on tap

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RATINGS: 1946   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53   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 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
hiddenvariable (206) - 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.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 10/20
OldMrCrow (2119) - 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.

   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

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Oakes (13272) - 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

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
dkoonce (911) - Peopleís Republic of Athens, Ohio, USA - DEC 24, 2007
Listed as the 2007 Christmas ale. Pours very dark brown, with a thick tan head. Iím not sure what style this beer falls under. Sweet and malty. Very heavy. Finishes cleaner and dryer than anticipated. Not too special.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
VitaminR (540) - Colorado, USA - FEB 5, 2008
2007 - Slight black cherry and cloves on the nose. Some spice and burnt sugar, but not quite enough sweetness to balance the bitterness. Seemed thin. Not terrible, but there are much better winter/holiday ales out there.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
MagooinPA (100) - Warminster, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 9, 2008
120z pour looked awesome, tasted horrible. To many spices that didnít work for me. previous years have much better. This 2007 version has too much going on and much of it is conflict.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
oreogobbler (228) - Austin, Texas, USA - APR 17, 2008
2007 bottle! Pours a dark espresso brown. Off white thick, frothy, and creamy head. Looks a lot like root beer. Roasted/toasted caramel aroma. Malty with some essence of chocolate, and spicy brown sugar. Very intense punch of flavor right to the tongue, slightly smoky oak. I also get some nutty notes, and some creamy milk chocolate in the finish. The palate is very unbalance. Harsh flavor and mouth feel all over at first, but as it roll to the back of your tongue it mellows out a bit. Buttery and full. Itís interesting, but could be better.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
phishpond417 (2088) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - APR 21, 2008
Dark brown color with a slightly reddish tone. Head is decent, tan colour. Aroma is pleasent- sweet, enticing with various spices, nutmeg and cinnamon are noticeable. Taste is soft and creamy, very pleasent. Its a great seasonal brew i look forward to every year.

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