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RATINGS: 1826   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 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 17/20
mintzmeet (201) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 15, 2013
dark branchy color. mellow spicy aroma. full bodied in flavor, but not texture. pops with a bit of juniper. Christmas spices with dark sugar and ginger biscuit

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Jwasciuk (198) - Lowell, Michigan, USA - JAN 2, 2007
2006. Pours clear dark red with a light-brown head. Aroma is moderatly malty; cookies, and toasted nuts. Flavor is well balanced, toasted malts with an average clean finish. Light to medium bodied watery and softly carbonated. Nice.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
surffisher (198) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - FEB 22, 2009
12 oz bottle, 2008 vintage. Pours clear and deep copper with a tan head. Aroma is malty, fruity (raisin), and spicy, with lots of nutmeg and some cardamom and vanilla. Flavor is bitter and spicy with a dry woody/peaty malt profile with some fruity esters. Body is a bit thin, but smooth, with relatively low carbonation. Distinguished from most other winter warmers by the heavy reliance and influence of the spices, almost at the expense of other flavor elements.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Cruzan59 (197) - Lititz, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 2, 2009
6-pack from Bottle King, Dumont, NJ...2008 bottle pours dark reddish brown, beige head...sweet smell of cherries, plum, malt, and chocolate...taste also includes fig and caramel, and a touch of vanilla...smooth mouthfeel, decent lacing...tasty brew.

   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Hopswagger (197) - 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 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
jerd16 (194) - Gloucestershire, ENGLAND - FEB 22, 2014
Pours dark brown, with some purple embers. Small 1 finger head retreats almost immediately. Aroma is dominated by ginger, cinnamon & liquorice, some cherry and perhaps a little citrus in the background. Sweet and sour cherry leaks onto the palate, followed by some ginger, nutmeg and a hint of cinnamon. Leaves a hue of roasted-malt-bitterness in its wake. Palate is medium and consistent but due to excessive carbonation is almost soda-esque. Its status as one of Anchor’s flagship beers warrants a more pronounced flavor profile and aroma.

   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 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
RyanK (194) - Rhode Island, USA - DEC 6, 2012
Pours a dark red with alight brown head that is small and quick to dissipate. In the light it looks similar to cranberry juice with a lot of bubbles. Smells of yeast, cloves and spices, maybe some cinnamon? Definitely an interesting smell. Body is watery and bubbly, with a little bite to it. Taste of light and easygoing hops and malt that provide a little roasted bitterness. Other elements such as the spices and yes cinnamon comes through. Very earthy tasting and smelling, interesting but not leaving me yearning for more.

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