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RATINGS: 1946   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
matta (1140) - Tampa, Florida, USA - DEC 13, 2005
Dark cola like body… lots of anis in the aroma and flavor; Kind of reminded me of Jägermeister mixed with Coca Cola. A bit nutty but with and some watery coffee bitterness in the finish… More herbal notes of juniper berry, ginger root, rosemary, lots of evergreen pine likeness. This years vintage was a strange release overall. - The palate is rather watery for this beer, judged by past vintages, but like I mentioned, somewhat like a watered down and spritzy Jäger.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Mads Langtved (2244) - Copenhagen K, DENMARK - DEC 13, 2005
Dark, nut brown head. Quite sweet and malty. A significant amount of bitterness in the finish. Nice complex brew, with a lot of xmas in it.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
HopheadHans (804) - Bay Area, California, USA - DEC 13, 2005
Pours very dark with a nice brown head. The aroma is of spices and nuts with a hint of gingerbread I would say. The flavor is more of a nutty, gingerbread kind - this makes the beer somewhat sticky. Not my favorite Holiday ale.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
MI2CA (1340) - Noblesville, Indiana, USA - DEC 13, 2005
12oz - Aroma is carmel malt, toffee, molasses, and spice. Pours cola black with a huge brown head and great lacing. Flavor is milder than aroma. Similar characteristics but the spice is more pronounced. Palate is tart, syrupy, and sticky. A nice fireside brew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Rballs01 (282) - Madison, New Jersey, USA - DEC 12, 2005
Delicious as usual. A wee bit lighter this year from the previous. Poured a deep dark auburn. The flavor was malty and silky smooth in texture with a hint if some unknown flavor. This holiday ale is another priceless work of art. However, as I do every year put one away, preferably a 1.5L bottle and let it sit until next Christmas and no longer. One year tops and it’s even more delicious!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
DrBayern (1139) - Morehead City, North Carolina, USA - DEC 12, 2005
Dark mahogany, pretty nice tan head that dissolved to a thin layer that lasted to the bottom of the glass. Nose is caramel and spice. Medium body, sweet malty flavor with some dark fruity and spicy highlights. Stays pretty sweet, although not cloying, through the finish. Drinkable, and not overdone like many "holiday" beers which often hit you over the head with spices. This is more subtly done.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 8/20
acertain (249) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 12, 2005
I just didn’t get the enjoyment from this beer that others have. To me, the dominant flavor was bubblegum. Like from trading cards....

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
KSS (102) - Plymouth, Minnesota, USA - DEC 12, 2005
Poured from the bottle dark brown with a hint of red highlights. Nice big head with good lacing. I picked up tastes and aromas of coffee, cherry, raisin, prune, licorice. Sweet, spicy taste characteristics. A little more smooth and subtle to the Summit Winter Ale that I compared it to.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Crash (532) - Macomb, Illinois, USA - DEC 12, 2005
Poured a dark brown/black with a little head and good lacing. There wasn’t much aroma or at least I didn’t catch it. I didn’t get much in the way of spices and judging from others, I wonder if I got a bad bottle.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 6/20
beaconstreet (811) - Washington DC, USA - DEC 12, 2005
Raisins, sir, raisins! And a syrupy yeasty taste. Unimpressed for their special ale. SAIS happy hour, Johns Hopkins University in Washington. Bartended.

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