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RATINGS: 2050   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 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
gnoff (9594) - 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.

Second rating
UPDATED 11/19/2006
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.

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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
j12601 (9565) - 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
allmyvinyl (9562) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - DEC 14, 2013
355ml bottle from appellation wines, Dalry. Pours opaque dark brown, thin off-white head. Nice tight bubbles. Big Christmas-spice aromas, dark sugar and ginger biscuit. Taste has more spice, a treacle sweetness, and light bitterness. Festive.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
mR_fr0g (9538) - Hertfordshire, ENGLAND - MAY 27, 2016
Bottle at desk in work . From beer hawk. A dark black / caramel brown coloured pour with a lasting light tan head. Aroma is liquorice spiced spruce tips, woody nutmeg, brown sugars, christmas spice. Flavour is composed of bitter black liquorice, chared wood, spruce and pine needles, some jammy fruits, apricot. Palate is medium bodied, medium sweet, powdery highish carbonaton, semi drying. Decent for a SHV.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
JorisPPattyn (9531) - 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...

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
MoritzF (9448) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
phaleslu (9425) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
MartinT (9411) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 9, 2005
The Lure:
embedded star anise tries to rise above the rooty cola reminiscence. Roasted malts play a second-tier role, but with the prevalent sweetness creates stout-like passages. Sturdy conifer needles point their way once in a while.

The Festivities:
Prominent earthiness, tree root and bark surround themselves with roasted molasses and a plethora of blackberries and mushy blueberries.Their union is balanced in an ample but easy to digest body. Negligible dryness and bitterness appear in the finale; this is unique stuff as always.

Nicely laid out ornaments do enliven the atmosphere.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
KyotoLefty (9404) - Kyoto, JAPAN - DEC 31, 2009
2008 vintage, one year old. Magnum bottle. Huge spice, licorice, anise, cinnamon, can’t really tell. Roasty bitterness that is stout-like. Fresh dark fruit: cherry, blueberry. Very interesting--rich yet rather light-bodied. Very fruity, with too much spice to drink much of, yet it’s fun.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
olio (9376) - Tampere, FINLAND - NOV 21, 2012
355 ml bottle.
Originally rated on 20101104. (8+3+7+3+15)
Pours slightly hazy ruby red color with a medium-sized frothy head. Aroma has less surprisingly very spicy with cardamom, ginger, some yeast, mild malty notes and some ripe fruit notes. Lots of spices on the flavor also, some fruits, mild toffee notes, wood and malts. Not too over the top with the spices, decent christmassy brew.

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