on tap

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RATINGS: 1827   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 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Beerowulf (74) - , Indiana, USA - DEC 25, 2010
Served from Magnum bottle. 2008 vintage. Dark brown with 2 finger head. Sweet and roasty taste and a great smooth finish. 2008 was a good year for this one!!!!!!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
LKT1983 (110) - Benton, Kentucky, USA - NOV 12, 2012
2012 bottle. What a difference in taste from anything else Iíve had lately. Hard to describe the taste from a sample, but I loved it.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
WanderinCelt87 (170) - Hamburg, New Jersey, USA - DEC 25, 2013
Pours a lovely black with a tan head. Has a very robust smell of spice and malt. Has an amazing taste of spice and malt.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
bigrond (1475) - factoryville, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 11, 2005
UPDATED: NOV 30, 2006 this beer is great, I wait all year for it. always forget what it tasted like and every year itís a little different anyway!! it perfect. Spicy aroma, nutmeg I think- -WOW this is the best I can remmember. HA HA. very good mouthfeel and very nice subtle aftertaste not overpowering but lingering nonetheless

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
beerguy101 (5282) - Newark, California, USA - NOV 13, 2005
I always know when the holiday season is here when I spot this beer on the shelves. Has it really been 31 years that they have been making this gem? This Christmas Ale pours a dark brown color from a 12 oz bottle. Medium sized white foamy head. Aroma is nutmeg, cinnamon and orange peel. There are other aromas in there as well as some hop aromas but I need a better nose then mine to pick them out. A medium bodied ale. Malts are chocolate and semi sweet. Hops are citrusy. But the spices dominate the flavor with nutmeg, cinnamon, orange peel, chocolate and raisins. Yet with all those spices it has a nice fruity finish. This has all the indication of being an excellent brew this year. Will need to get a couple of 6 packs to age and let mellow. Oh, and this yearís tree is Quercus Agrifolia. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Angeloregon (2055) - Portland, Oregon, USA - NOV 19, 2007
2005 vintage on tap at Belmont Station and also a 2007 magnum pour at Danimalís 30th birthday party--Poured a deep chestnut-mahogany brown-amber. One or two-fingered off-white head. Spicy, nutty, gingery aroma that proved quite complex. Flavor and palate just as intriguing. Crisp and full bodied. Sweet and dry. Hints of root spices and spruce, fur, or pine needles. One of the best winter beers of all time.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
17thfloor (2430) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - OCT 28, 2008
UPDATED: FEB 2, 2010 [2006 Bottle - almost 2 years old 10.28.08] Pours a dark thick murky reddish brown with a small thick creamy beige head. Smells like christmas spice cake & eggnog, cinnamon, raisins, tons of nutmeg and a touch of oxidation. Rich flavor, dry nutty caramel malts, touch of coffee, hint of dark molasses, the spices blend seamlessly with the malt and are surprisingly not overpowering. This is a beer to be reckoned with; pecan-pie in a bottle. I love the nutmeg. Faint hint of oxidized hops that give it a brandy like richness, decadent. Medium/full body, lightly chalky/creamy with very smooth fine fluffy carbonation, great mouthful. This is one of the better beers Iíve had in a while. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [2009 bottles are quite good!]

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Cybercat (3304) - Georgia, USA - DEC 6, 2008
Had the 2008 version. This one pours a dark chocolaty opaque brown with a fine-bubbled tan head. Rich, malty aroma has strong hints of spice. Flavor is strong and mouth filling, malty, very spicy, with a solid undertone of unsweetened chocolate. Texture is smooth and a little syrupy so it goes down well.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
xibalba89 (147) - New York, New York, USA - DEC 17, 2008
Pours a dark reddish brown with a big tan head. The aroma is really cool... mint and light, bitter hops blended with spruce...! The flavor is great, with caramel and malt rounding it out nicely. Mouthfeel is light, but not too watery. A really nice, unique holiday beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
ARMed (601) - Garnet Valley, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 18, 2008
Thanks Joeyplush for this great birthday gift. It is an outstanding brew with a ton of flavor and a lot of character. Great spicey flavor of winter porter with the aroma of a pine forest. I wanted a second one!

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