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RATINGS: 2048   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53/5   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.


4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Duhast500 (414) - Cumberland, Rhode Island, USA - MAR 26, 2009
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass. The color is a deep black with a tint of a dark red when held to the light. The head is a foamy reddish brown with so nice lacing leaving a film on the glass. The smell is somewhat spicy with a little cinnamon. (I have a head cold) The taste is malty and is bit bitter with some nice flavor of bread, some yeast feel, and a floral hops. This beer is a bit of a mix of spicy hops and heavy bitterness. It has a nice mouth feel to it and it not too heavy and also pretty refreshing.

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
verymerrymonk (413) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 1, 2011
Pours a black body with a thick beige head. Cinnamon, nutmeg, coffee, and a slight cola flavor. Finishes dry.

2.5
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
vmilaxer29 (412) - Virginia, USA - DEC 24, 2011
Has a nice spicy aroma after you pour it, but the taste doesn’t seem to match the smell. The beer could definitely use a higher alcohol content and more distinctive flavor. Not a bad winter ale.

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
CEZ (412) - Milano, ITALY - FEB 20, 2006
Hazy dark brown body, good tan head. Smells like licorice, flowers, caramel, yeast. On the palate, it shows a strong toffee and roasted malt character. Smooth and medium-bodied, with loads of subtle spicy notes coming through (orange peels, nutmeg, pine). Long slightly tarty finish. Complex, yet quite drinkable.

3.9
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
f351c4v (411) - Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 21, 2007
(2007) Pours a dark brown hue with a nice, tan head. Aroma of great Christmas cookies; cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger. Malty body gives way to spiced finish, almost like a fres gingerbread cookie. I look forward to this release every year.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
cgreb (409) - Marburg, GERMANY - NOV 4, 2009
bottle (asheft) 2007 - dark brown beer with a thick beige head. Spicy aroma like cinnamon. Flavour has a lot of fruits and spices.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
sjorsvdg (409) - NETHERLANDS - DEC 21, 2014
Een volle, zoetige en kruidige geur en dito smaak. Duidelijke aanwezigheid van hop. Ideaal om mee te stoven, maar vooral om te drinken. (2014-versie.)

4.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
MarkBarnes (407) - Waterville, New York, USA - DEC 15, 2006
Dec. 15, 2006. 12 oz. bottle of 2006 vintage sampled Dec. 8 at Farm 255, Athens GA. Drank this one in dimly-lit conditions at my sister-in-law’s wedding party, and am now referring to hastily scrawled notes on the back of a business card: "Raisiny, hoppy, frothy, full-body, lasting malt palate, dark fruit, 18/20, aroma-avg." Sounds like it was pretty good! ;-) (Haven’t met an Anchor product I didn’t like -- a lot.)

3.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
leems (406) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JUL 27, 2010
2008 magnum, dark brown with a fluffy tan head, aroma is sweet and spicy. Flavor is deep sticky maltiness with a nice piney hop and then spices like all spice, nutmeg, etc. Nice and Christmasy tasting, one of my fave Christmas beers.

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
leebotton (406) - Bristol, Somerset, ENGLAND - NOV 18, 2015
2015 version out of bottle from brewers droop, Bristol. pours deep dark ruby with an orange brown thick persistent head. Aroma is warming with doughy spice like light cinnamon, there is an earthy character against the soft roast nature and possibly spruce notes. The flavour has a dry, nutty roast/char flavour which is balanced by a silky texture. There are subtle spice notes here. Toward the back of the tongue there is a liquorice flavour reminiscent of my early homebrew but much cleaner and later,, some doughyness is perceived in the flavour. Overall, some great flavours and certainly a multifaceted beer though i would say the dough character is somewhat overwhelming some other aspects of the beer. Very nice, though.


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