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RATINGS: 1954   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


3.4
   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.

3.5
   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.

3.8
   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!

3.7
   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.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
GregClow (2977) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 1, 2006
Draught at Coleís in Buffalo. Deep ruby-brown/black with a small tan head. Aroma is malty and spicey (nutmeg, coffee, licorice), with a sour tinge in the background. Flavour is quite roasty, with more bitter coffee and spice notes, a bit of chocoate and licorice. It was good, but I expected a bit more from it given how much Iíve enjoyed previous vintages. This is the first year Iíve tried it on draft, and the previous ones have been fairly well-aged bottles, so perhaps that expains it.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
roder60 (1288) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 1, 2006
Pours a deep mahagony color with a nice amount of froathy tan head. Malty caramel aroma with accents of spices. Flavor is malty and caramel with accents of hops, pine needles, nutmeg, slight cinnamon, and roasted nuts. Overall, a very nice winter brew.

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
IrishRed1983 (33) - USA - DEC 31, 2005
Deep, dark red color with a frothy white head. Definitely a Christmas brew with hints of chocolatey and spicy goodness.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
tsarman (794) - Northern, New Jersey, USA - DEC 31, 2005
Very dark brown with minimal head. A good xmas traditin from Anchor. Solid all around delicious brew. Nice amount of spiciness and roasty quality. Merry X-Mas to all.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Foxbush (1489) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - DEC 31, 2005
This is Anchorís Christmas and New Yearís version for 2005. The head was thin and disappeared quickly. The color was a deep brown. The flavors were of sweet malt. There were hints of spice and finished with some bitterness. Happy New Year!!

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
jercraigs (8509) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 31, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 8, 2009 2008-12-06. Dark brown body with a modest khaki head. (3+) Sweet malt aroma, spice is well rounded, nutmeg? (7+) Sweetish flavour has a malty base, nutmeg, spice. (7+) Average plus palate. (3+) Pretty much how I remembered it from previous years! 7+/3+/7+/3+/15-16 = 3.5 <i>2008 Vintage. On tap at Coles, Buffalo</i>

2006 Vintage. Bottle at Volo. Very dark brown-black body with a smallish creamy tan head (3+). Spicy (nutmeg, cinnamon) and sweet malt in the aroma. Flavour is similar to aroma, with the addition of ovaltine/cocoa notes. Nutmeg, very light anise, sweet malt middle. Average palate. Pleasant, but as always with this one I find it hard to wrap my palate around the melange of spice flavours. 7/3+/3/7/14 - 3.4 <P> 2005 Vintage. December 2005. Draft @ Coles in Buffalo. Black body with small creamy tan head. (3+) Sweet malt with abundant but mild spice notes in the aroma. Flavour has lots of nutmeg and something I called anise that may or may not be. Mild nutty notes at some points. Plenty of malt throughout. I enjoyed this a bit more than previous years, but there is still something unharmonious about the whole package that detracts from it for my tastes.6/4/6/3/14 - 3.3


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