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RATINGS: 1902   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 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
IrishRed1983 (33) - USA - DEC 31, 2005
Deep, dark red color with a frothy white head. Definitely a Christmas brew with hints of chocolatey and spicy goodness.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
N0AH (32) - Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 14, 2011
Like a Christmas present from a loved one, this bottle appears near Christmas wrapped in brown glass and decorative label. Whatís inside? Will it be light or dark? Rich or dry? Spiced... but what? And then you pop the bow-cap off the top and pour it into a glass. Dark brown and spicy, the 2010 bottle reveals is itís own Christmas miracle. Angels sing their íGloriaí announcing the birth of Jesus the Christ, come to redeem the world from sin, while the brewers at Anchor take their part in the redemption of Christmas Ales.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 15/20
Aethien (32) - NETHERLANDS - DEC 4, 2013
2013 bottle, very dark red colour, almost stout like. The aroma is dominated by gingerbread and some dark fruits. The taste is similarly spicy with some hints of roasted malts and brown sugar with some spruce in the back.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
stryk (30) - Farsta, SWEDEN - DEC 14, 2008
33 cl bottle. 2007 vintage. Here we go. Creamy nice head but mostly diminishing. Complex flavor sweet finish with light bitterness. Dark bread with hints of chocolate roasted coffee and a typical citrus tone. Spicy with echos of coriander and ginger. A bit watery finish and the spices end up a bit sharp but its good and one of anchors classics. Cheers

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
ontheroad (30) - Buffalo, New York, USA - JAN 20, 2011
hearty citrus aroma and medium brown color; full citrus flavor with a slightly woody finish

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Arborescence (29) - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA - FEB 10, 2012
This is the 2011 VINTAGE. Appearance Black, pours a very thick, creamy head. Aroma Spices, surprisingly fresh, grapefruit? Taste Light and fresh to begin with, but kicks with rich maltyness and a bit of a bitter aftertaste. I canít put my finger on the (secret) extra ingredients, but they are not your typical winter spices, I can tell you that much. Thereís no cinnamon or the typical warmth that youíd expect from a Christmas Ale, but thatís actually a nice change and distinguishes this from many other offerings. Fresh but rich and toasty maltyness, that about sums it up. The aftertaste is that of a porter, but you wouldnít guess it from the aroma and the initial burst of freshness. A strange combination, but Iím getting to like it as I sip more. Overall This was my first encounter with the Anchor Christmas Ales, but they have been doing them for a while! Every year the (secret) recipe changes and they have a theme tree, which is the bristlecone pine this year. The label is quite pretty, featuring the tree. This beer grew on me as I went on and I would say that itís an excellent addition to this yearís Christmas Ales. Also worth noting is that the ABV is not as insane as with many Christmas Ales, so you can have another one too! Anchor Brewing is a very distinguished brewery, from San Francisco, but Iíve not had very many of their beers. The Porter deserves a special mention, itís quite tasty. Iíve had Anchor Steam as well, but thatís it, I think ó should get my hands on their other beers too, like their Bock, and Barley Wine, dubbed Old Foghorn.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Alexmestas (29) - - DEC 26, 2012
Tastes like a steam beer with a little more malt and toffee. Not sure what to think of it as the sourness is pitting me off a little bit. Might be better served warm. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
littlefelix (29) - Santa Clarita, California, USA - APR 23, 2007
2006 as well. This was a very complex beer. I enjoyed it, but cannot drink to many. Almost a barleywine in flavor, just not as strong %-wise. You can really taste the raisen/prune/veggie flavors in there. Thick and slow drinking.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ZOSOMAN12020 (28) - Malta, New York, USA - DEC 20, 2005
Just bought this yearsí to compare to a bottle left from 2002. The 2002 vintage aged very well and compared quite favorably to the 2005. Would definitely lay down this beer as it is one that shows true improvement with aging(unlike Sierra Celebration).

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
jaghouse (28) - Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA - NOV 26, 2006
A lightly bittered ale with a very prominent nutmeg spice. Definately has alot of character.

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