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RATINGS: 1827   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.


3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Tmoney99 (10660) - 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.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Reid (1899) - Salem, Oregon, USA - MAR 14, 2006
Wonderful looking ale here..dark brown with crimson and ruby accents and a totally gorgeous creamy "coffee n’ creme" coloured head..beautiful. Aroma is slightly fruity, hints of spice and treacle, slightest hint of hop. Thate taste is of dark maltiness, prunes come most to mind, then "mincemeat pies and orange peel, then a very dark roasted coffee, prune juice finishes off the mouthful..slight peppery aftertaste. Very good on the palate..quite invigorating. I really liked this and think it might age even better..truelly a Christmas Pudding in a beer glass!

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
harrisoni (13711) - Ashford, Kent, ENGLAND - MAR 14, 2006
Bottle from Utobeer. Very dark ruby with beige head. Spice and fruit peel with some herby hop on the aroma. Nice dark malts. Spice, charcoal, tarry, espresso coffee all in the mouth. It has a strange character. You expect it to be all spice from the aroma, but it has body and presence. Thick and unctious. This is good stuff. Orange zest on the palate on the finish

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
RooftopRogue (423) - Champaign, Illinois, USA - MAR 11, 2006
) This beer introduces itself with an aroma consisting of ginger, clove, cinnamon, fruit, and all-spice. It is black in color with a good sized caramel head that dissolves leaving a good amount of lacing on the sides of the glass. This moderately thick beer enters and flows through the mouth smoothly. It enters with a mild bitter taste and turns more bitter as a mixture of spices (ginger and clove being the strongest) penetrate the taste buds. This beer leaves the mouth with a sour/bitter ginger taste lingering.

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
auerbrau (3177) - Peace Dale, Rhode Island, USA - MAR 7, 2006
Pours a deep ruby tinted sienna with a creamy coffee head and percolating carbonation. Fragrant aroma of high school bathroom cleaner and bleach. Flavor is similiar, but with more floral vegetal qualities, perched atop a small mound of swarz-like toasted maltiness, rounded with toffee and toast. Sweet, fairly light, crisp and clean. Not terribly complex.


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