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RATINGS: 1879   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.


2.6
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
gnoff (7975) - Mölndal, SWEDEN - NOV 6, 2006
UPDATED: FEB 2, 2014 First rating
Initial Rating Date: 11/6/2006
330 ml bottle at Haket, Göteborg.
2006 Christmas ale.
Ruby red color, tan head. Spicy clove scent. Taste is clove and lots of spicy malts. Low bitterness.
8/4/7/3/14=3.6

Second rating
UPDATED 11/19/2006
Bottle
Vinous a bit minty, strong sugary smell. Deep ruby red color, tan head. A bit fruity taste, thin and boring, vinous. No bitterness. Just plain too boring.
5/3/5/2/9=2.4

Rerate
On tap as part of a flight at Brewer’s Tasting Room, St. Pete, FL, on January 22, 2014.
Clear very dark red color, light brown head. Sweet, spicy taste. Tart, dry aftertaste. Thin mouthfeel, low bitterness. Sweet scent, a bit spicy.
5/4/5/2/10=2.6

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
BMan1113VR (7868) - Los Angeles, California, USA - DEC 6, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 26, 2009 2007 vintage in a magnum bottle. A very good tasting extremely dark ale with a very large brown head. Medium to full bodied with a short duration. Aroma is very fresh, with possibly some pine scents. Very much different from Anchor’s other products.
Dec 6, 2007.
Ar: 7; AP: 2; F: 8; P: 4; O: 14
Total Score: 3.5/5.0

2005 Vinatge. Waited too long on this one. Mar 3, 2008. Pours with a light brown, creamy, head that lasts. Murky brown body. Aroma of soy, madera, and prunes. Alcohol legs on the glass. Taste is way too oxidized. Sat for too long. Creamy mouthfeel, with some fizz left. Bitter and very very oxidized.
Ar: 6; AP: 4; F: 5; P: 3; O: 12
Total Score: 3.0/5.0

2006 Vintage. This one was waited on for too long. Pours with a decent sized, light brown, foamy head covering a hazy dark brown body. Aroma has elements of oxidation, figs, plums, yeast, cinnamon, and vanilla. Taste is salty, smokey and oxidized. Over the hill in a baby SA Triple Bock sort of way. I am disapointed because this one looked and smelled quite good. I guess I know that these will not last much longer than a year (low alcohol I guess). Too bad.
April 21, 2008.
Ar: 7; AP: 4; F: 5; P: 3; O: 12
Total Score: 3.1/5.0

2008 vintage. November 16, 2008. Bottle marked 803. Pours a deep mahogoney with a fluffy light brown head. Good lacing and retention. Aroma of allspice, cinnamon, pine, molassas, caramel and maple. Taste is spiced with some tabbacco, allspice, caramel, plenty of hazlenuts, and bitter molassas. Creamy mouthfeel, light bubbles, slightly warming. Good winter warmer.
Ar: 7; AP: 4; F: 7; P: 4; O: 15;
Total Score: 3.7/5.0
2009 had a bit more of a twang to it.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
crossovert (7866) - 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.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Fin (7671) - Merton, Oxfordshire, England, Oxfordshire, ENGLAND - DEC 8, 2008
Had this at a Café/bar in the company of Loz, Casey and Traci on 17-11-08, just before we said cheerio to Casey and Traci. Pours very dark brown with light beige head. Really nice and creamy, some condensed milk and big caramac flavours leapt out at me quite yummy with good Christmassy feel. A7 A4 F7 P4 OV14 3.6

2.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
Scopey (7376) - 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!

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
rosenbergh (7353) - Tampere, FINLAND - NOV 26, 2010
355 ml bottle. 2010. Finland.
Dark reddish brown colour with small creamy tan head. Roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, toffee and hops in quite tempting aroma. Flavour is a dab more harsh with darkish hops, roasted malt, chocolate, spices and coffee. Rather wintery.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
DruncanVeasey (7315) - NUNEATON, CONF N, Warwickshire, ENGLAND - JAN 12, 2008
UPDATED: JAN 14, 2008 2007 version, Inspire, Coventry. Mahogany pour with red edges, and an irregular beige head and lace. Distinct ginger, cinnamon and possibly rosemary in the aroma and flavour, but not excessively mulled or overdone, and nicely underpinned by roasted malt and sourish lactic touches. Aromatically spiced festive ale.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Ughsmash (7181) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 21, 2005
Bottled. Poured a beautiful clear, deep garnet with a 1" initial beige head (didn’t stick around for too long). Nose of mulled spices (clove, anise, ginger, nutmeg, and others), roasted caramel, and brown sugar... very Christmasy (or holiday-ey for some of youse guys). Flavor followed suit, but a little shy on the roastiness and a little heavy on the spices. Solid amount of nutmeg, some cinnamon, earth, and anise on the finish. Enjoyed it.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
CaptainCougar (7132) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - DEC 10, 2005
Pours a barely transparent dark brown with a thin, lightly-lacing tan head. Toasty spiced sugar cookie and ginger snap aroma has some citrusy hops. First taste is of Vienna malt and earthy spices with a thinner, hoppier finish. Not as good as the 2004 I just tried, but maybe give it a year. Thanks Jason for the bottle!

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
MesandSim (7118) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - JUN 16, 2007
A Sim rate (bottle from Rudiger): Ridiculously complex aroma: berries, sweet spices (particularly clove-studded oranges that you have at Christmas), cranberries, plums and brandy. Almost perfumy. Fucking amazing! Very dark black cherry colour. Flavour is lacking in the complexity of the aroma with a bittersweet finish. Plum, blackcurrant and spices pop out. Great beer!


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