on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1954   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
xproudfoot (750) - Paleolithic, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 24, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 7, 2006 (2005) Bottle. Dark brown with a few bubbles. Smells like xmas spices, red berries, cinammon, bark and twigs. Very aromatic. Tastes like bark, malt, cinnamon hops. Shorter finish. (2006) bottle tasted fairly different, fuller body, more garnet looks, more like eggnog, with plenty of nutmeg.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ross (2125) - weddington, North Carolina, USA - DEC 23, 2005
sweet, spicy smelling - great for a dessert beer. 2004 was slightly less spicy and as intriguing as this one, and i liked this one a bit more. more of what defines an anchor chirtmas beer. awesome brew ,not something to be challanged.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Silphium (3188) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - DEC 23, 2005
Dark brown pour, medium creamy tan head. Interesting aroma, with little anise this time. Instead, chocolate and toasted marshmallows in addition to candy corn are notable. The aroma reminds me a bit of the porter. Tart body with big-time chocolate (bakerís chocolate) and spice (caraway, a touch of anise). Focuses more on the chocolate and roasted malts than previous versions. Thereís even an interesting hint of banana here. This is the best vintage Iíve tried.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
jhliesen (771) - West Melbourne, Florida, USA - DEC 23, 2005
Bottle-My first OSA. Fits in with most other Christmas ale with itís cinnimon, nutmeg and related flavoring. This one is wrapped up in a dark brown pour with a brown creamy head. Nice amount of malt flavoring on the finish. Has me looking forward to 2006!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
MattShizzle (562) - Bernville, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 23, 2005
Very good, as the Anchor holiday beer is every year. Kind of reminds me of a spicy porter this year.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
madsberg (10706) - SÝborg, DENMARK - DEC 23, 2005
Bottled: Red brown head. Quite unclear. Light brown dense head. Sweet liqourice aroma. More subtle than the 04. Flavour of fruits and spices and light chocolate and liqourice. Is quite smooth and subtle, but lacs a little bit compared to the 04. Would like a little more power in the flavours and aromas. Nice one though. Had it both on bottle and tap. Tap is better than the bottle, but I havnít taken notes of my experience.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jujubeast6000 (854) - Houston, Texas, USA - DEC 23, 2005
12oz bottle: Pours a very dark black-brown color, large head, tan in color, good lacing around the edges. Roasted aroma with malts, chocolate, flowers, slight hops. Flavor of malts, sweet, light alcohol, spices, slight bitterness, good carbonation, slightly tannic. Cellaring might do this one good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
tiggmtl (4545) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 22, 2005
Warm gingerbread, molasses and cinnamon in the aroma with some pine-like spiciness and notes of baked apples. Opaque dark brown body is topped by a generous and lasting, dense, pillowy, tan head that sticks to the sides of the glass. Gingerbread character is up front in the flavour with strong floral and fruity notes, pine-like resiny, earthy hops and pleasant dark malt bitterness that lasts in the aftertaste. Not nearly as sweet as the aroma suggests, the flavour is even a bit musty. Medium full body with pleasantly lively effervescence that engages the tongue but is somewhat short lived. While I canít say I like it as much as I did last year, Iím not sure if that is the change in recipe or a change in palate. Tulip glass. Just above fridge temperature. Bottle (Winooski Beverage Warehouse, VT, Dec-05).

   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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
oh6gdx (22528) - 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.

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