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RATINGS: 1945   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53   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 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.


2.9
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
batneil (437) - - FEB 22, 2015
Almost pure black with a decent head. A bit malty and bitter, quite nice. Fairly fizzy.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
willisread (529) - Tokyo, JAPAN - FEB 22, 2015
12oz bottle from Masuyo’s Liquor in Asagaya. Poured into a shaker pint. Deep rich brown color (almost black) with a nice tan medium-sized head. Strong malt aroma with hints of vanilla, coffee, coriander, spruce and pine. Balanced on the palate but tends to lean toward the resiny, piney side. Chewy maltiness and oily mouthfeel. Starts out slightly sweet on the palate then swings toward a sticky, dry finish with the resiny flavors and cinnamon and nutmeg lingering.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
chimpgibbon (405) - London, Bedfordshire, ENGLAND - FEB 17, 2015
2014. One of my earliest good beer experiences in 2010. Anyway enough nostalgia. This is a little over spiced, or under malted. Either way it’s trying to be bold without any trousers on. It’s still great though, just a little more booze and something to tame and have a comforting hand on the shoulder. Nice lacing.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
alomtnez (138) - SPAIN - FEB 16, 2015
Brownish frothy medium head, diminishing. Aroma is prune, ripe fruit and toasted malt. Redish dark brown. Clear medium body. Taste is roasted malt, spicy (cinnamon, ginger), citric, prune. Oily texture, medium carbonation. Aftertaste is slightly acid with dry bitterness.

4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
cruff1 (3) - Eaton, Colorado, USA - FEB 13, 2015 does not count
Amazing head retention! very dark porter brown color. First impression of a bitter vanilla bean, not in bad way. Almost a smoky vanilla. Also good medium/full body hops are earthy and a hint of spruce or pine finish. Not a lot of aroma some malt aroma.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
rikstar (1179) - NETHERLANDS - FEB 6, 2015
Fles bij het fust gekocht uitgeschonken donker bruin met een crème schuimkraag. Geur is wat typisch groente met cacao.smaak is als een Belgisch donker met daarbij wat drop en iets laurier. smaken sluiten in mijn beleving niet echt goed op elkaar aan.

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
climberbob (240) - Virginia, USA - FEB 3, 2015
2013 bottle. Dark ruby. Different to earlier years w more pronounced spruce or some other similar notes. Good solid Xmas beer. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Stoned99 (362) - Quebec, CANADA - FEB 3, 2015
Drank on Feb 2 2015. 2014 vintage bottle. Thanks Jo. Aroma : cinnamon, spices, herbacy, veggies, sugar candies with a background of roasted malt. App : dark brown reddish with small beige head. Taste and palate : medium body, medium sweetness, a tad watery, finish is dry, sweet and a tad bitter. Overall : not bad but didn’t really enjoy the herbal and vegetable aroma and taste. Thought it was weird. Body is even on the limit of being thin, IMO body of this kind of beer should be full. 12oz will be enough.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
markducommun (307) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 2, 2015
Beautiful beer, clear dark black brown, ample foamy tan head. Smells lightly of cloves, nutmeg, roasted rice, like rice Crispies, or puffed rice you find in some green teas, some honey. Hint of spice, hint of bitterness, sweet body, but far from overwhelming. Nice balanced, mildly chewy mouthfeel. A touch of oiliness. Lightly carbonated. Sort of watery finish. Overall quite excellent.

2.6
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Florya (634) - Bergen, NORWAY - FEB 2, 2015
How: bottle Appearance: almost black, small tan head. Aroma: spice, cocoa, coffee, soap Palate: soft carbonation, medium body.


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