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RATINGS: 1945   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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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.


3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
mfaulke (92) - Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 8, 2007
There was a massive head on this beer upon pouring, but it quickly dissipated. Itís malty, and finishes a little dry. The spices really come through in the finish, but arenít overpowering. If the mouthfeel was a little thicker I would have liked it even more. Definitely worth a try.

3.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
acblue (91) - Seattle, Washington, USA - NOV 18, 2009
Pours a nice,rich orange with a pillowy off-white head. Lots and lots of juniper and nutmeg in the aroma. The first sip is like drinking a Christmas tree, and not necessarily in a good way. Mellows out a great deal from there, but still quite over-spiced, with an un-balanced coriander overtone. Might balance the spiciness with a higher alcohol content, but a bit too thin to qualify as a warmer. A decent session beer, but not really all that special.

3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
koekiesbakker (89) - NETHERLANDS - NOV 22, 2010
These spiced beers are not for me, I can take one but usually donít want to drink more than one. Spiced quite a bit. Sweetness as well.

3.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
BrewIPA (88) - Rochester, New York, USA - NOV 16, 2013
12oz bottle, pots black with nice head, subtle aroma and earthly taste with a slightly bitter aftertaste. A good tasting ale for the holidays. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

3
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
boisebeerguy (88) - boise, Idaho, USA - DEC 24, 2013
Good spice aroma and taste to this beer. Not to heavy for how dark it is. Iím always happy to see this on the shelf.

3.3
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
rollingwood (88) - Maryland, USA - NOV 9, 2010
2010 vintage. Finger and a half of tan head settles over the clear, dark brown pour. Aroma of pine and some sweet malt is discernable. Lacing sustains to the bottom of the mug. The flavor is subtle and complex: spruce, spicy hop, and roasted malt with just a hint of chocolate (as it warms) seem to coexist from the attack clear through the finish. I like this beer; I suggest drinking it at over 50 degrees F. Moreover, aging a six pack for a couple of months I suspect is in order. But I do not like it nearly as well as I did the 2009 vintage.

2.7
   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.

3
   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.

2.6
   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.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
aetheon (85) - 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.


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