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RATINGS: 2050   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
JohnQPublic (387) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - DEC 26, 2008
Pours a clear deep brown, with a thin creamy light tan head on top. Nose is spicy, some brown sugar, with a bit of very light roastiness in there also. Hard to get a handle on. Taste starts off with very clean, light brown sugar and a hint of roasty malt. Dry, light, and clean. Spiciness emerges about 3/4 of the way through - at different points, you get evergreen needles, nutmeg, clove. Maybe a bit of cinnamon. Finish is long, dry, and somehow fluffy and light, with a bit of lingering roastiness that comes out more in the finish than in the actual flavor. Mouthfeel is spot on, light and fluffy. Really a superb beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
adam42381 (386) - Fort Myers, Florida, USA - JUL 25, 2010
UPDATED: DEC 16, 2010 2010 Edition Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Spiegelau tulip. Bottled on October 19, 2010 according to date code printed on label. Appearance: Pours a dark cola brown with faint ruby highlights a 1-2 finger creamy dark tan head. Smell: Sweet mix of winter spices with nutmeg and ginger being the most obvious. Taste: Winter spices up front followed by mild citrus hops in the middle and ending with lightly toasted malt at the finish. Aftertaste is a mix of spices and toasted bread. Mouthfeel: Medium-to-full-bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Drinkability: Good drinkability. You could knock back a few of these on a cold evening. Overall: Very good beer overall. Anchor never disappoints me. Iíd recommend picking this up this year (and every new yearís subsequent variation from here on). --- 2006 Edition Reviewed 12-22-2006 - - Rating: 4.5/4.0/4.5/3.0/4.0 Appearance: Poured a near black color with hints of red. Nice dark cream 3 finger head. Very reminiscent of Guinness. Smell: Very strong aroma of hops with a nice mix of spices. Taste: Nice smoked flavor building into an interesting mix of spice and a hint of coffee. Lightly bitter finish. Mouthfeel: Slightly bubbly at the beginning from the carbonation followed by a smooth, medium-body. Not as thick as I expected. Goes down very smooth. Drinakbility: For what it is, a winter warmer, it has high drinkability. Itís not something you grab when looking for refreshment but I could see enjoying a couple in one sitting. Overall: I think the 2006 was a high quality beer. It has a nice flavor that will send me out to buy a 6-pack before theyíre gone. I would recommend it as a winter warmer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
AdamGott (386) - Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA - DEC 13, 2011
aroma of ginger and slight pine, medium frothy head, dark brown pour almost like thinned out molasses, ginger/molasses taste with a bit of sweet fruitiness - 2011 version

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 12/20
Sonicdescent (384) - Donora, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 23, 2009
Poured into Pint Glass, insane amount of thick, creamy head. A lot darker than I expected, looks like the color of black coffee with a slight translucency. First whiff gave me some spice and alcohol scent. Second gave me a huge hit of citrus and hops. Very appetizing though the hoppy scent always throws up an alarm in my neck of the woods..this may be out of my league. Finally as the head settles a little bit, I get a taste. Wow, very smooth and unexpected considering the heavy scent. Very well balanced with a fruity taste at first leaving a lingering citrus aftertaste. The hops from the scent are there, but not nearly as overpowering as I thought it would be. Mouthfeel is surprisingly thick as this has a major coating sensation. Color me impressed.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
mistersinalin (381) - St. Paul, Minnesota, USA - MAR 11, 2008
This beer helped me win a best of seven pool match, which turned into a best of ten, for which I then lost. Good beer though. Unique tasting herbs, just right for holiday times.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
falco242 (381) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - NOV 24, 2012
Pretty darker pour than expected with a light coffee foamy head. The aroma is toasted malt and molasses. The flavor is pretty nice with the maltiness and it has a touch of hop at tthe end. The molasses adds a sweetness and I also get a touch of a red wine type flavor. Not too shabby but nothing to write home about

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
VinegarStroke (381) - Napa, Alabama, USA - JAN 11, 2014
Bottle: deep brown to black. Clear with very thick head. Huge lift of spice and florals. Some roasted flavors but they are dominated by the herbaceous additives. Dry, not sour and medium bitterness. Phenolic not bitter. Loads of flavor itís just that not all of itís nice.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
joohefner (380) - Isla Vista, California, USA - NOV 15, 2007
dark earth color with very small tan head. spicy sweet treacle aroma with a light orange peel note. smooth thin body. spicy cocoa earth flavor, like a spiced brown ale. the spice is pretty complex: sage, nutmeg, and i also pick up some yeast phenols. good very layered but its body seems awkwardly thin

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
sblsimone85 (379) - 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 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
revolution2718 (379) - New Jersey, USA - JAN 8, 2014
2013 Version. Pours very dark, some red in there. Nose is gingerbread, spices, brown sugar. Taste is gingerbread, spices, cinnamon, orange zest, on the end there's a little bitterness, almost like burn cookies, a roasty note. Baked apple also, with the cinnamon, and a lot of sugars. Thin but not watery. Very good. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

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