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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.


2.8
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
bikesandbeers (547) - san diego, California, USA - FEB 6, 2006
poured a dark brown with almost now head. no carbonation either. Sweet and spicy nose, the flavor was the same. Cloves and nutmeg with hints of coffee. Cerrtainly one of the more unique beers I’ve tried, but this didn’t quite sit right with me. Mouthfeel was the worst part. like drinking flat coke.

2.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
IslandHaole (1091) - Yokosuka-Shi, Kanagawa-Ken, JAPAN - FEB 5, 2006
Dark brown with a small tan head. Scent reminds me of that red Grenadine syrup used in tropical drinks mixed with the thin slices of ginger I get in sushi bars on the side. Sweet candy taste, Dr. Pepper, with wood, spices and a sprinkle of snuff. A dry finish and bitter follow. Rather thin feeling.

2.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
NachlamSie (2771) - Denver, Colorado, USA - FEB 1, 2006
bottle. Pours a deep red with not much of a head. The aroma is eggnog, some cedar, and some spiced candies. This isn’t so bad initially, mostly of grains, cookies, nutmeg and some chalk, but there is a bubblegum flavor that compounds with each sip I take and becomes really annoying. After a while, it’s all I notice. Maybe that’s because I hate bubblegum.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
lethe (177) - New York, USA - JAN 31, 2006
Dark brown pour with minimal white head. Nose is pleasing with a rush of chocolate, spice and bready malt. Palate is slightly sticky with heavy carbonation. Flavor is surprsingly close to a wheat (banana, clove) at first, followed by chocolate and gingerbread that finishes a little acrid and chewy. Pretty good overall with the flavors working up until the end when they become a bit harsh.

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Zeswaft (1370) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JAN 30, 2006
Very interesting beer. So many different aromas and flavors going on. Pours dark brown, almost black with a frothy light brown head. Aroma is spicy and pumpkiny and some type of fruits like grapes or raisins. Flavor is sweet, fruity and some hints of coffee and chocolate. It seems like they poured a bunch of different beers together.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Hollywoodt (239) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - JAN 30, 2006
Poured very dark brown. Aroma hinted of caramel, chocolate and spice. Flavor was all that plus a little cinnamon. I get this brew every year at the holidays, and am never disappointed. Get in my belly!

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
turbothy (1095) - Bonn, GERMANY - JAN 29, 2006
Pours a very dark red with small head and excellent lacing. Aroma of nutmeg and oregano (!?). Flavour is nicely roasted and warming. Good coffee aftertaste and a smooth palate. Excellent.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ABUSEDGOAT (2402) - California, USA - JAN 28, 2006
First of all, I’d just like to say that getting this beer was a huge pain in the ass. As far as I know, it cannot be found in NY, and I found in in MA when I wasn’t even looking for it. Poured the darkest reddish brown imaginable, almost looks like a Stout. Aroma is spicy (cinnamon, nutmeg) like other years, but this one has notes of chocolate as well. Flavor is the same with notes of caramel and earth. Reminds me of Fantome, it’s weird but good.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
TaktikMTL (5793) - Montréal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 27, 2006
Bouteille de 12 oz achetée au Beverage Warehouse (Winooski, VT). Arôme: Odeur de café et d’épices. Apparence: La couleur est bourgogne très foncée avec une faible densité de bulle. Présence d’une mince col crémeux beige et d’une fine dentelle sur le verre. Saveur: Goût de de chocolat , de café, de muscade et de prunes. La durée de l’arrière goût est moyenne. Palette: Le corps est plein avec une texture sirupeuse. La durée de l’arrière goût est moyenne. Senstation de fumée en arrière goût. (Rating #425)

2.6
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
tronraner (2459) - Walland, Tennessee, USA - JAN 26, 2006
UPDATED: FEB 1, 2007 Ok, I couldn’t stand the 2005 batch, so I tried the 2006 batch to see if I still hate it. I do, but I paid more attention to the details this time, so it warrants a re-rate. The aroma still reminds me of bubblegum right off the bat. The flavor does, too, but I’ll try to break it down. My friend pointed out orange blossom, with which I now agree. There is also clove, anise, tons of sassafrass, candy cinnamon (like the kind they put on apples at the fair), and a very strange sugary note. I drank it without any problem, but I still don’t like it.


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