on tap

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RATINGS: 1940   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53   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 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
phobos1031 (87) - Paradise, Nevada, USA - NOV 28, 2007
12oz bottle...like drinking a Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas ham in a bottle. very spicy and fulla hops, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pine tree. good for standinging line in the butt ass cold before you go to a Dead show while youíre frying on acid.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
Murrow (87) - North Carolina, USA - NOV 29, 2012
Bottled, 2012. Pours ruby brown with generous beige head. Aromas of pine and clove, with small hint of fruit. Cinnamon and clove flavors up front, developing into some caramel malt. Finish is pine and quite dry, with a lingering medicinal quality. Medium mouthfeel, bit too much carbonation. Iím not very familiar with this style, so itís difficult for me to compare it well, but this beer doesnít suit my taste.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 8/20
BorksBabe (85) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - APR 1, 2008
Aroma is of sweet molasses and barley. It is a nice, rich dark color. Flavor is very coffee-like with hints of barley and molasses. Crisp on the palate and a bit of a bitter finish. Overall not too bad.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
jj21 (84) - Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 4, 2008
2005 I was looking forward to this one since purchasing it last winter as a closeout. I drank one right away (I should have reviewed it looking back) and it was great. Nice and hoppy. Since this is supposed to age well, I thought, why not. Let me tell you why not. Pours Dark brown with decent carbonation and a strange colored head- almost a hint of green(?) to it. Aroma was way too much juniper. I couldnít figure out what I hated about it until reading a few reviews after tasting and then it hit me. Thatís all I could smell and it was hard to get anything else but there were the usual dark fruits and other spices. The flavor didnít offer much more than the aroma. Too much juniper on the nose. The mouthfeel was nice though. Lighter than expected and lively carbonation. All-in-all, a dissapointment. Next time, Iíll drink them fresh. Live and learn.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
beercamel (84) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - OCT 15, 2009
Pours like ancor stem beer. Very spicy and piney warmth oif christmas in a bottle. A favorite in december and love to open gifts with a few around.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Burrobuns (83) - Columbia, Missouri, USA - DEC 17, 2008
I feel like I may have gotten a bum batch. Mouthfeel is very weak. Flavor is mostly spices - caramel, nutmeg - but come through most strongly in the nose, not much in the mouth. Mostly bitterness in the mouth. And a bit watery. Meh, hoping the rest are better.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
aetheon (83) - The Gutter, Minnesota, USA - DEC 22, 2008
UPDATED: DEC 26, 2008 (2008 bottle) clear deep dark brown, excellent lacing. nice malty aroma. light carbonation. Flavor is of mostly medium roasted malts with a little dark roast. some creaminess with notes of grain, maybe a hint of dark chocolate. Whatever spices they used do not stand out much. Overall a very nice dark ale which I thoroughly enjoyed.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
bmoosey (82) - Eldorado, Ohio, USA - DEC 29, 2013
2013 from tap. Pours brown with a little head. Aroma is ginger and cinnamon over roasted malt. Taste is grainy with spices and malt standing out to me. Watery mouthfeel.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
UnionBeerCzar (80) - Michigan, USA - DEC 4, 2013
2013 bottle to mason jar, abudent spices (allspice, cardamom, nutmeg) dominate the nose. Pour is dark cola with hints of red when held up to the light, thick tan pillowy head. I donít know if itís just in my head but this year really taste like cola + with touches of the aforementioned spices on the nose. Overall I would say, this isnít bad, but it doesnít knock my socks of either. It feels undecided to me.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
moseefus (79) - Little Rock, Arkansas, USA - NOV 22, 2007
Didnít like it as much as the 2006. Pour was beautiful, almost black with a thick tan head (that is still there 10min later). Smells of hops, malt, spices. Taste is quite hoppy with that spice kick right underneath. Finish is slightly long and bitter for me. The spice seems to be ginger driven, with nutmeg, and a hint of cinnamon. Quite tasty, though I think I like some other christmas ales better.

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