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RATINGS: 1974   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 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
MartinT (8736) - 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 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Fin (8704) - 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

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
BVery (8691) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Camons (8428) - Hasselager, DENMARK - NOV 27, 2012
Bottle @ Føtex øl festival. 2012 vintage. Pours dark brown with a small offwhite head. Aroma of malt, gingerbread, spice. Flavor is malt, coffee, chocolate, x-mas spices. Medium body, soft carbonation. 241112

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DuffMan (8318) - 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!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
olio (8206) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
KyotoLefty (8138) - 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 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
sebletitje (8120) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
kermis (8085) - The Hague, NETHERLANDS - NOV 17, 2012
Bottle shared from ABC Beers. Pours dark brown with a small tan head. Aroma of Christmas spices, nutmeg, dark fruits, Christmas pudding. Flavour is moderate sweet and light bitter. Medium bodied with soft carbonation.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
j12601 (8050) - 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.

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