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RATINGS: 1825   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 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.


3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
thedm (4935) - Fort Wayne, USA - NOV 18, 2005
This bottled brew poured a medium sized head of foamy light brown colored fine to medium sized mostly lasting bubbles that left behind a carbonated very dark ruby red brown colored body that was only transparent around its edges and a good lacing. The aroma was malty with brown malt, a light mild cherry and a mild spice note. The mouth feel is initially tingly and fades in the finish. The flavor contained a mild off note at the start but later flowed into a malty deep caramel malt hoppy slightly medicinal note. A true winter warmer yet only semi vinous.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
atpayne (615) - Zionsville, Indiana, USA - NOV 17, 2005
Pours deep brown with some amber red colors. Settles nearly black beneath a taill darker tan head. The aroma is noticable from a distance as earthy and spiced. A close snif reveals a full rich beer. Sweet malts and spicet tones dominate. Nutmeg and cinnamon are there. Roasted malts and spices are heavenly. Wonderfully assembled flavors. Malts linger and leave a roasted tongue while sweetness proceeds and a nutmeg flavor follows. Great earthy malts, spices, and hops. Rounded out with sweet malts and a chocolatey malt on the finish. A really great beer that I look forward to each year.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
11026 (1772) - Alabama, USA - NOV 16, 2005
Bottle. Pours a very deep brown color with just the barest hint of ruby showing through when backlit. Fantastic light brown head forms, very dense and composed of tiny uniformed shaped bubbles and never really fades away. Nice spice aroma with nutmeg and cinnamon being the dominant things I pick up. Lighter bodied, a touch thin and watery at times. Nicely done spice additions play well in flavor. Nutmeg, cinnamon and perhaps clove. Light dry hops in the finish. Other than mouthfeel this was a spectacular beer.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
TheBeerGod (5218) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - NOV 15, 2005
Bottle. Pours a ruddy murky brown with a fluffy tan head. Nose is slightly earthy, with dusty cocoa notes, light nutmeg, hint of cinnamon and light hops. Many other spices in there, but I can’t seem to discern the others. Taste brings forth spiced cakes, light oatmeal cookies, brown sugar oatmeal, powdered milk and cocoa. Lots of spice throughout the taste as well - clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Body is medium with a creaminess about it despite the full carbonation feel at times. Finishes with lots of spices, cocoa, light herbs, piney hops, and oatmeal cookie notes. Very nice this year. Brings out the holidays indeed!

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
BückDich (5464) - McCall, Idaho, USA - NOV 13, 2005
Very pretty ruby crimson color through the light, pellucid with an otherwise unassuming dark asphalt color. The head is off-white, nearly tan; fizzy, non-retentive. Moderate lacing. Nose of light dark cocoa/chocolate and piney fruity herbs and hops. The flavor is bright up front with zesty hops then mellows to a large chewy body of mainly chocolate and other lightly roasted malts and light cloved orange notes. The finish is a bit much for my palate, seems to just dance over it like water on a hot skillet. Very nice edition of this seasonal gem.

4.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
beerguy101 (5278) - Newark, California, USA - NOV 13, 2005
I always know when the holiday season is here when I spot this beer on the shelves. Has it really been 31 years that they have been making this gem? This Christmas Ale pours a dark brown color from a 12 oz bottle. Medium sized white foamy head. Aroma is nutmeg, cinnamon and orange peel. There are other aromas in there as well as some hop aromas but I need a better nose then mine to pick them out. A medium bodied ale. Malts are chocolate and semi sweet. Hops are citrusy. But the spices dominate the flavor with nutmeg, cinnamon, orange peel, chocolate and raisins. Yet with all those spices it has a nice fruity finish. This has all the indication of being an excellent brew this year. Will need to get a couple of 6 packs to age and let mellow. Oh, and this year’s tree is Quercus Agrifolia. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

3.9
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
y0cola (361) - fremont, California, USA - NOV 12, 2005
aroma is spicy. like a cinnamon roll. this beer is fucking delish. taste is rum-like and carroty. beatiful black baby of mine.

3.9
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
joergen (20640) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - NOV 12, 2005
Clear brown coloured with a beige head. Aroma of liquorice, chocolate and spices with notes of orange peel. Flavour of liquorice and chocolate with notes of spices and orange peel. The palate is a bit watery.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
larsniclas (5586) - Billdal, SWEDEN - NOV 12, 2005
Bottled. Dark amber wih a small, beige head. Fresh, rather hoppy aroma with chocolate, raisins and coffee. Fresh and fizzy palate. Chocolate, raisins, figs, coffee. Rather bitter finish.

4.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
bigrond (1475) - factoryville, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 11, 2005
UPDATED: NOV 30, 2006 this beer is great, I wait all year for it. always forget what it tasted like and every year it’s a little different anyway!! it perfect. Spicy aroma, nutmeg I think- -WOW this is the best I can remmember. HA HA. very good mouthfeel and very nice subtle aftertaste not overpowering but lingering nonetheless


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