on tap

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RATINGS: 1946   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
ElGaucho (2285) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - DEC 20, 2005
Draught at brewery. Strong nutmeg aroma. Smells like egg nog, without the egg. Dark, dark reddish black in color, almost opaque with an off-white head. Not much lace. Initially disappointing. Salty and nutmegg. Similar to egg nog, but not as good. Definitely tastes like a holiday beer, and does a good job in that regard, but not as good as previous vintages. A description from an article in Celebrator magazine indicated allspice notes; although I didn’t detect that initially, I wouldn’t disagree.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
TBone (13711) - Pori, FINLAND - DEC 20, 2005
Bottled (BB 09/2007)
Very dark brown, small tanned head. American hoppy, slightly roasted malty nose. Malty, hoppy, easy to drink, some roasted flavors and hints of spices. Good malt and hop profile, that is.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ZOSOMAN12020 (28) - Malta, New York, USA - DEC 20, 2005
Just bought this years’ to compare to a bottle left from 2002. The 2002 vintage aged very well and compared quite favorably to the 2005. Would definitely lay down this beer as it is one that shows true improvement with aging(unlike Sierra Celebration).

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
bugpilot (5) - Brisbane, California, USA - DEC 19, 2005 does not count
Smells wonderful and has a dark cola-like appearance. Serve ice cold in a mug or glass for the full effect of this tasty ale! I was quite suprised by it’s mellow spices, and the finish was cool and inviting of another sip. Definatley a must try on a cold winters night!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
wattsdog (11) - Maryland, USA - DEC 19, 2005
A dark beer with a big creamy head like a stout. Has a malty aroma with a hint of spices. Has a good smooth taste with a hint of holyday spices to it. overall a very good holyday beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
bourne (161) - Suwon, SOUTH KOREA - DEC 19, 2005
on tap in san fran or in bottle in maryland. dark black with very small light brown head. light spiceing and a rich indertermineate malt. pretty good stuff.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
ThomasE (5174) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - DEC 19, 2005
Deep reddish colour with a foamy light brown head. malty, light roasted aroma with a faint spicy note and hoppy pine touch. Sweet malty flavor with notes of chocolate, some dark fruit and a dry light spicy finish.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
frankenkitty (1972) - Oak Lawn, Illinois, USA - DEC 19, 2005
A lucious, deep, dark mahogany/red with a rocky tan head. I swear to god this smells like a Christmas tree! A ton of initial pine that settles with cinnamon, prune, plum, chocolate, beef broth and gingerbread/anise cookies... awesome! (I sadly ran across some turpentine notes, otherwise a 10 for aroma.) Flavor is solidly prunish with malts in abundance, but rather one-dimensional after such diverse aromas. A touch of lemony citrus and alcohol to finish. Full-bodied with a dry texture, this beer is currently the definitive Christmas offering in my book this year.

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   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
antzman (315) - Clarksville, Indiana, USA - DEC 18, 2005
Bottle. Pours a deep brown with a bit of amber tint and a thick off white head. The aroma is spicy... caramel malts, nutmeg. The taste is excellent. A bit of chocolate malt, a little clove and cinnamon. A good bit of carbonation, with a medium to heavy mouthfeel. Looking forward to cellering a couple of these to see how they are next year.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Lou18 (1353) - West Paterson, New Jersey, USA - DEC 18, 2005
I really liked this. Warm, fuzzy, fruity and spices. Good smooth brew, not overly spiced.

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