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RATINGS: 1827   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 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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
BeerRules (243) - Houston, Texas, USA - NOV 21, 2005
Cola colored with ruby edges, pillowy beige head. Aroma dominated by holiday spices. Man I really dont llike these spiced up beers, but aside from the spices which I dont like, the beer is good.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
biz82 (1328) - austin, Texas, USA - NOV 20, 2005
Deep mahagony color, thin creamy tan head. Licorice and cola aroma with some sasparilla and spruce. Rich mouthfeel, though not as full as some other years. Flavors of nutmeg, cola some spruce and a hint of hops. Dusty, relatively dry and slightly astringent finish. Thereís no mistaking this beer and it is welcomed warmly each year.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
guzzler67 (1501) - Hanover, Maryland, USA - NOV 20, 2005
Dark mocha appearance with a quick fading, tan head. Gingerbread aroma with a touch of licorice. Well carbonated, medium-bodied mouthfeel. Ginger, cinnamon and other seasonal spices in the taste. Dry, bitter but not harsh. Did not notice any sweetness as I had in previous yearsí. Earthy, lasting finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
bethmatt0421 (337) - Covington, Kentucky, USA - NOV 20, 2005
UPDATED: NOV 29, 2008 2008. slightly malty, pines, cinnamon, nutmeg. Typical christmas ale, only a little bit better. I always expect a bit more from this brewer, and they delivered on this one. Great seasonal.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
b7j0c (10) - USA - NOV 20, 2005
I really look forward to this release, and 2005 is no exception. Pours dark, nearly opaque with a beige head that diffuses quickly. Full body and spicy. One of my favorite beers.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
RedHaze (371) - Where the hell am I?, Nebraska, USA - NOV 19, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 15, 2006 Pours a really nice ruby/brown with a two finger tan head that fades slowly to a nice cap, and leaves tons of lacing on the sides of my glass as I drink it. Smell; cinnamon, nutmeg, a bit of chocolate and a little pine tree. It smells sweet, and the spices definitely make me think of the holidays. Taste; the spices hit first, cinnamon and ginger, caramel, a little bit of pine tree, and just enough of a hop bite to it. I also get a little vanlla as it gets warmer. Itís not as sweet as the smell would have led me to believe, which Iím thankful for. Mouthfeel is medium to full in body, and very smooth. I find that I have to make myself slow down a little as I drink this. I picked up a bottel to try since Iíve never had this before, now Iím going to have to go out and get more.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Dalle (1145) - SkÝrping, DENMARK - NOV 19, 2005
Bottle. Dark brown with short lasting beige-brown head. Dried ginger, nutmeg, liqourice, rasted coffee beans, slightly medicinal, malty and bitter finish. Full flavored, medium bodied, solid christmas ale.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
ElBorracho (472) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 19, 2005
On tap at The Village Tap. Poured nice and dark with a thin head. Lots of coffee, burnt wood, clove, and other spices. Finishes with a really nice hop kick that really makes this one stand out. This is good one that makes the impending cold a bit easier to take.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
PorterPounder (5540) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - NOV 19, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 22, 2006 Marcello Wine Market, Baton Rouge, La. - 12 oz bottle. Pours a dark purple, almost jet black, with a tight, but long lasting khaki colored head. Aroma is spicy. Hints of licorice, coffee, some Karbona spot remover. Flavor is of course spicy and Christmasy. This year, I pick up a definite strain of Horehound candy. The old fashioned kind you find in old General Stores. Hints of licorice and Christmas spice as well. Mouthfeel is a tad thinner than expected. Good winter warmer. 2006 - (saving for future reference in case it becomes an actual entry). Dark purple pour - close to black tar, with a tight, but long lasting off-white colored head. Aroma is Christmasy spicy. Hints of peppermint in the aroma, some Karbona spot remover as well. Flavor is of course spicy and Christmasy. This year, I pick up a definite strain of peppermint candy - but not very pronounce. Brief hints of licorice and Christmas spice as well. Mouthfeel, like last year is a tad thinner than expected. Decent - but not as dood as 2005ís. 7 4 6 3 14 = 3.5

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
Kevin (2078) - New Mexico, USA - NOV 19, 2005
very dark almost black pour with a nice grey head. cinnamon cookie aroma with some maple syrup nutmeg is a major player here. first thing i noticed was not the flavor, but how thin this was. that surprises me. some bitter sweet cocoa floats around with some almond notes. nutmeg, and sugar cookie fill in the rest. iím glad the seaonals are here.

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