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RATINGS: 1823   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 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.


3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
temporrari (381) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - NOV 28, 2005
UPDATED: MAR 29, 2008 2005. Real nice brew. The only OSA Iíve had. Great spicy aroma, mostly cinnamon and ginger. It just smells like Christmas. Taste is much the same, spiced with a smooth chocolate roasty finish and lingering aftertaste. This is like a liquid gingersnap cookie. Really good.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JoeMcPhee (8314) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 28, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 20, 2010 2009 bottle. Deep dark brown beer with a very thick sticky pour. Good looking beer. The nose is great. A bright nose of light evergreen resin, a bit of cinnamon, fruity pine and a touch of molasses and dark malts. A kiss of toasted character. Pretty nice rich brew. There is a little bit of rye spice and a kiss of light herbal hoppiness as well. Itís pretty solid. 2008 bottle. Deep dark brown beer with a nice sticky tan head. The nose is quite spicy. A bit of cocoa and soft pine. Cinnamon and nutmeg as well as a bit of light fruitiness. Dusty cocoa and a bit of herbal character. Some light mintiness and a touch of chewy sweetness. Molasses and a bit of toastiness. Some rye and wheaty spice. As it warms the spruce and juniper picks up. Lovely toastiness and a bit of soft spice. Itís lovely. 8 5 8 5 17 2006 bottle. Dark brown/ruby tinted beer with a thick tan head. Aroma is of dark toasted malts, sweet breadiness with loads of fresh ginger and bright fresh cinnamon. There is also a lot of pine/spruce aroma that comes to the fore as the beer warms up. Flavour is malty sweet, toast and whole wheat spiciness, cinnamon and nutneg and ginger. Soft chocolatey malt notes behind the sweet spices as well. Lingering pine flavour and earthy/herbal bitterness. Smells and tastes like Christmas, which I gather was the point. I like this years better than 2005s version. 8 5 8 5 16 2005 bottle. Beautiful deep brown/ruby beer with a thich long-lasting brown head. Sweet caramelly aroma, a bit of toastiness, assertive licorice and even a touch of smokiness. Flavour is quite spicy aroma, bready sweet pudding-like malt and spice backgroung. Cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel with a long sweet and brown sugary finish. Dark cherries and black pepper on the back of the palate as well. Ar 7 Ap 5 Fl 7 Pa 3 Ov 15

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
argo0 (11349) - Washington DC, USA - NOV 27, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 7, 2005 (12-6-05, draft) Clear mahogany body with creamy tan head. Aroma is moderately sweet, nutmeg, some juniper, chocolate, cherry. Taste is medium sweet, nutmeg, cherry, grape, juniper, some molasses, light chocolate. Smooth medium body, very drinkable. Much better than my first time trying it. (7/4/7/4/14)

(11-27-05, bottle) Crystal clear dark red-brown body with nice tan head. Aroma is medium sweet, nutmeg, molasses. Taste is medium sweet, molasses, nutmeg, light earthy, caramel. Watery medium body, light stickiness. (5/5/6/3/11)

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
SB (333) - Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 27, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 4, 2007 From Bottle, PDC@Pittsburgh, PA

2005-Drank from bottle, did get a nice whif of the spicy aroma. First sip brought with it woodsy, earthy flavors, and spices in the aftertones. Very nice, drinkable, smooth going down brew.
2006-From Bottle. Tan pour with some highlights, light tan head, 1-inch thick, creamy looking and laced the glass. Aroma was malty and not as spicy as last year. Flavor was balanced with woody, bready, molassas flavors. Full Bodied. Creamy, smooth mouthfeel.

3.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Suttree (5073) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - NOV 27, 2005
Mahogany, thick tan head. Aroma of licorace and peppermint, plus some molasses. Flavor is the same notes of licorace and peppermint, molasses, vanilla, and more licorace.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
blatantdream (78) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - NOV 26, 2005
On tap at Mugs Ale House in Brooklyn, NY. Pours a deep brownish almost black color with a nice lacing on top. Now this is what I call a Christmas Ale! Tastes of Christmas trees, spicy mulled cider, and all the earthy goodness we relate to Christmas. Nicely toasted malts and fragrant floral hops really rounds out this beer. A big surprise for me how good this was. I hope I can get some more this holiday season.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
HogTownHarry (6063) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - NOV 26, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 26, 2006 Draught. At Coleís in Buffalo NY. As "Anchor Wassail." Poured deep clear dark reddish black with a smallish tan head. Aroma of oily resiny nutmeg, brandy, deep roast malt, roast chestnuts, mildly of coffee - quite bitter too. Taste - wow! - plenty of hops and roasted coffee beans and malt, spices and black pepper, even some sour notes, sour cherry and a hint of vanilla extract. Palate is very dry, perhaps a touch watery, quite involved. Fantastic winter warmer, could be a bit thicker, but thatís a nit-pick.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
sayravai (4667) - Helsinki, FINLAND - NOV 26, 2005
UPDATED: MAR 26, 2008 (Bottles, 2007) Very spicy, sweetish-liquourish aroma with lots of anise, and several Xmas spices. Hard to believe from the aroma, that itís only 5.5%. Dryish-malty flavor with more spices and a dry, lightly ashy finish. Medium-bodied, slightly foamy palate. A nice and Xmasy brew with pleasantly low ABV. (Bottled, 2005, was 8-4-8-4-15=3.9) Deep dark red color with a small, tanned head. Very strongly spicy aroma of lavender, cinnamon, cloves, rye-pudding, orange-peel, raisins and plums. Neutral flavor of cinnamon, cloves, tar, rye-pudding, plums, oranges, bitter hops. Dry-sourish and bitter, peppery-spicy finish. Medium to full-bodied, bitter, smooth-carbonated palate. An extremely spicy, but still quite well balanced and enjoyable brew.

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
auto (163) - California, USA - NOV 25, 2005
flavour is kind of bland. looks alright i guess. light brown head and dark color. i dont know its just kind of boring. fools need to step up their beer game

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
badgerben (4386) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - NOV 25, 2005
Black color with a few tints of ruby on the edges; medium tan head. Aroma is ladden with pine, allspice, cloves and cinnamon. Mmmmmmm... Allspice is the dominant spice in the flavor. A moderate amount of hop bitterness. Decent malt base. The pine flavor drifts in the background, but itís not an IIPA kind of pine. This is more like the aroma of the Minnesota/Wisconsin Northwoods in the winter, only as a taste. Damn I love this beer.


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