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RATINGS: 1827   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.54   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
skweek (13) - College Park, Maryland, USA - JAN 18, 2009
2006 bottle. Aroma of spices and some juniper. Taste was much of the same, with some dark malts as well. Very solid beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
BilltheButcher (12) - Arlington, Texas, USA - DEC 9, 2010
Dark brown appearance, tan head. Smells like coffee with creamer, molasses, sweet, roasty. Tastes sweet, spicy, maybe a little bit of spruce. The spices come on strong and overpower any roasty malty notes. Slightly bitter finish. Seems fairly complex though not directed in any way, but it grows on you.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
DoubleEh (12) - - DEC 18, 2012
Bit strange. Pours a nice clear dark brown with a big frothy head that lingers. Lots of spice in the nose .... Nutmeg maybe? Taste follows suit with a good dose of Xmas spice upfront. Bit of sweet malt underneath. Reminded me a bit of gingerbread. Little bit of piney hops to finish it off. Remarkably light in body, surprisingly so. Overall a bit of an enigma for me .... Not sure if I love it or hate it. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
chris21274 (11) - Buffalo, New York, USA - DEC 10, 2010
This beer is great! Pours nice and thick with a great head. First whiff is of bitter chocolate, nutmeg and caramel. Taste is about the same. Chocolate stands out along with some anise maybe, with notes of plum and fig. Definitely a winner! Every year I like this beer more.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
ScarletLady (11) - Maryland, USA - DEC 20, 2009
Anchor Special 2009 From the bottle. A- deep in color with ruby highlights when held up to the light. Served in a tulip so I didnít get a good head on it. A little bit of lacing S- malt & nutmeg with a slight hint of cinnamon. could have sworn I smelled sassafras T- interesting and not what I expected. Vanilla was the strongest flavor, followed by the nutmeg. This tasted a lot like a rootbeer float to me. seriously M - wonderfully thick D - it was good, glad I tried it but wonít be having it again this year

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
oldstock23 (11) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - NOV 2, 2007
2006 vintage. I have a magnum of 2005 I canít wait to open but thought Iíd try an 11 month old 12oz. Nose was not as spicey as I had expected. The chocolate had evolved a bit deeper than the initial level and still had faint hints of orange peel. After about three seconds I totally got the anise, nutmeg, and what I thought was ginger but is probably something else. Couldnít find any cinammon. Man do I love this beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
brewandstew (11) - Salisbury, Maryland, USA - DEC 21, 2007
12oz bottle, 2007 vintage. Pours a dark brown with a light frothy head. Aromas of ginger, cinnamon, and other seasonal spices. Taste resembles that of a stout, and not overly bitter. Alcohol comes through a bit on the tongue. Pairs well with a hearty stew, winter squash, yams, and would go well with anything containing cranberry. I really enjoyed drinking this with my vegan sweet potato and winter squash minestrone.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
ejdischer (11) - Cromwell, Connecticut, USA - JAN 17, 2008
The 2007 holiday offering was less than stellar. Has a beautiful look to it. Great head retention. Thatís about where the joy ended for me. Has almost a leafy taste to it. Hard to describe. Aftertaste has a hint of peppermint.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
b7j0c (10) - USA - NOV 20, 2005
I really look forward to this release, and 2005 is no exception. Pours dark, nearly opaque with a beige head that diffuses quickly. Full body and spicy. One of my favorite beers.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
rcmatthews (10) - USA - AUG 14, 2006
UPDATED: AUG 15, 2006 Aroma is like Christmas. Cinnamon and clove especially. Had this wishing it was Christmas time (its too hot!!!!) and got exactly what I was looking for. THere is however, something lacking in the flavor component. Its not that it tastes bad, its just not incredible. There is a nice gingerbread like aftertaste

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