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RATINGS: 1821   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.


3.5
   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
STEPHENDR (478) - California, USA - APR 14, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 5, 2008 Anchor xmas 2006dark chocolate color, not a strong nose, chewy body, a bright malty beer that tastes of raw cookie dough slightly bitter finish Anchor xmas 2007 app 9 nose 8 taste 8 body 3 overall 16 12 oz. glass bottle- color of deep reddish brown, with a lingering coffee colored head - nose of malt, nutmeg, bubblegum, and wisp of hops – taste of malt, coffee, some spiced and hint of bitterness- body is medium to full, and slightly oily, and with medium to high carbonation – aftertaste of coffee grounds , and dark chocolate

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
beastiefan2k (2359) - Emerald City (formely NYC & KS), Washington, USA - APR 11, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 13, 2008 2005 bottle. First thing I have to write is the flavor is chocolate mixed with some sort of spice/herb. Poured into small Sam Adams glass. No head. Color is black. Smell is distinct, some sort of spice. Body is medium, Taste is great, like I mentioned off the bat. Finishes with no bitterness at all.

Rerate time: 2005 bottle. This one split into snifter glasses. This beer without a doubt is much better than the 3 previous vintages I have drank tonight. Taste is still chocolate heavy with some spices in the background. Has not changed much in the past year. Rating will stay the same.

2006 bottle. A slightly different version where the spices overtake the chocolate which I loved so much in the previous version. A bit more bitterness to this version. Not so much a fan as the 2005.

Re-rate 2006 bottle I cannot believe, how much a year (plus) has done to this beer and how much better it tastes. Just what I like about this beer, the chocolate from the malt comes in and the spices easy off just a bit but still there. Very easy drink, this seems to be a bit more carbonated then I remember any other vintage. In the past 5 years or so.

4.1
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Ibrew2or3 (6767) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - APR 2, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 20, 2008 2006, consumed during our 2002 to 2006 vertical, Dec. 2008. Typical OSA pour with nearly opaque brown body and mocha head. The aroma is fantastic with rich dark fruitiness, dark molasses, toffee, earthiness, wow. The taste is rich too with perfectly ripe black grapes, chocolate, faint burnt molasses and smooth winter spices. Very nice. 2005, consumed during our 2002 to 2006 vertical, Dec. 2008. Another typical OSA pour with nearly opaque brown body and mocha head. The aroma has lots of smooth blunted spices, gingerbread, dark rye bread, dry earthiness and filberts and hazel nuts. The taste is very similar. Yum. I get a mixture of gingerbread cookies, some rye twang, a bit of velvety dark chocolate, earthiness and rounded out by filbert and hazel nut like nuttiness.

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Gusler (2653) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - APR 2, 2006
UPDATED: NOV 29, 2007 Release 2007 The beer departs the stubby 12-ounce bottle a clear brown with a portly creamy light tan head; as it evaporates, the lace provides a thin curtain to drape the glass. Nose has a sweet malt aroma, followed closely by the spices, cinnamon, and cloves, crisp and clean. Start is decently malted, sweet and a touch of bite at the back, top is moderate in feel. Finish has a determined acidity, the hops perfect; the spicy sweetness carries to the end, as always a good drinking beer that only gets better with age. Anchor Our Special Ale 2006 The beer pours from the stubby 12 ounce brown bottle a deep mahogany color, the head modest in size, the color a light tan and the texture creamy as it fades away, the lace forms a concealing blanket to cover the glass. Nose has a sweet malt presence, spicy and appetizing, hints of pine. Start has a nice malt profile, the top light to moderate in feel. Finish is sternly acidic, somewhat sweet, the hops delightful, and the aftertaste dry and lingering, a good beer, but one that improves with age. Release 2005 Upon its extraction from the 12-ounce stubby brown bottle, the beer sets in the glass jet-black with a creamy tan head that is mountainous in size as it’s slowly fades to nothingness, the lace forms a thick blanket to obscure the glass. Nose is sweet with hints of Oak, Cherries, maple syrup, quite a treat for the old schnozzle, start is lightly sweet, the grain presence delightful, top is light to medium in its feel. Finish is delectable in its acidity, the hops pleasingly spicy, the aftertaste dry and long lasting, a fine drinking beer that does improve with a little age.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Tmoney99 (10409) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - APR 1, 2006
Bottle. Poured a black color with a huge frothy light brown head that lasted. Good complex sweet spicy aroma. Medium body with a sticky texture. Good sweet bitter spicy flavor with an average finish. Complex good brew.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
SwedeDog (364) - Windsor, Connecticut, USA - MAR 31, 2006
Bottle. Poured very dark crimson with a nice frothy head that never completely went away. Aroma is a little light, but good. Milk chocolate, cinnamon, peat, caramel and slight spiciness. Very nice flavor, very balanced among many different constituents. Smoke, peat, baker’s chocolate, toffee, malt, cinnamon, spices and even a subtle English hop presence. Very good.

4.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
murrayswine (101) - Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 27, 2006
Poured a lot darker than I thought it would, a blood ruby with brown murk. Very good head retention. The smell is subtle candy sweetness, light, airy malts, and a slight English style hop sense, I smell Fuggle, though I have no idea what the hops really are. The taste is slightly tart at first, like a dubbel. Sweet with yeast. low dark fruits and a slight nutty toffee finish round this beer out. Damn fine brew!

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
winegarner (220) - san diego, California, USA - MAR 26, 2006
Poured black with reddish edges and a full, lasting, tan head. This is a very complex beer, a light acrid roast flavor combined with a minty, spice flavor with the possible use of ginger. Hop bitterness is moderate and balancing, with some floral flavor an aroma. Very dry roasty finish.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Dickinsonbeer (5077) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - MAR 26, 2006
Pours a very deep woody brown, almost black with a nice thin lasting deep beige head and long lasting lace. Aroma is a great blend of pine forrest, juniper berries and thick caramel malts. Hints of clove and nutmeg along with a nutty malt characteristic is also noticed in the smell. Lightly bready, hoppy, somewhat sweet caramel malts, deep crystal malt- sharp intense sweetness that almsot has more of a burnt smokiness and is very fruity. Dark fruits like plum and raisin in the flavor as well. Finish is nice clean and crisp. Smooth.

2.6
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
ruggedman (647) - Portland, Maine, USA - MAR 19, 2006
This beer pours a deep reddish color with an off white head. Tastes of apple and other spices at first, and then trails off into a bitter cascade hop flavor, which then trails into a pretty poor aftertaste. I think this beer gets by on it’s name mostly. I wouldn’t drink another.


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