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RATINGS: 2050   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
bbrock81 (317) - Le Mars, Iowa, USA - DEC 7, 2015
On tap. Pours a dark cola brown, very foamy. Aroma somewhat muted, kind of a bitter, herbal note. Flavor is sweet, herbal, and piney. Palate a bit harsh. Not impressed this year.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
iggynelix (132) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 6, 2015
This is one of my seasonal favorites and 2016’s ale is among the best in class. Pours dark mahogany but clear with a rich tan head. Molasses and ginger notes are strongest on the nose and palate. I five a hint of feral nose and there might be a slight umami flavour add well. Yummy...Santa, I need a case of this.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jaghana (5525) - Strasbourg (Alsace), FRANCE - DEC 4, 2015
Bottle 33cl, a dark beer with good head. Nose is on toasted malt and toasted caramel, spices. Aroma is on dark caramel, licorice, burnt caramel, anise, toffee, dark lager notes, nutty, burnt spices, good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
MMR (682) - NETHERLANDS - DEC 3, 2015
Spicy ale which aroma hints towards amber ales. It pours a dark glass and is rather enjoyable.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
alteregoo (995) - POLAND - DEC 2, 2015
Wersja 2014. Piana kremowa, drobna i trwała, ładny lejsing. Barwa mahoniowa, klarowna. Aromat słodki, głównie karmel, suszone owoce, miód i cukierki werther’s original na równym poziomie. W smaku wbrew pozorom nie jest słodko, raczej pół słodko - na podstawie z karmelu i toffi czuć anyż, koper włoski, przyprawy korzenne, kandyzowane owoce, syrop klonowy... Goryczki i alkoholu brak. Nagazowanie nieco poniżej średniego. Dość wodniste w odczuciu. Zbyt lekkie, zbyt rzadkie, jak na taką ilość przypraw, piwo bożonarodzeniowe. Brakuje tu słodyczy, gęstości i mocy... Dodatkowo anyż i toffi w połączeniu nie wypadają najlepiej.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
mrjez (479) - Osaka, JAPAN - DEC 2, 2015
UPDATED: DEC 16, 2015 2015 355ml bottle. Re-rate after a second try, poured into a tulip snifter. L: this year’s is one of the best looking from memory. It pours a dark olive brown with a finger of creamy light tan head, excellent lacing. S: There’s clove up front and sweetened malt and dark fruit underneath, it comes out a bit more as it warms. T: the taste follows the nose mostly providing spice flavour with some dark malt, light anise, a bit aqueous. The spice just gets a bit overpowering by the end F: the malt body is a tad llight, a little spritzy up front, a little spice warmth. O: it’s not bad, but I’ve enjoyed the last few years more, they were more robust I thought. Is it just my shifting palate?

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
kingaugusta (241) - Georgia, USA - NOV 30, 2015
dark brown with a quick off white head. nose is weak and slightly spiced with a touch of brown sugar. flavor is basically a generic brown ale with a pinch of nutmeg and a little spicing. short finish. not very impressive in any way

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
sjogro (2890) - The Hague, NETHERLANDS - NOV 30, 2015
2013. Bottle from Van Alsem. 2013. Lots of spices, piney, coffee, cocoa. A bit watery and bitter. Backlog from 2014/03/11.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
UXO (1527) - CANADA - NOV 29, 2015
Appearance: nearly solid black with only faint ruby highlights, one finger of rocky tan head, good retention and spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: toffee, molasses, coffee, dark chocolate and fruits, spices, woody spruce. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-full slightly oily body, moderate carbonation, lingering slightly sticky finish. (4/5) Definitely an interesting winter warmer style of brew. Lots of traditional midwinter spices and dark, molasses-y malt give it a lot of the “fruitcake in a glass” character I like to see in these ales. There’s more than a hint of spruce, which makes me think they might actually incorporate spruce tips into the brew, but it’s not overwhelming or medicinal. (14/20)

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
arnold931 (1263) - Iowa, USA - NOV 25, 2015
Bottle 2015. Pours black with ruby highlights and small tan head. Nose is maple, vanilla and nutmeg. Taste adds some dark fruit. Good.

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