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RATINGS: 1957   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
DruncanVeasey (7712) - NUNEATON, TOP, Warwickshire, ENGLAND - JAN 12, 2008
UPDATED: JAN 14, 2008 2007 version, Inspire, Coventry. Mahogany pour with red edges, and an irregular beige head and lace. Distinct ginger, cinnamon and possibly rosemary in the aroma and flavour, but not excessively mulled or overdone, and nicely underpinned by roasted malt and sourish lactic touches. Aromatically spiced festive ale.

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
marcus (7672) - 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.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
bb (7644) - 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).

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
phaleslu (7643) - 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.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
laiti (7618) - Helsinki, FINLAND - JAN 5, 2012
35,5 cl bottle vintage 2011 @ home, BBE 07/2013
Aroma is a bit weird, stale and somewhat sweet with vanilla and berries. Also some christmas spices. Flavour feels spicy with berries and some vanilla in the sourish finish. Becomes more spicy towards the end of the glass. A bit weird and harsh but decent anyway.

4.1
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Ibrew2or3 (7511) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - APR 2, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 20, 2008 2006, consumed during our 2002 to 2006 vertical, Dec. 2008. Typical OSA pour with nearly opaque brown body and mocha head. The aroma is fantastic with rich dark fruitiness, dark molasses, toffee, earthiness, wow. The taste is rich too with perfectly ripe black grapes, chocolate, faint burnt molasses and smooth winter spices. Very nice. 2005, consumed during our 2002 to 2006 vertical, Dec. 2008. Another typical OSA pour with nearly opaque brown body and mocha head. The aroma has lots of smooth blunted spices, gingerbread, dark rye bread, dry earthiness and filberts and hazel nuts. The taste is very similar. Yum. I get a mixture of gingerbread cookies, some rye twang, a bit of velvety dark chocolate, earthiness and rounded out by filbert and hazel nut like nuttiness.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
lusikka (7469) - Tampere, FINLAND - NOV 4, 2010
330 ml bottle.
Pours a dark brown colour with a lacy, patchy and beigeish head. Aroma of wood, plum and some spices. Flavour of gingerbread, spices, plum and raisin. Medium bodied, slick and stinging mouthfeel. Dry finish. Pleasant and definitely christmassy.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
mabel (7455) - 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 @ Coleís; Buffalo, NY)

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Ughsmash (7387) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 21, 2005
Bottled. Poured a beautiful clear, deep garnet with a 1" initial beige head (didnít stick around for too long). Nose of mulled spices (clove, anise, ginger, nutmeg, and others), roasted caramel, and brown sugar... very Christmasy (or holiday-ey for some of youse guys). Flavor followed suit, but a little shy on the roastiness and a little heavy on the spices. Solid amount of nutmeg, some cinnamon, earth, and anise on the finish. Enjoyed it.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
douglas88 (7349) - Portland, Oregon, USA - NOV 22, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 9, 2009 2006 Bottle. Pours dark brown with a good off-white head. The body is on the thick side. Itís quite hoppy, a ton of spices, and some Christmas Tree perhaps. Not bad at all. A good brew. Easy to drink, but also complex. 2009 edition: pours a dark brown with a large beige head. A spicy nose, toasted malts, light pine. Sweet flavors, loads of spice and pine. Light chocolates.


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