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RATINGS: 1972   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
j12601 (8000) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - DEC 21, 2008
Mini growler of the 2008 offering, from Half-Time. Pours a clear but almost ruby black color with very little of what appears to be a dark tan head. Ample spice and possibly cherries on the nose with a good deal of sweetness, almost caramel like. Mouthfeel is a little thin, but thereís a nice smoked note that comes forward. Finish has just a touch of bitterness and hint more smoke. Body could be thicker, but overall a rather tasty beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
marcus (7994) - 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 2/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
BMan1113VR (7909) - Los Angeles, California, USA - DEC 6, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 26, 2009 2007 vintage in a magnum bottle. A very good tasting extremely dark ale with a very large brown head. Medium to full bodied with a short duration. Aroma is very fresh, with possibly some pine scents. Very much different from Anchorís other products.
Dec 6, 2007.
Ar: 7; AP: 2; F: 8; P: 4; O: 14
Total Score: 3.5/5.0

2005 Vinatge. Waited too long on this one. Mar 3, 2008. Pours with a light brown, creamy, head that lasts. Murky brown body. Aroma of soy, madera, and prunes. Alcohol legs on the glass. Taste is way too oxidized. Sat for too long. Creamy mouthfeel, with some fizz left. Bitter and very very oxidized.
Ar: 6; AP: 4; F: 5; P: 3; O: 12
Total Score: 3.0/5.0

2006 Vintage. This one was waited on for too long. Pours with a decent sized, light brown, foamy head covering a hazy dark brown body. Aroma has elements of oxidation, figs, plums, yeast, cinnamon, and vanilla. Taste is salty, smokey and oxidized. Over the hill in a baby SA Triple Bock sort of way. I am disapointed because this one looked and smelled quite good. I guess I know that these will not last much longer than a year (low alcohol I guess). Too bad.
April 21, 2008.
Ar: 7; AP: 4; F: 5; P: 3; O: 12
Total Score: 3.1/5.0

2008 vintage. November 16, 2008. Bottle marked 803. Pours a deep mahogoney with a fluffy light brown head. Good lacing and retention. Aroma of allspice, cinnamon, pine, molassas, caramel and maple. Taste is spiced with some tabbacco, allspice, caramel, plenty of hazlenuts, and bitter molassas. Creamy mouthfeel, light bubbles, slightly warming. Good winter warmer.
Ar: 7; AP: 4; F: 7; P: 4; O: 15;
Total Score: 3.7/5.0
2009 had a bit more of a twang to it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
DruncanVeasey (7882) - 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
slowrunner77 (7861) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 5, 2014
A favorite spiced beer and favorite Christmas beer, year after year. Nearly 6000 beers in, and Iíve never had another that comes close to the unique mix of spices and herbals and malt that is Anchor OSA.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Stuu666 (7810) - 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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
bb (7754) - 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).

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
laiti (7742) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
mabel (7712) - 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)

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
motelpogo (7701) - Plzen, CZECH REPUBLIC - FEB 7, 2007
rbesg06, bottle at plain kitchen. deep brown with a beige head. aroma of rumíníraisin, licorice and cherry syrup. a bit on the thin side, some brown sugar, chocolate, sweetbread, quite alright but not as complex as expected

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