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RATINGS: 2046   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53/5   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 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.


4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
natejgood (468) - Bozeman, Montana, USA - NOV 17, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 19, 2008 I’m rating the 2007 Spcial Ale. It pours relatively dark with a lot of medium brown head. The head leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. It smells of holiday spices, including nutmeg, cloves and pumpkin spice. It smells like the holidays. The flavor starts with some sweet coffee, moves onto some of the holiday spices, and ends with a bit of bitterness around the sides of my mouth. The beer leaves the mouth a little dry, and the carbination is very light. This is a very good offering for a holiday beer. An update to my rating. The 2008 beer is just as splendid as the 2007.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
alagnak (468) - Littleton, Colorado, USA - NOV 25, 2009
2009 version. Nose is Christmas in a glass - coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses. Flavor is more of the spices upfront (like a cold, slightly yeasty chai tea), with a darak caramelly slightly roasted flavor underneath. A little strawberry shows up as it warms. Body is just a touch on the watery side. Pretty decent stuff.

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
youdictategood (467) - Florida, USA - NOV 16, 2012
2012 - Single bottle from Total Wine. Very dark amber pour with a small tan head. Heavy lacing. A lot of vanilla and ginger in the aroma, along with some pine, citrus, and dough. Pretty heavy malt taste to start, then grass/pine, bread, bitter chocolate. Finishes with some cinnamon/ginger spice. Medium-bodied, low carbonation. Not bad, but wouldn’t keep me from reaching for a lot of other winter releases first.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
HomeBrewHawk (464) - De Soto, Kansas, USA - DEC 26, 2007
2007 vintage. 12oz. bottle served in a shaker pint glass. Poured a dark, reddish brown. One finger of fine bubbled light tan head. Lots of pine and cinnamon spice in the aroma. Very fragrant. Medium to full bodied. Plenty of caramel malt and some dark fruit. Pumpkin pie spice and spruce in the finish. The spice seems a little more subdued this year allowing the base beer flavor to be more evident. A Christmas tradition for me that I always look forward to drinking.

3.2
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
6ROW (461) - corpus christi, Texas, USA - FEB 15, 2009
# 34 2008. dark brown almost black pour with med 3 finger light brown head (good lacing). smokey and sweet malt aroma. warming taste of dark roasted malt with slight bitter after taste.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
KieferUGA (461) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - DEC 3, 2007
12 oz. bottle. 2007 vintage. Pours a deep, clear mahogany with a small light, cream color head. Aroma of pine tree and cinnamon. Mouthfeel is a combination of spices, maple syrup, and licorice. Hint of a bitter ending, but not too overpowering.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
mribm (460) - Ocala, Florida, USA - DEC 24, 2011
This beer always has a lot of spiciness in the nose, but it somehow gets lost in the taste. It could also use a little more alcohol, to give it that warming feeling. I like this beer once a year, for its uniqueness in flavor, however I couldn’t drink more than a few bottles a year.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
RiverHorse (457) - New Jersey, USA - NOV 24, 2007
Pours a dark copper color with small hints of amber peeking through when held to light. A finger of light tan head frothed up quickly, then the lacing stuck around on the sides of the lager glass. The scent was of brown sugar, malt, dried fruit and spice. A hint of cinnamon and brown sugar came across up front with some sticky molasses , nutmeg and dried fruit to finish. I am glad to have tried this, but wouldn’t search out a six pack.

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
darrennelson12 (456) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 18, 2015
In bottle (2012); nice beer. Pours a dark brown, very think head ... taste of cocoa and some caramel, and spicy notes coming out as it warms up. Not quite in the class as Belgium Christmas ale’s but a good beer none the less ... I would buy again for sure

4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
Braastad (454) - FINLAND - MAR 23, 2013
Dark red, almost black beer. Creamy head that lingers. Great beer, lots of berries, blackcurrant?


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