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RATINGS: 2050   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Papsoe (25063) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - JUL 4, 2007
(Bottle 35,5 cl) Vintage 2005. Pours a very dark brown with a reddish tint and a fine, light brown head. Very delicious aroma - spicy almost cola-like. Medium body with very roasted - but never burned - malt accents and some spices although theyíre hard to pinpoint. The finish is dry. Lovely. 280607

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
LilKem (1213) - Marietta, Ohio, USA - JUN 25, 2007
mike and i picked up a huge ass bombr (50 fl. oz.) of the 06 for $12.99 in Little Rock a few weeks ago and are just getting around to drinking it. pours almost black with thick khaki colored head. smells like black licorice and cherry, with vanilla, oak, and hints of chocolate and spice. flavor is vry strange. stays with the black licorice theme with a lot of lemongrass and cucumber, with some green pepper and alfalfa. weird but good with carmel and vanilla and birch.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Svesse (7849) - Hšsselby, SWEDEN - JUN 22, 2007
UPDATED: JUN 23, 2007 (Bottle, vintage 2006) Very dark brown colour with thick brown head leaving traces of lacing. Comlpex, roasted nose with chocolate, soy sauce, dark bread, coffee and notes of citrussy hops. Roasted, spicy taste with chocolate, dark bread and hints of juniper berries, followed by bitter notes of roasted coffee and, in the finish, notes of citrussy hops. Rather sweet, not overly hoppy, but with a balanced bitterness in the finish. Medium body, smooth mouthfeel. Maybe a bit more balanced (and less adventurous) than some of the earlier versions. Nice and tasty (even when sampled on a Midsummers eve).

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
nearbeer (4877) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - JUN 22, 2007
UPDATED: JAN 3, 2009 Bottle, 2006 vintage. Dark brown black and nearly opaque. Huge lasting head. Aroma is blackberries and prunes boiled in wine and dry spices, with a dab of cream on top! Initial flavor is chocolate, raisins, figs and berries. Turns dryer and earthier towards the middle, and finishes with some sour and tart berry-wine flavors. Lots of other flavors; in many ways tastes like a mild (alcohol-wise) Belgian abbey ale. Palate is thick and mostly smooth. Nice buy at an $8.49/six fire-sale in June 07. Update: 07 version is similarly nice. Update: 2008 version is annoyingly spicier and much less tasty.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
FatPhil (13867) - Tallinn, ESTONIA - JUN 22, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 4, 2010 Keg (Gallows Bird, Espoo)
Really dark, almost black, tight cappuccino head. Huge aroma - dark fruits, spices and ginger. Huge, but wonderfully well integrated range of tastes. Dark fruits, raisins, plenty of chocolate malt, burnt caramel, and some tantalising spices - some not out of place in a christmas pudding. Anchorís best ever beer (so far...) (8-4-9-4-16=4.1)
Rerate: Bottle 2007, drunk 2010-01 (7,4,8,5,15=3.8)
Really mellowed, rich, spices also mellow. A proper non-gimicky winter ale. Lovely smooth palate,carbonation soft. Finish delicately burnt, but very liquoricey. BCs well.
Rerate: Bottle 2010, drunk fresh (7,4,7,4,14=3.6)
Sweet spicy aroma, very spicy - cakey. Deep red, small ring head.. Spicy - woh!!! mint! Full and roasty body, but the mint comes through so much. Full palate, sweetly smooth, crisp carbonation. Finish has roasted choco. Very drinkable, packed full of flavour. Refreshing. Good, but possibly weak compared to prior ones. Too light?

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
oldno7 (137) - Spokane, Washington, USA - JUN 18, 2007
First thing I noticed was how much darker this beer was than most Spice/Herb/Vegatableís. (2005 Vintage) Pours almost black with a tan head. Aroma is plesant with notes of malts, fruit, raisen, black liqourish and ginger root. Flavor is Extremely complex with a perfect balance, notes of malts plum, spices, nutmeg, clove, mollasses, and chocolate. I could never get enough of this beer. Without a doubt my favorite Spice/Herb/Vegatable so far.

3.8
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
mccracke (6) - USA - JUN 17, 2007 does not count
Thick dark brown beer, canít see through to the other side of the glass. Thick light brown head. The various flavors blend well. Malty and delicious.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
MesandSim (7117) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - JUN 16, 2007
A Sim rate (bottle from Rudiger): Ridiculously complex aroma: berries, sweet spices (particularly clove-studded oranges that you have at Christmas), cranberries, plums and brandy. Almost perfumy. Fucking amazing! Very dark black cherry colour. Flavour is lacking in the complexity of the aroma with a bittersweet finish. Plum, blackcurrant and spices pop out. Great beer!

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
rshah16 (39) - Illinois, USA - JUN 8, 2007
pour dark brown with thick tan head. smells like gingerbread cookies. thick mouthfeel taste is ginger, malt, nutmeg, fruit. a lot of fun to drink, but i canít imagine having more than one at a time.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
cking (1175) - North Canton, Ohio, USA - JUN 1, 2007
Rated 12/11/06: Spices and fruits and malts oh my! Lovely spiced winter brew here. Aroma is rich with ginger, clove, nutmeg, and a splash of pine. Dark burgundy pour, nice tan head and moderate lacing. A touch watery on the palate but smooth and easily drinkable. Flavor resembles the hearty aroma but some nice fruit flavors come through. This is a prime standard of what a well spiced ale ought to be. A richer maltiness and this one would be hard to beat. Went really well with my Bavarian chocolate cream stick.


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