on tap

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RATINGS: 1975   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
johninmelb (1127) - Bristol, Gloucestershire, ENGLAND - DEC 2, 2006
2006 bottle. Cinnamon and cloves on the nose. Pours quite dark with a vey quickly dissipating ruby head. Flavour very nice with some astringency (not unpleasantly) and more cloves balanced with some sweet malt. Mouthfeel lets it down a bit as it is a little thin and watery, but all in all a pleasant sesaonal.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
redlem (1306) - Ohio, USA - DEC 2, 2006
Had a small sample at a bar, on tap. Clove overload. Muddy dark brown color with a small tan head. Like I said cloves, in aroma and taste, I could not detect anything else, which is not surprizing since this is a powerful spice. I could not see myself drinking a 12oz of this, well maybe if I had all night. Never been a big fan but this sample was a little too much for me.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
molassesfan (202) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - DEC 2, 2006
2006 bottle. Pours dark with a big head that laces well. Aroma of nutmeg and coriander. Taste is of a brown ale with the aforementioned spices. Mouthfeel is just right. Not an anytime beer, but very good for winter.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jason (1737) - Easton, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 1, 2006
2005 bottle. Decent aroma of holiday spices-cinnamon, nutmeg, clover. Pours a very dark body with good size head that stayed. Flavor is well balanced and smooth. Very smooth actually. Lite malt presence. Good brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
edden (925) - cow- lumbus, Ohio, USA - DEC 1, 2006
12/1/06: Bottle. 2006
X-tra dark brown head- almost black. Enormous tan head - resembling a Boston cooler. As head diminishes, lace clings to glass. Vanilla & novocaine nose – spicy with clove and cinnamon. Flavor is predominantly ginger with other notes of carrot, nut, and clove. 2006 seems a little less gingery/ spicy than 2005. I have not been a huge fan of Our Special Ale’s flavor in the past, but this year I think I am finally coming around.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Arayaga2 (1946) - portland, Oregon, USA - DEC 1, 2006
Mostly opaque reddish brown with huge light brown head. Taste is a bit weak, and thinly malted with a hint of spice. $2/12oz

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
raphael (1062) - Portland, Oregon, USA - DEC 1, 2006
the aromas are the spices, but what are they. spruce and cloves my wife says, on the flavor. (looking through past reviews I see six named at various times) I smell powdered sugar, yes something piney, and maybe raspberry, darkest mahogany with a generous, dark tan head. texture a little oily while thin. the connection tween spruce and pepsi, but nowhere as sweet. something that dries the tongue. broadens the definition of beer, with hints of A-1.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Louipa (121) - USA - DEC 1, 2006
I agree with "dyetube" quote.... "Right off the bat there is strongs notes of cinnamon and nutmeg in this thing! What a smell! It drinks very smoothly and easily with some complexity in the flavor. I like this beer! it is great for a winter brew but wouldn’t want to drink this during the warm months." My thoughts exactly. Its a good seasonal brew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
asteele8 (322) - Des Moines, Washington, USA - DEC 1, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 20, 2006 Bottle. Got to say this is one of my favorite bottle artworks. Pours a dark brown color with a a very thick tan head on top. Looks delicious! Aroma is malty, nutmeg, gingerbread, cinnamon, ginger root, and spice are in the aroma also. Flavor is full of gingerbread, spice, and caramel. A very interesting taste, like a cold gingerbread latte from Starbucks. Definitely a nice Christmas beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
lordeche (479) - Quincy, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 30, 2006
Pours a dark brown-almost black color with thick, foamy and dark head. Spicy aroma of nutmeg and cinnamon with a hint of raisin and gingerbread. Very spicey ale but with very little hoppiness or malt for that matter. Very slight caramel maltiness in the back, but it mostly tastes like gingerbread. Not a bad beer, but its lack of beer character makes it rather one-dimensional.

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