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RATINGS: 1830   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 Ale’s 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.

Editor’s 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 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
FJN (3) - , Michigan, USA - NOV 20, 2008 does not count
2008 12 oz Bottle: This is the third year I’ve enjoyed this beer. I find it less defined by Christmas spices than a robust hoppiness this year than in previous years. It was superb last year on tap at the Berghoff in Chicago and I imagine this years would be, too. It’s thicker than Guiness, (Guiness is watery) and delivers a remarkably robust flavor. I find it reminds me of gingerbread cookies. Others I introduce it too find other flavors. Everyone agrees, however, that the combination of texture and flavor might well be disastrous in other beers, but in this case, are extraordinary.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Obie1018 (3) - Virginia Beach, USA - NOV 18, 2010 does not count
Medium brown body with a beige head. Taste a hint of Chocolate, many various spices. Smell of fruit and christmas time. Goes down smooth and makes the body feel warm. First time trying this and will definitly try again.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
VVino (3) - Texas, USA - NOV 23, 2011 does not count
2011 vintage. Light malt armoa, hint of winter spice, gingerbread. Pours dark amber-brown but not opaque. Lingering light brown head. Tastes of a complex mix of several kinds of malt, lightly roasted, maybe a small amount of rye? Very little hop bitterness or spice flavor. Overall, an interesting porter. NOTE - I had this as part of a vertical from 2006-2011. The 2007 was EASILY the best (agreed by all 3 tasters), with very spiffy flavors like molasses and brown sugar, without being overly sweet. If you have an opportunity to try the 2007 take it!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Sirchugsalot (3) - New Mexico, USA - DEC 15, 2011 does not count
I served mine in a shaker...I did not have a tumbler or a lager glass handy at the time ....Apperance Dark copper ...Smell was of fruit ,gingerbread,all spice,apple cinnamon,graham cracker,and a little orange peel zest.Taste was just amazing it explodes with flavors on your tongue the backdrop was gingerbread and all spice!!!Overall the best beer that i have had in long time I have had beers malt liqours ETC but i had to log on to do a review on this!! Saturday im going to go get more if I can find a bottle..

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
gurn13 (3) - Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - JAN 18, 2014 does not count
Smooth ale, typical for a winter warmer. Not very different from last year but tasty nonetheless.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 1/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 2/20
andrewp1286 (2) - new brunswick, New Jersey, USA - MAR 7, 2009 does not count
This beer has been rated everything from exceptional to adequate, so it might be that one beer I find putrid that many find exceptionally gratifying, however I tried this beer and after the first one my stomach felt queasy with the overwhelming spice, simply overdone

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 8/20
bearbear (1) - Los Gatos, California, USA - NOV 25, 2009 does not count
I am very disappointing in the holiday ale this year. The nose is similar but lighter than years passed. The beer is inappropriately light bodied and the taste beyond the spice notes is very bland.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Suzie_Johnston (1) - California, USA - DEC 20, 2009 does not count
Anchor Steam "Our Special Ale" is the beginning of the holiday season. Though the taste is a bit different every year somehow the taste of a Christmas tree comes through. My husband always finds it for me to make my holiday perfect. This is the taste of the solstice.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 9/20
lexivh (1) - Charleston, South Carolina, USA - NOV 16, 2011 does not count
2011 vintage. Appearance: Mahogany/brown with a tan head that dissipated quickly. Nose: licorice, gingerbread, pine, very herbal with very mild hint of caramel Palate: light carbonation with mild bitterness. Flavors of gingerbread, licorice, dates and other dried fruits and some baking spices. This reminded me a lot of the soda, Moxie, that I used to drink up in Maine. It has an underlying taste of licorice throughout which turned me off as I do not like that flavor. A very decent holiday beer though.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
BradF (1) - USA - DEC 7, 2005 does not count
Dark red color with tan head. Smells of nutmeng with hints of spruce. Roasted bitter malt flavors complimented nutmeg/spices with hints of molasses. Bitter dry finish.

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