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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 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 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jdb288 (472) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - DEC 29, 2013
Draft at Beer Exchange. Pours muddy brown with minimal head. Aroma is chocolate, burnt hay. Taste is spicy - clove, coriander, grape must. Too spicy for my personal tastes.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
NickT (4) - Cheshire, ENGLAND - DEC 29, 2013 does not count
I will definitely look out for this ale next year. This is the first time that I have tried it, and it was a lovely warm, thick, dark ale that works wonderfully well at Christmas. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
bmoosey (81) - Richmond, Indiana, USA - DEC 29, 2013
2013 from tap. Pours brown with a little head. Aroma is ginger and cinnamon over roasted malt. Taste is grainy with spices and malt standing out to me. Watery mouthfeel.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
ARH (294) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 29, 2013
12 oz bottle poured into a shaker (2013 vintage). Very aromatic beer - strong vanilla and some cocoa right off the bat, followed up by anise, cinnamon, and caramel/malt - definitely smells like Christmas. Itís an oily, syrupy pour; dark, rich mahogany color with a big, frothy, egg white head that sticks around for a nice long while. The taste is sweet and bitter, but neither is strong (more sweet than bitter). Itís a full bodied malty, syrupy drink that hits first with chocolate malt. As it coats the mouth and/or warms up, some dark cherry notes come through as well as the spiciness (cinnamon & anise mainly, but some ginger too?). Basically tastes like it smells - and thatís Xmas - but itís not too much of anything, very mellow. A nice balance blending the viscous beer and creamy head.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Stuu666 (1371) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - DEC 29, 2013
UPDATED: MAY 30, 2014 Bottle at xmas tasting, 2013 version. Deep brown, spices on nose, liquorice and aniseed, sweet toffee malt, spices. Bottle at home, Deep brown, nice blend of spices, sweet chocolate, dry, spicy finish, light spruce.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jeremyh70 (652) - Missouri, USA - DEC 27, 2013
2013 Dark ruby copper with a small white head with little lacing. Aroma of gingerbread cookie and cinnamon. Taste is ginger, cinnamon and light fruit like pears. A mild roasty bitterness. Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Kind of bland. 2008 bottle on Dec 2013. Hazy brown with minimal tan head and lacing. Aroma of brown sugar and some oxidized notes. Brown sugar and toasted malt flavor with some cardboard oxidized notes. Some graininess. Crisp mouthfeel and medium bodied with medium high carbonation. Finishes with a little toastiness and grain.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
kambei70 (551) - - DEC 27, 2013
2013 bottle to a snifter. Pours a garnet brown with a little head. Aroma is ginger and cinnamon over roasted malt. Taste is the same but with a tart, grainy taste that goes into an unpleasant bitterness. Watery mouthfeel. 2008 bottle to a snifter. Pours a slightly murky brown with a little khaki head. Aroma is brown sugar and grains. Taste is a slightly burnt brown sugar with a toasted grain. Oxidized. Medium mouthfeel with medium carbonation. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
fourstrings (56) - Poznań, POLAND - DEC 27, 2013
Dark brown beer with very nice beige head. Dry, with strong hint of dried cherries, spices to gingerbread, chocolate and little bit of coffee too. Nice alcohol note that warms up throat. Low bitterness. Very great christmas beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
Hanoi (353) - Bedfordshire, ENGLAND - DEC 27, 2013
Bottle: From Notes. Nose:Figs, malt, some licorice. Taste followed with a slightly smokey, coffee note with a dry finish. The mouthfeel was thin. A disappointing Christmas beer.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
Biggar2000 (20) - - DEC 27, 2013
Not the greatest Christmas beer Iíve had. Girlfriend says the smell reminds her of soy sauce. I had the 2013 blend. It is drinkable, but Iíd prefer others.

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