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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 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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BrewDad (5004) - Olympia, Washington, USA - DEC 11, 2005
A nice dark brown color with an aroma that just wafs a malts nose that was heavnly. Loved the malt flavrs and the hint of hops where just enough for me. Had a great overall warm flavor that was true to this type of seasonal beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
OhioDad (2493) - Hilliard, Ohio, USA - DEC 11, 2005
1.5L magnum that I picked up to take to my wifeís holiday party. Pours dark brown with some ruby highlights and a beautiful belgian-like tan head. Aroma is cinnamon, chocolate, caramel, orange and a bit of pine. Flavor is chocolate, roasted malts, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and pine. Palate is smooth and creamy with a nice airy mouthfeel. I of course shared this bottle with a friend but it is so drinkable I could have taken it down myself I think. Wonderful wonderful beer!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Habanero (2727) - Tranbjerg, DENMARK - DEC 11, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 18, 2005 Bottle: Pours mahogany with a light tan and lasting fizzy head. Aroma is cherry, cinnamon, chocolate, and vanillal. The flavour is spicy of nutmeg, clove and cinnamon. Sweet with molasses and caramel. Some fruitiness with oranges and lemon. Roasted coffee and light chocolate in the taste with notes of pine and liquorice. It is medium bodied and smooth in palate. The finish is medium lasting and sweet/ bitter.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
bu11zeye (11971) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - DEC 10, 2005
(Bottle) Pours a dark brown body with a small tan head. Aroma of pine, orange, licorice, and nutmeg. Flavor of nutmeg, cocoa, roasted malt, and molasses.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
sethdude (702) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - DEC 10, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 10, 2006 Highly decent. Pours a pitch brown, medium tan head. Aroma is cherry, cinnamon, chocolate, vanilla, and butterscotch (not an infection, I hope). Flavor is cherry, lemon, cinnamon, toffee, and roasted coffee. That butterscotch doesnít really show up, so I guess itís not an infection. Mouthfeel is average. Nice. On second tasting, Iím getting some licorice in there as well.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
southgadawg (6) - USA - DEC 10, 2005 does not count
This comes across like a Holiday beer should, spicy yet drinkable. Pours a great dark brown, ruby color. Nice cream color head. Will definately follow up with next years offering.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Britales (56) - Cape Charles, Virginia, USA - DEC 10, 2005
I always look forward to this beer due to the changes from year to year! This issue is one of the better ones IMHO! Nice balance but the clove, evergreen, nuttiness and coffee undertones are most identifiable! Will need more of this one! Merry Christmas!!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
CaptainCougar (7132) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - DEC 10, 2005
Pours a barely transparent dark brown with a thin, lightly-lacing tan head. Toasty spiced sugar cookie and ginger snap aroma has some citrusy hops. First taste is of Vienna malt and earthy spices with a thinner, hoppier finish. Not as good as the 2004 I just tried, but maybe give it a year. Thanks Jason for the bottle!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Cable (286) - SE, Oklahoma, USA - DEC 9, 2005
Sampled from bottle. OSA 2005 pours dark ruby with a sudsy light tan head and nice lacing. Aroma is dominated by nutmeg and orange liquer. Flavor is well-balanced with rich malts: caramel, toasted, chocolate and faint hint of rye or smoked malts (maybe). Honeysuckle and nutmeg are also at the forefront. Remarkably clean finish for this higher gravity beer. Full-bodied and moderately carbonated. Warming for a crisp Winter night. OSA is always a welcome treat.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
chilehead (186) - Laguna Niguel, California, USA - DEC 9, 2005
I had this on draft at Pizza Port San Clemente. A very different and seasonal tasting brew. Nose strongly of cider spices and bubble gum, mouth of bubble gum, fruit, and cinnamon. I wouldnít want this all year round, but itís just right for Christmas :-) Pour was dark brown.

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