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RATINGS: 1830   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.


3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
eve (240) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - DEC 30, 2005
Pours dark brown with thin beige head. Served too cold, but after I let it warm up a bit, a strong aroma of nutmeg, almost like eggnog. Taste was more nutmeg and gingerbread, Christmasey indeed. Some people at my table thought the spices were way overdone to the point of oddity but I found it satisfyingly assertive. This improved with every sip so by the end of the glass, I quite liked it.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
BINGEBOT (240) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 3, 2007
2006 bottle that I picked up in January. Pours dark brown with a nice light brown head. Smells of deep dark malty goodness. Tastes malty as well with a hint of nutmeg or some such spices. Definitely has some roasted chocolate attributes. A bit light on the body. Very nice for a cold day in November!

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Brandon1989 (240) - Euless, Texas, USA - JAN 7, 2014
(2012) pours a dark brown with a tan head. the aroma is spices, malt. the taste is complex. taste is spices, dark fruits, chocolate.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
richc (239) - Bolton, Greater Manchester, ENGLAND - DEC 9, 2012
2012 edition. Purs very dark brown, almost black with a moderate creamy head. Aroma of sweet caramel and dark dried fruit, prune, raisin perhaps. Flavour adds a slight roasty note and bitterness.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Scouser (239) - Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 23, 2010
2006 A nice dark brown colour with beige lacing. Spicy treacle aroma. Tastes of licorice, vanilla. A really nice beer! 2007 Dark brown with beige lacing. Earthy aroma. Malthy and earthy flavour, not a bad beer, but not as good as the 20006

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Hollywoodt (239) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - JAN 30, 2006
Poured very dark brown. Aroma hinted of caramel, chocolate and spice. Flavor was all that plus a little cinnamon. I get this brew every year at the holidays, and am never disappointed. Get in my belly!

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
JLLSU (238) - Acworth, Georgia, USA - NOV 7, 2012
12oz bottle-----> tulip. Pours a dark ruby brown with a medium khaki head and light lacing. Aroma is licorice, clove, and sweet figs. Taste is nutmeg, clove, and gingerbread. Medium-light palate with little carbonation. This is a fantastic fall/winter beer. I’m gonna buy some more.

3.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
DJC (238) - USA - NOV 26, 2007
2007 version, Valley oak tree on label: Opaque body, with a tan head that disappeared way too quickly. Splotchy lacing. Holiday cookie-like aroma, which was quite a bit sweeter than the flavor. At first, the flavor profile consisted of cardamom, nutmeg, giner, allspice, and toffee, but the finish could best be described as acrid coffee and smoke. The carbonation was lively, but overall mouthfeel was slightly on the watery side. I feel that Anchor did a pretty good job with this one, but years past had finer offerings.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
beerheart (237) - Erie, Colorado, USA - JAN 8, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 27, 2008 2006. Deep brown color with hints of red. Thin creamy head. Nice lacing. Hints of chocolate. Spicy aroma. Full bodied. Sweet chocolate taste. Lite alcohol finish. Stellar brew. Had the 2002 on cask at the Gingerman in Houston in December 2004. That was un-freakin’-believable. 2008. I think this went toward an English or even Belgian strong ale. Very malty.

2.6
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 9/20
blinesam (235) - USA - APR 21, 2007
2006 edition. 12oz bottle. Mediciney, too many flavors and spices to be a good beer. would probably be a better just to smell it and drink another beer.


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