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RATINGS: 2047   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
cgarvieuk (20694) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - JAN 4, 2008
UPDATED: OCT 3, 2015 Bottle at home 2006 ...Deep black colour ... lots of spiced tones in the nose but definitly cinnamon ... yeast base with soft spices ... cardamon ... cinnamon ... cloves ... then some burnt roast and bitter dark chocolate in the linger. Bottle at home.. Christmas ?? 2015 tasting... 06, 11, 13, and 14.. All dark brown all spiced.. Soft roast.. Dark chocolate roast.. 06 showing age... 11 fruitiest...

3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
fiulijn (18577) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 17, 2005
UPDATED: AUG 8, 2010 2010-08-08, vertical tasting, vintage 2008, 2 years old, 7-4-4-3-10=28
The color is very dark, no light passes through; generous, compact head. Good aroma, chocolate cake, cedar peel, chinese spices. The body is lean, the mouthfeel quite dry; it has some roasted malt flavor, heavily roasted nuts, not very good. The final is dry, with the black, roasted malt only, dusty. Not pleasant.

2010-08-08, vertical tasting, vintage 2006, 4 years old, 6-4-6-3-12=31
The color is very dark, no light passes through; generous, compact head, a bit more brownish than the 2008; immediately evident that it has less carbonation. Strange aroma, mild, gingerbread and soap, almost metallic; some chocolate. The body is a bit rounder and less dry than the 2008; chocolate and roasted malt flavor, also here the malt is heavily roasted, but better hidden; there are traces of a starting oxidisation and of metal. Balanced, better than almost all Scandinavian Julöl, but nothing spectacular.

2010-08-08, vertical tasting, vintage 2005, 5 years old, 6-4-6-3-13=32
The color is very dark, no light passes through; generous, compact head, more similar to the 2008 than 2006. Delicate aroma of roasted malt, chocolate and spices. The body is round enough like the 2006, but a bit more dynami, probably because of a light sourness; the flavor is again chocolate and roasted malt and roasted nuts; it shows less oxidization than the 2006, and it doesn’t have the metallic trace. Balanced, as well not spectacular.

2008-02-15, vintage 2007, 6-4-6-3-11=30
Dark chestnut color, almost back, with a reasonably big head. The aroma is strange, with soap, meat, sweet nuts, spices and cookies. It has a medium mouthfeel, with a medium flavor of roasted malt and some spices (nutmeg and maybe cinnamon in the front); the almost roasted malt feeling is more evident at the end. Boring, unbalanced, not very pleasant. I won’t come back on this one soon.

2005-12-12, vintage 2005, 7-4-7-4-15=37
Dark brown color; creamy beige head. I’m quite disappointed by the first impression (too dry mouthfeel) so my recommendation is to leave it to breathe in the glass for 20 minutes…
The aroma is nice, with malt, caramel, spices, light gingerbread or cookies. The taste is round, well malty, with a brandy touch, caramel, spices and raisins (a light Christmas pudding). And the hopping is quite good as well. Very pleasant.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Leighton (18011) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - DEC 17, 2009
Tap at the Bell House, Brooklyn. Pours a dark, almost black maroon with a medium, off-white head. Sweet-smelling aroma: lightly roasted malts, caramel, some spices. Flavor is rich and varied with strong notes of sweet, dark fruits, candies like licorice, and some slight maltiness. Also hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Really, pretty dynamic. Medium bodied with decent carbonation, the beer is easy to drink. Quite good; stands apart from the crowd.

3.8
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
rlgk (17295) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - NOV 11, 2005
Nice dark amber, very nice brownish head. Nice compleax aroma from clove, ginger, brown sugar, some cinnamon, spices, caramel, raisins, nuts, chocolate and some roasted notes. Flavor is a bit more hoppy, still spicy, milk and quite bitter. Bitter finish and I was hoping for a better body.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Rasmus40 (16995) - Beder, Aarhus, DENMARK - JAN 25, 2011
Clear dark red brown with a light brown head. Aroma is loads of ginger, which is just too much. Roasted malt and a little dried fruit can be picked up as well. Moderate sweet flavor and a soft and dry finish. Would have been much better if they had held back a little with the ginger. 050111

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
harrisoni (16927) - Ashford, Kent, ENGLAND - MAR 14, 2006
Bottle from Utobeer. Very dark ruby with beige head. Spice and fruit peel with some herby hop on the aroma. Nice dark malts. Spice, charcoal, tarry, espresso coffee all in the mouth. It has a strange character. You expect it to be all spice from the aroma, but it has body and presence. Thick and unctious. This is good stuff. Orange zest on the palate on the finish

2.8
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Koelschtrinker (16426) - Köln (Cologne), GERMANY - JUL 6, 2011
Malzig-fruchtiger, etwas scharfer und sehr würziger Geruch, der mehr verspricht, als das, was das Bier dann tatsächlich auch zu bieten hat. Malzig-würziger, aber noch milder Antrunk, minimal bitter. Später malziger und süßer, besonders die starken Gewürznoten, die im Geruch prägend waren, fehlen mir hier. Zum Ende hin etwas grasig und röstmalzig. Fast schon entäuschend. Test vom 27.6.2007, Gebinde: Glasflasche Noten: 11,8,8,9,10,8 - 8,55

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
yngwie (16423) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - APR 9, 2007
UPDATED: JUN 24, 2008 Bottle, 2005 vintage. Clear, brown body with a beige head leaving lacings. Beef-stock, christmas spices, malt and dried fruits in the aroma. The flavor has cloves, cardamom and beef-stock. A full-bodied beer with a spiced finish. A lovely Christmas beer. Rating: 7-4-7-4-15-3.7. (070331)

Bottle, 2007 vintage. It pours a beautiful clear, dark brown body with a reddish hue. Thick, creamy beige head on top, with good retention and leaving nice lacings. The aroma needs a little aeration to be really good I think, but then it gives cinnamon, cloves, some ginger, dried fruits, some chocolate and leather, a tiny alcohol note (), chocolate, roasted malt and a touch of metal. So tender on the nose, and so packed with different aromas. There’s also a little earthy note. The surprising touch of alcohol from the aroma is present in the flavor too, in fact it’s even more evident, but considering it’s a beer for the darkest days of the year, it’s only appropriate and pleasant. It’s velvely and next-to full-bodied, with a quite sweet backbone, some bitterness towards the end, and all the good from the aroma is present in the mouth as well. Spices, fruit, chocolate and so on, it’s all there. Even the little metallic touch, but that’s only showing itselves in the finish, and it’s quite weak and undisturbing. There’s also a weak touch oxidation, or at least some earthy, cellary notes, but to me that’s just nice. At least in this way. It’s not a beer giving me the perfect Christmas feeling, but it’s sure a lovely beer. Well suited for the long, dark nights of winter, and still smooth and refreshing enough to go well on a late summer night. Lovely. (080624)

3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
saxo (16377) - Højbjerg, Aarhus, DENMARK - FEB 10, 2008
Bottle. Medium head with medium duration. Color is dark brown. Aroma and taste are malt, herbs and hops.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
TBone (15904) - Pori, FINLAND - DEC 20, 2005
Bottled (BB 09/2007)
Very dark brown, small tanned head. American hoppy, slightly roasted malty nose. Malty, hoppy, easy to drink, some roasted flavors and hints of spices. Good malt and hop profile, that is.


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