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RATINGS: 1810   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 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
jtxx (148) - san antonio, Texas, USA - JUN 24, 2006
Cloves and Cinn..very nice Christmas beer. Mild body. Creamy, black with thin white head.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
larsga (5962) - Oslo, NORWAY - JUN 19, 2006
Small light brown head over deep dark barely translucent red body. Deep, sweet aroma of hickory, cloves, cinnamon, and some paper. Notes of licorice. Taste is dark wood, some bitterness, and the aftertaste is a mix of licorice, wood, and tar. Surprisingly tart taste compared to the sweetness of the aroma. Interesting and complex; also quite challenging because of all the spices. Very well balanced for such a spicy beer. (0.355l bottle.)

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
IrishBoy (3752) - Bakersfield, California, USA - JUN 16, 2006
UPDATED: MAY 31, 2008 Parallel tasting of 2003, 2004 2005.. 6/16/06 2005 bottle; Nose is fruity and spicy with a raisiny note, Walnut body (same shade as 2004) with a little more and longer lasting head than the other two. Taste is malty with raisins, and cloves.8/4/8/4/16 4.0 2006 bottle 5/31/08; Nose of raisin pie with cloves, mutmeg, and cinnamon; black with a huge lightly lacing tan head; flavor of raisins, spiciness, and toffee notes; excellent with a lighly sweet, malty finish! 8/5/9/4/17 4.3

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
eaglefan538 (2828) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - JUN 7, 2006
A nice job by one of my more appreciated brewers. Poured a nice dark brown color on draft. Aroma is spicey with chocolate and light citrus. Flavor was much of the same, the chocolate background most interesting. Finished with a nice hop balance to the fairly rich maltiness. Spices prominent in the flavor profile. Pretty drinkable and for the relatively low holiday abv, this one gets much kudos. They did a lot with the flavor without swamping it with alcohol all over the place.

3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
presario (4533) - Stampede City, Alberta, CANADA - JUN 4, 2006
I liked the 03 so much I bought 6 dozen so when I found this at Johnís I had to bring 6 back. An appropriate selection for 1400. 40% foam, note to self be careful pouring the rest of the bottles. Aroma seems rather subdued, light licorice and molasses with a trace of spice. Relatively light flavour. I can taste the cherry but the malt and spruce have been reduced from 03. Nice but not stellar. A beer with revisiting but a little quieter than expected.

3.7
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
alaskanwarren (286) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 3, 2006
Iíve been meaning to snag this one fro awhile, and Doppelganger hooked me up. So thanks! Pours dark red, with a bit of brown. Head is creamy and bubbly. Aroma is malty with something else i canít put my finger on. Maybe cloves? Taste is really interesting. Very strong spices - lemon, anise, clove. I expected some warmer spices like nutmeg and cinnamon, but iím not getting that much. Itís more of the bitter stuff. I like it a lot. Finish is crisp and dry. Not really cloying for a fairly thick beer. I thought this was an interesting beer and I appreciate the experimentation. Not something I"m just super excited about but still a good, interesting beer. Bravo!

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
kook (2033) - Perth, Western Australia, AUSTRALIA - MAY 31, 2006
Bottle: Great spices (coriander, cloves, cinnamon, etc). Quite herbal. Reminded me of Jagermeister!. Lovely amber colour with a ruby hue. Short beige head. Tasty stuff.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
MoritzF (8250) - Bochum, GERMANY - MAY 30, 2006
(bottle, vintage 2005, with many thanks to bierkoning !) Dark brown colour with a stable tanned mid-sized foam. Moderately sweet and slightly roasted malt aroma with a floral note of violets, toffee, liquorice and cinnamon. Bittersweet flavour, medium body, moderate carbonation. Roasty malty taste with liquorice, violets and citrus peel; dry, malty and spicy finish with a lasting aftertaste with chocolate and spices. Complex and tasty brew.

3
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
rgrep (156) - Wellington, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 27, 2006
Thanks to beer_ledgend for this one. Pours black with a light brown head. Iíve probably held on to this bottle for a bit too long as the aroma is barely there but I can still detect some toasty malt, a touch of cinnamon and tarry notes. The body is thinner than expected and drops off quickly without lingering. It has a spicy sweetness, some apple and a little astringency in the finish.

4.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
bhensonb (10348) - Woodland, California, USA - MAY 26, 2006
Hints of spice, tar and chocolate. Deep ruby color(under halogen). Malty, hoppy flavor with hints of creosote (tiny hints). Nice mouthfeel, not too thin. Aged well over the past few months, but perhaps this is where the tarry notes came from. Really it is quite tasty. Leaves the mouth with a dark, spicey, sort of astringent feeling. Canít wait for 2006.


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