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RATINGS: 1823   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.


3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
leaparsons (7988) - Leicester, Leicestershire, ENGLAND - OCT 29, 2006
Bottle. Swan and Rushes, Leicester. Black with a small beige head. Aromas are herbal and spicy with root vegetables and liquorice. Some dark chocolate bitterness. Flavours are herbal, medicinal and berruy fruit with bitter dark chocolate and spices. Earthy and smoky with a long aftertaste. I could still taste this on the palate after a half hour walk home. Very good.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Lubiere (9789) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 15, 2006
Dark reddish brown with a thin moka head. Butterscotch, cinnamon and thyme in aroma. In mouth, a rather spciey malt, perfumey, a bit buttery. Molasses. Almost detecting rosewater in finish. Interesting, but not to par with previous versions. Dégustation de Vieux Stocks III, Oct. 13, 2006. Bottle bought in late 2005.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Marsiblursi (2993) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - OCT 2, 2006
UPDATED: OCT 6, 2009 (Bottle 2005 at Haket, Göteborg) Pours red/brown. Very Christmas spicey aroma. Minty and a bit soapy. Burned sugar. Liquorice and some chocolate with hints of smoke. Nice spicey flavour but I am not sure about the minty bitterness (read Fernet). Brown sugar. Medium body. Some hoppy biterness. (2006 Bottle) Pours dark red. Spicy Aroma with white pepper, cardamom, nutmeg and lavender. Hints of anise and liquorice. Spicy, nutmeg flavour with a light sourness and mentholish hints in the aftertaste. A bit numing mouthfeel. Some piney bitterness. Medium body. (Bottle 2008) Pours brown, almost black in the glass. The head is light brown. The aroma is very spicy with notes of mint, ginger, juniper, clove and cardamom. Toasted and mild roasted malt brings tiny hints of chocolate, nuts and tar. Maybe a touch of dark berries. The flavour is light sweet, light bitter and light acidic with tones of mint peppery spices, weak malt and earth. Lingering, minty and citric spiciness. The mouthfeel is clean and light watery with a light to medium carbonation. Light to medium bodied.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
maeib (8611) - Wootton, Northampton, Northamptonshire, ENGLAND - SEP 28, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 26, 2011 Bottled. A black beer with a lovely long-lasting beige coloured head and a touch of lacing. The aroma is spicy with lots of cinnamon. Sugary, a little waring and certainly Christmassy. The taste is also pleasantly spicy. A little thin in the mouth and not as spicy as the 2004. Almost restrained flavours. Drinkable but not particularly special. Score 3.6
Subsequent rating scored 3.7. Score unchanged

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
bager (2121) - Copenhagen N, DENMARK - SEP 24, 2006
Bottle. Dark brown in colour with a rich creamy head. Malty and sweet with notes of caramel, dark fruit and brown sugar.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
whaleman (2178) - North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 19, 2006
Creamy mocha-colored head with a rusty-brown body. Aroma of nutmeg, toffee, cinnamon, clove, light anise, and fruitcake. Full flavor is like fresh malt syrup with notes of plums, chocolate, molasses, and toffee. Medium sweet with nicely integrated, lightly pungent spices. Medium body and a very pleasant aftertaste. This has matured nicely so far. Good call, Scott.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
tennisjoel (1161) - Rochester, Minnesota, USA - SEP 14, 2006
Bottle. Pours a dark reddish purple hue. Enticing aroma...bubblegum, nutmeg, cinnamon. Light brown head. Flavor is chocolate, fig, licorice, roasted malt. Not much for hops here, but this is still enjoyable. Complex flavors, very well done. I am intrigued to try the previous years versions.

3.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
rederic (2901) - montréal, Quebec, CANADA - SEP 12, 2006
Hazy deep brown hue, with a small tan-colored head, with a spicy nose of licorice, anise, nutmeg, cinnamon, malty chocolate accent, pine niddles note, hint of brown sugar in the aroma follows through on a full-bodied palate with a winey chocolatey malt character, with some licorice, anise, nutmeg spiciness, dark chocolate note, with some dark dried fruit accents, leading towards a mild chocolatey roasted malt, faint bitterness finish.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
GarethYoung (1109) - Glasgow, SCOTLAND - SEP 7, 2006
[Bottle at plain Kitchen] Aroma of fresh berry fruit and spices, nutmeg. Full body, dry, leaves spiceyness on the tongue.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
FROTHINGSLOSH (4843) - GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 6, 2006
UPDATED: AUG 27, 2007 This beer has a longstanding history with me and I always try to get some when it comes out - though generally I find that it gets better with age. Sampled from a 12 oz brown bottle this beer poured a dark ruby-mahogany color with a huge frothing rich brown head. Absolutely gorgeous. The aroma is sweet toasty malts with a moderate molasses element. The flavor is very malty with elements of molasses, pine and spruce. The spruce element can be a bit overwhelming.


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