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RATINGS: 1830   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.


4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
xibalba89 (147) - New York, New York, USA - DEC 17, 2008
Pours a dark reddish brown with a big tan head. The aroma is really cool... mint and light, bitter hops blended with spruce...! The flavor is great, with caramel and malt rounding it out nicely. Mouthfeel is light, but not too watery. A really nice, unique holiday beer.

3.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
foosnbrews (145) - Parker, Colorado, USA - DEC 23, 2008
2008 bottle- Beer poors dark with a light tan head. Aroma is of roasted grains and a bit of spice comes through in the aroma. The Flavor is similar to the aroma with a roasted grains coming through and a hint of spices. Molases flavor also comes through at the beginning but fades through the beer. Bitterness is tame and roasted grain bitterness seems to come through more than anything else. Beer finishes extremely dry Overall beer is good.

3.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 15/20
evr1dr (145) - Virginia, USA - MAR 12, 2010
UPDATED: DEC 27, 2010 2009 bottle. Pours a velvet-mahogany; very dark. Thin tan head with little lacing. Nose of cinnamon, spice, and cranberry.Taste of strong apricot, nutmeg, plum, ginger, clove, molasses and pine; a warming brew. A little hot for 5.5abv. Rerated after tasting 2010 bottle. Dropped one in aroma and appearance. Still good for the category. Will try this again next year.

4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
tangentrider (144) - Alabama, USA - DEC 22, 2007
2007--Beautiful dark brown ale with a creamy brown head and nice lacing. Aroma is spice and juniper. Spice and spruce with nice bitter note and a bit of warming. medium body, creamy, bitter finish moving to mild sweetness.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
CopterScott (143) - Kansas, USA - JAN 13, 2014
dark brown with a thin tan head. aroma is malt, spice, and caramel. Flavor is sweet malts, molasses, and spices. medium carbonation.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
Tabednar (139) - - NOV 19, 2011
11.19.2011 - Houston, TX Bottle Very complex and actually light bodied despite it’s appearance. Spicy and rich that is a perfect Christmas beer.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
bconger (138) - Birmingham, Alabama, USA - NOV 27, 2010
UPDATED: DEC 16, 2011 Bottle. Vintage 2010. Very dark brown pour with a medium tan head. Aromas of honey, toffee, and raisins. Much spicier and less sweet than the smell would indicate. Fun and complex. Begins with a hit of bitter citrus and spice (cloves, nutmeg, bitter herbs) which gives way to a toasty malt accented by a mildly tongue-puckering astringency. This is a great holiday beer! **************** Update 2011: bottle vintage 2011. Very dark brown pour with a medium dark tan head. Aromas of prune, cinnamon, and anise. Flavors of sour cherry, currant, tobacco, allspice. A little more sour this year I think. A six pack of this is becoming a December tradition.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
oldno7 (137) - Spokane, Washington, USA - JUN 18, 2007
First thing I noticed was how much darker this beer was than most Spice/Herb/Vegatable’s. (2005 Vintage) Pours almost black with a tan head. Aroma is plesant with notes of malts, fruit, raisen, black liqourish and ginger root. Flavor is Extremely complex with a perfect balance, notes of malts plum, spices, nutmeg, clove, mollasses, and chocolate. I could never get enough of this beer. Without a doubt my favorite Spice/Herb/Vegatable so far.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
cbrixius (136) - Newberrytown, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 30, 2006
This one was better than I expected, but partially because it was had with dessert, so the fruitiness (cherry, by my account) settled in nicely. Not overly complex or heavy. Overall, an enjoyable experience.

0.8
   AROMA 1/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 1/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 2/20
Wischylini (136) - Grimstad, NORWAY - JAN 5, 2014
Pours a clear black cherry, with no head at all. Aromas are spices, pepper, resin and burnt wood, the spices are overpowering the malt and hop aromas. The taste is somewhat sweet, but the intense bitterness obscures the sweetness. The mouthfeel is very light and fizzy. The more I drink this, the more I dislike it. The spices are overpowering the beer itself and makes for an unpleasant experience. Everyone else seem rave on about how great it is, so I might just have ended up with a bad one, which eventually became a $7 drain pour.


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