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RATINGS: 1821   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.


3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
DrBayern (1139) - Morehead City, North Carolina, USA - DEC 12, 2005
Dark mahogany, pretty nice tan head that dissolved to a thin layer that lasted to the bottom of the glass. Nose is caramel and spice. Medium body, sweet malty flavor with some dark fruity and spicy highlights. Stays pretty sweet, although not cloying, through the finish. Drinkable, and not overdone like many "holiday" beers which often hit you over the head with spices. This is more subtly done.

2.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 8/20
acertain (249) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 12, 2005
I just didn’t get the enjoyment from this beer that others have. To me, the dominant flavor was bubblegum. Like from trading cards....

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
KSS (102) - Plymouth, Minnesota, USA - DEC 12, 2005
Poured from the bottle dark brown with a hint of red highlights. Nice big head with good lacing. I picked up tastes and aromas of coffee, cherry, raisin, prune, licorice. Sweet, spicy taste characteristics. A little more smooth and subtle to the Summit Winter Ale that I compared it to.

2.9
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Crash (531) - Macomb, Illinois, USA - DEC 12, 2005
Poured a dark brown/black with a little head and good lacing. There wasn’t much aroma or at least I didn’t catch it. I didn’t get much in the way of spices and judging from others, I wonder if I got a bad bottle.

2.1
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 6/20
beaconstreet (811) - Washington DC, USA - DEC 12, 2005
Raisins, sir, raisins! And a syrupy yeasty taste. Unimpressed for their special ale. SAIS happy hour, Johns Hopkins University in Washington. Bartended.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
heemer77 (5096) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - DEC 12, 2005
UPDATED: NOV 18, 2006 From a 2006 bottle sampled in Nov. 2006. The body is a dark roby almost brown with a large light brown and khaki head. The aroma has earthy notes of ginger and coffee. The taste has some old coffee along with some toffee, iced tea and ginger. There is also a note of parsnips, but slightly less sweet. The finish is dry and laced with cocoa. An interesting winter warmer. 2005 rating follows. Very dark brown body that is almost black. The light brown head is thin. The aroma is buttery (diacetyl?) with some ginger and caramel. The taste is slightly sweet with some toffee and ginger snap cookies. There is a strong roasted coffee note in the finish. This seems almost like a porter. this smooths out as you drink with more sweetness of molasses. Not quite as smooth as some other vintages I have tried.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
TheBeerOrg (2145) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - DEC 11, 2005
Pours dark brown with reddish hues and a foamy white head. Aroma of nutmeg, juniper, and rich caramel malts. Taste is cinnamon, clove, and rich chocolate malt. Mouthfeel is heavy and slight sticky, with lush carbonation. The spices make this an appropriate holiday ale, and the residual gravity make this a beer to be savored slowly.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
theacelatrain (262) - Washington DC, USA - DEC 11, 2005
Bottle. Pours DARK red-black with a foamy tan head. Aromas of cherry, anise, chocolate and a hint of spice (ginger, nutmeg). Flavors of cherry, smooth, light chocolate, cola/root beer, molasses, with dark chocolate and black cherry flavors coming through seconds later. A bit too tarty/sweet on the finish and mouthfeel could be thicker. Amazingly complex, though, and a little bit warming. Like fruitcake.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
jefcon (1354) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - DEC 11, 2005
Malty, cinnamon, nutmeg and gingersnap aromas from the glass. Perhaps cloves and rosemary as well. The beer is quite good-looking in the glass, deep and dark, with a good tan head and significant lacing. Tons of gingersnap on the taste, along with an oaty, coffee roundness. Bitter finish, lots of heft on the palate. I’d love to know what ingredients create the spice beer classification for this one.

4.1
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
joshuah (37) - Ferndale, Michigan, USA - DEC 11, 2005
2005 Last Night thanks to a guy named Garth! Great taste, very good, enjoyable Winter bre.


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