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RATINGS: 1954   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53   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.


3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
JamesD (243) - Centreville, Virginia, USA - DEC 28, 2008
Bottle 2008 vintage. Pours black like a porter. The aroma is spicy, but not overwhelmingly so. The flavor is very malty with some spicy hints. I could detect what I thought to be caraway, perhaps some clove too. Cinnamon might also be present. This beer is very earthy and if there was anything like orange or lemon peel, or coriander, I could not detect it.

3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Melker (242) - Varberg, SWEDEN - DEC 26, 2012
Dark brown beer, off-white head. Some spices in the aroma, canít put my finger on it. Taste is overpowered by mint... kinda weird. Interesting . Light body and pretty good carbonation.

3.5
   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
fcjack1 (242) - Washington, USA - NOV 8, 2013
On tap at The Red Hot. Almost looks like Porter. Smells like a brown, nutty. Taste of vanilla and coffee and spices. Smooth. Good beer.

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
entertheiceman (242) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 14, 2005
Rich, earthy, spicey, with some dark fruit in the flavor. Very little of that comes through in the aroma, however. Suffers from the watery palate that many other seasonals succumb to.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
eve (240) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - DEC 30, 2005
Pours dark brown with thin beige head. Served too cold, but after I let it warm up a bit, a strong aroma of nutmeg, almost like eggnog. Taste was more nutmeg and gingerbread, Christmasey indeed. Some people at my table thought the spices were way overdone to the point of oddity but I found it satisfyingly assertive. This improved with every sip so by the end of the glass, I quite liked it.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
BINGEBOT (240) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 3, 2007
2006 bottle that I picked up in January. Pours dark brown with a nice light brown head. Smells of deep dark malty goodness. Tastes malty as well with a hint of nutmeg or some such spices. Definitely has some roasted chocolate attributes. A bit light on the body. Very nice for a cold day in November!

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Hollywoodt (239) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - JAN 30, 2006
Poured very dark brown. Aroma hinted of caramel, chocolate and spice. Flavor was all that plus a little cinnamon. I get this brew every year at the holidays, and am never disappointed. Get in my belly!

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.

3.3
   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. Iím gonna buy some more.


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