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RATINGS: 1829   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
KyotoLefty (6504) - Kyoto, JAPAN - DEC 31, 2009
2008 vintage, one year old. Magnum bottle. Huge spice, licorice, anise, cinnamon, canít 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 itís fun.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Plovmand (6501) - Helsinge, DENMARK - DEC 22, 2012
Bottle served by karstenborg. Pours dark brown with a creamy beige head. The aroma is pumpkin, cardemon, sweet caramel and dark fruit. The flavour is toasted malt, spices, ripe fruit and some hops. Light pumpkin ale feel to it. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Radek Kliber (6491) - Toronto (Can) Krotoszyn (Pol), POLAND - NOV 23, 2006
Botlle.2006. Pours as deep ruby red ale with reddish-copper fine top. Aroma very Christmas like, ginger, nutmeg, light hint of vanilla and perhaps juniper? Medium bodied, smooth soft texture. Above mentioned aroma blended with brown sugar and cookie dough. Late chewy finish with green and herbal hop charcter.There is a lot of ingredients here. Christmas beer indeed. Highly recommended for that night, celebrate with pleasure.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
DrSilverworm (6477) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - MAR 27, 2011
2010 version. Smells great, definitely a pine smell in it thatís appropriate for the season, maybe even some roasted nut smells. Appears to be a very dark brown color when poured, but when shining a light through the glass the beautiful red color becomes very apparent. Stickier texture than I prefer, lively carbonation though. Sort of an odd vegetable-ish after taste, but itís certainly interesting and not too strong.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
BVery (6416) - Burnsville, Minnesota, USA - DEC 10, 2011
Bottle. Nice rich reddish brown pour with a white head. Aroma is black licorice and spice. Palate is medium - maybe slightly thin. Taste is nutmeg, spruce, fruitbread. Decent.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Cletus (6354) - Connecticut, USA - DEC 2, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 21, 2009 2005 Bottle Consumed 12/2/2005Pours dark brown with a generous tan head that takes a long time to subside. Smells of coffee, chocolate and Christmas spices. Taste is of chocolate, coffee, some mellow spicey notes. Very subdued and much less potent than many previous offerings. Somewhat watery and dissapointing finish.

2006 Bottle Consumed 11/13/06: Pours reddish brown with a tan head. Smells of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cookie dough, some earthy hops and sweet malt. Tastes of earthy hops, cloves, nutmeg, some fruit. Finish is lightly tarte but pleasant. Mouthfeel is tingly and slightly metallic.

2007 Bottle Consumed 11/13/07: Pours dark brown with a tan head. Smells of cookie dough, coffee, pepper, some nice cinnamon hints. Tastes of cherries, chocolate, earthy, some coffee, touches of spice. Mouthfeel is full with a nice earthy finish.
App: 3/5 Sm: 8/10 Ta: 8/10 Pa: 3/5 Ov: 16/20

2008 bottle consumed 11/11/08: Pours dark brown with a thin tan head. Smells of chocolate, roasted nuts, some spices. Tastes chocolatey and rich on the malt profile. Nice nutty finish. Iíd like some tartness, but otherwise this is the richest itís been in many years.
App: 4/5 Sm: 8 Ta: 8 Pa:4 Ov: 16/20

2009 bottle consumed 12/21/09: Pours brown with a slight reddish tinge and a nice tan head. Smells of earth, nutty, some cinnamon hints, chocolate, some hints of dark fruit, some nutmeg, clove. Tastes of chocolate, rich spice, molasses, some gingerbread, some cherry hints. Full mouthfeel and a slight clover hint on the finish.
App: 8/10 Sm: 8 Ta: 8 Pa: 4 Ov: 16

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
5000 (6300) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - NOV 21, 2005
Bottle: Dark chocolate in color, beige head, foamy, nice lacing. † Cocoa, slight coffee, chocolate, herbish, with a either the white or black Necco wafer on the nose. † Necco wafer tainted malty start with fairly sweet chocolaty finish. † Not many brews like this one. † Definitely herbish, and also has a bit of licorice or anise. † Very interesting. † Body is fairly nice, mouthfeel seems moderate. † Long finish of those Necco wafers. † Good thing for Anchor is that I really like Necco wafers. † Good, and very different.   Very similar to last year, but a bit more flavorful I think.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
downender (6293) - Bristol, Gloucestershire, ENGLAND - DEC 15, 2007
Bottle (2006 edition) from Corks, Bristol. Deep ruby red colour with a short-lived tan head. Big aroma of christmas cake with plenty of cinnamon, nuts and dark fruit. Chewy mouth feel with plenty of spiced flavours and a dry, hoppy finish. Very enjoyable.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
lusikka (6267) - 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.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Ernest (6231) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - DEC 23, 2006
Head is initially average sized, frothy, light brown, mostly diminishing. Body is dark brown. Aroma is lightly malty (cookie, dark chocolate), lightly yeasty (dough), with notes of allspice, nutmeg, scorched pine needles. Flavor is moderately sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, lightly to moderately bitter. Finish is lightly sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, moderately to heavily bitter. Medium body, watery texture, lively carbonation.

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