shigadeyo (3180) - Harrison, Ohio, USA - JAN 28, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2006 bottle... Anderson Valley Winter Solstice pours a hazy golden chesnut color with a thin, frothy beige head. The aroma is quite sweet with citrus (orange), toffee, spice (coriander, clove, ?), vanilla, and some alcohol. A complex combination of fruit (weak citrus?), toffee and toasted malt, and spice (more coriander and others?) create a wonderful flavor. This is one of the few spiced beers that are well constructed such that the spice complements the overall flavor rather than dominating it. It is also pretty sweet, but there is just enough spice and bitterness in the finish to balance it out. The alcohol is truly warming which is quite welcomed on this super cold day! This beer has a medium body, mild carbonation, and is creamy and smooth on the palate. Overall, this is a pretty complex (notice all of the question marks in my description) brew and is definitely one of the better Winter/Christmas beers that Iíve had. This beer is another reason why Anderson Valley is toward the top of my favorite microbreweries...
12 oz bottle from Jungle Jimís (found in the singles cart).
sheatripper (863) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - JAN 27, 2007
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
12 oz bottle. Dark copper with a frothy/creamy off white head. Aroma of chocolate and toffee (Heath Bars?), dark roasted malts and some barky spices. Malty flavor of dark brown sugar butter cookies infused with vanilla. Some maple and spice notes as well. Sweet, but just the right amount of sweetness, not cloying. Creamy mouthfeel--- almost nitro-like though itís from a bottle. Like a Christmas cookie in the form of a beer. Some might complain of the vanilla emphasis, but I prefer the vanilla angle over the ginger/clove infusions of some other winter seasonals.
Beerdedone (2901) - Croydon, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 27, 2007
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
pours a ruby brown with off white head aroma of vanilla cherries & caramel flavor of fruity malt & vanilla extract good winter seasonal
greenhorn1 (850) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - JAN 26, 2007
3 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
22 oz bomber. Pours a nice amber with a big head that dissipates quickly. Gotta say, not impressed with the aroma, which is almost metallic. Flavor, however, is interesting. Bold vanilla with mild spices, not your usual beer. Slight hops, but mostly sweet carmel notes. Alcohol is definitely hidden. Not one of my favorite beers, but not bad.
swoopjones (6737) - Buffalo, New York, USA - JAN 26, 2007
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap @ Coles. Buffalo, NY. Big fruity aroma with chocolate covered cherry thing going on. Holiday spices evident, cloves, nutmeg. Great holiday beer.
drinkbeer (283) - Redondo Beach, California, USA - JAN 26, 2007
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Such a great beer. Just phenomenal. Please, if you live in the Southern California area, visit Fatherís Office in Santa Monica. They have this on tap during the winter months. The beer is poured at the perfect temperature and is one of the most enjoyable things you can imagine. I love the hint of vanilla in this brew.
k4df4l (154) - DTown, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 12, 2007
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours clear dark amber. Spicy aroma with a hint of vanilla. Initial flavors of spice (cinnamon/nutmeg) that quickly give way to the malt then light hop finish. Decent beer but definitely not the best offering from Anderson Valley I have had to date.
kenb (1102) - Oregon, USA - JAN 6, 2007
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
12 oz bottle via liquid Solutions. Pours a dark clear amber with an average size head. Nose is spicey, perhaps a bit of ginger, some toffee and honey. Taste is sweet, starts with some honey, vanilla then the malts take over. Sweet but not cloying and the spices are not overwhelming. I think there is a touch of cinnamon, some ginger, and something else. Whatever it all is, this is a wonderful Winter beer, the best i have had thus far. Moderate carbonation. Medium body. Yummy yummy stuff. World class.
MattShizzle (553) - Bernville, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 5, 2007
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle. Brown color. Strong and rich. Very little hoppiness. Slightly tart flavor.
porkpatty (1) - Massachusetts, USA - JAN 5, 2007 does not count
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a nice amber color. Aroma is of vanilla and caramel. Taste is dominated by vanilla along with caramel and toffee. Oily mouthfeel with just enough hops in the background to avoid being overly sweet.