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RATINGS: 2030   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 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.


3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
thefederalist (301) - Jonesboro, Arkansas, USA - NOV 9, 2007
Pours quite dark, nice tan head w/ lacing. Aroma of cinnamon and nuts. Flavor is salty, nutty and mild. Vague dacetyl in the mouthfeel. I was unimpressed.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
molly75 (301) - (Madrid - España), ITALY - JUL 29, 2011
SCHIUMA: color beige, compatta, buona presenza e media persistenza COLORE: marrone scuro con riflessi porpora. INTENSITA’ / FINEZZA / AROMA intensa, con evidenti contributi dati dalla speziatura la quale ricorda lo zenzero, a cui si aggiunge un fruttato (prugna o fichi secchi?), malti tostati. GUSTO / RETROGUSTO / PERSISTENZA entra abbastanza contundente in bocca, con una speziatua in primo piano caratterizzata da sentori di zenzero o anice, che ricordano i tipici biscotti natalizi. A ciò si affianca una certa astringenza acidula e fruttata, che si mescola con un amaro tostato che prima di dominare il finale ed il retrogusto in modo abbastanza netto, lascia spazio ad un altalenante ritorno della speziatura. CORPO / CARBONATAZIONE / CONSISTENZA corpo medio, buona carbonatazione, riempe bene la bocca sensa essere troppo spessa. @@una birra natalizia ben fatta, con i classici toni speziati e un docliastro che però non stanca troppo grazie al finale amaro ed una tostatura ben presente. Una birra da dolce, o da bere sola. Ha giocato a suo sfavore averla bevuta in un luglio afoso e , per essere sinceri, una personale avversione allo zenzero o a quella parvenza di zenzero che la mia bocca ha riconosciuto. comunque sempre una Anchor di buon livello. ( versione anno 2010, 36ª della serie " our special ale" )

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
beerandIT (300) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - DEC 15, 2009
Dark, very dark almost black like ruby red color on the pour. The aroma is giving me spices, nutmeg, juniper berry, and coriander. I taste all sorts of things, cherry, plums, juniper berry, orange peel, nutmeg. This beer definitely reminds me of Christmas. Lighter bodied beer. Nice lacing but not that much head to speak of at all. Still nice though definitely recommend this one.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
gwpom (297) - Akron, New York, USA - MAR 24, 2007
12 oz bottle compliments of beerlord. Haven’t had one of their special ales before, I was surprised at how dark it poured, almost looking like a porter. The aroma and flavor dispelled that quick enough, and the one flavor that came through quickest, which I had a hard time identifying at first, was carmel. I know there are a mixture of other flavors in here too, and from the looks of other reviews here they are harder to identify. Over all though a very tasty, unique blended brew.

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
georgekappus (296) - Brookfield, Connecticut, USA - MAY 26, 2007
2006 vintage. Pours a chocolately brown with a thick caramel colored head. The flavor is of bitter coffee and mocha. Perhaps nutmeg as well? Not an overly enticing beer which is why it took 6 months to finish the six pack.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
branspra (293) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - DEC 7, 2008
2008 Bottle. Pours a dark brown color with a rather large, frothy, off-white head. Aromas of nutmeg, spices, hops, and spruce. Texture is slick and oily, but very thin. Has a nice aftertaste with Christmas spices, but rather thin in the mouth. Not bad but not great.

3.3
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
SamuraiArtist (292) - portland, Oregon, USA - JUL 22, 2007
Draft: Pours dark dark brown with a big white foamy head. Aromas of chocolate, malt and spruce. Flavor is slightly chocolatey but not roasty, subtle but noticeable spices. A little bitterness at the finish. Perhaps some minty like Northern Brewer hops.

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Fantomasus (289) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - DEC 25, 2007
Magnum. Pours dark chocolate with a flimsy off white head. Smells of spice and cinnamon. Dry chocolate caramel flavor. Watery mouth feel with a dry finish. Don’t go out of your way to get the 2007 Magnum. Maybe the 12 oz. bottle is better?

3.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
tedovertu (289) - Apple Valley, Minnesota, USA - DEC 8, 2008
Dark brownish amber color with very frothy tan head. Allspice and nutmeg mixed with some caramel. Not a bid fan of the spice beers but this one is pretty balanced and not overpowering. A little watery.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
mensch (289) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - JUL 25, 2010
Dark opaque brown, frothy tan head. Intriguing aroma of raw brown sugar and holiday spices-cinnamon, cloves maybe coriander (mace? ginger? something weird, but it works). Smooth and light bodied, very full flavors. Unusually rich and complex for a low strength brew.


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