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RATINGS: 2040   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 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.


3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
MoritzF (9094) - 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 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Quack-Duck (9075) - 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!

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
JorisPPattyn (9056) - 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...

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
kermis (9056) - 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.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
slowrunner77 (8990) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 5, 2014
A favorite spiced beer and favorite Christmas beer, year after year. Nearly 6000 beers in, and I’ve never had another that comes close to the unique mix of spices and herbals and malt that is Anchor OSA.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
phaleslu (8969) - 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 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
3fourths (8962) - 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 it’s a decent presentation of juniper and spruce-like mellow spicyness with a light buttery note as well. It’s going to be really interesting when I do a vertical including this year as I’ve done in the years past. OSA is still one of the top beers I look forward to every winter.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
MartinT (8957) - 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.

Transcendence:
Nicely laid out ornaments do enliven the atmosphere.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DuffMan (8802) - 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!

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
maeib (8749) - Wootton, Northampton, Northamptonshire, ENGLAND - SEP 28, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 26, 2011 Bottled. A black beer with a lovely long-lasting beige coloured head and a touch of lacing. The aroma is spicy with lots of cinnamon. Sugary, a little waring and certainly Christmassy. The taste is also pleasantly spicy. A little thin in the mouth and not as spicy as the 2004. Almost restrained flavours. Drinkable but not particularly special. Score 3.6
Subsequent rating scored 3.7. Score unchanged


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