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RATINGS: 1971   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
faroeviking (10284) - FAROE ISLANDS - APR 4, 2007
Bottle. Cloves, nutmeg, caramel, cinnamon, dark fruits malt, this beer has plenty of it all. Nice dark red-brown colour to it. Great brew for Christmas or any time.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
hopscotch (10265) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
hopdog (10255) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 21, 2005
On tap. Poured a darker reddish-brown color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of caramel, light spices and pine. Tastes pretty much the same with roasted malts.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
adnielsen (10199) - 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)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Maria (10190) - Thisted, DENMARK - FEB 4, 2007
Vintage 2005, bottle. It’s an almost black beer with a delicious, steady and creamy head. The aroma is hoppy and spicy just like the flavour, that also has notes of nutmeg, licorice, plum, pine needles and a dry, slitghtly btter finish. A nice Christmas beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Meilby (9999) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - DEC 10, 2011
Bottle 355ml vintage 2011 @ home
Pours deep brown with a off-white head. Aroma has notes of malt, clove, ginger, caramel and orange. Taste is medium sweet and light to medium bitter with a long finish of christmas spices. Body is medium, texture is oily, carbonation is soft.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
Scopey (9998) - Croydon, Greater London, ENGLAND - DEC 20, 2010
2010 edition on tap at the Euston Tap. Colour; dark ruby with bubbly beige head. Nose; GINGER, sweetness, cinnamon and nutmeg. Taste; bitter, dominant ginger, warming sweetness, nutmeg, pumpkin and currants. Too thin and weak for a christmas beer!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Dogbrick (9998) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - JUL 3, 2006
UPDATED: NOV 19, 2008 <b>2005 Magnum:</b> Deep dark brown color with a little red around the edges, with a thick beige head that retains well. Patchy lacing. Aroma of malt and pine, as well as some dark fruits. Pleasant flavor of roasted malts, spices (ginger mostly), and pine. The finish is spicy with some hops and a bit of chocolate. Solid, as with pretty much every year. It doesn’t seem like Anchor ever does anything too drastic to the recipe but that is fine.

<b>2006 Bottle:</b> This year’s version (sampled Oct 2007) is a dark reddish-brown color with a medium light beige head that dissipates pretty quickly. Speckled lacing. Spicy, malty aroma with some herbs. Medium, smooth body with nutmeg, fruit and earthy malt flavors. The finish is mildly spiced and short. Not quite as good as the previous year but still enjoyable. .

<b>2007 Bottle:</b> This year’s version (sampled Feb 2008) is dark mahogany with a thick beige head that lasts awhile. Pine and spices in the nose. Medium-bodied and smooth with pine, herbal hops and spice flavors. The finish is moderately bitter hops and leaves a dark fruit and spice aftertaste. Par for the course with previous years. .

<b>2008 Bottle:</b> Sample at the holiday beer tasting at Blacklick Wine & Spirits on 11/13/08. Pours dark brown with a medium khaki head that diminishes slowly. Stringy lacing. Aroma of malt and circus peanuts, plus some pine. Medium body with flavors of sweet malt and pine along with ginger and cinnamon. The finish is lightly spiced with a sweet aftertaste. Seems to have fallen off compared to past years.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Sammy (9973) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 21, 2008
UPDATED: AUG 29, 2012 2006 Fir ’n’ spruce flavoured and aroma ale. Always somewhat different and interesting and carbonated. Pours yellow with off-white head. Full mouthfeel. 2007 dark fruit, nice roasted chestnut dryness, licorice..even better. 2008 on tap at Cole’s, bit sour and chocolately. 2011 was OK, more nutmegy and some cinammon. A little hoppy.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
crossovert (9957) - Illinois, USA - MAR 15, 2011
From a magnum bottle, taste Christmas! This one taste sort of like Christmas tree and Christmas caramels. I liked it.

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