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RATINGS: 1830   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.


4.1
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Ibrew2or3 (6990) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - APR 2, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 20, 2008 2006, consumed during our 2002 to 2006 vertical, Dec. 2008. Typical OSA pour with nearly opaque brown body and mocha head. The aroma is fantastic with rich dark fruitiness, dark molasses, toffee, earthiness, wow. The taste is rich too with perfectly ripe black grapes, chocolate, faint burnt molasses and smooth winter spices. Very nice. 2005, consumed during our 2002 to 2006 vertical, Dec. 2008. Another typical OSA pour with nearly opaque brown body and mocha head. The aroma has lots of smooth blunted spices, gingerbread, dark rye bread, dry earthiness and filberts and hazel nuts. The taste is very similar. Yum. I get a mixture of gingerbread cookies, some rye twang, a bit of velvety dark chocolate, earthiness and rounded out by filbert and hazel nut like nuttiness.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DuffMan (6886) - the land of bitumen, beef & beer, Alberta, CANADA - DEC 7, 2007
UPDATED: AUG 27, 2011 2007 vintage. Clear deep copper with a light brown gense foamy head showing excellent retention and strong early lacing. Very intriguing spicy aroma. Not the usual spice, this is more like mace and bergamot with a little ginger and licorice. Also some cedar mulch aroma. Very interesting! Same spice-dominated palate overlying some nice crystal malt with flavours of orange rind, clove, ginger. Smooth and medium bodied with a surprisingly bitter finish, ending with a tartness that reminds of a good California common style. In fact, that is what this is like in a nutshell-- a very spiced-up, well-made California common. Unique and delicious and perfect for the season!

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
bb (6858) - Alamo, California, USA - NOV 21, 2005
Bottle. Rich brown beer with a lt brown head. Malty aroma with christmas/pumpkin pie spices. Body a little thin. Pumpkin pie spice flavor with a bit of roastiness and fruit. Not as goos as years past. Too much ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon - it tastes like a holiday beer kit I brewed last year (and that lasted for too many months).

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
sebletitje (6800) - Enghien, BELGIUM - DEC 19, 2008
Thanks to super Dave, the cellar king of FL for bringing these rare offerings. Got to try the 2005 and 2006 versions. Both of them pour brownish with light tan - beige head, 05 had a more lingering lacing on the glass. Aroma was a little more in the favor of the 05 version with a more nutty nose vs. a piny approach for the 06. 05 offers a more gingerbread taste with spices, smooth and light caramel. 06 has more light chocolate notes and caramel with molasses. with attenuated cinnamon touch. Overall bot are very enjoyable beres that have aged well. Score goes to the 05 version.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
deyholla (6719) - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 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.

2.3
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 8/20
mcberko (6703) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 13, 2010
12 oz. bottle, pours dark brown with a small tan head. Aroma of cinnamon, ginger, vanilla and clove. Flavour of christmas spices and heavy on the ginger. This definitely isn’t for me.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
motelpogo (6701) - Plzen, CZECH REPUBLIC - FEB 7, 2007
rbesg06, bottle at plain kitchen. deep brown with a beige head. aroma of rum’n’raisin, licorice and cherry syrup. a bit on the thin side, some brown sugar, chocolate, sweetbread, quite alright but not as complex as expected

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
j12601 (6611) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - DEC 21, 2008
Mini growler of the 2008 offering, from Half-Time. Pours a clear but almost ruby black color with very little of what appears to be a dark tan head. Ample spice and possibly cherries on the nose with a good deal of sweetness, almost caramel like. Mouthfeel is a little thin, but there’s a nice smoked note that comes forward. Finish has just a touch of bitterness and hint more smoke. Body could be thicker, but overall a rather tasty beer.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
phaleslu (6608) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - NOV 27, 2010
Draft served in a tulip at International Tap House-Soulard. Pours a dark amber-brown color with a tan head that laces the glass. Aroma of figs, cherries, lums, vanilla, caramel malts, raisins, grapes, nutmeg, and other winter spices. The flavor stays pretty faithful to the nose. Medium-bodied, with low carbonation and a malty, spicy mouthfeel. Good winter beer.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
BVery (6600) - Burnsville, 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.


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