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RATINGS: 1956   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.


2.2
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
Avengedpoet (329) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - MAR 10, 2009
2008 vintage. Pours almost black with decent brown head. Aroma is originally very off-putting. My brain simultaneously thought chocolate and fecal...not good. Oddly enough, as it warmed it morphed into a much nicer pine/mint aroma. Taste is also originally quite off-putting, being over-spiced and tasting like burned chocolate. Again, as it warms, it improves and becomes more balanced. Overall a very dry beer. Lesson: don’t drink this at a cold or cool temperature, it’s disgusting.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
theOptimator (329) - 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.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
DMLINAZ (329) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - DEC 27, 2012
2012 brew. From a bottle into a frosted ale glass, pours deep brown or cola with a fluffy, lasting white head. Interesting flavor - almost like a brown ale with something a bit overpowering, like nuts, anise, something I can’t quite put my finger on. Intriguing and very drinkable for one bottle, but not sure I’d enjoy more than that at a time.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Neeskens (328) - SWEDEN - DEC 16, 2010
Bottled. Dark ruby with a off-white head. The aroma is gingerbread biscuits all the way. There are spices like cloves and cardamon as well as a good caramel maltiness. More of the same in the taste, but with more hoppy notes of fruit and pine.

3.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
jon112981 (327) - Bristow, Virginia, USA - DEC 24, 2006
Bottle. Dark pour with thick white head. Slightly bitter with a sweet undertone. Very light tasting but not as smooth as I expected.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
chuckstout (327) - Washington, USA - DEC 14, 2013
Big holiday aromas of clove, nutmeg, caramel, smoke, fruit. Pours a near black with ruby highlights and a tan head with great lacing. Nice mouthfeel toffee and spices a nice fun winter beer.

4.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
kitschy (326) - Nebraska, USA - DEC 8, 2006
UPDATED: AUG 5, 2007 2006 version, on tap. The Quintessential Christmas beer of 2006! yummy gingerbread beer - Christmas in a glass! Flavor includes chooclate and coffee, a slight taste of orange cream halfway through, with a touch of peppery hops about three quarters of the way through. A very smooth palate. 2005 version - sampled in August 2007 - delightful cinnamon, orange and nutmeg flavor... this is the archetype for classic Christmas beers.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
bobman006 (326) - New Jersey, USA - DEC 17, 2009
UPDATED: JAN 5, 2010 Bottle. 2009. Dark brown/black with creamy beige head. Aromas of pine, citrus, cranberry, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and wintergreen. Flavors of toffee, toast, cranberry, allspice, citrus, and wintergreen. Silky mouthfeel with sparkly carbonation. Brighter than 2008, not as dark and complex. A: 5/5 S: 7/10 T: 7/10 P: 5/5 O: 16/20 (4.0) Bottle. 2008. Pours dark brown with persisting beige head. Aroma is herbal with pumpernickel, pine, nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander and clove. Flavors of chocolate, malted milk, toast, wood smoke, juniper berries, orange, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mouthfeel is soft and smooth. Finishes with subtle hop bite and spice. A very kind brew. A: 5/5 S: 8/10 T: 8/10 P: 5/5 O: 16/20 (4.2)

3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
jnkor (326) - Tampa, Florida, USA - FEB 1, 2013
Aroma is a thick sweet, but with a bit of must. Color is a deep dark red with a small lasting white head. The taste is slightly sweet, but bitter and has a little gummy edge. The palate is thick with carbonation.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
bconch (324) - - 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.


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