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RATINGS: 1906   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.54   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.


3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
bconch (296) - - JAN 19, 2013
2012. Dark brown pour. Little to no head. Smell of dark fruits. Taste is similar with a coffee presence. Almost like a Belgian stout.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
thefederalist (294) - Jonesboro, Arkansas, USA - NOV 9, 2007
Pours quite dark, nice tan head w/ lacing. Aroma of cinnamon and nuts. Flavor is salty, nutty and mild. Vague dacetyl in the mouthfeel. I was unimpressed.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
branspra (293) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - DEC 7, 2008
2008 Bottle. Pours a dark brown color with a rather large, frothy, off-white head. Aromas of nutmeg, spices, hops, and spruce. Texture is slick and oily, but very thin. Has a nice aftertaste with Christmas spices, but rather thin in the mouth. Not bad but not great.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
falco242 (293) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - NOV 24, 2012
Pretty darker pour than expected with a light coffee foamy head. The aroma is toasted malt and molasses. The flavor is pretty nice with the maltiness and it has a touch of hop at tthe end. The molasses adds a sweetness and I also get a touch of a red wine type flavor. Not too shabby but nothing to write home about

3.3
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
SamuraiArtist (292) - portland, Oregon, USA - JUL 22, 2007
Draft: Pours dark dark brown with a big white foamy head. Aromas of chocolate, malt and spruce. Flavor is slightly chocolatey but not roasty, subtle but noticeable spices. A little bitterness at the finish. Perhaps some minty like Northern Brewer hops.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
soyorganic (292) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JAN 4, 2012
2011 bottle: Nice aroma of crystal malt, licorice notes and something else I can’t put my finger on. Roasted malt, chocolate and licorice notes, almost some menthol or juniper notes. Nice flavor but thin watery feel that get in the way of what would be a great beer.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
theOptimator (289) - Sacramento, California, USA - DEC 10, 2011
Aroma is cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, dark fruit. Appearance is dark brown mahogany with medium large tan head. Taste is complex spice. Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, dark fruits, black licorice, wood, roasty, earthy, some sourness, mint. Palate is medium+. Overall a very interesting beer. Does an excellent job of combining many nice christmas spices, but keeping balanced and not over the top. A complex beer I feel would age well, but is great right now.

2.8
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
zug4abby (287) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 10, 2006
Thanks Beer_Hawk!!! Pours a slightly cloudy dark brown color with no head or lacing. Aroma is slightly fruity yet roasty with strong hints of cranberries and spice. Flavor is roasty and bitter and reminds of an old (and very cold) cup of dark black coffee. The only thing that seperates it in the flavor from the old coffee is the slighty spicy/cranberry like flavor. The beer is smooth on the palate but is just to bitter for my liking.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
lumpsowers (287) - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA - APR 12, 2009
(2007)Dark brown pour, fluffy head, lots of lace. Cinnamon, pine aroma. Nutty, chocolatey flavor, some bready cinnamon. Really does taste like Christmas! Think this might be a little old, but still an interesting flavor. (2008)Black pour, big fluffy head, high lace. Spicy pine aroma. Sweet, cinnamon and nutmeg, tastes like an alcoholic Christmas cookie. Slightly grapey, not bad.

3.8
   AROMA 2/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
jlf278 (287) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - JAN 15, 2010
Pours with a nice thick one to two finger head. Beautiful brown body. Smells like a moldy old penny - pee-yew. Tastes like sugar and plum and molasses. Nice medium-heavy body. Not boozy, just delicious. too bad about the smell


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