KSS (102) - Plymouth, Minnesota, USA - DEC 12, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Poured from the bottle dark brown with a hint of red highlights. Nice big head with good lacing. I picked up tastes and aromas of coffee, cherry, raisin, prune, licorice. Sweet, spicy taste characteristics. A little more smooth and subtle to the Summit Winter Ale that I compared it to.
boisebeerguy (102) - boise, Idaho, USA - DEC 24, 2013
3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
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.
biokid23 (102) - California, USA - FEB 28, 2014
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pine, vanilla, hops. Slightly astringent taste. A bit harsh, but the flavor is quite interesting.
murrayswine (101) - Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 27, 2006
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Poured a lot darker than I thought it would, a blood ruby with brown murk. Very good head retention.
The smell is subtle candy sweetness, light, airy malts, and a slight English style hop sense, I smell Fuggle, though I have no idea what the hops really are.
The taste is slightly tart at first, like a dubbel. Sweet with yeast. low dark fruits and a slight nutty toffee finish round this beer out.
Damn fine brew!
MagooinPA (100) - Warminster, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 9, 2008
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
120z pour looked awesome, tasted horrible. To many spices that didnít work for me. previous years have much better. This 2007 version has too much going on and much of it is conflict.
AgedOak (99) - Ohio, USA - DEC 27, 2009
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2009 12 oz bottle. Pours a medium brown with a frothy beige head. Lots of aroma - ginger, nutmeg, pine and yeast. Spicy flavor with ginger, nutmeg, clove, dark fruit (plum and fig). Finishes with sweet malty notes and a nice full mouthfeel. This is what Christmas ales are all about.
ESPh (99) - Branchburg, New Jersey, USA - DEC 24, 2013
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2013 edition. Nice dark color with a decent head. Fairly sweet with hints of nutmeg and coffee. Little bitterness. Not too thick, body is right for the flavor. Very drinkable.
Proteus (98) - FINLAND - DEC 17, 2007
3.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
2007 bottle. Dark brown with a light brown and thick head. I canít really get a distinct aroma from the beer, very malty and some spicy hints (almost like raisins) aroma. The aroma does evolve to something close to tar during the drinking experience but doesnít give anything special. Flavor is a deep mixture of malt and spicy bitterness, the hops are at a good level here. Also coffee and chestnut are some of the tastes I can put my finger on. Although it should be a seasonal drink I see it as a normal brown ale but itís got a bit of more freshness in it. Interesting but nothing special.
spjensen (97) - Davis, California, USA - MAR 22, 2013
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a very dark red with a healthy head. Every time I have this beer it always seems different due to a variety spices Anchor puts in. This time around I get heavy lemon aromas (2012 edition)
45thstbrewer (94) - Conowingo, Maryland, USA - JAN 23, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Anchorís holiday brew was pretty good at first but the more i drank the more i disliked it for some reason