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RATINGS: 1821   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 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.


3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
balke13 (156) - MIssoula, Montana, USA - DEC 22, 2005
Bottle. Poured a very dark brown w/lively tan head. Cinnamon, clove, anise, carmel, and pumpkin all permeate from the lip of the glass...quite inviting. The body is both slightly thin yet smooth with a strong anise and cinnamon flavor with hints of brown sugar and a spicy finish.

3
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
rgrep (156) - Wellington, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 27, 2006
Thanks to beer_ledgend for this one. Pours black with a light brown head. I’ve probably held on to this bottle for a bit too long as the aroma is barely there but I can still detect some toasty malt, a touch of cinnamon and tarry notes. The body is thinner than expected and drops off quickly without lingering. It has a spicy sweetness, some apple and a little astringency in the finish.

3.3
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
tony_gorilla (156) - Fiskum, NORWAY - DEC 13, 2013
A brown red christmas beer. Weak smell but taste good. A fair enough beer. Had it before and will have it again.

4.5
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
WanderinCelt87 (154) - Hamburg, New Jersey, USA - DEC 25, 2013
Pours a lovely black with a tan head. Has a very robust smell of spice and malt. Has an amazing taste of spice and malt.

5
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
NickVega (154) - Eugene, Oregon, USA - AUG 19, 2007
Perfect. I have had every year since I can remember. Usually in bottle and on tap. Also -- at Stuffed Sandwiches in CA you can usually try different years (aged) side by side. Wish I had it everyday.

4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
tseo (153) - Athens, GREECE - SEP 28, 2012
2011 vintage: Aroma: Liquorice, burnt caramel, blackberries, figs, raisins, tobacco, pine wood,cinnamon, medicinal notes and more. Really nice interplay. Mouthfeel: Big and foamy, medium carbonation. Taste: Balanced taste. Dry. Whoa, lots of unidentified spices. Bitter on the top of the tongue with an earthy, herbal quality. Finish: Coffee touches with a long, long dry finish. A small amount of tartness, too. Overall: Truly special. Not my fave, but still I can appreciate it for the great, memorable beer it is.

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
CigarsLoveBeer (153) - Illinois, USA - NOV 13, 2006
Bottle, ’06 vintage. Attractive tan head. Dark color. Malt, cloves, and licorice aromas. interesting, but somewhat mild. The taste was much the same, with a somewhat interesting colection of sweet spices noted in this beer towards the end. The finish was dry, mild, and lingering. Body was much lighter than expected. Seems like it could go well with spicy or smokey food, as well as vegetable dishes.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
theothermatt (153) - Lakewood, Colorado, USA - DEC 4, 2013
Bottle 2013. Pours a dark amber. Pine, citrus, and cinnamon on the nose. A ton of great pine and buttering herbal qualities. Great tasting and warming with a dry finish.

2.3
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
aarossell (151) - Grandville, Michigan, USA - DEC 20, 2006
My bottle was 2006... brand new. Smells and looks a lot like soy sauce...add some strong ale aromas. Tastes okay. Not terrible...but I was expecting more of a spiced pale ale or something. oops. Very odd malts and sour flavors. Dark. Tan head.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Sathorael (151) - Oceanside, California, USA - NOV 30, 2012
Pours a rich mahogany with a thin tan head. Not much lacing. Aromas of spice and malty sweetness. Taste is roasted malts, spice, mild buttery sweetness. Medium mouthfeel and a brief sweetness.


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