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RATINGS: 1849   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 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
Storm (2684) - Amager, DENMARK - DEC 1, 2005
On tap. Very dark reddish brown colour with a nice head. Aroma of fresh pumpkins. Light body but with a lot of flavour of cinnamon, spice, sweetness and a touch of pumpkins. Bu ends up little bitter.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
Rastacouere (6136) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 2, 2006
Immediately familiar spice/malt nose bears a solid caramel background to the ginger/cinnamon/cloves/nutmeg. Not as expressive as I remember still. Burgundy-Brown, clear around the edges body, forming a regular beige head that slowly diminishes. Always has this interesting apparent complexity of aromas, though I canít say if it comes up to the sum of its parts. Spice derived bitterness brings no dryness in if perhaps diminishing the sweet feel. Really dull loose mouthfeel is a catastrophe, proposing pointy carbonation that accentuates the spices disparateness rather than bringing them together thus making the finish chaotic (ginger gum!!) and severely fatiguing grapey sweetness, kinda syrupy. Christmasy in its sticky pine gum spiciness. I usually enjoy OSA a lot more, but it is as if the attenuation is not as advanced for now and I doubt time could chime in enough to compensate.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 10/20
Vac (2445) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 8, 2006
Pours wtih a red-brown body topped by a thin head with some lacing. Itís sour with a slight underlying sweetness with a note of cranberries and a slight roastiness. Full bodied and dry wtih a deep warmth.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
stison42 (318) - Blacksburg, Virginia, USA - DEC 28, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 21, 2007 Black. Lightly spiced, a bit more spice would have added to the beer a lot. Only an Ok beer.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
thebaldwizard (1205) - Ohio, USA - JAN 9, 2007
The aroma was like A-1 steak sauce--very smokey too. Very dark brown body with a tan head. The palate was thin to medium. Tangy roasted malt with hops in the finish, and a beef jerky flavor throughout. I was dissapointed with this one.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
Moz (613) - Gothenburg, SWEDEN - APR 8, 2007
Bottle. Dark brown colour with a tan head. Spicy aroma with clove & chocolate. Sourish spicy flavour with a light bitterness.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
valpoaj (635) - Valparaiso, Indiana, USA - DEC 2, 2007
Tasting at Holiday Beerfest in Omaha: Brownish-red color with thick head. Very spicy aroma with hints of cinnamon. Warming flavor, with spices dominant (nutmeg and cinnamon most pronounced). Watery finish with some warmth in the aftertaste. Wasnít enough íotherí to stand up to the spice in this one for my tastes.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 8/20
MrRain (472) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - DEC 17, 2008
12oz bottle poured into an English pint, starting temperature is 39 degrees F. AOSA 2008 pours dark burgundy with a medium-sized off-white head. This is a pretty beer. The aroma consists of mild hops, spicy nutmeg, a hint of mint. The flavor is very spicy. The flavors tend to sit on the beer rather than blend with the beer. The flavors include nutmeg and pepper with a thin caramel base. The beer could be a bit thicker to help absorb the spices. The finish is spicy and leaves the feeling of raw ingredients in your mouth.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
smaynard6000 (651) - Apopka, Florida, USA - JAN 26, 2009
Pours a very dark brown color, almost back, with a frothy beige head. Very sharp flavor of holiday spice with a pine-ish finish. Medium body. Not my favorite style.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Cavie (3829) - Fort Worth, Texas, USA - FEB 8, 2009
UPDATED: NOV 24, 2009 Dark pour. Taste is accompanied with a spicy taste. Might be ginger? Very prominent though. UPDATE 11/23/2009 dark brown to rouge pour. Spicy smell. Some winter spice; hard to detect though in this smoky bar, or as my Boston friend would say, Bahr. Taste is huge spice. Holy crap. Fratto is thinking nutmeg but I canít tell. Reminds me of a Ginger bread man. Might be Ginger then. Either way, holy caboozles Batman! Spice like crazy. Itís like all you can taste. Wow.

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