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RATINGS: 2040   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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.


3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
HuskerTan (1427) - Kearney, Nebraska, USA - DEC 28, 2015
Bottle. A- Chocolate covered cherries, black licorice, spices, dry cocoa. A- Dark brown color, dark liquid, light brown head. T-Light tobacco, black licorice, chocolate, dark cherries, spices. P- Medium body, average texture, average carbonation, rich dry finish. O- Not what I wanted it to be but as it changes each year I guess expectations have to change with it. At points, it seemed to lack any aroma or flavor at all and felt dry and musty.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Alengrin (4083) - BELGIUM - DEC 28, 2015
As Anchor Christmas Ale at Spuyt in Amsterdam. Creamy, light beige, dense head over a very dark burgundy coloured beer. Aroma of cocoa powder, coriander seed, nutmeg, dried orange peel, some coffee grounds, hazelnut, rosehip tea, aniseed, cloves. Restrainedly sweetish onset of dried fruits and raisins, dried banana, subtle seaweed-like umami accent, medium carbo, soft caramelly maltiness with toasted and nutty edges, some peppery hops in the finish along with retronasal aromatic spices (aniseed, nutmeg, coriander); toasted malt bittersweetness lingers a bit and mouthfeel remains a bit powdery, like most of Anchor’s dark beers. Not the most remarkable Anchor creation perhaps, but a nice winter warmer in any case.

2.4
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
Hopmaestro (1101) - Örebro, SWEDEN - DEC 28, 2015
2014 version: aroma is raisins dipped in toffee sauce with malts and dusty hops. Taste contains figs, raisins and slight nutmeg. It’s really weak in the taste, and disappears really quick in the aftertaste. Dusty hop profile.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Calisky (2350) - ALSACE, FRANCE - DEC 27, 2015
Couleur noire, bonne mousse beige. Nez caramel, malt toasté et chocolat avec notes houblon légèrement fruité. Gout malt noir, malt tourbé, caramel cuit, reglisse fraiche, épices avec note grillée et baton de réglisse en fin de bouche. Bon corps. Superbe pour 5.5c°

4.5
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
krumbum (860) - truckee, California, USA - DEC 26, 2015
Big roasted flavors to the nose. Deep dark brown with light head but lasting head. Really smooth intro fades to a slight spice in the finish. Good doesn’t get you too Christmasy.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Gangstergafje (489) - Capelle aan den IJssel, NETHERLANDS - DEC 26, 2015
This beer is a true christmas and new year special. When i think of a beer for this period, I think of a dark heavy strong beer. This beer definitely has the looks of a dark heavy strong beer. The color of the beer is dark brown, almost black, on first sight. When seen with a light behind it, a beautiful ruby red color is revealed. Lovely. The beer has a nice smell. The smell is quite strong and very special. At first, I smell a little roasted barley aroma, together with a nice licorice and anise aroma. After a lot of sniffs, the smell started to remind me of HP sauce or brown source. Both the sauce and this beer have a bittersweet smokey aroma, with a little sour touch of vinegar. This little sourness is nice, but i definitely need to get used to it. It is quite special, and I don’t really know if I have ever tried a beer like this. The taste is pretty much the same as the taste. I taste the same roasted barley flavor and the licorice/anise flavor. There is also this HP sauce flavor, but not as strong as in the smell. Again, the little sourness is something i need to get used to, but it is quite nice. The beer has a nice amount of gas in it. The bitterness of the smell in combination with the bass give a nice mouth sensation. A nice christmas beer indeed.

3
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Dawsemeister (24) - - DEC 26, 2015
Bottle of 2015 - dark brown pour with a decent head and faint aromas of sweet tobacco and sherry. It is quite thin and carbonated in the mouth like a dark lager, with some dark sugar notes, but doesn't really pack enough punch to deliver the festive flavours it promises... There is also a metallic aftertaste that detracts a bit - I have had this in previous years and enjoyed it much more, so maybe this was just a weaker batch. Not bad, but not great; will look forward to a return to form in 2016.

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 10/20
Ctplt777 (455) - - DEC 25, 2015
UPDATED: DEC 26, 2015 Interesting beer. Lots of fig, plums, and molasses in the aroma. Very chewy and sweet. It tastes like a big oatmeal raisin cookie. Lots of sweetness, with bit hints of molasses, chocolate, nutmeg and spice. Not quite a stout but totally full of complexity and flavor. Definitely a great holiday beer.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
ttoadee (1161) - Austin, Texas, USA - DEC 25, 2015
Dark pour, two fingers of nice tan head. Nose is dark fruit and spice. Bittersweet. Middle is woody, spice, and dark malt with a medium mouth feel. Finish is unsweetened coco. Not flashy, but delicious.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
ElCapitan22 (327) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 25, 2015
Pours a dark brown color with excellent lacing. Has very nice head retention as well. Tastes malty and of the usual winter spices. A nice Xmas beer!


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