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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.


3.3
   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.

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-freakiní-believable. 2008. I think this went toward an English or even Belgian strong ale. Very malty.

2.8
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Oelbas (237) - DENMARK - DEC 9, 2014
Merry Christmas Happy New Year 2013. Meget mørk brun med et holdbart lysebrunt skum. Portvinsagtig duft med tørret frugt og en helt uventet tynd og tør smag. Let syrlig med en antydning af lakrids og en let bitter eftersmag. Ikke nogen stor øl.

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.

3.4
   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.

3.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
wheelz843 (233) - Grand Island, New York, USA - NOV 18, 2008
bottle. has a thick roasted maple aroma. pours a dark brown with a very thick dark tan head. has a very nice smoky flavor. maybe a hint of eggnog??

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.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
coldmeat23 (232) - Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA - NOV 23, 2009
Vintage: 2008 Pours a very dark, amber tinted, brown color. Comes with a two-finger head of dense chocolatey colored foam. Great retention and great lacing, too. Smells almost sweet. Nice caramel malt presence. Big notes of brown sugar and toffee. Smells of cherries with a hint of strawberries (!). Holiday spices of cinnamon and nutmeg. Dryer than, and not nearly as sweet as, expected. Itís actually quite subdued, compared to the nose. Almost bland. The spice notes are fairly overpowering. Ginger is the dominant one. Light cinnamon and clove. Slight hint of peppermint. Hints of dark molasses. Malt base is buried, deep. Everything just cancels each other out, and no flavor gets its chance to shine. Medium body. Very smooth and slick. Easy to drink, but thereís not much to it. Very drinkable, because there just isnít much going on, inside this glass. Anchor is generally one of my top christmas brews, every year. Iím kind of let down by this one. At least when itís still fresh. Iíll try it again, later.

4.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
gwfrankpsu (231) - McKinleyville, California, USA - DEC 24, 2006
I donít know what other people are drinking, this is one of the best Christmas beers. Almost black color with a nice malt and nutmeg and ginger aroma. The flavor is again Nutmeg, ginger and to my mind holly. There are a few beers I look forward to each year and again this does no disappoint - thankd, Fritz.

4.1
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Berley31 (230) - New Brunswick, CANADA - JAN 7, 2010
2009 Vintage: A: Poured with an average-to-large sized head that dissipated to 1/2-finger. Good lacing. Body is very dark, with ruby highlights, and completely clear. S: Lots going on with the aroma, with hints of spices (nutmeg), pumpkin, and smokiness coming through. Very layered but not at all overly-intense. T: Very flavorful, the taste is almost as deep as the aroma. Lots of spices are present, provoking memories of Christmas as they intended. The beer isnít too heavy at all, despite the amount of flavors that are there. M: Medium-bodied, slightly thin texture, with average carbonation. D: This is a very nice beer... wish I had had the 2008 to compare. Looking forward to the to 2010 to see where Anchor decides to go with it. A great Christmas beer.


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