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RATINGS: 1810   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.54   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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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.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Rockcrawler (197) - Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA - MAY 18, 2010
50.7 Oz. Pours a dark black amber with brownish tan head. Aroma heavily of spices and notes of cinnamon, fruit, and molasses. Taste is very sweet and spicy. Palate is full bodied and almost syrupy. Definitely a very interesting beer that grows on you after awhile

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
sblsimone85 (197) - USA - MAR 17, 2013
Birra natalizia della anchor affumicata tostata aromi di caffè x una buona birra, amaro da tostatura. ---Rated BY Italianbeer85

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
commonmac (196) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - DEC 13, 2013
Bottle pour. Plenty of head albeit short term in nature. A mild aroma but leans toward the festive cinnamon side. Lacing clings well to the glass. Taste is sweet at the end with a presence of cloves? Falls short of greatness due to a less than desirable end and aftertaste. A good effort but there are better Christmas options.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Bobsy (194) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 18, 2008
I picked this bottle up in San Francisco, and with the hope that I can hasten Spring’s arrival by getting rid of all my winter seasonals, I popped the cap. I can tell you right now that a luscious fruitcake aroma hit me as I poured this into a chalice. A very dark rusty blood body (ugh...I have to work on these descriptions) gives birth to a medium sized well-browned meringue head. The aroma of the aforementioned fruitcake is the big hit in this. It smells smooth and rich, full of spices that are not overplayed, but well-meshed instead. The flavour is impressive and soothing. There is quite a lot of caramel malt forming a backdrop against nicely balance cinnamon and nutmeg flavours, along with the hint of pine, before leading through to a slightly dry finish. The body is medium, and matches the flavours and feel of this beer very well. In fact, overall I’d say this is an excellently crafted seasonal brew, that left me wanting more.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
hopslovin (194) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - APR 6, 2008
2007 Bottle. Brown pour with thick and foamy brown head. Great spice aromas. Mint, coriander, and spruce are present in flavor. Lots of spice. Medium mouthfeel. Very different.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
efrumtheidiot (190) - Colorado, USA - FEB 15, 2008
2007 bottle. pours a dark ruby-copper with a tan head. aroma is clove, spice, dark fruits, sweetness, and yeah, i actually do sense the furniture polish hughie wrote of (haha, a strangely satisfying aroma)! taste is clovey, liquorice, dirt, spices, light cinnamony raisins. tastes very christmas-like, similar to bread pudding. mid-light bodied with a bubbly, prickly mouthfeel. not a bad brew at all, has that classic anchor taste with a holiday twist. not a flavor explosion, but a gently satisfying holiday session brew. will definately buy again next year.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Hopswagger (188) - South Carolina, USA - FEB 1, 2014
P: Deep dark mahogany body topped with a thin short lived later of micro bubble tan head. S: Smells like christmas. Burnt toffee, nutmeg, butterscotch, spruce tree, hints of vanilla bean, cinnamon and sweet molasses. T/M: Taste follows the nose with loads of spices, brown sugar and sweet malt. Stingy carbonation in a medium body. Darks fruits and tart apple peels come out toward the end. Finish is semi dry and finishes with bitter-sweet prunes coated in brown sugar. O: A great warmer for Christmas time. Robust flavors and complexity blended into a great beer. I read a review that mentioned Dr. Pepper flavor and I can totally get that in this. Anxious for next year.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Chickencoop (188) - California, USA - AUG 6, 2010
For what this is, it is a solid winter beer that has become a tradition, .....but this just came off to spiced and having a odd metalic twang throughout. I love Anchor, remember this in the day in college when you’d be all like, winter beers rock, then pound one and puke, good times.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
ivan9856 (187) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - JAN 2, 2006
I sampled a 12 oz. bottle. The body is mahogany with a large, rocky tan head. There is excellent lacing. Rich malt, yeast, and spices like nutmeg and gingerbread, are featured in the nose. The backbone of dark roasted malt quickly yields to a complex midpalate with a variety of flavors such as coffee, dark chocolate and licorice. The aforementioned spice spectrum, roasted nuts and anticipated pine needle essence are also revealed The finish is moderately hopped, and fairly long lasting. A very good seasonal ale.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
chilehead (186) - Laguna Niguel, California, USA - DEC 9, 2005
I had this on draft at Pizza Port San Clemente. A very different and seasonal tasting brew. Nose strongly of cider spices and bubble gum, mouth of bubble gum, fruit, and cinnamon. I wouldn’t want this all year round, but it’s just right for Christmas :-) Pour was dark brown.

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