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RATINGS: 1926   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 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 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
beerbill (3564) - Laurel, New York, USA - DEC 8, 2005
Bottle. Pours a very deep ruby red with a thick, creamy tan head. Looks great in the glass. Heavy spice aroma which is terrific. Flavor is a combination of spices including nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Also some roasted malt flavor comes through. A little heavily dominated by the nutmeg and cinammon for my taste, but otherwise a very nice winter ale.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
JCapriotti (1379) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 7, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 24, 2005 Dark brown color with ruby hints. Initially large fluffy brown head. Fades fast. Malty "beer" molasses and spices. Dry sugar and spice flavor. Cardamom coffee.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
gearbike (512) - West Bloomfield, Michigan, USA - DEC 7, 2005
Dark ruby with a small head from the bottle. I could not place what I now read as the spice/herb/vegetable. Iím still not sure of what that is. A little dry but it grows on you.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
BradF (1) - USA - DEC 7, 2005 does not count
Dark red color with tan head. Smells of nutmeng with hints of spruce. Roasted bitter malt flavors complimented nutmeg/spices with hints of molasses. Bitter dry finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
sneagrams3 (2337) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - DEC 7, 2005
12z bottle. Dark, deep brown with an opaque body. Nice tan head. Cinnamon, clove, spice and pine in the nose. Mint, chocolate and vanilla. Smells fantastic. Full bodied and bitter. Great dark roast in the malts. Bittersweet chocolate and a resinous piney flavor. A nice minty note as well. Syrupy and smooth.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Juelze (1139) - Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 6, 2005
Pours a dadrk brown with tan color head. Smells is nutmeg, allspice, toffee, and a tiny touch of cocoa. Taste is anise, nutmeg, citrus, a bit of roast. Lightly carbonated. A pretty good beer for the style. The spices are used quite well unlike Lakefrontís Holiday brew which is spice overload.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Pailhead (5197) - Brownstown, Michigan, USA - DEC 6, 2005
Bottle: Aroma has lots of nutmeg with a hint of molasses. Pours a dark brown with a hint of transparency when held to the light. Moderate tan head that lasts a minute or so. Flavor of molasses, brown sugar, and nutmeg. Finishes with a quick sugarty sweetness that fades quickly. Light bitterness in the finish. Much better than lasts years version.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
oldrtybastrd (3222) - Fort Walton Beach, Florida, USA - DEC 6, 2005
Pours a dark brown with an reddish head. Aromas of ginger/nutmeg with some pepper. Big floral flavor with some spice.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 12/20
Nuffield (3718) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - DEC 5, 2005
Mahogany brown with some yellow at the edges, moderate head production. Aroma blends roasted notes with Christmas tree hops, and touches of lemongrass, nutmeg, some alcohol, and a little smoke. The flavor gives a little more dark fruit, such as dried blueberries, gingerbread dough, and a light toffee. Some gentle bitterness rides out the finish. It went very flat very quickly and although somewhat oily, the palate is really tiresome--while a good English bitter works well with this level of carbonation, the darker, more roasted side does better with a little gentle lift. Not my favorite incarnation of this beer, in large measure due to the flatness I experienced.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
sliffy (2040) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - DEC 5, 2005
Dark Brown pour, the head seemed almost orangish when first poured, now a medium tan. Some nutmeg, as well as others. Taste is quite unique some smoky flavor as well as the nutmeg and combination of other spices. Itís solid, but I think last years was better.

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