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RATINGS: 1810   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 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Arborescence (29) - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA - FEB 10, 2012
This is the 2011 VINTAGE. Appearance Black, pours a very thick, creamy head. Aroma Spices, surprisingly fresh, grapefruit? Taste Light and fresh to begin with, but kicks with rich maltyness and a bit of a bitter aftertaste. I canít put my finger on the (secret) extra ingredients, but they are not your typical winter spices, I can tell you that much. Thereís no cinnamon or the typical warmth that youíd expect from a Christmas Ale, but thatís actually a nice change and distinguishes this from many other offerings. Fresh but rich and toasty maltyness, that about sums it up. The aftertaste is that of a porter, but you wouldnít guess it from the aroma and the initial burst of freshness. A strange combination, but Iím getting to like it as I sip more. Overall This was my first encounter with the Anchor Christmas Ales, but they have been doing them for a while! Every year the (secret) recipe changes and they have a theme tree, which is the bristlecone pine this year. The label is quite pretty, featuring the tree. This beer grew on me as I went on and I would say that itís an excellent addition to this yearís Christmas Ales. Also worth noting is that the ABV is not as insane as with many Christmas Ales, so you can have another one too! Anchor Brewing is a very distinguished brewery, from San Francisco, but Iíve not had very many of their beers. The Porter deserves a special mention, itís quite tasty. Iíve had Anchor Steam as well, but thatís it, I think ó should get my hands on their other beers too, like their Bock, and Barley Wine, dubbed Old Foghorn.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
haukur (1204) - Reykjavik, ICELAND - NOV 18, 2012
an all time favorite. This rating applies to the 2011 edition which has aged one year. Very spicy clovy nose, loads of clove, cinnamon, orange, port. Thick brown head. Long finish, medium bitterness.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
bjakk (245) - Skagafjordur, ICELAND - DEC 11, 2012
Christmas beer 2012 Aroma, spice, canill, clove, light fruit, candy Appearance, dark redbrown, clear, yellow brown foam that lasts Taste - Licorice, candy, spice and burned aftertaste that intensifies Palate - Medium, medium carbon Overall, cool nice balanced beer

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
DoublEE (784) - South Euclid, Ohio, USA - DEC 18, 2012
What a great tasting brew. Rolling slightly velvet malts, mix with a dry pine spice, finishing with classic brown spices, nutmeg, allspice, clove and so forth. Tea like muted oolong richness on the finish. Even some sarsaparilla like cola and root beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Imaena (1703) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - DEC 29, 2012
This bottle was cellared for 2 years. Great spicing with lots of sweet dark fruits coming through. Really liked this and think it did well againg. Although I did not have notes on original tasting back in 07.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
ShowmemoreBeer (27) - - NOV 6, 2013
As I sit here working away and drinking this fine beer Im thinking to myself, "How lucky am I to be drinking a beer at work." It brings me back to a story my dad used to tell me about his work environment in NYC back in the late sixties and early seventies. He used to go to lunch several times a week at nice eateries and slam down a few brews or gin and tonics. Why has society made drinking during work and lunch such a crime. A beer a day during luch may ease the pain of our everyday mundane existance at a workplace. We may forget the anger we harbor deep insde against that fudge eating butt frenching coworker that sits at the desk next to me. We may forget that we are only getting by finacially while our boss is striking it rich. Anyway this beer could help unite the workers of America and bring forth good cheer towards all humanity. This beer tastes really good and to bad they dont share it all year long. Dont forget your Big Red at least until drinking is accepted at work again.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
marv3mania (161) - Lansing, Michigan, USA - NOV 15, 2013
2013 vintage. 12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. Appearance is ruby-tinted dark brown with a thin tan head. Aroma is caramel, toffee, pine, and some light holiday spices. The aroma gets richer and maltier as the beer warms. Taste pretty well follows the nose, with a fruity taste at the front and the holiday spices at the ends. Very nice, with lots of different tastes and smells. I like it.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
dlovell2 (567) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - DEC 2, 2013
Dark brown with amber tint and tan head. Caramel, chocolate and ginger aroma. Dark chocolate, roasted malt and ginger flavors with pine finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Shot (79) - Westerville, USA - JAN 17, 2014
The 2013 pours dark brown with a rocky beige head. Aromas are chocolate, caramel, cinnamon, orange peel and hops. Upfront malty flavor with dark chocolate, spice, and raisin. Slight apple and licorice finish. Creamy mouthfeel. Another great brew and year from Anchor!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
TyggaBrown (376) - NORWAY - FEB 2, 2014
Really great and exciting xmas ale. Nicely spiced, perfectly bitter, and soft and delicious. Almost perfection!

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