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RATINGS: 1829   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.


4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Nate (3727) - Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 20, 2006
Really fresh spicy nose. Nutmeg and teaberry, cinammon, clove and fresh ginger. Tootsie Roll, cocoa powder, molasses. Herbal floral hops. Has a really nice mellowness with fine mixture of sweet malts, roasted nuttiness and spicy holiday aroma. Dark, dark brown-black clear with thin foamy light tan head. Medium watery body with medium-heavy carbonation. Starts with a medium dry roasted malt character, with Tootsie Roll and cocoa sweetness. Nice mix of Christmas spices - nutmeg, ginger, and clove. Mild tangy carbonic acidity toward the finish, with a mellowing warmness. After is nutty with decent hit of hoppy spicy bitterness. Overall, a nice Christmas ale.

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
CEZ (397) - Milano, ITALY - FEB 20, 2006
Hazy dark brown body, good tan head. Smells like licorice, flowers, caramel, yeast. On the palate, it shows a strong toffee and roasted malt character. Smooth and medium-bodied, with loads of subtle spicy notes coming through (orange peels, nutmeg, pine). Long slightly tarty finish. Complex, yet quite drinkable.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
biznizness (1089) - Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - FEB 17, 2006
Dug this beer a whole lot. Never heard "fudgy" used before, but it is perfect for this beer. The flavor is a smooth blend of malty, nutty goodness, not overwhelming, but a beatiful drink. Recommended.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Bullrup (20) - SWEDEN - FEB 16, 2006
Bottle 2005. Dark brown with medium head. Taste of hops, caramel malt, a bit of licorice. Suprisiingly thin mouthfeel, but long aftertaste. Quite a lot of carbonation.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
GonZoBeeR (2926) - Ste-Eulalie, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 15, 2006
On tap... Aroma:Chocolate,fudge.... Appearance:Dark head... Flavor:Chocolate,fudge,spices......

4.7
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
TheBeerLover (1025) - DC Metro Area, USA - FEB 14, 2006
A Christmas/Winter classic. The season just would not be the same without this beer. I’ve been drinking this beer every Christmas/Winter since 1991, and the 2005 version, is another excellent vintage. Spiced beers in general, have its share of critics, some believe spice has no place in beer. I disagree. Anchor OSA remains the one of the best spiced beers on the market today. OSA 05 pours to a beautiful, deep brown color, with a thick, creamy, tan head, and a good bit of carbonation. The nose on this beer is wonderful, with lots of spicy aromas of orange peel, citron, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. The palate is firm with lots of good dark, chocolate, sweet, and mild roasted malt flavor, paried with some candied citron, and orange flavor that glides on the tongue. OSA 05 finishes with more of those complex malty and spicy flavors up front, then ends with some citrus hop bitterness, and some spicy cinnamon and nutmeg spice that linger. A perfect Christmas beer, and an outstanding winter warmer. Sip and savor this one.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
egajdzis (5336) - Spring Mount, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 11, 2006
Poured a very dark brown (near opaque) color with a medium sized, tan, creamy head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of spices, pine, figs, mint, gingerbread, caramel malt, and chocolate. Taste roasty and spicey, with dark fruits, light wood, and some nuts as well. Thin mouthfeel.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
shadey (1900) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - FEB 8, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 5, 2007 2005 Vintage. Fresh. Dark red color with a very rich cream head. Beautiful lacing. Spicy malt aroma. Flavor is full of mild spice and beautiful full malt. Body is just right. Nice and smooth. A well done winter ale. 7/4/8/5/17
2006 Vintage. Fresh. Very dark pour. Brown. Head is a creamy tan ring. Aroma is spices, specifically nutmeg. Almost smells like a pumpkin ale. Earthly sweet nutmeg flavor. Definitely a nice holiday brew. A pleasure to consume.

3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
GarrettB (1039) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 7, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 4, 2013 I had the Special Ale 2005 in the midst of many “same ol’ same ol’” winter ale beers that I had cheap from the local liquor store as part of an eclectic variety pack. The general theme of the six pack had me believe that this fun little gem from Anchor would be like its consanguineous brothers in the other five slots. Not so. The beer did pour the regular dark stoutish color with a mocha lab color transparency, and had a similarly flat and unexciting head, but the aroma and taste were far from the resounding conformity the other beers had displayed. What set it apart was a well placed floral essence that fit into the darker melody of the beer with sartorial precision. All the familiar groupies were there; the broad shouldered and dower chocolate, the everyman’s visage of malts, the peppy and somewhat obscure flow of fruits, and then there’s the new guy: an aromatic and potent fellow of a garden variety flavor. A flower one to be specific, and it makes the whole drink dark enough for to satisfy the testerone requisite, and floral to make it a good dark drink for an indoor feast. Now that I think about this, the flavor of this beer would fit in very well in the Redwall series of books. December 16th 2011 Tasting Notes Update - 2011 edition. Pillowy, tan and brown head. Brilliant aroma of blueberries, celery salt savoriness, and a salty gravity. Flavor is unpleasant. Muted, woodiness, underripe fruit. Sugar, but mostly ligneous wood flavor.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Quinten (1045) - zaandam, NETHERLANDS - FEB 7, 2006
very dark color, nice fruity and some bitterness, the rest is a complex part. Overall a very nice one!


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