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.
Guinnessman (102) - VACAVILLE, California, USA - DEC 13, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2009 is by far the best Christmas Ale in 20 years. The amount of spice has been drastically pulled back to create a much smoother ale. Just the right blend of clove and nutmeg. No bad aftertaste. Goes great with a honey baked ham with the fixins.
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 didn’t 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.
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 can’t 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 doesn’t 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 it’s 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)
stoigniew (94) - Łęczna, POLAND - DEC 2, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Na ecie rocznik 2013. Aromat przyprawowy - korzenny, cynamonowy, cukierkowy, czuć piernik. W smaku - cherry, bombonierkowe - baryłki z likierem cherry, słodkie, korzenne, goryczka niska, na finiszu wyraźny kompot z suszu co czyni to piwo najbardziej świątecznym jakie dotąd próbowałem.
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
Anchor’s holiday brew was pretty good at first but the more i drank the more i disliked it for some reason
welho (93) - FINLAND - NOV 28, 2011
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: MAR 2, 2013 0.33l bottle. Late 2011 version. Dark brown pour, small white head. Aroma has pine and some citrus in it. Taste is little sweet. Quite nice!
0.33l bottle from Alko, 2012 version. This must have all the Christmas tastes in it, especially it is very pine-liky. Very nice again!