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RATINGS: 2030   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 Aleís 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.

Editorís 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.


3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
deyholla (9265) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - DEC 22, 2010
Bottle shared by someone at the 2010 Winter Solstice. Poured a hazy brown with a yellowish brown head that lasted throughout the beer. Aroma was full of holiday spices with a dark grain note as well. There spices seemed to be mainly cinnamon and nutmeg. Flavor was similar with the same holiday spices joined by some dark fruits and grains with a the spice really coming out in the finish.

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
jercraigs (9154) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 31, 2005
UPDATED: AUG 4, 2015 2008-12-06. Dark brown body with a modest khaki head. (3+) Sweet malt aroma, spice is well rounded, nutmeg? (7+) Sweetish flavour has a malty base, nutmeg, spice. (7+) Average plus palate. (3+) Pretty much how I remembered it from previous years! 7+/3+/7+/3+/15-16 = 3.5 2008 Vintage. On tap at Coles, Buffalo

2006 Vintage. Bottle at Volo. Very dark brown-black body with a smallish creamy tan head (3+). Spicy (nutmeg, cinnamon) and sweet malt in the aroma. Flavour is similar to aroma, with the addition of ovaltine/cocoa notes. Nutmeg, very light anise, sweet malt middle. Average palate. Pleasant, but as always with this one I find it hard to wrap my palate around the melange of spice flavours. 7/3+/3/7/14 - 3.4

2005 Vintage. December 2005. Draft @ Coles in Buffalo. Black body with small creamy tan head. (3+) Sweet malt with abundant but mild spice notes in the aroma. Flavour has lots of nutmeg and something I called anise that may or may not be. Mild nutty notes at some points. Plenty of malt throughout. I enjoyed this a bit more than previous years, but there is still something unharmonious about the whole package that detracts from it for my tastes. 6/4/6/3/14 - 3.3

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
arminjewell (9149) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - JAN 8, 2012
12 oz 2011 bottle pour at home is dark reddish almost black, thin off white head as well. Aroma brought notes of caramel, chocolate, some coffee and roast, with some spicy ginger, cinnamon and clove in there with the pine needle/juniper notes. Taste is a mix of chocolate, coffee, spruce and ginger notes combining actually fairly decently, a slightly spicy and bitter finish. Different, but enjoyable!

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Quack-Duck (9060) - Down South, GERMANY - AUG 5, 2009
bottle, vintage 2007, mit Dank ins Ruhrgebiet! Dark red-brown colour, large beige head. Fruity nose. Intensively malty with lots of fruit flavours: berries, plums, blackcurrant. Bitter-sweet with lovely citrusy hops that add flavours of bitter orange marmalade. Lingering finish. Delicious!

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JoeMcPhee (9051) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 28, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 20, 2010 2009 bottle. Deep dark brown beer with a very thick sticky pour. Good looking beer. The nose is great. A bright nose of light evergreen resin, a bit of cinnamon, fruity pine and a touch of molasses and dark malts. A kiss of toasted character. Pretty nice rich brew. There is a little bit of rye spice and a kiss of light herbal hoppiness as well. Itís pretty solid. 2008 bottle. Deep dark brown beer with a nice sticky tan head. The nose is quite spicy. A bit of cocoa and soft pine. Cinnamon and nutmeg as well as a bit of light fruitiness. Dusty cocoa and a bit of herbal character. Some light mintiness and a touch of chewy sweetness. Molasses and a bit of toastiness. Some rye and wheaty spice. As it warms the spruce and juniper picks up. Lovely toastiness and a bit of soft spice. Itís lovely. 8 5 8 5 17 2006 bottle. Dark brown/ruby tinted beer with a thick tan head. Aroma is of dark toasted malts, sweet breadiness with loads of fresh ginger and bright fresh cinnamon. There is also a lot of pine/spruce aroma that comes to the fore as the beer warms up. Flavour is malty sweet, toast and whole wheat spiciness, cinnamon and nutneg and ginger. Soft chocolatey malt notes behind the sweet spices as well. Lingering pine flavour and earthy/herbal bitterness. Smells and tastes like Christmas, which I gather was the point. I like this years better than 2005s version. 8 5 8 5 16 2005 bottle. Beautiful deep brown/ruby beer with a thich long-lasting brown head. Sweet caramelly aroma, a bit of toastiness, assertive licorice and even a touch of smokiness. Flavour is quite spicy aroma, bready sweet pudding-like malt and spice backgroung. Cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel with a long sweet and brown sugary finish. Dark cherries and black pepper on the back of the palate as well. Ar 7 Ap 5 Fl 7 Pa 3 Ov 15

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
MoritzF (9015) - Ottobrunn, GERMANY - MAY 30, 2006
(bottle, vintage 2005, with many thanks to bierkoning !) Dark brown colour with a stable tanned mid-sized foam. Moderately sweet and slightly roasted malt aroma with a floral note of violets, toffee, liquorice and cinnamon. Bittersweet flavour, medium body, moderate carbonation. Roasty malty taste with liquorice, violets and citrus peel; dry, malty and spicy finish with a lasting aftertaste with chocolate and spices. Complex and tasty brew.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
DocLock (8978) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 23, 2006
Draft at the Drafting Room. This one pours dep brown. The aroma was chocolatey and spicy, with a gingerbready malt presence. The flavor was like minty, spicy chocolate chip cookie dough dipped in molasses, then pureed. Well done, as usual from these guys.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
JorisPPattyn (8915) - Ursel, BELGIUM - OCT 10, 2007
2006 vintage, from a shelf in my cellar, generous donator unknown but thanked Huge, darker beige head, creamy, over fully dark-opaque, red-shot brown beer. Spicy nose; roasted grains or roasted (sweetish) multi-grains bread. Resins and rosemary, cloves, meatgravy aromas. Roasted taste as roasted coffee, breadcrust and walnutpeel. Flavours of clove or allspice and liquorice. Ends pretty dry - spicy/bitterish, near tartness. Restsugars all but gone. Rather well-bodied, neither slick nor chewy. Some discreet alcohol. Decent spicy winter ale, not too sweet, but not too special neither. Bit roasted-roasty...

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
BVery (8912) - Plymouth, Minnesota, USA - DEC 10, 2011
Bottle. Nice rich reddish brown pour with a white head. Aroma is black licorice and spice. Palate is medium - maybe slightly thin. Taste is nutmeg, spruce, fruitbread. Decent.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
3fourths (8881) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - DEC 1, 2005
UPDATED: JUN 18, 2012 Looks the same as the others... it looks like Anchor OSA. Rich and sharp toffee, butter and perhaps scotch aroma - sharp is the key word. Very fresh, very robust and it smells almost chewy. Piney flavor up front with a semi-caustic texture - rough and brittle it feels. My first impressions are that it may need some cellaring, but for now itís a decent presentation of juniper and spruce-like mellow spicyness with a light buttery note as well. Itís going to be really interesting when I do a vertical including this year as Iíve done in the years past. OSA is still one of the top beers I look forward to every winter.


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