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RATINGS: 1879   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.


2.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
Magjayran (1379) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - NOV 30, 2005
Pours a dark brown color with a thick tan head. I get nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger in the aroma with a faint bitterness that I have a hard time describing. The flavor has some cinnamon/sugar and nutmeg along with way too much ginger that is harsh and overbearing. Rocky mouthfeel and a taste that actually gets harder to deal with as it gets warmer. One day I will try to age on of these in magnum form and maybe Iíll like it when itís a few years old. Iíve never been overly impressed with this one fresh.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
DrnkMcDermott (2835) - Downers Grove, Illinois, USA - NOV 29, 2005
UPDATED: JUL 30, 2008 12 oz. 2005 bottle, rated "live." Very promising start. Opens with a sweet smell of cinnamon, vanilla, raspberries and mulling spices. Pours a deep ruby red with a ocher head. Taste is a heady melange of spices, with nothing dominating. I can point out impressions of sassafras, orange peel, nut roast malts, red wine, ginger, nutmeg, maybe the slightest hint of red pepper. What hops I find help tilt it to the earthy side. A fine festive brew, light on alcohol as holiday beers go, for the enjoyment of all!

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
pfr (121) - KÝbenhavn, DENMARK - NOV 29, 2005
Draft Color - Red/Dark Brown Head - Long Beige Aroma - Fruit, Sweet, Pumpkin, Flowers Flavor - Light, Littel bitterness, sweet ? - Good Beer

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
blankboy (6263) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 29, 2005
Draught at Coleís, Buffalo NY. Pours black with ruby hues and a small diminishing off-white head. Aroma of Xmas spices, brandy, hops, roasted malt and molasses. Flavour is predominently Xmas spices followed by sweet malt, sugar and a slight hop bitterness. Bodyís a little thin. Itís pretty good but itís also quite sweet, I can only handle it in small doses

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
BitchesBrew (715) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - NOV 28, 2005
[bottle] Pours a deep, dark brown color. Tan head that fades out quickly and leaves a little rim around the glass. Aroma is sweet and spicy. Taste is a lot of sweet molasses, roasted malts great spices. This is the first Anchor Iíve had- I am impressed.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
ukoolaid (576) - Amherst, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 28, 2005
On tap. Pours a dark chestnut brown with some deep reds. Very nice. Aroma is dark molasses, nutty, earthy, slightly sweet. Taste is medium sweet with lots of spices. Nutmeg, cinnimon, bitter orange, dark malts, slight roast. Very interesting. Very good.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
temporrari (384) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - NOV 28, 2005
UPDATED: MAR 29, 2008 2005. Real nice brew. The only OSA Iíve had. Great spicy aroma, mostly cinnamon and ginger. It just smells like Christmas. Taste is much the same, spiced with a smooth chocolate roasty finish and lingering aftertaste. This is like a liquid gingersnap cookie. Really good.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JoeMcPhee (8551) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 28, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 20, 2010 2009 bottle. Deep dark brown beer with a very thick sticky pour. Good looking beer. The nose is great. A bright nose of light evergreen resin, a bit of cinnamon, fruity pine and a touch of molasses and dark malts. A kiss of toasted character. Pretty nice rich brew. There is a little bit of rye spice and a kiss of light herbal hoppiness as well. Itís pretty solid. 2008 bottle. Deep dark brown beer with a nice sticky tan head. The nose is quite spicy. A bit of cocoa and soft pine. Cinnamon and nutmeg as well as a bit of light fruitiness. Dusty cocoa and a bit of herbal character. Some light mintiness and a touch of chewy sweetness. Molasses and a bit of toastiness. Some rye and wheaty spice. As it warms the spruce and juniper picks up. Lovely toastiness and a bit of soft spice. Itís lovely. 8 5 8 5 17 2006 bottle. Dark brown/ruby tinted beer with a thick tan head. Aroma is of dark toasted malts, sweet breadiness with loads of fresh ginger and bright fresh cinnamon. There is also a lot of pine/spruce aroma that comes to the fore as the beer warms up. Flavour is malty sweet, toast and whole wheat spiciness, cinnamon and nutneg and ginger. Soft chocolatey malt notes behind the sweet spices as well. Lingering pine flavour and earthy/herbal bitterness. Smells and tastes like Christmas, which I gather was the point. I like this years better than 2005s version. 8 5 8 5 16 2005 bottle. Beautiful deep brown/ruby beer with a thich long-lasting brown head. Sweet caramelly aroma, a bit of toastiness, assertive licorice and even a touch of smokiness. Flavour is quite spicy aroma, bready sweet pudding-like malt and spice backgroung. Cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel with a long sweet and brown sugary finish. Dark cherries and black pepper on the back of the palate as well. Ar 7 Ap 5 Fl 7 Pa 3 Ov 15

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
argo0 (11636) - Washington DC, USA - NOV 27, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 7, 2005 (12-6-05, draft) Clear mahogany body with creamy tan head. Aroma is moderately sweet, nutmeg, some juniper, chocolate, cherry. Taste is medium sweet, nutmeg, cherry, grape, juniper, some molasses, light chocolate. Smooth medium body, very drinkable. Much better than my first time trying it. (7/4/7/4/14)

(11-27-05, bottle) Crystal clear dark red-brown body with nice tan head. Aroma is medium sweet, nutmeg, molasses. Taste is medium sweet, molasses, nutmeg, light earthy, caramel. Watery medium body, light stickiness. (5/5/6/3/11)

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
SB (333) - Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 27, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 4, 2007 From Bottle, PDC@Pittsburgh, PA

2005-Drank from bottle, did get a nice whif of the spicy aroma. First sip brought with it woodsy, earthy flavors, and spices in the aftertones. Very nice, drinkable, smooth going down brew.
2006-From Bottle. Tan pour with some highlights, light tan head, 1-inch thick, creamy looking and laced the glass. Aroma was malty and not as spicy as last year. Flavor was balanced with woody, bready, molassas flavors. Full Bodied. Creamy, smooth mouthfeel.


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