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RATINGS: 2041   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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.


3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
matty (325) - Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 22, 2016
12 oz. 2011 bottle tasted on 2016-01-22. Pours a deep ruby red color with a finger thick tan head. Aroma is heavy of spices, wood and a little bit of alcohol. Medium body, taste is interesting. A combination of malt and spice but I canít put my finger on just one thing. Finish is more of the same. A complex beer.

4.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
sinkr (323) - Odenton, Maryland, USA - NOV 30, 2007
2007 from the bottle: produces a nice, thick head that consists of many micro bubbles; has a nice spicy smell and a very light and spicy, but pleasant aftertaste that hangs around for about 30 seconds. I think this is a very pleasing holiday brew.

2.2
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 6/20
CaptBier (323) - Birmingham, Alabama, USA - JAN 12, 2008
Bottled. A pitch black beer with a slight brown shine under a huge brown head. The aroma is sweet with strong spicy notes among them strong notes of spruce and cardemomme - a bit too much for me. The flavor is sweet again with strong notes of spices - especially spruce and cardemmome, but then a note of roasted malt joins in, and combines with the spices to give it an extremely dry finish.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
asteele8 (322) - Des Moines, Washington, USA - DEC 1, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 20, 2006 Bottle. Got to say this is one of my favorite bottle artworks. Pours a dark brown color with a a very thick tan head on top. Looks delicious! Aroma is malty, nutmeg, gingerbread, cinnamon, ginger root, and spice are in the aroma also. Flavor is full of gingerbread, spice, and caramel. A very interesting taste, like a cold gingerbread latte from Starbucks. Definitely a nice Christmas beer.

2.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
stison42 (318) - Blacksburg, Virginia, USA - DEC 28, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 21, 2007 Black. Lightly spiced, a bit more spice would have added to the beer a lot. Only an Ok beer.

2.1
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 6/20
santos999 (318) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 3, 2008
07 bottle. Pours a real dark brown with a thin off-white. Smells like a Christmas tree and roasted barley. The taste is overly spicy with little balance. I thought a year would help, I was damn wrong. Not on my wish list.

2.8
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
bbrock81 (317) - Le Mars, Iowa, USA - DEC 7, 2015
On tap. Pours a dark cola brown, very foamy. Aroma somewhat muted, kind of a bitter, herbal note. Flavor is sweet, herbal, and piney. Palate a bit harsh. Not impressed this year.

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
antzman (316) - Clarksville, Indiana, USA - DEC 18, 2005
Bottle. Pours a deep brown with a bit of amber tint and a thick off white head. The aroma is spicy... caramel malts, nutmeg. The taste is excellent. A bit of chocolate malt, a little clove and cinnamon. A good bit of carbonation, with a medium to heavy mouthfeel. Looking forward to cellering a couple of these to see how they are next year.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
StompBrockmore (316) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 16, 2007
UPDATED: MAR 17, 2007 12oz. bottle - pours very dark brown with ruby highlights and a light brown, caramel head leaving elegant lacing in the glass. Aroma is very malty, fruity and tart, somewhat sweet. Reminded me of many traditional English dark ales, actually, but with notes of chocolate and molasses. Flavour however is a kick in the ass, a very complex array on the palate. Starts off with some sweet chocolate, spruce, lots of spice that I canít put my finger on. Finishes with toffee and chocolate, along with some sweet maltiness and light vanilla. The aftertaste is long and delicious. This is a very unique, complex and satisfying beer. Great!

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
jumpjet2k (314) - Houston, Texas, USA - MAR 20, 2009
UPDATED: AUG 5, 2009 2008 bottle. Pours a very dark amber, somewhat porter-like. Aroma is cloves, spruce, a little cinnamon - Christmas spices, who wouldíve guessed? The flavor of spice and some citrus is much lighter than I expected from the aroma. Nothing really sticks out that much - itís balanced, but not terribly exciting. Smooth palate with a clean dry finish. Not bad. <br\> <br\> Updated: July 15 2009.
2008 vintage bottle. So what if itís the complete wrong time of year? A nice dark ruby color with a full tan head. Smells like potpourri - cinnamon, cloves, gingerbread, maybe a little chocolate in there as well, and something else I canít quite place. Flavor is subdued maltiness complemented by lots of spice, largely the same as the aroma: cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread, potpourri in general. Finishes dry to a pleasant spicy citrusy bitterness. Smooth, balanced, tasty. The spices take some getting used to, though - this isnít your everyday beer.


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