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RATINGS: 1954   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53   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.


3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
VinegarStroke (342) - Napa, California, USA - JAN 11, 2014
Bottle: deep brown to black. Clear with very thick head. Huge lift of spice and florals. Some roasted flavors but they are dominated by the herbaceous additives. Dry, not sour and medium bitterness. Phenolic not bitter. Loads of flavor it’s just that not all of it’s nice.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
astrofrk (341) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - DEC 27, 2008
Dark brown. Long creamy head. Aroma of cola, spruce, caramel. Flavor is the same with roasted malt. Crisp, dry finiah.

2.6
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
Gbgbrouge (339) - SWEDEN - DEC 13, 2014
Poured from bottle, clear dark copper with low head. Aroma strong and complex, notes of caramel, butter, apricot and glühwein. Taste is equally complex malty sweet with little or no bitterness. Odd one...

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.

3.6
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
pforei (338) - USA - JAN 1, 2008
Dark brown with thick brown head. Great aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg pie crust and other spices that I can’t put my finger on. Smells like the holiday season. Caramel malty flavor with a slight chocolate tinge. Beer has the backbone of a mild old ale with pumpkin ale style spice. Not overly sweet. Thin to medium body. Dry finish.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
jehoesefat (337) - Poway, California, USA - NOV 28, 2013
2013 release. Sweet herbal aroma. Pours clear ruby with a tan head. Great flavors, malty chocolate and herbs blend well.

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
VAYankee (335) - 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.

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
SB (334) - 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.


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