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RATINGS: 2050   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53/5   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 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
tronraner (2459) - Walland, Tennessee, USA - JAN 26, 2006
UPDATED: FEB 1, 2007 Ok, I couldnít stand the 2005 batch, so I tried the 2006 batch to see if I still hate it. I do, but I paid more attention to the details this time, so it warrants a re-rate. The aroma still reminds me of bubblegum right off the bat. The flavor does, too, but Iíll try to break it down. My friend pointed out orange blossom, with which I now agree. There is also clove, anise, tons of sassafrass, candy cinnamon (like the kind they put on apples at the fair), and a very strange sugary note. I drank it without any problem, but I still donít like it.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
DocLock (10000) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 23, 2006
Draft at the Drafting Room. This one pours dep brown. The aroma was chocolatey and spicy, with a gingerbready malt presence. The flavor was like minty, spicy chocolate chip cookie dough dipped in molasses, then pureed. Well done, as usual from these guys.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
SSSteve (4006) - - JAN 21, 2006
UPDATED: NOV 7, 2010 2010. drunk 11/7/10. deep murky brown under a medium frothy tan head. nose of anise and licorice..maybe some figs and raisins. flavor seems more bitter this year, like tonic water. not creamy or malty as i remember. typical spice mix. i have not changed my orginal rating though. 2008. drunk on 9/22/09. dark brown under a large foamy tan head. the usual aroma..maybe a bit sour. someone described the flavor like blackjack gum, which is what i get too. creamy palate. a bit tart this year. still similar to the previous few years. 2007. dark brown with a medium sized orange/tan head. aroma of nutmeg, licorice, anise, other christmas spices. flavor has some dry, roasted black malts and its heavily spiced with the spices from the aroma and ginger. seems very similar to the 2005 version if i remember correctly. maybe a little more chocolate character in this one. same score this year 2005. aroma of nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, anise, chocolate, and licorice. murky dark ruby brown color with a medium sized brown head. flavors are much the same as the aroma. lingering ginger and anise aftertaste. good stuff.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
SpudClampDawg (1029) - Jasper, Indiana, USA - JAN 21, 2006
Murky brown pour. The aroma sums up Xmas beers for me - cinnamon, nutmeg, coffee beans and gingerbread blended beautifully with bready malt. The body is creamy - full of caramel sweetness and holiday spices. The beer turns a bit sour towards the finish, which is a pleasant change of pace. This beer never dissapoints - a great winter sipper.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 9/20
bp (892) - New York, New York, USA - JAN 19, 2006
Very dark brown, aroma reminds me a bit of ginger bread, taste of spices and maybe a bit of coffee, dry finish. This isnít a beer for everyone but if you are open to trying something a little different you shouldnít be disappointed but you wonít be wowed either.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
magicbill (19) - Indiana, USA - JAN 18, 2006
Really liked this beer. Poured clear deep brown with a creamy tan head. Had a magnum bottled. A sweet aroma, butterscotch but the first taste was a surprise. A full bodied taste with almost no sweetness but a fruity, citrus taste with nutmeg. Into the beer the hoppiness came through with just the right touch of bitterness.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
TheOrange (479) - Kent, Ohio, USA - JAN 17, 2006
Deep Dark Brown, not quite black but pretty darn close. THe head is big and foamy with a pinkish tint. Very little aroma. The nose is very lite, not much in the way of hops. But it peeks to a nice mellow malty flavor. There are traces of nutmeg, and coffee. Very unique. A pretty good beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
marcus (9238) - Sacramento, California, USA - JAN 17, 2006
This dark brown ale poured with a nice tan head. The flavor is very malty with a spicy finish. This yearís brew seems maltier and less spicy than most of the previous years.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jcr (2576) - Jasper, Indiana, USA - JAN 16, 2006
Dark brown pour with tight-bubbled head. The nose was filled with spice, molasses and sweet fruits, including banana. The flavor was bready with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and licorice. Thin to medium fizzy body. A note of bitterness in the aftertaste. Finish was moderately long. Above average.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
kfarrnd (113) - Oldsmar, Florida, USA - JAN 14, 2006
Bottle. Poured out a deep, opaque brown almost black, with a very small dark tan head. The aroma is quite spicy and roasty. The flavor was heavy roasted malt, woody cinnamon stick, nutmeg, rich earth, faint hops. Nice and full on the palate. Definitely a fixture in my house for Christmases to come.

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