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RATINGS: 1829   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.54   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Suttree (5142) - 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.

   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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
HogTownHarry (6101) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - NOV 26, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 26, 2006 Draught. At Cole’s 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 that’s a nit-pick.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
sayravai (4673) - 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 it’s 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.

   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

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
badgerben (4400) - 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 it’s 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.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
MrWalker (926) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - NOV 25, 2005
BIG aroma! Pine, juniper, cinnamon, black pepper, black currant, flower pot dirt. All is reflected in taste plus some chocolate and a deep bitterness that is quite overwhelming.Almost chewable. Probably needs a year to mellow down to be even better. Sharp and long lingering aftertaste that is a little bit sourly.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - NOV 25, 2005
Off comes the cap, and the brew starts bubbling up, but not out...better get into the glass (a St. Bernardus chalice seems best) and get it going! Ebon hued, with a crown of toasted tan, a creamy espresso-tinted 1/4" ring. Sweet nose, vanilla and oak, white chocolate, nuts, maple, pepper, and more...probably...gets deeper as we go in...and I rather like it. Creamy mouthfeel, soft, yet spicy. Warm, easy on the palate, and luxurious. Taste is a mix of vanilla and tree bark, with special secret spices. Syrupy feel kicks in and dominates. Feels breadier, heartier the more we sip. Spice and syrup, vanilla and oak, oh, my...or as we say in Minnesota, "that’s different." Might be one of the tamer OSA’s of my recent memory, but I still like it lots. They’ve yet to disappoint me, year after year. Once again, a unique and highly satisfying winter warmer. Thanks again, Anchor!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Odeed (1776) - Bakersfield, California, USA - NOV 24, 2005
what a nice way to end a thanksgiving day..with a anchor special ale.the 2005 poured a super dark red body with a light brown head.its actually a very nice looking beer.i gathered aromas of ginger bread,cinamon,christmas trees,and caramel malts.the flavor had much of the same with a little earth and carbonation thrown in as well.i noticed the finish was a little on the dry side this year.this is yet another solid year of o.s.a. although i would not say its my favorite.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
ericmc83 (207) - Arkansas, USA - NOV 23, 2005
Aroma is amazing. Spices galore. It is a perfect reminder of what season it is...the aromas I associate with this time of year are captured very well in this brew. The spices I sensed on the nose are slightly less dominant in the flavor. Rather, the flavor is a rich, chewy, chocolate, toffee’ness that collaborates nicely with the spice. This is my first OSA and wow...I’m impressed to say the least.

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