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RATINGS: 1957   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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.


3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
tcfishler (65) - USA - DEC 17, 2006
Deep mahogany-brown with a good-sized, fairly sticky tan head. Aromas are roasted but at the same time high-toned, with anise, vanilla, and even a hint of soap. Moderately heavy carbonation and a medium body, with a suggestion of acidity from front to back. Flavor profile is less roasted than the nose, with more fruitiness, spice and some yeastiness too. Ends tangy and ever so slightly astringent. Doesn’t suit my tastes nearly as perfectly as Anchor Steam or Liberty, but still a very characterful brew.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
DuffLover (106) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - DEC 16, 2006
2006 from a 12 oz. bottle. Aroma of nutmeg, ginger, and other spices. Appearance is dark brown with a light tan head. Flavor is spices, black courants, and some toasted malt. Palate is medium. Overall a great seasonal - much better than the overally spiced 2005.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Capa (2316) - Kitsap, Washington, USA - DEC 16, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 12, 2007 2006. Spicey. Aroma was of roasted malts, fruity sweetness, and plenty of spice. Flavor was of sweet roasted malts but was a little overpowered by the spices. Finished slightly bitter. Good, a little to spicey for my tastes.
(Dec. 16, 2006 - 7-3-6-3-13-3.2)

2007 version: very dark brown with a massive, beige head. intense spice in the aroma. Nutmeg, clove, ginger, malts, dough, molasses, and a touch of raisin. Body is a tad thiner than expected, not bad though. The spices power through in the flavor. Cloves, nutmeg, toasted malts, cinnamon, and a little molasses that seems to be covered by the spices. The spices get a little annoying in the long finish. While I’m generally not a fan of overly spiced beers I found this to be enjoyable anyhow. Rating adjusted to the ’07 version.

3.2
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
milewide (1749) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - DEC 16, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 10, 2007 2006 batch. Mostly roasted malt aroma and flavor---but with a strange spice addition which I didn’t enjoy. No hops as far as I can tell. Liked 2007 better---more malt richness and less spice. 2007 batch was better. Less spices and more malt. New rating 3.2.

4.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
MarkBarnes (393) - Waterville, New York, USA - DEC 15, 2006
Dec. 15, 2006. 12 oz. bottle of 2006 vintage sampled Dec. 8 at Farm 255, Athens GA. Drank this one in dimly-lit conditions at my sister-in-law’s wedding party, and am now referring to hastily scrawled notes on the back of a business card: "Raisiny, hoppy, frothy, full-body, lasting malt palate, dark fruit, 18/20, aroma-avg." Sounds like it was pretty good! ;-) (Haven’t met an Anchor product I didn’t like -- a lot.)

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jake65 (2901) - Boise, Idaho, USA - DEC 15, 2006
Bottle: Deep brown pour with a darker tan head. Aroma is complex, fruity, spicey, and malty. Taste is very complex with cinnamon, nutmeg, raison, roasted malt, bittersweet, and more that I cannot pinpoint. Very deep, complex and overall the best Xmas seasonal I’ve tried this season so far.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Naven (1000) - Poway, California, USA - DEC 15, 2006
12 oz bottle. Faint aroma of chocolate. Brown pour, nice tan head. Taste is malty, with some spices going on. Tastes like a british ale. Decent, but unremarkable.

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
estoppel (1028) - Buffalo, New York, USA - DEC 15, 2006
On tap. Brown cola body, tan head, malt and spice aroma. Roasty, spicy, bready, light bitterness in the finish.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
hopson (635) - Williamsville, New York, USA - DEC 15, 2006
tap- caramel frothy head, dark brown/black in color...pumpkin present along with other spices, some nutmeg, nice flavor, and some toasty malts add to a well balanced brew. looking forward to trying it in a bottle.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
jonno (2345) - JAPAN - DEC 15, 2006
A very spicy Christmas overing, although a little too dark to enjoy more than one or two. Lovely head in a tulip, and pours very dark, like a porter. Love the cinnamon aftertaste though...


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