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RATINGS: 1821   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 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 15/20
Brandon1989 (239) - Euless, Texas, USA - JAN 7, 2014
(2012) pours a dark brown with a tan head. the aroma is spices, malt. the taste is complex. taste is spices, dark fruits, chocolate.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Lowenbrau (1864) - Asturias, Oviedo, SPAIN - JAN 7, 2014
355 bottle. 2010 edition. Expired on Sept. 2012. Malty, cardamom aromas. Pours dark amber, hazy, with some tan head. Medium body, average to soft carbonation, oily texture. Taste is malty, caramel, spicy, liquorice, som balsamic notes. Peculiar.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
dp (608) - uniontown, Ohio, USA - JAN 6, 2014
was hoping to use rating descriptions, do like it and would drink a few more, cough drop but not in a negative way, herbal hops, will search refrigerator for one more

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Abijen (1326) - ’s-Hertogenbosch, NETHERLANDS - JAN 5, 2014
Pours a dark brown beer with a frothy tan head. Smells nootmuskaat, malts. Tastes about the same. Average carbo, thin body and a sticky texture.

   AROMA 1/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 1/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 2/20
Wischylini (120) - Grimstad, NORWAY - JAN 5, 2014
Pours a clear black cherry, with no head at all. Aromas are spices, pepper, resin and burnt wood, the spices are overpowering the malt and hop aromas. The taste is somewhat sweet, but the intense bitterness obscures the sweetness. The mouthfeel is very light and fizzy. The more I drink this, the more I dislike it. The spices are overpowering the beer itself and makes for an unpleasant experience. Everyone else seem rave on about how great it is, so I might just have ended up with a bad one, which eventually became a $7 drain pour.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
mbgrayson (520) - Anaconda, Montana, USA - JAN 4, 2014
2013 variety: Pours a very dark amber, with ample tan head. Aroma of spices and hops. Taste is rich and complex, with notes of pine and hops. Fairly drinkable, a good winter brew. Thumbs up.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Shag (2584) - Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA - JAN 3, 2014
2013. A dark black color with a beige head. Aroma.contains cloves, cinammon, pine, chocolate. Malty with some bitterness. Still the classic standard for winter beers

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
seymour (1391) - Maplewood, Missouri, USA - JAN 3, 2014
Shared from tapered 12 oz brown bottles into sampler glasses, thanks Greg. We did a side-by-side with 2012 and 2013. I don’t agree with the decision to lump these all together, because these two beers were dramatically different. Sure, they both had a similar dark reddish brown colour with beige foam and lace, and the same alcoholic strength, but their aromas, flavours, and bitterness levels were very different. Both were well-balanced dark ales, tart and toasty somewhat like a good London porter. The 2012 version was much spicier, peppery, more astringent, with strong cedar and pine cone notes, almost like Pine Sol furniture oil. The 2013 was all-around more hoppy--more resiny aromas and flavours, and much more bitter, with fewer woodsy and vegetal notes, with a smoother mouthfeel and aftertaste. The 2012 was an unmistakeable Christmas special-release. The 2013 seemed a well-crafted India Porter with would be delicious any time of year.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Tstamba (289) - Maryland, USA - DEC 31, 2013
Bottle from Erik at Christmas 2013. Pours dark brown with foamy white head. Lots of dark fruit and spice, balanced malt profile. Tasty winter warmer. Merry Christmas! ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Frothmeister (544) - Ontario, CANADA - DEC 31, 2013
12oz bottle. 2013 vintage. Pours a lovely clear dark chestnut colour with a good sized beige head. Aroma of spruce, light spearmint, caramel, burnt sugar, and pink bubblegum. The taste also has spruce notes, burnt sugar, light pink bubblegum, hard candy notes, brown sugar, with minerality and earthy notes in the middle, and a nutty toffee cake like finish amongst the bitter hops. There’s a lot going on here. A solid beer.

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