nick76 (4221) - Tampa, Florida, USA - DEC 27, 2005
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: NOV 26, 2008 05 was looking for this one and I was not disappointed. The aroma is spruce, lemon, rosemary, nutmeg, licorice, and toasted malt. The appearance is dark red brown (almost black) with a small foamy head. The flavor is as complex as the aroma. Caramel malt is mixed well with fruit, licorice, pine, spices, and a pepper like finish with a hint of coffee.
06 Less herbal than the 05 with an aroma of ginger, allspice, toasted malt, caramel, and citrus. The flavor is slightly sour but mostly like sweet coffee. I always look forward to having this beer every Christmas but the 05 was better.
08 Aroma is spicy porter with licorice, spice. Taste is the same.
beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - DEC 26, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
This years batch is made with Quercus agrifolia or commonly know as Coast Live Oak which has dark green holly-like leaves and is native to the coast ranges of California.
Dried dark blood reddish brown color with a small, densely compacted, and smooth sandy brown cap. Keeps a solid skim present for a good length of the session. Thin sheeting lace sticks along the glass.
Aroma is of chocolate waffer cookies with a broad dashing of floral-esk vanilla and ginger. Smells like many other OSAís from past years with perhaps a bit less woody spice. A bit more subdued here, as oak tends to be less aromatic then pine or spruce. It does tend to have a mixed peppery/minty/ rosey thing going on thats creatively mingling into a potpourri of bakery spices.
Taste is mildly dashing within some molasses-like malts with a slide into some chocolate cookie dough and brown sugaryness. Mild woody and chocolatey bitterness leans into the middel areas and floating off from there. Some spices of vanilla flowers, ginger, and blackened banana find there way in and out at opportune times but come up short overall. Finish is nicely rounded in chocolateyness, which I liked. Overall, cookie-ish, short lived, and tamer then years past. It was a bit to shy and perhaps to light at first but then it began to grow on me. Especially well into the second helping. The chocolate tones were nice enough for me to enjoy it a bit more then I thought.
Feel is foamy and fluffy in a light milky-like texture. Mediumish body, with a light drying finish, mildly spiced and bittered with one nice little build of chocolatey things as you get into it.
Perhaps not one of the better years Anchor has produced this classic, yet the 2005 still has its subtle quality and overall special uniqueness that is still likeable enough for this lover of the OSA. It doesnít always have to be a complete masterpeice does it? A very easy going edition this year. Smooth and quite drinkable; two or three wonít be a problem.
Kevster (344) - Bradenton, Florida, USA - DEC 26, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours black with tones of red and a small light brown head. Aroma has hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and pine. Very creamy and smooth to drink but leaves a dry finish. I enjoyed this beer and Iím looking forward to the 2006 release.
IMtheOptimator (1161) - Bethel, Connecticut, USA - DEC 25, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Poured black with a large creamy and frothy light tan head. Aroma of cinnamon, gingerbread, nutmeg. Flavor is dry cinnamon, gingerbread, light on the dark fruits and a dry biscuit dough finish. Somewhat drier than past vintages.
tinydancer (52) - Gibsonville, North Carolina, USA - DEC 25, 2005
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Apperance is black with a small to medium tan. Aroma is of licorice, cinnamon, spruce and flowers. Palate is meduim to full bodied and smmoth. Flavor is nice with mild bitterness. Malt at first finishing with the flowers and licorice. A nice holiday treat for and damp Christmas morning here in NC.
xproudfoot (750) - Paleolithic, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 24, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: DEC 7, 2006 (2005) Bottle. Dark brown with a few bubbles. Smells like xmas spices, red berries, cinammon, bark and twigs. Very aromatic. Tastes like bark, malt, cinnamon hops. Shorter finish. (2006) bottle tasted fairly different, fuller body, more garnet looks, more like eggnog, with plenty of nutmeg.
ross (2088) - weddington, North Carolina, USA - DEC 23, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
sweet, spicy smelling - great for a dessert beer. 2004 was slightly less spicy and as intriguing as this one, and i liked this one a bit more. more of what defines an anchor chirtmas beer. awesome brew ,not something to be challanged.
Silphium (3167) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - DEC 23, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark brown pour, medium creamy tan head. Interesting aroma, with little anise this time. Instead, chocolate and toasted marshmallows in addition to candy corn are notable. The aroma reminds me a bit of the porter. Tart body with big-time chocolate (bakerís chocolate) and spice (caraway, a touch of anise). Focuses more on the chocolate and roasted malts than previous versions. Thereís even an interesting hint of banana here. This is the best vintage Iíve tried.
jhliesen (735) - West Melbourne, Florida, USA - DEC 23, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle-My first OSA. Fits in with most other Christmas ale with itís cinnimon, nutmeg and related flavoring. This one is wrapped up in a dark brown pour with a brown creamy head. Nice amount of malt flavoring on the finish. Has me looking forward to 2006!
MattShizzle (541) - Bernville, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 23, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Very good, as the Anchor holiday beer is every year. Kind of reminds me of a spicy porter this year.