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RATINGS: 2050   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 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
MullMan (1099) - New York, USA - MAR 10, 2007
2006 bottle. darkest chestnut ruby color, mostly clear. medium tan sienna head that is thin and creamy. deep caramel malt aroma, a little molasses and smoky evergreens. mouthfeel is fairly smooth, pretty strong carbonation. flavor is roasted caramel malt, some light tangy hop, and finish is sweet roasted caramel malt with a bit of allspice.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
thehoff (598) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - MAR 6, 2007
UPDATED: MAR 28, 2009 2005. Deep black with a nice tan head. Pours a nice head. Smells of sweet malts, syrup, toffee, dried fruit. Very odd beer. There is a weird tangy flavor at the beginning, almost tart sourness leading to a dry palate. Smoky almost, coating the tongue. Very different. There may be a spice here that I am missing that is causing the sourness but I cant pick it out. RATED 2.7. 2008 Settles like a nice stout: Guinness comes to mind. deep black with hints of amber color. Frothy tan head. Beautiful in the glass. Great lacing. Smells of spice and malt, coriander and cloves. Tastes excellent, fruity, candy, licorice maybe, a little chocolate malt, some espresso. Dry and bitter finish, not hops bitter but cofee bitter. Way better than the 2005 RERATED at 3.7

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
omhper (23428) - Tyresö, SWEDEN - MAR 6, 2007
Bottled. Very dark ruby, rich firm off-white head. Spruce aroma. Medium sweet with clean mouthfeel. Spices are evident - spruce needles, cinnamon and nutmeg is what I get. Hops lay unerneath togehter wih ligtly roasty malt. Due to the clean mouthfeel the body feels light. Finishes with medium bitterness.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
illinismitty (2270) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - MAR 2, 2007
Bottle from Ross. Pours deep brown with a nice beige head. Aroma of christmas tree needles and spices (cinnamon stick and nutmug). Medium thin mouthfeel. Flavor of bitter chocolate, vanilla, and cheap red wine mixed in with spice flavors of clove, cinnamon, and spruce. Bitter and spicy finish, in which I pick up more spruce. I am not really digging this, perhaps there is too much spruce and not enough residual sweetness. The 2004 was much better.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
rmussman (1701) - California, USA - MAR 1, 2007
Another classic Anchor winter brew. Flavor is full of shaped spices that release a very nice aroma. Appearance is dark with a frothy head. Mouthfeel is incredibly smooth for a dark beer. A wonderful brew if you can get your hands on it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
dj (572) - Greater London, ENGLAND - FEB 28, 2007
Bottle, 355ml, 2006. A dark ruby colour with a medium-sized brown head. Aroma is wine, hops and citrus. Taste is rather like a mince pie: tannic, raisin, cherry, orange, a little malt, some hoppiness and a touch of chocolate. Moderate carbonation. A somewhat sweet, fruity finish. Really tasty.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
doublebock (554) - California, USA - FEB 27, 2007
Ruby color, solid dark head that actually sparkles. Starts with a sweetness that carries the flavor of ginger and orange peel Feels like a piece of candy in the mouth. Ends with a perfect transition to fresh hoppiness. Whoever said beer should be made from only 4 ingredients never tasted this beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
drewbeerme (3916) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 27, 2007
UPDATED: JAN 23, 2008 2006 12oz bottle, pours dark brown with huge tan head. nose is very unique, earthy toffee notes mixed with brown sugar and orange. flavor has of cardmom, cloves, and sweet orange spices against a nicemalt backbone of baker’s chocolate notes. mouthfeel is rich and smooth but a tad thin. a very tasty brew indeed.8/4/7/4/15=3.8.

1/23/08, 2006 vintage, aged 16 months. pours dark brown with tint of red, creamy tan head. nose of vegetal, licorice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and hint of chocolate. flavor of cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate, nuts, and hint of caramel. age has melded this together wonderfully. tasty and aging well. 6/4/8/4/16=3.8.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
uhlerja (24) - USA - FEB 25, 2007
A good beer to try for the first time. Pours an amber brown color. Taste has a strong orange zest and other rich spices. A smooth and rich ale that is good for an occasional try.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
DrD (61) - Lakewood, Ohio, USA - FEB 25, 2007
The clove, nutmeg, smoked paprika, oranze zest, coriander spice of this brew makes it a certain favorite each December. It’s just a little on the bitter side, which is offset nicely by the smooth mouthfeel. This brew ages well--the spice notes get more complex in just few months.

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