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RATINGS: 1925   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 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.


3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Fantomasus (239) - 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. Don’t go out of your way to get the 2007 Magnum. Maybe the 12 oz. bottle is better?

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
richc (239) - Bolton, Greater Manchester, ENGLAND - DEC 9, 2012
2012 edition. Purs very dark brown, almost black with a moderate creamy head. Aroma of sweet caramel and dark dried fruit, prune, raisin perhaps. Flavour adds a slight roasty note and bitterness.

3.1
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
nittanytide (239) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 29, 2012
Poured opaque dark brown, with a foamy, tan head. Aroma is bread and dark chocolate. Taste is toasty, but a little watery on the back end. Good, but nothing “special”.

3.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
DJC (238) - USA - NOV 26, 2007
2007 version, Valley oak tree on label: Opaque body, with a tan head that disappeared way too quickly. Splotchy lacing. Holiday cookie-like aroma, which was quite a bit sweeter than the flavor. At first, the flavor profile consisted of cardamom, nutmeg, giner, allspice, and toffee, but the finish could best be described as acrid coffee and smoke. The carbonation was lively, but overall mouthfeel was slightly on the watery side. I feel that Anchor did a pretty good job with this one, but years past had finer offerings.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
JLLSU (238) - Acworth, Georgia, USA - NOV 7, 2012
12oz bottle-----> tulip. Pours a dark ruby brown with a medium khaki head and light lacing. Aroma is licorice, clove, and sweet figs. Taste is nutmeg, clove, and gingerbread. Medium-light palate with little carbonation. This is a fantastic fall/winter beer. I’m gonna buy some more.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
beerheart (237) - Erie, Colorado, USA - JAN 8, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 27, 2008 2006. Deep brown color with hints of red. Thin creamy head. Nice lacing. Hints of chocolate. Spicy aroma. Full bodied. Sweet chocolate taste. Lite alcohol finish. Stellar brew. Had the 2002 on cask at the Gingerman in Houston in December 2004. That was un-freakin’-believable. 2008. I think this went toward an English or even Belgian strong ale. Very malty.

2.6
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 9/20
blinesam (235) - USA - APR 21, 2007
2006 edition. 12oz bottle. Mediciney, too many flavors and spices to be a good beer. would probably be a better just to smell it and drink another beer.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
tightslice (235) - Redwood City, California, USA - NOV 11, 2014
Format: Bottle from Whole Foods in Redwood City, CA
Aroma: Cloves, cinnamon, burnt sugar, light pine
Taste: Mild sweetness up front, then earthy hops and a tangy sweetness left in the mouth
Palate: Tingly carbonation, light body
Overall: A solid option for those who enjoy the seasonal autumn / pumpkin beers

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Moggman (235) - Columbus, USA - NOV 20, 2008
Bottle, 2008 edition. Pours dark brown/amber with a light brown head. Aroma is piney and ginger. Flavor is hoppy with pine notes, dark fruits.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
dhlesq (233) - Thousand Oaks, California, USA - NOV 8, 2005
Aroma of toasted almonds, roast malt, nutmeg, cinamon. Appears a deep ruby red-brown with a small thick tan head that lasts and leaves lacing. Flavor is nutmeg, cinamon, and lightly bitter hops, followed by sweet malt (like a red ale), and finishing with roasty notes. Palate is medium-heavy and very creamy. Overall, this beer quite interesting and a bit more than the sum of its parts. Oh, and its excellent with chocolate truffles.


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