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RATINGS: 1829   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.54   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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This is our special ale from the brewers at Anchor. It is sold only from early November to mid-January. The Aleís 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.

Editorís 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 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
TheEpeeist (3364) - Media, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 21, 2006
12 oz bottle - 2006. Burgundy brown with a short, smooth tan head. Grape, orange, cloves. I think sangria or mulled wine. Rather sharp and fizzy. Toffee is overwhelmed by wood alcohol and bitter spices. Sour apple with a chalky finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
jon112981 (327) - Bristow, Virginia, USA - DEC 24, 2006
Bottle. Dark pour with thick white head. Slightly bitter with a sweet undertone. Very light tasting but not as smooth as I expected.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
alexanderj (3318) - Branson, Missouri, USA - JAN 27, 2007
Based on the overall rating, was expecting it to be much better. Aroma was of spices, and some light malt. Taste was much of the same, but was watery and thin. Overall it was decent, but wonít be in any rush to try it again.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
notalush (4872) - Denver, Colorado, USA - NOV 13, 2007
2007 bottling - wow, has it really been two years since Iíve bought OSA? - damn - well, anyway, this years batch sure ainít as spicy as previous years - I pick up a bit of sage and nutmeg in the aroma, but thatís as spicy as she gets - this is a bit lighter in body than previous vintages, and even, one might say, thin on the palate - I pick up notes of cocoa an a leafy, vegetal quality - very light cinnamon an all-spice - a very light touch of anise - finishes kind of thin - this is one vintage that I wouldnít hold on to - there isnít much room for development here - nice enough for now, though.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Driftwood6 (214) - USA - DEC 7, 2007
On tap at Brixieís, Brookfield IL. Spices pretty subdued. Most noticable was the dry finish with a touch of bitterness. I think I liked the Great Lakes Christmas Ale a little better.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 15/20
EKGoldings (526) - Radford, Virginia, USA - DEC 13, 2007
Had this beer may times over the last 25 years or so. Dang, Iím old. Somewhat variable because they supposedly use a different recipe each year. This one rarely rings my bell. This one from 07 reminds me of years past, where the flavor of spice dominates and does not please me. Course, I generally frown on spiced beers, preferring hops to dominate. Nonetheless, this is a well-made, spiced Christmas ale that should be on everybody who enjoys this styleís short list. Iíve had these at one year age and didnít find my enjoyment particularly improved.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
Bier brauen (246) - Bremerton, Washington, USA - DEC 15, 2007
2007 edition. Nice aroma but thin mouthfeel and bitter taste. Not as big as the inviting seasonal aroma would promise.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Canadianlush (169) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - DEC 16, 2007
Poured much darker than I thought it would. Almost like a porter to echo Strykzoneís comments with a full tan head. Sweet aroma of something that I canít make out. Taste is full, sugrary and lingers. Not something Iíll pick up every year. Kind of a let down considering how reliable the guys at Anchor are.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
SirSlarty (68) - Reading, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 16, 2007
Looks and smells almost like a brown ale. Frothy tan head. Looks great. Tastes good too. Surprised me. Major hints of apple and other fruits.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
BlackForestCO (977) - Aurora, Colorado, USA - DEC 21, 2007
07 bottle. Poured a tawny brown with a pillowy, light tan head that left nice lacing. Nice aroma of caramel, spices (clove and ginger mainly), and a hint of pine. I didnít enjoy the flavor as much as the aroma. It began with a slightly spicey pine taste that led into a somewhat smooth caramel finish. It was relatively smooth on the palate. I just couldnít really get into this beer.

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