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RATINGS: 1946   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.


3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
olio (7308) - Tampere, FINLAND - NOV 21, 2012
355 ml bottle.
Originally rated on 20101104. (8+3+7+3+15)
Pours slightly hazy ruby red color with a medium-sized frothy head. Aroma has less surprisingly very spicy with cardamom, ginger, some yeast, mild malty notes and some ripe fruit notes. Lots of spices on the flavor also, some fruits, mild toffee notes, wood and malts. Not too over the top with the spices, decent christmassy brew.
3425

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
bb (7305) - Alamo, California, USA - NOV 21, 2005
Bottle. Rich brown beer with a lt brown head. Malty aroma with christmas/pumpkin pie spices. Body a little thin. Pumpkin pie spice flavor with a bit of roastiness and fruit. Not as goos as years past. Too much ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon - it tastes like a holiday beer kit I brewed last year (and that lasted for too many months).

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
marcus (7293) - Sacramento, California, USA - JAN 17, 2006
This dark brown ale poured with a nice tan head. The flavor is very malty with a spicy finish. This year’s brew seems maltier and less spicy than most of the previous years.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
KyotoLefty (7232) - Kyoto, JAPAN - DEC 31, 2009
2008 vintage, one year old. Magnum bottle. Huge spice, licorice, anise, cinnamon, can’t really tell. Roasty bitterness that is stout-like. Fresh dark fruit: cherry, blueberry. Very interesting--rich yet rather light-bodied. Very fruity, with too much spice to drink much of, yet it’s fun.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
phaleslu (7226) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - NOV 27, 2010
Draft served in a tulip at International Tap House-Soulard. Pours a dark amber-brown color with a tan head that laces the glass. Aroma of figs, cherries, lums, vanilla, caramel malts, raisins, grapes, nutmeg, and other winter spices. The flavor stays pretty faithful to the nose. Medium-bodied, with low carbonation and a malty, spicy mouthfeel. Good winter beer.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
motelpogo (7175) - Plzen, CZECH REPUBLIC - FEB 7, 2007
rbesg06, bottle at plain kitchen. deep brown with a beige head. aroma of rum’n’raisin, licorice and cherry syrup. a bit on the thin side, some brown sugar, chocolate, sweetbread, quite alright but not as complex as expected

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Borup (7135) - Albertslund, DENMARK - DEC 11, 2006
Bottle. Dark brown colour with a brown head. Aroma and flavour of chocolate, coffee, fruit, roasted malt and hops.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - DEC 10, 2005
Pours a barely transparent dark brown with a thin, lightly-lacing tan head. Toasty spiced sugar cookie and ginger snap aroma has some citrusy hops. First taste is of Vienna malt and earthy spices with a thinner, hoppier finish. Not as good as the 2004 I just tried, but maybe give it a year. Thanks Jason for the bottle!

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
MesandSim (7117) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - JUN 16, 2007
A Sim rate (bottle from Rudiger): Ridiculously complex aroma: berries, sweet spices (particularly clove-studded oranges that you have at Christmas), cranberries, plums and brandy. Almost perfumy. Fucking amazing! Very dark black cherry colour. Flavour is lacking in the complexity of the aroma with a bittersweet finish. Plum, blackcurrant and spices pop out. Great beer!

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
mabel (7059) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 6, 2008
UPDATED: APR 10, 2009 [854-20071124] 12floz (Vintage 2006, w/ jerc). Strange old musty booze aroma with dog paw and burnt grain hints. Black body with a quick creamy curry-tan head. Christmas spicy coffee malt flavour seems like it has an invisible stick of cinnamon resting in the glass. Medium-full body. Interesting but not impressive. (6/3/7/3/14) 3.3

[1893B-20081206] Tap. Mild spicy Christmas fruits and rum and sweet toasty yeast aroma. Clear, dark brown red body with a long-lasting creamy off-white head. Sweet caramelized leaves and mild spices and honey and grainy yeast bread and mild perfume in the flavour. Medium body. Repeatable, enjoyable. (7/4/7/4/15) 3.7
(Vintage 2008 @ Cole’s; Buffalo, NY)


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