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RATINGS: 2042   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 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
kseecs16 (1215) - 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.

   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.

   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

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
blutt59 (6425) - 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

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
ryan (3186) - Beltsville, Maryland, USA - NOV 5, 2005
UPDATED: FEB 21, 2006 Pours black with red highlights, small tan head. Aroma is loaded with spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, some citrus and toffee. Flavor is a nice balance of sweet and spice, similar to the nose. Texture is smooth and creamy. Nice holiday brew, very well made.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
thedm (5439) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - NOV 18, 2005
This bottled brew poured a medium sized head of foamy light brown colored fine to medium sized mostly lasting bubbles that left behind a carbonated very dark ruby red brown colored body that was only transparent around its edges and a good lacing. The aroma was malty with brown malt, a light mild cherry and a mild spice note. The mouth feel is initially tingly and fades in the finish. The flavor contained a mild off note at the start but later flowed into a malty deep caramel malt hoppy slightly medicinal note. A true winter warmer yet only semi vinous.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
bb (8270) - Alamo, California, USA - NOV 21, 2005
Bottle. Rich brown beer with a lt brown head. Malty aroma with christmas/pumpkin pie spices. Body a little thin. Pumpkin pie spice flavor with a bit of roastiness and fruit. Not as goos as years past. Too much ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon - it tastes like a holiday beer kit I brewed last year (and that lasted for too many months).

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
Lumpy (1802) - Carrollton, Texas, USA - NOV 23, 2005
Bottle. Dark almandine body with a thick foamy head. Nose-smells like a really malty saison-lavender, heather, chamomille. Taste-clove, char, licorice, very light smoke (more of a byproduct of the char flavor), and roasted marshmallows. A lttle too thin and watery, which allows the charred flavor to really come up and bite you. Not the best OSA I have had. I will need to try this one again after it has sat in the cellar for a little while. Palate loses points because it is both watery and acrid at the same time.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
auto (163) - California, USA - NOV 25, 2005
flavour is kind of bland. looks alright i guess. light brown head and dark color. i dont know its just kind of boring. fools need to step up their beer game

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
3fourths (8988) - 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.

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