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RATINGS: 1972   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 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
mkobes (2142) - paramus, New Jersey, USA - JAN 3, 2007
Bottle. Spicey pine hoppy aroma. Spicey clove notes. Fruity malty flavor. Roasty and Spicey. Cinnamon and nutmeg notes. Sweet. Finish is bitter. Full bodied. Well balanced. Very drinkable. Nice beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
UNCCTF (513) - Cary, North Carolina, USA - JAN 2, 2007
Bottled. This had a great spice to it with some solid hop and roastiness. I enjoyed many of these over my New Year.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
PetetheMeat (621) - Hove, DENMARK - JAN 2, 2007
2005 vintage: Deep brown, reddish colour. Straw coloured head with creamy texture. Fruity aroma with spicy notes. Soft carbonation. Hoppy flavour with some notes of roasted malts. Lasting bitter finish with roasted notes and spices like cloves, cinnamon, pine!, nutmeg. Sugar sticky palate. Overall overspiced odd brew. What ever happened to the great old concept of breewing drinkable beer?!?Q!?!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
JonR888710 (999) - Cochabamba, BOLIVIA - JAN 2, 2007
Purchased a magnum of this last Christmas and cousin drank it while renting my flat while I was out of the country (bastard). Luckily my good friend had a 2005 magnum to share at his recent New Year’s Party and I was able to partake in yet another vintage of this winter special. Dark brown body with lots of carbonation and sandy colored head. Aroma is pine, heavy malt, and caramel. Taste is thinner that one might expect given the color of this beer, but overall consistent with the style. More pine and malt barrage the tongue, in a spicy, carbonated, hiccup of a swig. Not by any means great, but this stuff holds a special purpose as "Christmas tree in a bottle" and for that very reason makes it a holiday standard. However, I would not want to drink this on a weekly or even monthly basis.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Jwasciuk (198) - Lowell, Michigan, USA - JAN 2, 2007
2006. Pours clear dark red with a light-brown head. Aroma is moderatly malty; cookies, and toasted nuts. Flavor is well balanced, toasted malts with an average clean finish. Light to medium bodied watery and softly carbonated. Nice.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
HopDuvel99 (39) - Tennessee, USA - JAN 1, 2007
2006, bottle. Dark brown and ruby with a thick light brown head. Hoppy/spicey/alcoholic aroma. Full bodied, foamy mouthfeel. Hoppy but plenty of malt flavor, roasty/hoppy finish. Superb. Rich, festive, artfully crafted.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
bdjames29 (273) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JAN 1, 2007
Bottle. My worst Anchor experience thus far. I am having a difficult time settling in to this style. Tried a few this season and was on the verge of enjoying them. This is a difficult beer for me - the spicy, salty taste is hard to handle. Consistency and feel in the mouth is a bit heavy and fuzzy. I’ll work on it again next year.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
cbrixius (136) - Newberrytown, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 30, 2006
This one was better than I expected, but partially because it was had with dessert, so the fruitiness (cherry, by my account) settled in nicely. Not overly complex or heavy. Overall, an enjoyable experience.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
punkrkr27 (903) - Berkley, Michigan, USA - DEC 30, 2006
2005 bottle. Pours a very dark brown with ruby highlights and a thick, dense tan head. Roasty caramel malt aroma, light citrus hops, and a complex spiciness. Healthy malt flavor with notes of smoke, and dark fruit. Finishes with a pronounced hop bite, lots of spice and smoke lingering on the taste buds. Full creamy body.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Soonah (1120) - Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA - DEC 30, 2006
The pour is dark brown with ruby highlights and a moderate off-white head that dissipates quickly. The aroma is of spice and a little bit of roasted malt. The flavor is nutmeg. Then some more nutmeg and even a little bit more nutmeg thrown in for good measure. With a little bit of sour mixed in there. Tightly carbonated. While I appreciate the effort at continually innovating this brew, I’m glad this stuff isn’t around very long.

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