ontario102 (794) - Boise, Idaho, USA - NOV 23, 2005
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Spicey cinnamon and nutmeg nose, malt; woody chocolate and lightly piney hop flavor; notes of ginger and fruit cake; some creosote and peppery notes; well balanced.
Lumpy (1802) - Carrollton, Texas, USA - NOV 23, 2005
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. Dark almandine body with a thick foamy head. Nose-smells like a really malty saison-lavender, heather, chamomille. Taste-clove, char, licorice, very light smoke (more of a byproduct of the char flavor), and roasted marshmallows. A lttle too thin and watery, which allows the charred flavor to really come up and bite you. Not the best OSA I have had. I will need to try this one again after it has sat in the cellar for a little while. Palate loses points because it is both watery and acrid at the same time.
KAggie97 (3529) - Ugly, Hot, and Humid Spring, Texas, USA - NOV 23, 2005
2.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
UPDATED: JAN 12, 2007 2005 Bottle
Pours a beautiful black brown with a thick head of tan. Aroma has hints of smoke, plum, and nutmeg. Flavor is like a dull barleywine, with a tinge of smoke and mulling spices. Interesting beer. As it warms, the flavors become more defined and complex. Smoke becoming more prominent as the minutes tick by. A tinge of citrus seems to be trying to poke its head through the fog of flavors, but it never really ascertains itself. Clove is becoming prominent, and I seem to be detecting some roasted malt in there as well. However, the flavors are now dulling in intensity, and Iím left with a typical seasonal that lacks punch. Palate is too watery; needs thickness to give the taste more assertiveness. Iím not quite impressed with this one.
2006 Bottle: Aroma is melted pennies offset by a peachy spice. Deep mohagony black with a frothy head and nice lacing. Slight smoke flavor followed by roasted chocolate; a tinge of cinammon emerges as it warms. Full and coating mouthfeel with a dry finish. Stinks but it tastes great.
ChristianSA (368) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - NOV 23, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Very dark chestnut with huge, tan and very stable head, dragging excellent lace. Aroma is awesome with the spices being in your face without being overpowering. I get licorice, clove
, cinnamon and worchestershire sauce. Flavor is lightly roasted and malty with a long roasted aftertaste. The spices are only barely noticeable - just as I like my spiced beers. A bit watery in the mouth and a bit too fizzy, but not enough to distract you from the qualities of this brew. Very good for a spiced beer.
hippie4beer (162) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - NOV 22, 2005
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle.Pours a black ruby color with a large tan head. Great lacing on the glass. Aroma of fruity chocolate with notes of spice. Flavor is strange; chocolate and fruit maybe, with notes of alcohol on the finish ... different, but great. Mouth feel is slightly carbonated with a silky body. Good winter brew!
Veer (362) - Landskrona, SWEDEN - NOV 22, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: DEC 6, 2007 2007:
Aroma: sweet, nectar, lilac, dark malts, sweet yoghurt, woodland strawberry, distinct floweriness and sourishness. Absolutely wonderful.
Flavour: very balanced, sweet, malty with a sourish bitterness. Absolutely outstanding. Honey, roasted malt and long, powerful aftertaste. Some chocolate-like flavours can be sensed in the malt and some bitter almond-funkiness aswell (probably from the hops). Flowery. If it only were a bit heavierÖ
Appearance: superdark red towards brownish black with yellowish-beige, fine head leaving a smooth film.
Palate: wonderful, thick. Perhaps a bit more carbonation than Iíd wish for, but overall very good, especially for such a light beer.
Aroma (8): wonderful, nectar, lilac, smoky, wort, chocolate, malt, honey. Good, fresh hops.
Appearance(4): extremely dark brown, beige yellow head - fluffy w/ fine bubbles.
Flavour(7): perfect balance between sweetness and bitterness, slightly sourish, good hopflavour, slightly papery.
Palate(4): soft, fluffy, slimy, some stinging co2 that cuts through.
Overall: 15 - Total: 3.8
Aroma (9): malt, nectar, honey (as in yoghurt), lilac, hops, wild strawberry, wortbread, chocolate toffee.
Appearance (4): Dark, dark, dark brown w/ beige yellow head.
Flavour (8): Sweet, wort, malty, bitter, wonderful, well balanced.
Mouthfeel (4): refreshing, cooling, warming for the soul, rich.
Overall: 16 - Total: 4.1
5000 (5984) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - NOV 21, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle: Dark chocolate in color, beige head, foamy, nice lacing. † Cocoa, slight coffee, chocolate, herbish, with a either the white or black Necco wafer on the nose. † Necco wafer tainted malty start with fairly sweet chocolaty finish. † Not many brews like this one. † Definitely herbish, and also has a bit of licorice or anise. † Very interesting. † Body is fairly nice, mouthfeel seems moderate. † Long finish of those Necco wafers. † Good thing for Anchor is that I really like Necco wafers. † Good, and very different.   Very similar to last year, but a bit more flavorful I think.
JPDIPSO (4956) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 21, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark chestnut color with a moderate rolling tan hills head. Lots of nutmeg in the aroma. Light allspice and ginger mix with pumpkins and lightly toasted malt in the background. Some licorice come out as it warms further. Vanilla seems to dominate the first taste. Middle returns to some malts and only a touch of ginger. Darker malts come out late in the quaff and linger in the finish. My fifth of the six. My appreciation of this brew has grown slightly with each one. The first really seemed thin to me, and while I donít think this is as thick and full as some of the past efforts, it still does have a nice winter coat feel. Linger returns to pale malts. Still an enjoyable brew after all these years.
Metalhead (622) - Lake Zurich, Illinois, USA - NOV 21, 2005
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Deep mahagony pour,short lived almost non existant head. Very subtle aroma of x-mas spices and slight sweet maltiness. Spices are these but not in yer face,mild malt,good mouthfeel but still too subtlefor my taste. This beer is usually overrated and this year it is again.
muzzlehatch (4424) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - NOV 21, 2005
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
12 oz bottle from Winooski Beverage Warehouse in Winooski, VT. Ruby-flecked dark, hazy molasses with an everlasting immense tan head...as usual, allspice is a dominant component in the nose along with ginger and nutmeg, roasty maltiness, and anise...seems a bit subdued like last yearís and not an aromatic explosion such as 2003...on the tongue, though, this is rather dry like two years ago, with prickly carbonation, some tarry, ashy burnt wood character to go with the creme brulee and light piney hops...right now Iím gonna say this is far from my favorite, though Iím a sucker for this beer and even this yearís is special enough. I suspect a few months will help cut the tarry bitterness to a level thatís more enjoyable.