RATINGS: 2050   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53/5   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Skyview (5696) - Papoose Jct, Minnesota, USA - NOV 8, 2007
2007 vintage: Pours a semi-clear, dark reddish borwn brown with a thick off-white head that has some good retention and lacing. Aroma of some spiced dark caramel malt, nutmeg cinnamon, and something resembling the scent of a wet dog. Flavor is medium bodied, some light carbonation, along with flavors of dark malt, cinnamon, cloves and a touch of nutmeg. Finish is slightly spicey, a little dry with a clove and malt aftertaste. Quite the seasons greetings brew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Guerde (1288) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - NOV 6, 2007
(bottle) Pours dark red/brown with an off-white head. Aroma is very unique with some nice nutmeg, cinnamon, and the smell of pink Extra gum, along with some pine tones. Flavor is very spicy with as OSLO said bubblegum too. An odd beer indeed, but itís pretty good and a nice change of pace.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
sthlm (1283) - Duluth, Minnesota, USA - NOV 6, 2007
UPDATED: FEB 3, 2012 [Bottle, thanks Guerde] Pours dark brown-amber with a thin beige head. Aroma is extremely spicy, with nutmeg strongest, but cinnamon also present. Taste is a little bitter up front, which is then followed by a strong bubblegum flavor. Medium mouthfeel. Pretty good finish. Very unique beer that I couldnít drink a lot of, but that would be nice to have again around Christmas. Old rating: 8/3/7/3/16=3.7

Re-rate: [í10 Bottle] Mulling spices integrated beautifully (more nutmeg than cinnamon), barley shows through towards the end. Fuller mouthfeel than I remember, long finish. A really, really enjoyable beer.

[í05 Screwtop bottle at 7 years old] Much more muted taste and aroma, and a little muddled compared to the í04. The spices especially are subdued and more oxidation is present. Still has nice underlying vinous character. Slightly thinner and finish length is shorter. I still enjoyed this, but I had it pegged in the mid 3 range at best.

[í08 Bottle at 4 years old] This one is a bit of a disappointment, and the least impressive vintage I have had so far. Oxidation is really showing, and the spices are buried. Low 3ís to upper 2ís.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
jetzler (622) - oklahoma city, Oklahoma, USA - NOV 5, 2007
Bottle, nice darl ruddy color with medium head, nice hops some molases and licorice flavor quite nice and very enjoyabe well balanced. Nice

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
BINGEBOT (240) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 3, 2007
2006 bottle that I picked up in January. Pours dark brown with a nice light brown head. Smells of deep dark malty goodness. Tastes malty as well with a hint of nutmeg or some such spices. Definitely has some roasted chocolate attributes. A bit light on the body. Very nice for a cold day in November!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
tyler_mn (1475) - SLP, Minnesota, USA - NOV 2, 2007
Fresh 2007 bottle. Iíve been drinking this beer for years, but this is the first time Iíve got around to rating it. A more complete vertical awaits... Aroma of pumpkin spice, cinnamon and juniper. Pours rich, dark brown with cherrywood highlights. Nice, thick creamy khaki head. Cinnamon and nutmeg at first evolving into a more dark chocolate roasted malt finish. Finishes with some nice pine and juniper hops. Medium to full bodied. Another excellent offering.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
oldstock23 (11) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - NOV 2, 2007
2006 vintage. I have a magnum of 2005 I canít wait to open but thought Iíd try an 11 month old 12oz. Nose was not as spicey as I had expected. The chocolate had evolved a bit deeper than the initial level and still had faint hints of orange peel. After about three seconds I totally got the anise, nutmeg, and what I thought was ginger but is probably something else. Couldnít find any cinammon. Man do I love this beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
jsquire (4167) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - OCT 17, 2007
2006 vintage. Dark beer with deep mahogany tints when held against the light. The typical spicey nose with cinamon, clove and a lot of orange zest and toast. One finger foamy brown head that shrank to an attractive frothy ring. Dark toast, cinamon, clove, orange, coffee, some bitter chocolate, and a tartness that is a little berryish. Not as cohesive a spiced beer as some other vintages, but still a big, spicey holiday brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
JorisPPattyn (9532) - Ursel, BELGIUM - OCT 10, 2007
2006 vintage, from a shelf in my cellar, generous donator unknown but thanked Huge, darker beige head, creamy, over fully dark-opaque, red-shot brown beer. Spicy nose; roasted grains or roasted (sweetish) multi-grains bread. Resins and rosemary, cloves, meatgravy aromas. Roasted taste as roasted coffee, breadcrust and walnutpeel. Flavours of clove or allspice and liquorice. Ends pretty dry - spicy/bitterish, near tartness. Restsugars all but gone. Rather well-bodied, neither slick nor chewy. Some discreet alcohol. Decent spicy winter ale, not too sweet, but not too special neither. Bit roasted-roasty...

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
oteyj (2139) - New Hampshire, USA - OCT 8, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 26, 2008 2005 version from Utobeer in London. Pours dark brown with tight, light tan head which dissapaits slowly. Aromas of licorice, cinnamon, brown sugar, roasted malt, and dark fruit. After about 3 seconds, bursts with flavours of roasted malt, chocolate, spices, herbs, raisins, and bread. Dry almost chalky finish with astonishingly rich mouthfeel. This is a very unique brew indeed. 2008 version from Winooski. Pours super dark with nice white head. Aroma is predominantly roast with lots of sweet dark fruit notes, as well as a gamut of spices. Flavor is chocolate, deep malty roast, nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice. Sweet and expertly balanced. I look forward to this one every year- this yearís installment is no exception to the tradition of delicious, unique holiday oriented beers. A fire side sipper to be enjoyed with the best stouts and barleywines.

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