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RATINGS: 1946   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53   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.


2.8
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
zug4abby (287) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 10, 2006
Thanks Beer_Hawk!!! Pours a slightly cloudy dark brown color with no head or lacing. Aroma is slightly fruity yet roasty with strong hints of cranberries and spice. Flavor is roasty and bitter and reminds of an old (and very cold) cup of dark black coffee. The only thing that seperates it in the flavor from the old coffee is the slighty spicy/cranberry like flavor. The beer is smooth on the palate but is just to bitter for my liking.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
lumpsowers (287) - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA - APR 12, 2009
(2007)Dark brown pour, fluffy head, lots of lace. Cinnamon, pine aroma. Nutty, chocolatey flavor, some bready cinnamon. Really does taste like Christmas! Think this might be a little old, but still an interesting flavor. (2008)Black pour, big fluffy head, high lace. Spicy pine aroma. Sweet, cinnamon and nutmeg, tastes like an alcoholic Christmas cookie. Slightly grapey, not bad.

3.8
   AROMA 2/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
jlf278 (287) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - JAN 15, 2010
Pours with a nice thick one to two finger head. Beautiful brown body. Smells like a moldy old penny - pee-yew. Tastes like sugar and plum and molasses. Nice medium-heavy body. Not boozy, just delicious. too bad about the smell

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
BaroneBirra (287) - Gorizia, ITALY - DEC 11, 2013
2013 version labeled for Europe. Sweet cloves aroma. Lots of Christmas spices in the taste: cloves, cinnamon, orange peel and candy apple. Nice because reminds all the Christmas flavours,but too low with body an alcohol and unbalanced with spices .

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Cable (286) - SE, Oklahoma, USA - DEC 9, 2005
Sampled from bottle. OSA 2005 pours dark ruby with a sudsy light tan head and nice lacing. Aroma is dominated by nutmeg and orange liquer. Flavor is well-balanced with rich malts: caramel, toasted, chocolate and faint hint of rye or smoked malts (maybe). Honeysuckle and nutmeg are also at the forefront. Remarkably clean finish for this higher gravity beer. Full-bodied and moderately carbonated. Warming for a crisp Winter night. OSA is always a welcome treat.

3.7
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
alaskanwarren (286) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 3, 2006
Iíve been meaning to snag this one fro awhile, and Doppelganger hooked me up. So thanks! Pours dark red, with a bit of brown. Head is creamy and bubbly. Aroma is malty with something else i canít put my finger on. Maybe cloves? Taste is really interesting. Very strong spices - lemon, anise, clove. I expected some warmer spices like nutmeg and cinnamon, but iím not getting that much. Itís more of the bitter stuff. I like it a lot. Finish is crisp and dry. Not really cloying for a fairly thick beer. I thought this was an interesting beer and I appreciate the experimentation. Not something I"m just super excited about but still a good, interesting beer. Bravo!

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
drinkbeer (283) - Redondo Beach, California, USA - NOV 17, 2006
2006. smooth, dark, tight carbonation. just the way I like it. This ale turns me on. tan head dissipates fairly quickly. ga ga ga ginger. i love my Ginny gin ginger. Cloves. I love my clovey clove cloves. The smell, no itís not exactly williams-sonoma, because it is fresh pine tree. It is winter solstace. Just feel the beer. literaly, touch it, play with it. Caress it. Gently though. It is a fine ale to be indulged this time of year. So go ahead...Indulge!

3.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
tedovertu (283) - Apple Valley, Minnesota, USA - DEC 8, 2008
Dark brownish amber color with very frothy tan head. Allspice and nutmeg mixed with some caramel. Not a bid fan of the spice beers but this one is pretty balanced and not overpowering. A little watery.

3.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
tcruicks (282) - Bloomington, Indiana, USA - DEC 24, 2006
2006. Very very brown in color with a medium-small tan head. A lot of ginger in the aroma, also super spicy, sweet and some malt (even a faint amount of chocolate). I thought it tasted like bread and lots of spices and roast- but not so much of the ginger in the flavor. Its one of the better spice/herb/vege beers that Iíve tried so far! I initially rated this a 3.4, but bumped the overall up one because its so good in the style.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Rballs01 (282) - Madison, New Jersey, USA - DEC 12, 2005
Delicious as usual. A wee bit lighter this year from the previous. Poured a deep dark auburn. The flavor was malty and silky smooth in texture with a hint if some unknown flavor. This holiday ale is another priceless work of art. However, as I do every year put one away, preferably a 1.5L bottle and let it sit until next Christmas and no longer. One year tops and itís even more delicious!


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