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RATINGS: 1973   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 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
RichJ7 (1175) - Cullman, Alabama, USA - DEC 25, 2006
2006. Very dark brown pour with ruby highlights and a half-inch tan head. Malty aroma with some dark spices. Flavor is nice and rich: roasted malt, sweet with a ginger bite. Nice full mouthfeel. Very nice, spicy little Christmas ale.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
pnista (1007) - Bloomington, Indiana, USA - DEC 24, 2006
2006 bottle. Pours a dark dark brown, into porter territory, with a light tan head, healthy at first, dying back eventually. The nose is lightly sweet, but overwhelmingly dominated by ginger. Cinnamon (mostly), nutmeg, allspice/cloves seem to pop up too. Not necessarily christmasy, but certainly festive. The palate is creamy and smooth, feeling like velvet in the mouth, with decent viscosity and nice levels of carbonation. The flavors are truly surprising. I hate spice beers as a general rule, but this is downright pleasant!. Ginger and cinnamon take center stage over a constrained but obvious sweetness. Also in there is a nice burnt roast characteristic, that makes this beer not overburdened by its spice complement. The finish is all sweet roasty malt with some spices, while the aftertaste is where the cinnamon and ginger come back. The ginger in this beer is not nearly so offensive as it is in most beers, and thatís a very good thing. I could actually drink more of this, and I have 5 more bottles!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
tcruicks (282) - Bloomington, Indiana, USA - DEC 24, 2006
2006. Very very brown in color with a medium-small tan head. A lot of ginger in the aroma, also super spicy, sweet and some malt (even a faint amount of chocolate). I thought it tasted like bread and lots of spices and roast- but not so much of the ginger in the flavor. Its one of the better spice/herb/vege beers that Iíve tried so far! I initially rated this a 3.4, but bumped the overall up one because its so good in the style.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BuckeyeBoy (4068) - Boise, Idaho, USA - DEC 24, 2006
12 oz bottle pours out a dark brown topped with a tan head. A very nice aroma of nutmeg and a few other christmas spices. A very good Christmas Beer. I am happy to drink this on the Eve of Christmas.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
jon112981 (327) - Bristow, Virginia, USA - DEC 24, 2006
Bottle. Dark pour with thick white head. Slightly bitter with a sweet undertone. Very light tasting but not as smooth as I expected.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
gwfrankpsu (231) - McKinleyville, California, USA - DEC 24, 2006
I donít know what other people are drinking, this is one of the best Christmas beers. Almost black color with a nice malt and nutmeg and ginger aroma. The flavor is again Nutmeg, ginger and to my mind holly. There are a few beers I look forward to each year and again this does no disappoint - thankd, Fritz.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
pintocb (648) - Darsville, Georgia, USA - DEC 24, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 18, 2007 Dark pour, not much head. Smells a little sweet. Looks thin. Taste is thin as well, but not a bad thin. Looks like a weak porter, drinks like a dark lager. Very light tasting. Finishes well with some sweet flavors. 06 Version Re-rate. What a difference a year makes. The body is so much stronger and the flavors much more pronounced. I got a lot of dark spices in this one and almost a meaty quality. Loved it this time. So much so Iím changing my score for the rerate.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 2/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 7/20
ford9719 (371) - Vilseck, GERMANY - DEC 24, 2006
Bottle. Poured a slight dark with white head. Had the aroma of pine. But tasted like a flat coke. Not that great of a beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
luckygirl (1223) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - DEC 23, 2006
UPDATED: NOV 25, 2007 2007. Beer is dark, warm brown with a small, light brown, frothy, mostly and quickly diminishing head. Scantly lasting.<P>The aroma is malty with light notes of toasted grain, light shortbread cookie, touch of molasses; Hoppy with a moderate honeysuckle-like floral, trace of resin; Yeasty with a light note of bread dough; Moderate/heavy notes of winter spices, pepper, sassafras.<P>The flavor is moderately sweet, lightly bitter, lightly acidic/sour finish. Lingering aromatic finish of gingerbread. <P>The body is light, the texture is watery and the carbonation is lively.<P>Liquid gingerbread house. ;) 2006. Bottled. Beer is hazy, dark brown colored. Head is large, beige, frothy, diminishing but lasting.<P> The aroma is floral, spicy and feminine. Itís malty with a light note of toasted grain, trace of shortbread, moderate note of toasted rye bread crust; Hoppy with an essential trace of resin/pine, moderate floral rose; Yeasty with a light note of dough; Busting with miscellaneous notes of moderately weigty clove, ginger, cola.<P> The flavor is lightly bitter, moderately sweet with a long, warm, lightly bittersweet finish. Purfumey retros.<P> The body is medium, the texture is watery and the carbonation is lively.<P>Charming.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
Ernest (6906) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - DEC 23, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 12, 2014 Bottle (2014 batch). Head is initially average sized, frothy, light brown, mostly diminishing. Body is dark brown. Aroma is lightly malty (cookie, dark chocolate), lightly yeasty (dough), with notes of scorched pine needles, peppermint, nutmeg. Flavor is lightly to moderately sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, lightly bitter. Finish is lightly sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, moderately bitter. Light to medium body, watery texture, lively carbonation. Havenít had this since í06 but itís almost identical...lots of pine needle aroma, thin-bodied and sour. Mediocre at best, as with all Anchor beers.

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