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RATINGS: 1845   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.54   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 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.


3.1
   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.

3.1
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 15/20
EKGoldings (540) - 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.

3.1
   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.

3.1
   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.

3.1
   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.

3.1
   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.

3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
GG (2323) - NorCal, California, USA - DEC 24, 2007
Iím not a huge fan of this beer when itís fresh. After a bit of age on it it comes around nicely, but aside from that issue itís not a bad beer. Aroma is holiday spices, like cinammon and nutmeg, some clove and allspice wrapped up in a caramel bow. Appearance is dark brown, cloudy with some red edges coming thru the light, a nice one-finger thick head. Mouthfeel is a touch watery. Flavors were mostly an uncharacterized sweetness, perhaps caramel but the spices really make this hard to distinguish. A tasty beer for sure, but as I said after 1-2 years this beer really hits itís peak. Looking forward to trying the í07 in í09.

3.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
bleeng (1540) - Houston nowhere near Beersel, Texas, USA - JAN 4, 2008
2007 version. Thick full white head on top of a dark, almost opaque beer. Nose of pine cones, spices, like a clear, cold winter day in the Rocky Mts. Taste is sweet, tangy, a bit hoppy with a nice malt background. Of course the pine cones and spices overwhelm this beer. A bit over-carbonated and the finish is a bit thin. One is enough. These are best aged for at least one year.

3.1
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
mybestfriend (263) - Gothenburg, SWEDEN - FEB 17, 2008
2007 bottle. Pours an almost black colour with a beige head, On the nose I got some fresh, but artificial, citrus (made me think of detergent) mixed with some ginger, roasted coffee beans and julmust (a swedish christmas soft drink). The taste is a bit sweet and resembles the aroma but with much more ginger!

3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Drake (8700) - Free Union, Virginia, USA - FEB 26, 2008
UPDATED: DEC 10, 2008 2007 bottle from Whole Foods Charlottesville. Pours reddish-black with a very large head and mad amounts of lacing. Strong cinnamon/coffee aroma. Taste of coffee, raisin and spice (anise?) behind a very thin mouthfeel. Taste is good, but the rest is lacking. 6/4/7/2/11..... 12 ounce bottle from Whole Foods Market Charlottesville, 2008 release. Pours a dark brown color wirh a medium head. Highly splced, slightly tart aroma. Taste is also highly spiced with hop notes, eggnog. Medium bodied. 6/4/6/3/11


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