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RATINGS: 1827   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 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.


3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
dhlesq (233) - Thousand Oaks, California, USA - NOV 8, 2005
Aroma of toasted almonds, roast malt, nutmeg, cinamon. Appears a deep ruby red-brown with a small thick tan head that lasts and leaves lacing. Flavor is nutmeg, cinamon, and lightly bitter hops, followed by sweet malt (like a red ale), and finishing with roasty notes. Palate is medium-heavy and very creamy. Overall, this beer quite interesting and a bit more than the sum of its parts. Oh, and its excellent with chocolate truffles.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
coldmeat23 (232) - Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA - NOV 23, 2009
Vintage: 2008 Pours a very dark, amber tinted, brown color. Comes with a two-finger head of dense chocolatey colored foam. Great retention and great lacing, too. Smells almost sweet. Nice caramel malt presence. Big notes of brown sugar and toffee. Smells of cherries with a hint of strawberries (!). Holiday spices of cinnamon and nutmeg. Dryer than, and not nearly as sweet as, expected. Itís actually quite subdued, compared to the nose. Almost bland. The spice notes are fairly overpowering. Ginger is the dominant one. Light cinnamon and clove. Slight hint of peppermint. Hints of dark molasses. Malt base is buried, deep. Everything just cancels each other out, and no flavor gets its chance to shine. Medium body. Very smooth and slick. Easy to drink, but thereís not much to it. Very drinkable, because there just isnít much going on, inside this glass. Anchor is generally one of my top christmas brews, every year. Iím kind of let down by this one. At least when itís still fresh. Iíll try it again, later.

4.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
gwfrankpsu (231) - McKinleyville, California, USA - DEC 24, 2006
I donít know what other people are drinking, this is one of the best Christmas beers. Almost black color with a nice malt and nutmeg and ginger aroma. The flavor is again Nutmeg, ginger and to my mind holly. There are a few beers I look forward to each year and again this does no disappoint - thankd, Fritz.

4.1
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Berley31 (230) - New Brunswick, CANADA - JAN 7, 2010
2009 Vintage: A: Poured with an average-to-large sized head that dissipated to 1/2-finger. Good lacing. Body is very dark, with ruby highlights, and completely clear. S: Lots going on with the aroma, with hints of spices (nutmeg), pumpkin, and smokiness coming through. Very layered but not at all overly-intense. T: Very flavorful, the taste is almost as deep as the aroma. Lots of spices are present, provoking memories of Christmas as they intended. The beer isnít too heavy at all, despite the amount of flavors that are there. M: Medium-bodied, slightly thin texture, with average carbonation. D: This is a very nice beer... wish I had had the 2008 to compare. Looking forward to the to 2010 to see where Anchor decides to go with it. A great Christmas beer.

3.1
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
nittanytide (229) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 29, 2012
Poured opaque dark brown, with a foamy, tan head. Aroma is bread and dark chocolate. Taste is toasty, but a little watery on the back end. Good, but nothing ďspecialĒ.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
revolution2718 (229) - New Jersey, USA - JAN 8, 2014
2013 Version. Pours very dark, some red in there. Nose is gingerbread, spices, brown sugar. Taste is gingerbread, spices, cinnamon, orange zest, on the end there's a little bitterness, almost like burn cookies, a roasty note. Baked apple also, with the cinnamon, and a lot of sugars. Thin but not watery. Very good. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

3.4
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
TLNash886 (228) - Idaho, USA - NOV 28, 2009
Pours a murky brown with tan head into a Lindemans tumbler. Malty, spicy aroma. Definitely get that Christmas winter warmer from this one. Starts spicy, little malty sweetness, ends with a little roastiness, some nutty flavor, coffee, spice. Surprisingly got better as I drank. Pretty nice mouthfeel with medium carbonation; pretty damn drinkable. Ended a lot better than it started. Nice lower abv warmer.

2.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
oreogobbler (228) - Austin, Texas, USA - APR 17, 2008
2007 bottle! Pours a dark espresso brown. Off white thick, frothy, and creamy head. Looks a lot like root beer. Roasted/toasted caramel aroma. Malty with some essence of chocolate, and spicy brown sugar. Very intense punch of flavor right to the tongue, slightly smoky oak. I also get some nutty notes, and some creamy milk chocolate in the finish. The palate is very unbalance. Harsh flavor and mouth feel all over at first, but as it roll to the back of your tongue it mellows out a bit. Buttery and full. Itís interesting, but could be better.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
bradlyc77 (226) - Sebastopol, California, USA - DEC 18, 2008
UPDATED: JAN 14, 2009 2008 bottle. Pours syrupy with nice tan head. Good carbonation level. Starts with hints of allspice, nutmeg and figs. Finishes with a little bit of chocolate and roastiness. Nice balance of hops bitterness with the spice. Well done.

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
davidflores99 (225) - Long Beach, California, USA - NOV 28, 2006
2006 bottle. Dark brown appearance, litte head. Aroma was sweet and spicy, flavor was pretty nice. You can taste the licorice, and was pretty malty. Overall Iíd say it was decent, a good beer to try out.


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