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RATINGS: 2040   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
BlackForestCO (978) - 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 (2332) - 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 (1651) - 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 (11469) - 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

3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Blom (837) - Odense, DENMARK - MAR 20, 2008
2005 tasting notes. Ruby red with a grey massive head. Sweet and spicy aroma with some orangy fruits and perfume. The flavours are spicy but balanced and it finishes a bit dry.

3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 12/20
basewars (169) - Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 19, 2008
2008 Batch. Pours dark with some translucence around the edges. Fairly stout-like appearance. Aroma is pine and a bit of ginger with some malty sweetness. Flavor is underwhelming. Some bitterness but not much flavor.

3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
BeerRules (243) - Houston, Texas, USA - NOV 21, 2005
Cola colored with ruby edges, pillowy beige head. Aroma dominated by holiday spices. Man I really dont llike these spiced up beers, but aside from the spices which I dont like, the beer is good.

3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 12/20
Nuffield (3953) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - DEC 5, 2005
Mahogany brown with some yellow at the edges, moderate head production. Aroma blends roasted notes with Christmas tree hops, and touches of lemongrass, nutmeg, some alcohol, and a little smoke. The flavor gives a little more dark fruit, such as dried blueberries, gingerbread dough, and a light toffee. Some gentle bitterness rides out the finish. It went very flat very quickly and although somewhat oily, the palate is really tiresome--while a good English bitter works well with this level of carbonation, the darker, more roasted side does better with a little gentle lift. Not my favorite incarnation of this beer, in large measure due to the flatness I experienced.


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