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RATINGS: 1829   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.54   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 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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
ante (3374) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - NOV 7, 2005
Bottle. Dark ruby brown with firm tan head. Cainnamon, pepper, brown sugar and biiter hops in the aroma. Ginger, cinnamon, nutshells, toffe and hoppy in flavour. Dry spicy finish but feels a bit sweeter than past years vintages.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
scraff (2121) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - NOV 7, 2005
Deep brown and mahogany, thick creamy tan head. Rich nose of gingersnap cookies, toasted caramel, and spruce, with lighter notes of nutmeg and chocolate. Flavor is spiced throughout with ginger, nutmeg and spruce prevalent, some light chocolate tones blended in, with a late soft bitterness rounding it out. Medium to full bodied, soft carbonation, spiced bittersweet finish. Like Hanukkah, err, I mean Christmas in a bottle....

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
mephisto (1268) - TAIWAN - NOV 6, 2005
dark brown w/ a large beige head. nutty coffee aroma, w/ a hint of toffee. full bodied, creamy and smooth. bittersweet, mixed w/ various spice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
PeterLikesBeer (104) - Berwyn Heights, Maryland, USA - NOV 5, 2005
Pours a very dark brown almost black. The head is tan with some red hints in it. Aroma has lots of spices in it. There is some ginger and toffee. There are other aromas as well but I donít know what they are. Flavor is well balanced between sweet and spice. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. I definitly can see myself drinking a lot more of this over the holidays!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
ryan (3186) - Beltsville, Maryland, USA - NOV 5, 2005
UPDATED: FEB 21, 2006 Pours black with red highlights, small tan head. Aroma is loaded with spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, some citrus and toffee. Flavor is a nice balance of sweet and spice, similar to the nose. Texture is smooth and creamy. Nice holiday brew, very well made.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
hopscotch (9161) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - NOV 4, 2005
UPDATED: NOV 22, 2006 2005 Bottle... Clear, way dark, crimson ale with a small, fizzy, tan head. Smells like a combination of black bread and gingerbread. Spicy, gingerbread flavor. Lightly malty. Well-bittered. Balanced nicely. Medium-bodied and creamy with lively carbonation. Tangy, spicy finish. Extremely nice for what it is... a light winter warmer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
ChillCoat (1029) - Concord, California, USA - NOV 3, 2005
UPDATED: NOV 18, 2005 Bottled. Pours almost black with red hues. Frothy tan head. As usual, where do I begin with the aroma? Very Spicy, a bit soapy. A mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, spruce and flowers. The flavor is malty and warm. Spruce again with some orange and spice notes. This continues to be one of my favorite seasonals.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
cvillebeer (134) - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - NOV 3, 2005
Pours like a porter, with a nice tan head. Aromas of roast, spice and hops blend perfectly. The flavor is full and rich, the spices are not overwhelming and finishes surprisingly dry and bitter. If I remember, it seems similar to last years- good. I like dry and bitter, and this has some sweetness to balance it out.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
dwyerpg (4566) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - NOV 3, 2005
Nutmeg and cinnamon just dominate the aroma. A dark appearance will make you suprised at how relatively light it is. Certainly better than the 2003, it still isnít one of my favorite winter brews. I do wish I had tried the 2004 though (didnít realize they would each be getting their own category now).

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