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RATINGS: 2050   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 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Brewbie (478) - New York, USA - DEC 26, 2010
2010. 12oz bottle. dark with ruby highlights, small, foamy tan head. light spice and caramel in the aroma. cloves, little ginger in the taste, spicy finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
chicowv (477) - Canaan Valley, West Virginia, USA - DEC 20, 2011
12 oz bottle: Thanks Ben! Pours a nice caramel brown with a light head and nice CO2 release. Aroma is light but I had a cold. Taste is nice and smooth with a light spice of raisin, licorice, allspice, etc. Easy drinker with just enough, but not too much spice. Nicely carbonated and a smooth finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
mrjez (477) - Osaka, JAPAN - DEC 2, 2015
UPDATED: DEC 16, 2015 2015 355ml bottle. Re-rate after a second try, poured into a tulip snifter. L: this yearís is one of the best looking from memory. It pours a dark olive brown with a finger of creamy light tan head, excellent lacing. S: Thereís clove up front and sweetened malt and dark fruit underneath, it comes out a bit more as it warms. T: the taste follows the nose mostly providing spice flavour with some dark malt, light anise, a bit aqueous. The spice just gets a bit overpowering by the end F: the malt body is a tad llight, a little spritzy up front, a little spice warmth. O: itís not bad, but Iíve enjoyed the last few years more, they were more robust I thought. Is it just my shifting palate?

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
JoshuaB (476) - Detroit, Michigan, USA - DEC 2, 2005
Very cool looking. Deep garnet with lots of foamy tan head. Nose is mad gingerbread, along with some pine, dark malts, and light spicing. Taste is different, but nice. Starts out with some nice semisweet malts and then progresses to involve ginger, light hops, cinnamon, pine, a nice sourness, and some chocolate. More chocolate undertones, its tart and bitter near the end. A good effort. Not a cookie cutter Christmas ale by any means, and by far the most complex. Cant really drink more than one of these in a setting, but I will enjoy my sixer within the next couple weeks.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 10/20
Ctplt777 (475) - - DEC 25, 2015
UPDATED: DEC 26, 2015 Interesting beer. Lots of fig, plums, and molasses in the aroma. Very chewy and sweet. It tastes like a big oatmeal raisin cookie. Lots of sweetness, with bit hints of molasses, chocolate, nutmeg and spice. Not quite a stout but totally full of complexity and flavor. Definitely a great holiday beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
HopBackDoc (474) - Hatboro, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 5, 2006
2006 batch. Pours black with small tan head. Aroma of grains, spice and yeast. Big malt flavor and mild carbonation. Accented with coffee, some chocolate and a berry in the finish. Not bad.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 8/20
MrRain (472) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - DEC 17, 2008
12oz bottle poured into an English pint, starting temperature is 39 degrees F. AOSA 2008 pours dark burgundy with a medium-sized off-white head. This is a pretty beer. The aroma consists of mild hops, spicy nutmeg, a hint of mint. The flavor is very spicy. The flavors tend to sit on the beer rather than blend with the beer. The flavors include nutmeg and pepper with a thin caramel base. The beer could be a bit thicker to help absorb the spices. The finish is spicy and leaves the feeling of raw ingredients in your mouth.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
ElBorracho (472) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 19, 2005
On tap at The Village Tap. Poured nice and dark with a thin head. Lots of coffee, burnt wood, clove, and other spices. Finishes with a really nice hop kick that really makes this one stand out. This is good one that makes the impending cold a bit easier to take.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
M82 (469) - Kansas, USA - NOV 8, 2013
Three year aged 2010 offers big cherry characteristics adorned with chocolatey, caramelly, spiced biscuit, bold flavor from a quaffable, slightly sticky medium

A deep mahogany body supports a fading, tight, delicate, frothy head which fades to a thick ring
I canít believe how well this 5.5% brew has held up, the aroma and flavors are saturated in rich cherry characteristics with herbal accents and delicate chocolatey, caramely, bready notes featuring whispers of vanilla, finishing with an eloquent base of yeasty, doughy biscuit accentuated by the aforementioned components

12oz 2010 vintage served at 55ļ into 15.125oz Riedel Vivant Chardonnay Tumbler

   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.

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