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RATINGS: 1940   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53   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.


3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
checkmatei1 (765) - Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 21, 2007
Draft: Pours a dark amber color with a small to not much head. This beer smelled of pine and cloves. The taste was that of the season, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. This was a great desert beer.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
mar (4971) - Dallas, Texas, USA - NOV 22, 2007
wow very different than what i was expecting. very dark almost black pour but at the bottom i could see some ruby. 1 finger khaki head. lots of hops with a tad bit of malts on the nose. interesting flavor with some spices and some hops.

3.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
DJC (238) - USA - NOV 26, 2007
2007 version, Valley oak tree on label: Opaque body, with a tan head that disappeared way too quickly. Splotchy lacing. Holiday cookie-like aroma, which was quite a bit sweeter than the flavor. At first, the flavor profile consisted of cardamom, nutmeg, giner, allspice, and toffee, but the finish could best be described as acrid coffee and smoke. The carbonation was lively, but overall mouthfeel was slightly on the watery side. I feel that Anchor did a pretty good job with this one, but years past had finer offerings.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
37steel (186) - St. Charles, Illinois, USA - DEC 3, 2007
2007 edition. 12 oz bottle. Dark brown with a thick tan head. Aroma is caramel malt with some spices. Flavor has cinnamon, nutmeg (?) and maple. A little thin on the finish.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
KieferUGA (461) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - DEC 3, 2007
12 oz. bottle. 2007 vintage. Pours a deep, clear mahogany with a small light, cream color head. Aroma of pine tree and cinnamon. Mouthfeel is a combination of spices, maple syrup, and licorice. Hint of a bitter ending, but not too overpowering.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Dorwart (2409) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - DEC 4, 2007
( 2007 Vintage) Thin light brown head which dissipates quickly. Minimal carbonation. Spicy aroma with lots of nutmeg, ginger and spruce. Also a bit of rootbeer in the background. Color is a very dark brown. Dry and thin palate. Gingerbread, nutmeg, and a bit of dry chalkyness. Lingering roasted grains and bitterness. A decent seasonal brew. Thanks to etowneraser for this one.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
kseecs16 (1209) - Naperville, Illinois, USA - JAN 8, 2008
2007 bottle. Poured a dark brown with a tan head, not quite opaque. Aroma of pumpking, nutmeg, anise, quite bready. Flavor is anise, and roast notes. Slight burnt toast flavor. Medium bodied, creamy with a lingering bitterness.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
JasonG (776) - Salt Lake City, Utah, USA - MAR 19, 2008
2007 12oz bottle - pours a very deep ruby red color with medium sized tan head. Aroma is full of medium toasted caramel, fair amount of cinnamon, vanilla, bit of anise, spruce tips, orange peel, cherry syrup. Flavor is malty, nutty, touch of caramel, seville oranges, spruce. Finish is mildly bitter, a bit too much for the style, IMO. I think given a few years the spices would mellow a bit and the bitterness would drop out a bit, and would overall be a bit better.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
lithy (2996) - Capital of Appalachia, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 30, 2008
UPDATED: MAY 14, 2009 2007 Vintage. Deep ruby ale looks black except in the light. Thick frothy tan head that has nice retention lingers forever leaving a sticky coating of lace on the glass. Clove aromas, cinnamon, nutmeg reminds of eggnog. Nutty caramel and more of the previous spices. Excellent malt and spices. 2008 vintage. Pours a dark brown with red intertwined throughout and a tight lasting beige head. Aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses, figs and other fruits, other assorted aggressive spices, with a malty sweet base. Taste hits first with a load of spices, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, with fruits and sweet malts that lend a strange metallic twinge to the finish. A bit nutty or vegetal. 2007 seemed better. Original rating: 7:4:7:4:14

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
blutt59 (6067) - Dallas, Texas, USA - NOV 18, 2008
bottle, dark brown pour with thick khaki foam, nose is spicy with a flavor of malt, nuts and more spice, tasty


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