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RATINGS: 2042   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 Aleís 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.

Editorís 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 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
grease (42) - Reno, Nevada, USA - DEC 20, 2006
An annual disappointer, the spices are always way too much in this beer. To Anchorís credit, age can work wonders on some years. I had the pleasure of multiple vertical tastings of 20+ year-old to near-current bottles, and there were some real winners in the pile. 2006 has assertive spruce and other holiday spices, but not quite as intense as the last several years. Still, one bottle a year usually does it for me. Worthy of setting aside to follow the maturation.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
mocarmel (48) - Fortville, Indiana, USA - DEC 20, 2006
Nice even flavor. Taste like traditional anchor steam that has been malted up a bit. Slightly chocolate/vanilla overtones.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
brigg (593) - Washington DC, USA - DEC 19, 2006
(bottle) Dark mahogany body with thick brown head. Aroma has chocolate, cherry, spices, and is moderately sweet. Taste is medium sweet with a hint of fruit (cherry, among others); rich dark chocolate and roasted coffee. Light to medium body but leaving a mouth-coating film afterwards.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
dirkules (629) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 19, 2006
2005 bottled at beer bistro. Dark brown / black pour with a full malty and sweet smell. Even more prevalent in the flavour. Not quite as enticing as the Traquair. Could use a bit of restraint. But the beer quality to it is still anchor special. Clean and crisp. And it does the job getting you drunk.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
savitska (163) - Smyrna, Georgia, USA - DEC 19, 2006
The darker of the two beers I drank, the second I drank and the second in my heart. Malty, syrupy and spicy (think aniseed and coriander, not chile peppers). Worth a pint if you want something new and different and you like "holiday" flavorings.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
GTown (127) - New York, USA - DEC 19, 2006
Draught. Pours dark brown with off-white head. Minimal lacing. Aroma is plum and raisins. Brown sugar, vanilla and coffee flavors mixed with some chocloate. Not as good as yearís past. Middle of the road Christmas offering. Aging would probably enhance the rating.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
porterhouse (1580) - Boothbay, Maine, USA - DEC 19, 2006
(Bottle (2006) from <A HREF=http://www.ratebeer.com/Place/maine/augusta/l target=blank>Louís Beverage Barn) Soft and spicy but kind of sour...Pours dark birch beer brown with a tall tan head. Aroma is mostly spice, although Iím not sure what (cinnamon?, clove?). Mouthfeel soft and smooth. Scant patches of lacing. Flavor predominately mirrors the spiciness of the aroma. Malty but not really sweet. A pleasant, quality brew but there was a sourishness that kind of threw me. Also was getting some soapiness in the finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
rayg1 (586) - Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - DEC 18, 2006
So I had both the 2005 and 2006 editions today thanks to ross and I have to say I liked the 2006 better. I have to say this beer poured darker and with a darker head than the 2002, 2004, or 2005. Aroma was present and spicy almost like a cooking experiment gone wrong. Taste is where this beer sells itself. Bold, spicy, and sweet to start but then a welcoming bitterness to end. This is something that I didnít experience with the earlier years. Good damn beer

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
redave (166) - squaw valley, California, USA - DEC 18, 2006
2006 edition: Nice very thick darker beige head. Thin but full lace down the glass. Not much aroma, some spicy malt smell. Very dark color, darker than expected, some reddish brown highlights on the edge, but very dark. Nice flavor, malty spicy flavors. rather dry finish. NOT a thirst quenching beer. Rather grainy after flavors. Nice with a meal though.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Aurelius (4939) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - DEC 18, 2006
2006 vintage. Very sensual nose from the bottle - dark bitter chocolate, yeast, fine unlit cigars, floral elements. Astringent, acidic, dark chocolate, moderately sweet, licorice, coffee. Medium body. Finishes off with a toasted nut and chocolate flourish. Low carbonation. Beady caramel-colored head, dark cola brown beer. Good cap, bad hippie font this year on the label, good engraved tree. Tangy on the lips. Just a shade across the session line -- a little too acidic and clingy in the tailend for you to want to sit and swill six of them. It was a fine brew though.

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