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RATINGS: 2050   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 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 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 (5797) - 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 (8572) - 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 (9150) - 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 itís a decent presentation of juniper and spruce-like mellow spicyness with a light buttery note as well. Itís going to be really interesting when I do a vertical including this year as Iíve done in the years past. OSA is still one of the top beers I look forward to every winter.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
gearbike (512) - West Bloomfield, Michigan, USA - DEC 7, 2005
Dark ruby with a small head from the bottle. I could not place what I now read as the spice/herb/vegetable. Iím still not sure of what that is. A little dry but it grows on you.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
ClarkVV (5858) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 13, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 4, 2006 2005 bottle on 12/9/05. Deep beige colored head is well-retained, but eventually recedes to cover and ring. Dark french roast coffee colored body with amber-tan tints, pretty clear when held to the light. More chocolate than in the past two years, contributing, methinks, to a better balance against the ginger, that is still there in force. Strong in the nose, but the vanilla and sweet toffee help balance it. Flavor has tons of raisin tarts (chewy, cookie crust, little sweet things, almost like minced meat pie), prunes, chocolate, vanilla, pie crust, ginger (of course) and something else that is smooth and lightly spicy, but I canít say for sure what it is. Licorice and chocolate as in older versions but still too much ginger. Mouthfeel is smooth, lightly watery on end, only a medium body overall. Chocolate and raisins linger on, no alcohol or yeast apparency.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
JohnC (3004) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - DEC 17, 2005
I had this on draft at Hollingshead deli in Orange, Calif. Pours very dark brown with a one finger head. the flavor reminded me of a very dry porter with a hint of spicie in the background. It finished very dry. It was good, but not íspecialí.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Mungo (2470) - Southampton, Hampshire, ENGLAND - DEC 21, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 7, 2006 Dec 06 2006 Bottle. Darkly coloured. Much more obviously spiced prominent allspice with sprucey hops. To taste a thin ginger flavour is present similar to the taste I produced by overboiling root ginger in a beer. I didnt like this as much as last year - not as subtly drinkable. 3.2
Dec 05 2005 Bottle. Deep brown colour with tan head. Malty liquorice and brown sugar. Malt focused but not overdone. Delicately spiced to add subtle interest and rounds of the edges with slight piney hints. Simple and quite elegant

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