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RATINGS: 1850   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.54   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
turbo (1271) - Arizona, USA - JAN 3, 2006
Almost black with a thick, creamy chocolate head and sticky lacing. Aroma is spice and malt with a roasty spice flavorand smooth spice finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
leitrim65 (402) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JAN 2, 2006
Brownish/black body with large tan head. Coffee nose with a touch of chocolate and alcohol. Light - medium bodied. Coffee flavors are balanced by elements of cinamon, clove, nutmeg, roasted nuts, and finishes with a gentle lasting hop bitterness.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Bockyhorsey (2610) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - JAN 2, 2006
UPDATED: FEB 1, 2007 Aroma has spice and herb notes to it. Black body with decent tan head. Has a medium body feel to it with spices and vegetable flavors thoughout the beer. Vegetable mild sweetness on the palate. A decent sipping beer.
2006 Bottle. Aroma was a decent miz of spice, malt and some fruit. Brown body with tan head. Flavor was spice up front with a creamy roasty texture from middle to finish. Thought this was like a porter with out being over sweet. Good beer.
7 - 3 - 8 - 4 - 16 = 3.8

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
awaisanen (1304) - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 2, 2006
UPDATED: JUL 12, 2006 From 12oz Bottle.Very dark brown body with a thick, burned malty head. Complex aroma with sugary fruits, gingerbread, and pumpkin pie spice. Flavors of raisin, nutmeg, and clove are most present along with the roasted malts. A nice, pleasantly long finish of roasted malt follows with a touch of mellow hops. Overall, a good unique seasonal ale, although not quite as interesting in spice dimensions as the 2004 in a side-by-side comparison.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
Rastacouere (6136) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 2, 2006
Immediately familiar spice/malt nose bears a solid caramel background to the ginger/cinnamon/cloves/nutmeg. Not as expressive as I remember still. Burgundy-Brown, clear around the edges body, forming a regular beige head that slowly diminishes. Always has this interesting apparent complexity of aromas, though I can’t say if it comes up to the sum of its parts. Spice derived bitterness brings no dryness in if perhaps diminishing the sweet feel. Really dull loose mouthfeel is a catastrophe, proposing pointy carbonation that accentuates the spices disparateness rather than bringing them together thus making the finish chaotic (ginger gum!!) and severely fatiguing grapey sweetness, kinda syrupy. Christmasy in its sticky pine gum spiciness. I usually enjoy OSA a lot more, but it is as if the attenuation is not as advanced for now and I doubt time could chime in enough to compensate.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
ivan9856 (189) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - JAN 2, 2006
I sampled a 12 oz. bottle. The body is mahogany with a large, rocky tan head. There is excellent lacing. Rich malt, yeast, and spices like nutmeg and gingerbread, are featured in the nose. The backbone of dark roasted malt quickly yields to a complex midpalate with a variety of flavors such as coffee, dark chocolate and licorice. The aforementioned spice spectrum, roasted nuts and anticipated pine needle essence are also revealed The finish is moderately hopped, and fairly long lasting. A very good seasonal ale.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Numenor (871) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - JAN 1, 2006
A very dark body, almost black, though with a red tint. A golden head is produced from this beer. A nice spicy aroma. A roasted nut flavor.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
maniac (3800) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JAN 1, 2006
Dark brown color with a tan head. Aroma of spice. Spiced flavor with light roasted malts and a bit of licorice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
BeerHawk (1810) - Huntsville, Alabama, USA - JAN 1, 2006
Bottle. Poured a dark brown color with a small tan head that mostly dissipated. The aroma found spices, black licorice, and nutmeg. Big roasted flavor with spices and hints of licorice. Medium bodied, smooth, and a bitter coffee aftertaste. An excellent holiday brew! Thanks Suttree for sending it over from East TN!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Mungus (6) - Tampa, Florida, USA - JAN 1, 2006 does not count
As always, you have to be ready for this. This years version is strong on anise to me, and the juniper is there too. Halfway through my second bottle i find it to be cloying.

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