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RATINGS: 1946   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53   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.


3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Mungo (2471) - Southampton, Hampshire, ENGLAND - DEC 21, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 7, 2006 Dec 06 2006 Bottle. Darkly coloured. Much more obviously spiced prominent allspice with sprucey hops. To taste a thin ginger flavour is present similar to the taste I produced by overboiling root ginger in a beer. I didnt like this as much as last year - not as subtly drinkable. 3.2
Dec 05 2005 Bottle. Deep brown colour with tan head. Malty liquorice and brown sugar. Malt focused but not overdone. Delicately spiced to add subtle interest and rounds of the edges with slight piney hints. Simple and quite elegant

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
hopdog (9642) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 21, 2005
On tap. Poured a darker reddish-brown color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of caramel, light spices and pine. Tastes pretty much the same with roasted malts.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
balke13 (156) - MIssoula, Montana, USA - DEC 22, 2005
Bottle. Poured a very dark brown w/lively tan head. Cinnamon, clove, anise, carmel, and pumpkin all permeate from the lip of the glass...quite inviting. The body is both slightly thin yet smooth with a strong anise and cinnamon flavor with hints of brown sugar and a spicy finish.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
oh6gdx (22105) - Vasa, FINLAND - DEC 22, 2005
UPDATED: NOV 9, 2012 Bottled (2005 Vintage). Dark brown colour, small beige head. Aroma is spicy, fruity and malty. Plummy and malty flavour with spices kicking in. Spicy finish and aftertaste. 8 4 7 3 15.

Bottled (2006 Vintage). Deep brown colour, mediumsized brown fluffy head. Aroma is caramel malts, plum,some sour wood as well as mild spicy notes. Flavour is sweet malts, some fruits, mild raisins and mild smoked sour wooden notes as well. 7 4 7 3 14

Bottled (2007 Vintage, thanks omhper). Deep ruby brown colour with small beige head. Aroma is raisins, sweet malts, along with spices and some mild notes of yeast. Flavour is bready malts with some spices and raisins as well as yeastyness. Also some dark dry fruits in it. The aftertaste is fruits and quite richly roasted malts. 7 4 7 4 15.

Bottled (2008 vintage). Deep rubyish brown, close to black, colour, mediumsized beigeish brown head, that leaves some lace. Aroma is spices, caramel malts and quite strong licorice and coffeeish notes. Flavour is spices, caramel malts, mild leather as well as licorice. Feels like it needs a bit mellowing to get more balanced. 6 4 6 3 12

Bottled (2009 vintage, thanks omhper). Deep amber colour, small brown head. Aroma is fruits, spices, plum, vanilla and some mild notes of berries. Flavour is liquorice, fruits, wood, spices and some mild wooden notes. Quite sticky palate. 7 4 7 3 14.

Bottled (2010 vintage, from Alko). Very deep ruby red colour, mediumsized beigeish brown head. Aroma is lots of spices, some mild dark fruits, raisins, toffee/fudge and some herbal notes. Flavour is spices, plum, raisins, mild alcohol, some fudge and red berries. 9 4 7 3 16.

Bottled (2011 vintage, from Alko, as MC & HNY 2011). Very deep ruby red colour, mediumsized brown head that leaves nice lace. Aroma is toffee, spices, some butter scotch and mild red wine like notes. Flavour is ashes, mild sour wooden notes as well as quite strong bitterness with raisins, plum and spices as well. 7 5 7 3 14.

Bottled (2012 vintage, from Alko, as MC & HNY 2012). Very deep rubyish black colour with a nice creamy beige head. Aroma is spices, some ripe fruits, mild toffee, plum and mild toasted notes. Flavour is ripe fruits, some toffee, mild bitter floral notes as well as some slight spicyness. 8 5 7 4 16.

3.7
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Sregnar35 (1020) - Rotterdam, New York, USA - DEC 22, 2005
Sweet molasses smell, along with nutmeg and cinnamon. Awesome dark brown-red color with a great lasting head. Flavor is biting at first, but has a good malt washout to balance the bite.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
lamas (1434) - Washington DC, USA - DEC 21, 2005
Bottle. Bottled on: 10/04/05. A clear ruby pour with a thick mocha head that leaves some lace. Lots of cinnamon and nutmeg along with some anise, cocoa and caramel in the aroma. Pretty nicely balanced with a solid malty base and a bit of bitter hops in the finish. Medium to thin-bodied. Lots of fresh cinnamon sticks and spices are upfront. Cocoa and some coffee follow. Starts off sweet, then mellows nicely. Anchor’s best, year after year.

2.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
screwball (1099) - Motala, SWEDEN - DEC 22, 2005
Has a red-black colour. A off-white head. The aroma is sooo much better than the flavor. The flavor is soure and has some hints of coffee.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
TomDecapolis (4609) - Milton, Delaware, USA - DEC 21, 2005
UPDATED: NOV 29, 2006 On tap at the Drafting Room in Springhouse. Also had the 2004 on tap this night. Pours a dark brown with a nicely lacing tan head. Aroma is light with some nutmeg, licorice, caramel and piney hops. Flavor of the same with a nice malt/hop balance. 2006 - Pours a dark brown with ruby when held to the light. Average off white head. Aroma of caramel, toffee, ginger, some butterscotch and vanilla. Flavor was lots of ginger...gingerbread cookies anyone? Vanilla, malty, very light hop presence and very spicy flavor. All the years for this beer should be broken out on Rate Beer. They change them enough to justify new ratings.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
fatty (363) - Perkiomenville, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 22, 2005
Deep mahogany brown with thick foamy tan head. Sweet aroma of dark fruit, brown sugar, molasses, soy sauce. Sweet fruit, cherry flavor with brown sugar malt background. Smooth palate.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Ughsmash (7331) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 21, 2005
Bottled. Poured a beautiful clear, deep garnet with a 1" initial beige head (didn’t stick around for too long). Nose of mulled spices (clove, anise, ginger, nutmeg, and others), roasted caramel, and brown sugar... very Christmasy (or holiday-ey for some of youse guys). Flavor followed suit, but a little shy on the roastiness and a little heavy on the spices. Solid amount of nutmeg, some cinnamon, earth, and anise on the finish. Enjoyed it.


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