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RATINGS: 1850   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 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
SpencerDB (223) - Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - DEC 31, 2009
On tap. Dark amber pour with a little white head. Tastes of candy cane and some dark fruit and anise. Tasty but hard to drink more than one because of the sweetness.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
TOSG55 (223) - Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 8, 2012
Bottle, 2011 vintage. Pours a deep brown-black with a medium tan head. Sweet aroma of brown sugar, fruit, and spice. The flavor is similar, with a nicely complex malt profile, and notes of caramel, raisins, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and some things that I canít put my finger on. Sweet, but not cloying. Quite nice.

4.6
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
weepingsuds (222) - Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA - FEB 21, 2006
This blew me away. The aroma is nothing short of miraculous. I had to look twice to make sure this was a beer. My wife said it is heavy on the plum, but that may be teaberry as others have notted. The balance of holiday spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and the malt sweet overtones are nearly perfect. WOW!!!!!!!!

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 17/20
mintzmeet (221) - 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

3.6
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
RyanK (220) - 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.

3.4
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
beerlover82 (220) - Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 7, 2013
Midnight black with thick tan head. Consistent retention throughout. Holiday spices hit nose, some liquorice and notes of toffee. Medium body with tastes of roasted malt, coffee. Very milky. Could use some more flavors. Not too exciting, could be better, but overall okay.

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
winegarner (220) - san diego, California, USA - MAR 26, 2006
Poured black with reddish edges and a full, lasting, tan head. This is a very complex beer, a light acrid roast flavor combined with a minty, spice flavor with the possible use of ginger. Hop bitterness is moderate and balancing, with some floral flavor an aroma. Very dry roasty finish.

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
emeinz (220) - Minnesota, USA - NOV 13, 2011
Bottle to glass. 2011 version. Has notes of pine (spruce?), notes of roasty malts. Mild spiciness to the aroma as well. Dark red color with medium tan head. Slightly sweet with a very mild sourness on the back end. Its a pretty good winter ale. This is the first version of the beer that I tasted. I enjoyed it. Definitely not my favorite, but good nonetheless. Although my grandmother sampled this and loved it.

3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
jerd16 (219) - 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 Anchorís flagship beers warrants a more pronounced flavor profile and aroma.

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Fantomasus (218) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - DEC 25, 2007
Magnum. Pours dark chocolate with a flimsy off white head. Smells of spice and cinnamon. Dry chocolate caramel flavor. Watery mouth feel with a dry finish. Donít go out of your way to get the 2007 Magnum. Maybe the 12 oz. bottle is better?


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