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RATINGS: 1942   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.


3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jackfrost9p (338) - California, USA - NOV 12, 2012
I really enjoyed this beer. Strong malt and spice flavors with a bit of hoppy finish.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
bethmatt0421 (337) - Covington, Kentucky, USA - NOV 20, 2005
UPDATED: NOV 29, 2008 2008. slightly malty, pines, cinnamon, nutmeg. Typical christmas ale, only a little bit better. I always expect a bit more from this brewer, and they delivered on this one. Great seasonal.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
tagz (337) - Alabama, USA - APR 5, 2007
UPDATED: JAN 13, 2008 Grabbed the 2006 on discount. Pours dark brown, almost black, with a short tan head. Rich, chocolate taste with some spices that add some grit. Ends with a pronounced bitter. Some burnt molasses taste in there as well. The full flavor makes it worth seeking out next season. I had this six one-beer-a-sitting. Its great beer but a bit heavy to drink back to back. 2007. was somewhat disappointed with this years OSA. tastes overwhelmingly vegetal. sweet spices, like cinnamon, are more apparent. the burnt molasses and chocolate flavors are gone. bummer.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
tillmac62 (337) - Gaffney, South Carolina, USA - NOV 12, 2013
UPDATED: DEC 19, 2013 2013 - Pours a rich dark brown with a caramel head that lingers and laces well. Nose is of spices, mostly clove, and fruit - maybe raisins - against a slight dark malt undertone. Body is thin. Taste is of spice, mostly ginger and cardamom but a prune flavor is also present. Not complex at all. More dark malt would improve this beer quite a bit. Good carbonation. Finish is of spice with a slight lingering spice induced aftertaste and bitterness. Good but not great.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
VAYankee (334) - Virginia, USA - DEC 16, 2005
Dark brown body and a thick brown head. Malty, spicy aroma includes cinnamon, nutmeg, light pine and a touch of cocoa. Flavor includes moderate malt(slightly chocolate), spice and licorice followed by a lightly dry, roasted malt aftertaste with a bit of smokiness.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
BrianDorry55 (333) - Spring Hill, Florida, USA - JAN 19, 2009
Bottle from Trinity Liquors in Spring Hill, FL. Aroma of spices and cinnamon. Pours dark brown with a thin tan head. Flavor isnt as spicy as the aroma...more like a porter...some wood...some smoke...a little cinnamon, but nothing sticks out enough...Pretty nice on the palate. Overall...its alright...just nothing "special" by any means...I wouldnt by it again...but its not bad.

2.5
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
wingman333 (333) - San Antonio, Texas, USA - NOV 30, 2009
2009...I remember liking previous years much more. This one is thin in flavor primarily, mainly a brown ale, with some burnt roast added with a hint of pear juice or maybe pineapple. Weak this year. Would not recommend unless you like brown ales.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Gustav1996 (333) - Birmingham, Alabama, USA - NOV 23, 2010
2010 Vintage. Poured a beautiful dark ruby with a dark tan head. Aroma was a understated mix of sweet malts, fruit and spices. Taste: sweet malts, fruity, spices... great mix that really tastes like a Holiday desert to me: apple, mild caramel, cinnamon. Medium body, smooth mouthfeel, very well balanced. Overall a very good brew.

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
SB (333) - Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 27, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 4, 2007 From Bottle, PDC@Pittsburgh, PA

2005-Drank from bottle, did get a nice whif of the spicy aroma. First sip brought with it woodsy, earthy flavors, and spices in the aftertones. Very nice, drinkable, smooth going down brew.
2006-From Bottle. Tan pour with some highlights, light tan head, 1-inch thick, creamy looking and laced the glass. Aroma was malty and not as spicy as last year. Flavor was balanced with woody, bready, molassas flavors. Full Bodied. Creamy, smooth mouthfeel.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
michcam8 (333) - Ohio, USA - JAN 13, 2013
Pours a light black with little head. Reminds me of a Belgian dark beer. Fruity flavor and aroma,some spice. No detection of alcohol. Taste was missing a little bit compared to the aroma. $12.00 a six pack is a little overpriced for the quality. Not bad, but does not stand out.


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