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RATINGS: 1830   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.54   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
muzzlehatch (4424) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - NOV 21, 2005
12 oz bottle from Winooski Beverage Warehouse in Winooski, VT. Ruby-flecked dark, hazy molasses with an everlasting immense tan head...as usual, allspice is a dominant component in the nose along with ginger and nutmeg, roasty maltiness, and anise...seems a bit subdued like last yearís and not an aromatic explosion such as 2003...on the tongue, though, this is rather dry like two years ago, with prickly carbonation, some tarry, ashy burnt wood character to go with the creme brulee and light piney hops...right now Iím gonna say this is far from my favorite, though Iím a sucker for this beer and even this yearís is special enough. I suspect a few months will help cut the tarry bitterness to a level thatís more enjoyable.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
bb (6858) - Alamo, California, USA - NOV 21, 2005
Bottle. Rich brown beer with a lt brown head. Malty aroma with christmas/pumpkin pie spices. Body a little thin. Pumpkin pie spice flavor with a bit of roastiness and fruit. Not as goos as years past. Too much ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon - it tastes like a holiday beer kit I brewed last year (and that lasted for too many months).

4
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 21, 2005
Deep garnet / mahogany in color with a dusty tan head and cascading lace. Aroma is delectable, with this seasonís arrangement consisting of pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, anise, pepper, brown sugared sweet potatoes and mince meat pie. Flavor proceeds in a similar fashion, highlighted by plums, prunes and nutmeg. Dry and spicy. Unrefined, pressed cocoa beans meet a chipped walnut shell. Added dark fruit essence is emphasized with mild black strap molasses. Dry, sweet palate load and medium-bodied. Formidably balanced and still suitable for aging. Finishes with unsweetened raisins, prune juice and stark nutmeg. A damn good holiday tradition.

3
   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.

3.8
   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.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
guzzler67 (1509) - 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.

3.7
   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.

4.7
   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.

3.9
   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.

3.6
   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.


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