on tap

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RATINGS: 1962   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 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
lamas (1468) - 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. Anchorís best, year after year.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
TomDecapolis (4618) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Ughsmash (7408) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 21, 2005
Bottled. Poured a beautiful clear, deep garnet with a 1" initial beige head (didnít 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
hopdog (10105) - 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.

   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

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
ElGaucho (2320) - 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 didnít detect that initially, I wouldnít disagree.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
TBone (14611) - 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 yearsí 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 itís mellow spices, and the finish was cool and inviting of another sip. Definatley a must try on a cold winters night!

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