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RATINGS: 1951   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53   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.


2.9
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Panzuriel (1416) - Westerville, Ohio, USA - DEC 25, 2006
Dark brown beer with a full tan foam. Nose is of spices and maybe a hint of evergreen. Taste is more spice and evergreen and a bit of coffee as well. body is full. Finish is dry and warming.

2.9
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Soonah (1120) - Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA - DEC 30, 2006
The pour is dark brown with ruby highlights and a moderate off-white head that dissipates quickly. The aroma is of spice and a little bit of roasted malt. The flavor is nutmeg. Then some more nutmeg and even a little bit more nutmeg thrown in for good measure. With a little bit of sour mixed in there. Tightly carbonated. While I appreciate the effort at continually innovating this brew, Iím glad this stuff isnít around very long.

2.9
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
bdjames29 (273) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JAN 1, 2007
Bottle. My worst Anchor experience thus far. I am having a difficult time settling in to this style. Tried a few this season and was on the verge of enjoying them. This is a difficult beer for me - the spicy, salty taste is hard to handle. Consistency and feel in the mouth is a bit heavy and fuzzy. Iíll work on it again next year.

2.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 1/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
shendrix (478) - Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 21, 2007
Well, a decidedly interesting brew. More complexity than I expect from an ale. The boquet of this one gives something away immediately--it smells vaguely of pine. Sure enough, the flavor betrays a bit of lemon zest on the back of the tongue, a hint of nutmeg, and an overtaste of spruce. Not so bad as one might think, though nothing I would want in a daily drinker. Worth trying once though.

2.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 8/20
cole45 (21) - USA - JAN 26, 2007
The spice is WAY, WAY, WAY TOO MUCH. Iím just glad I didnít spring for the magnum they had at the local beer shop.

2.9
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
moseefus (79) - Little Rock, Arkansas, USA - NOV 22, 2007
Didnít like it as much as the 2006. Pour was beautiful, almost black with a thick tan head (that is still there 10min later). Smells of hops, malt, spices. Taste is quite hoppy with that spice kick right underneath. Finish is slightly long and bitter for me. The spice seems to be ginger driven, with nutmeg, and a hint of cinnamon. Quite tasty, though I think I like some other christmas ales better.

2.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
hiddenvariable (207) - pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 30, 2007
2007, on tap at dís. poured a clearish dark brown, with a thin tan head. huge spicy nose, with lots of nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, and anise. more of that in the flavor, with the anise and nutmeg overpowering the light sprucey hop notes and the caramel malts. a touch sweet on the finish, with the spices again dominating everything. medium bodied, and a good carbonation. i donít like anise, and after a while that was all i could taste. i donít like this style, but for some reason i keep trying.

2.9
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 10/20
OldMrCrow (2145) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 12, 2007
Bottle, 2007 vintage, fresh.

Pours a gorgeous dark dark ruby with a nice tan head. Beautiful to look at! Nose is all spice: allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, spruce tips. Flavor is very spicy, not particularly sweet, sprucy.

I can see how this would appeal to many, but it really doesnít do it for me. Itís too heavily spiced. This is one I can do without. Giving it a 2.9 is a disservice if rating to style, but itís almost generous as a measure of how much I enjoyed this one.

2.9
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 10/20
Jmichael (640) - Asheville, North Carolina, USA - DEC 20, 2007
rating based on average of two years 2006 and 2007 on a vertical. 2007. pours a brown. spicy aroma, loose and spicy wit some sour backgrounds, not too complex and dissapointing. 2.5. 2006. pours a brown. sweet malty aroma, light sweet vanilla aged oak presence, deeper and more complex. 3.2

2.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Oakes (13426) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 21, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 30, 2011 2011 version. Pours dark brown with a thick head. Smells soapy on the initial pour, with lots of herbals. As it warms, the aroma mixes pine with orange, cinnamon and some dark sugars. On the palate, itís a bit thin, lacking any serious malt sugars. This in turn reduces the ability of the beer to carry the spices across the palate comfortably. The spices are muted, leaving only traces of cinnamon and clove on the palate. So spiced ale yes, winter warmer, no. Itís just too light.

2007 Magnum
Dark brown. Spicy, minty, cinnamony aroma doesnít disappoint. Grk. Thin and flat body. Spices limp along without any particular malt to back them up. Liquorice flavour is strong but comes across far too bitter - again showing a lack of residual sugar. Thin, weak, poorly executed. Far below Anchorís and this beerís standards. Had to choke it back. 7 - 3 - 3 - 1 - 6 = 2.0


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