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RATINGS: 1821   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.54   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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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.


2.8
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Koelschtrinker (9999) - 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

3.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Travlr (9999) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - DEC 31, 2012
OK, maybe THIS is my final beer rating of 2012. Bottle courtesy of Ken, thank you sir! Very dark brown color, small tan head. Aroma of pleasant Christmas spice. Taste is nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice. Decent.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Lubiere (9734) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 15, 2006
Dark reddish brown with a thin moka head. Butterscotch, cinnamon and thyme in aroma. In mouth, a rather spciey malt, perfumey, a bit buttery. Molasses. Almost detecting rosewater in finish. Interesting, but not to par with previous versions. Dégustation de Vieux Stocks III, Oct. 13, 2006. Bottle bought in late 2005.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Ratman197 (9448) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - DEC 16, 2005
Bottle poured a clear dark mahogany with a large, lasting brown head. Aromas of carmel, coffee, vanilla and spices. Palate was medium bodied. Flavors of chocolate, vanilla and spices with a hint of smoke and a smooth finish.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
BeerandBlues2 (9358) - Hanover, Maryland, USA - JAN 27, 2009
2008, bottle. Pours clear dark brown with an average, fizzy, light brown head, somewhat lasting with fair lacing. Aroma is heavy malt (cookie, caramel, nutty), average hops (flowers, herbs, spruce), average yeast (dough, earth) with notes of plum, licorice, and nutmeg. Medium bodied, sticky texture, average carbonation, and a bitter finish. Long duration, light sweetness and acidity, moderate bitterness.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Bov (9245) - Bienne, SWITZERLAND - JUN 26, 2006
very dark brown colour and a big creamy beige head; a ton of spices (as usual for those Anchor Christmas beers): cloves and ginger dominate; notes gingerbread; oily and medium-bodied; high carbonation, dryish spicy finish where some chocolaty notes appear - rich and tasty but not quite the way I like it

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
FatPhil (8996) - Tallinn, ESTONIA - JUN 22, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 4, 2010 Keg (Gallows Bird, Espoo)
Really dark, almost black, tight cappuccino head. Huge aroma - dark fruits, spices and ginger. Huge, but wonderfully well integrated range of tastes. Dark fruits, raisins, plenty of chocolate malt, burnt caramel, and some tantalising spices - some not out of place in a christmas pudding. Anchor’s best ever beer (so far...) (8-4-9-4-16=4.1)
Rerate: Bottle 2007, drunk 2010-01 (7,4,8,5,15=3.8)
Really mellowed, rich, spices also mellow. A proper non-gimicky winter ale. Lovely smooth palate,carbonation soft. Finish delicately burnt, but very liquoricey. BCs well.
Rerate: Bottle 2010, drunk fresh (7,4,7,4,14=3.6)
Sweet spicy aroma, very spicy - cakey. Deep red, small ring head.. Spicy - woh!!! mint! Full and roasty body, but the mint comes through so much. Full palate, sweetly smooth, crisp carbonation. Finish has roasted choco. Very drinkable, packed full of flavour. Refreshing. Good, but possibly weak compared to prior ones. Too light?

4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
TwoSipDip (8894) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - DEC 3, 2010
UPDATED: NOV 27, 2012 Tap @ Falling Rock Denver. 2010 vintage. Very dark red/brown appearance. Very spicy aroma with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Dark tasting flavor full of special spices. Quite tasty and quite unbelievably tasty. Great beer (4.6)

Bottle @ home picked up at Wilbur’s Fort Collins. 2012 vintage. Minty, ginger, allspice, spicy bready aroma. A bit tangy, smooth, toasty malty, light chocolate, a touch nutty, minty, ginger flavor. Please don’t change the recipe! (4.4)

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
daknole (8856) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - FEB 22, 2009
Pours a nice dark color with some dark red at the edges and a very small head. I will be damned if this beer doesnt smell and taste a lot like fruit cake. Aroma has a ton of dates, raisins, figs, and baking spices. Flavor is much the same. Dates stand out, with prunes, raisins, fig preserves, sweet malt and a hop finish to balance well. Good shit!

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
hopscotch (8783) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - NOV 4, 2005
UPDATED: NOV 22, 2006 2005 Bottle... Clear, way dark, crimson ale with a small, fizzy, tan head. Smells like a combination of black bread and gingerbread. Spicy, gingerbread flavor. Lightly malty. Well-bittered. Balanced nicely. Medium-bodied and creamy with lively carbonation. Tangy, spicy finish. Extremely nice for what it is... a light winter warmer.


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