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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 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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
sebletitje (9348) - Enghien, BELGIUM - DEC 19, 2008
Thanks to super Dave, the cellar king of FL for bringing these rare offerings. Got to try the 2005 and 2006 versions. Both of them pour brownish with light tan - beige head, 05 had a more lingering lacing on the glass. Aroma was a little more in the favor of the 05 version with a more nutty nose vs. a piny approach for the 06. 05 offers a more gingerbread taste with spices, smooth and light caramel. 06 has more light chocolate notes and caramel with molasses. with attenuated cinnamon touch. Overall bot are very enjoyable beres that have aged well. Score goes to the 05 version.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JoeMcPhee (9325) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 28, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 20, 2010 2009 bottle. Deep dark brown beer with a very thick sticky pour. Good looking beer. The nose is great. A bright nose of light evergreen resin, a bit of cinnamon, fruity pine and a touch of molasses and dark malts. A kiss of toasted character. Pretty nice rich brew. There is a little bit of rye spice and a kiss of light herbal hoppiness as well. Itís pretty solid. 2008 bottle. Deep dark brown beer with a nice sticky tan head. The nose is quite spicy. A bit of cocoa and soft pine. Cinnamon and nutmeg as well as a bit of light fruitiness. Dusty cocoa and a bit of herbal character. Some light mintiness and a touch of chewy sweetness. Molasses and a bit of toastiness. Some rye and wheaty spice. As it warms the spruce and juniper picks up. Lovely toastiness and a bit of soft spice. Itís lovely. 8 5 8 5 17 2006 bottle. Dark brown/ruby tinted beer with a thick tan head. Aroma is of dark toasted malts, sweet breadiness with loads of fresh ginger and bright fresh cinnamon. There is also a lot of pine/spruce aroma that comes to the fore as the beer warms up. Flavour is malty sweet, toast and whole wheat spiciness, cinnamon and nutneg and ginger. Soft chocolatey malt notes behind the sweet spices as well. Lingering pine flavour and earthy/herbal bitterness. Smells and tastes like Christmas, which I gather was the point. I like this years better than 2005s version. 8 5 8 5 16 2005 bottle. Beautiful deep brown/ruby beer with a thich long-lasting brown head. Sweet caramelly aroma, a bit of toastiness, assertive licorice and even a touch of smokiness. Flavour is quite spicy aroma, bready sweet pudding-like malt and spice backgroung. Cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel with a long sweet and brown sugary finish. Dark cherries and black pepper on the back of the palate as well. Ar 7 Ap 5 Fl 7 Pa 3 Ov 15

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
arminjewell (9262) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - JAN 8, 2012
12 oz 2011 bottle pour at home is dark reddish almost black, thin off white head as well. Aroma brought notes of caramel, chocolate, some coffee and roast, with some spicy ginger, cinnamon and clove in there with the pine needle/juniper notes. Taste is a mix of chocolate, coffee, spruce and ginger notes combining actually fairly decently, a slightly spicy and bitter finish. Different, but enjoyable!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
marcus (9231) - 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 yearís brew seems maltier and less spicy than most of the previous years.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
deanso (9213) - the Hague, NETHERLANDS - NOV 8, 2012
35cl bottle from ABCBeers, the Hague. Thick off white head. Clear black pour. Herbal taste but quite smooth. A nice brew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Quack-Duck (9164) - Down South, GERMANY - AUG 5, 2009
bottle, vintage 2007, mit Dank ins Ruhrgebiet! Dark red-brown colour, large beige head. Fruity nose. Intensively malty with lots of fruit flavours: berries, plums, blackcurrant. Bitter-sweet with lovely citrusy hops that add flavours of bitter orange marmalade. Lingering finish. Delicious!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
3fourths (9149) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - DEC 1, 2005
UPDATED: JUN 18, 2012 Looks the same as the others... it looks like Anchor OSA. Rich and sharp toffee, butter and perhaps scotch aroma - sharp is the key word. Very fresh, very robust and it smells almost chewy. Piney flavor up front with a semi-caustic texture - rough and brittle it feels. My first impressions are that it may need some cellaring, but for now itís a decent presentation of juniper and spruce-like mellow spicyness with a light buttery note as well. Itís going to be really interesting when I do a vertical including this year as Iíve done in the years past. OSA is still one of the top beers I look forward to every winter.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
alexsdad06 (9140) - Ohio, USA - MAR 22, 2010
12 oz. bottle 2006 vintage. Pours a ruby infused brown color with a small fleeting beige head. The aroma is mild chocolaty with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and licorice. Some fig and raisin fruitiness is also present along with slight vegetal notes. The flavor is more mild chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, figs, raisins, and caramel sauce. This is at the lower end of medium bodied. Year after year one of the better Christmas beers you can find.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
ManVsBeer (8769) - Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, ENGLAND - APR 5, 2016
Bottle from Cocktails, Littleborough. 2013 Christmas Ale version. Dark reddish-brown with a thick frothy head. Includes plenty of dark malt, which is lightly spiced, with hints of roasted malt, but mainly sweet.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
maeib (8749) - Wootton, Northampton, Northamptonshire, ENGLAND - SEP 28, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 26, 2011 Bottled. A black beer with a lovely long-lasting beige coloured head and a touch of lacing. The aroma is spicy with lots of cinnamon. Sugary, a little waring and certainly Christmassy. The taste is also pleasantly spicy. A little thin in the mouth and not as spicy as the 2004. Almost restrained flavours. Drinkable but not particularly special. Score 3.6
Subsequent rating scored 3.7. Score unchanged

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