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RATINGS: 1946   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 Ale’s 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.

Editor’s 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.


4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
scraff (2121) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - NOV 7, 2005
Deep brown and mahogany, thick creamy tan head. Rich nose of gingersnap cookies, toasted caramel, and spruce, with lighter notes of nutmeg and chocolate. Flavor is spiced throughout with ginger, nutmeg and spruce prevalent, some light chocolate tones blended in, with a late soft bitterness rounding it out. Medium to full bodied, soft carbonation, spiced bittersweet finish. Like Hanukkah, err, I mean Christmas in a bottle....

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
ericmc83 (207) - Arkansas, USA - NOV 23, 2005
Aroma is amazing. Spices galore. It is a perfect reminder of what season it is...the aromas I associate with this time of year are captured very well in this brew. The spices I sensed on the nose are slightly less dominant in the flavor. Rather, the flavor is a rich, chewy, chocolate, toffee’ness that collaborates nicely with the spice. This is my first OSA and wow...I’m impressed to say the least.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
mustangjoe (183) - redondo beach, California, USA - DEC 1, 2005
On tap @Najas, Redondo Beach, Ca. Dark brown, just about black with a nice tan head on top. My first Anchor OSA, and it was great. Aroma was overflowing with spicyness and earthy overtones. Delicious flavors come through as well to make this a definite new favorite of mine. It was great drinking this brew while the sun was setting over the Pacific.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
turbothy (1141) - Bonn, GERMANY - JAN 29, 2006
Pours a very dark red with small head and excellent lacing. Aroma of nutmeg and oregano (!?). Flavour is nicely roasted and warming. Good coffee aftertaste and a smooth palate. Excellent.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
IrishBoy (3926) - Bakersfield, California, USA - JUN 16, 2006
UPDATED: MAY 31, 2008 Parallel tasting of 2003, 2004 2005.. 6/16/06 2005 bottle; Nose is fruity and spicy with a raisiny note, Walnut body (same shade as 2004) with a little more and longer lasting head than the other two. Taste is malty with raisins, and cloves.8/4/8/4/16 4.0 2006 bottle 5/31/08; Nose of raisin pie with cloves, mutmeg, and cinnamon; black with a huge lightly lacing tan head; flavor of raisins, spiciness, and toffee notes; excellent with a lighly sweet, malty finish! 8/5/9/4/17 4.3

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
orville (160) - Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 10, 2006
(a 2006 bottle) For some reason all anchor beers taste better in my franziskaner weizen glass. pours an ebony red color and if you hold it up to the light you can see alot of bubble action. The aroma is a strang unique smell that i couln’t detect. The flavor is spicy smooth with a pleasant arpeggio rip of notes.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
GreatLibations (1854) - Last Supper, Arizona, USA - NOV 26, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 18, 2009 2008 version: Seems to drink like the 07. this version is noticeably creamy. 2007-90pts or 4- Pours almost black w/ a full, semi creamy froth. Superb hang tine and good lace work. Aromas of perfume and roasted nut shells. Full nectar w/ little carbonation producing a very oily texture. Bold flavors of perfumed bubblegum black fruit, licorice, clove spice, ginger, vanilla, tar, pine resin, and roasted coffee bean. A mild roast component. The finish lingers forever w/ abundant fruit and spice. This brew is very rich and generous. ............... -2006-score 3.4/- Pours midnight mahogany w/ a medium sized semi creamy froth. Aromas of spiced coffee xmas tree. Full nectar w/ mellow residual effers. Flavors of spiced, bitter sap and roasted caramel malts. Trace elements of ginger, anise, roasted coffee bean and leather arise w/ black cherry, brown sugar, pine, and vanilla bean. The finish is long w/ an almost milky feel. Nicely bittered. Overall: A complex brew indeed. Nice roast but you really have to dig for the complexities. The flavors seem to be muted. A bit perfumey. 12-6-2007 Just revisited a bottle aged in my room temp cellar. It has become very earthy with driftwood and musty tobacco. It has grown thin and bitter in it’s age losing it’s desirability.The perfume is still intact and is the only glimmer of what it once was. It doesn’t appear to age well, at least at 75F.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
BigBen2120 (688) - Derry, New Hampshire, USA - DEC 14, 2006
Dark brown body with ruby-red highlights and a quarter inch of light tan head. Smells phenominal - roasty, malty, with vanilla and spices. Tastes malty, slightly roasty, maybe hints of chocolate or coffee? Vanilla and spices also have a strong presence. Has kind of a root beer aspect to the flavor in the background. Unique and very well balanced between all the flavors in this beer. Creamy full mouth feel. This beer is fantastic. I am so impressed with this beer. Another success for Anchor - what a great beer!

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
DrD (61) - Lakewood, Ohio, USA - FEB 25, 2007
The clove, nutmeg, smoked paprika, oranze zest, coriander spice of this brew makes it a certain favorite each December. It’s just a little on the bitter side, which is offset nicely by the smooth mouthfeel. This brew ages well--the spice notes get more complex in just few months.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
rmussman (1702) - California, USA - MAR 1, 2007
Another classic Anchor winter brew. Flavor is full of shaped spices that release a very nice aroma. Appearance is dark with a frothy head. Mouthfeel is incredibly smooth for a dark beer. A wonderful brew if you can get your hands on it.


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