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RATINGS: 1100   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.46   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 207   ABV: 6.9%
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Each year, when people are starting to unpack their winter clothes and replenish their firewood, our tiny brewery in the coastal redwoods of Northern California makes seasonal preparations of a different kind. As the cold arrives, we release a unique beverage created to add warmth to even the coldest and darkest of winter's days. Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale begins with a very high original gravity to create a hearty and spicy brew with a deep amber hue and a smooth finish. Anderson Valley Brewing Company wishes you the very best for the holiday season and the New Year.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
AdamGott (386) - Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA - JUL 25, 2006
2005 version. Pours copper/amber with little head. Not much aroma, certainly little to no hop aroma, sweet with a bit of butterscotch/caramel flavor. I have a few of these that I am going to cellar for a couple of years and see how the taste changes. This was an extremely popular beer in our area last winter but I just couldn’t quite hop on the bandwagon. It does tend to grow on you though.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
IPAndy (120) - minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JUL 25, 2006
Drinking this a little late, I know. I’ll rerate once the 2006 comes out. Pours copper color with small small head. Aroma is sweet and a little musty. Flavor is sweet, with a bit of licorice and honey up front. Nutmeg is probably the only spice I would pick out. A bit of butterscotch, which may be intentional in such a beer. Finishes with a little bit of alcohol, which is a good idea with this beer. A bit yeasty in the end. Body is appropriately medium, but a bit chalky. I agree with the statement that this is like a baby barleywine.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
eaglefan538 (2925) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - JUN 9, 2006
Poured an amber deep orange to brown color with a nice little head that thinned and provided only minimal lacing. The aroma was malty sweet and of alcohol, somewhat like an IPA w/ spices instead of the hops. The flavor was much of the same, featuring bready malts with some honey, nutmeg, and cinnamon coming through strongest with a touch of hops and yeast in the finish. Spicing definitely present, but not overdone. Not a bad spiced seasonal beer at all.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - JUN 5, 2006
Draft @ PP 12/05: Slightly hazed amber color with a small off-white head. Aroma of grapes and dark fruits. Hint of chocolate. The flavor was sweet and fruity with plums and grapes. More chocolate notes. Some cinnamon on the finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
sersdf (1018) - chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 31, 2006
basically what everybody else is saying: deep red/brown color with dirty brown head. spicy, reasonably complex, pretty malty.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
DrnkMcDermott (2879) - Downers Grove, Illinois, USA - MAY 24, 2006
<!-- i -->12 oz. bottle.<!-- /i --> Have I finally gotten the last of the winter seasonals out of the house? After all, it’s hefeweizen time. Still, let’s give this one a go. Nice orangey head over a cloudy APA style body. Rich malt smell while pouring. Taste is rich and malty. Spices are rather light compared to the Anchor Our Special, and definitely not in the way. Occsional hints of a northwestern hop profile, but that’s about it. Nice drinking, like a baby barley wine.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
burpfrank (299) - carpinteria, California, USA - APR 29, 2006
This had a small tight head.aroma was a pleasant barley -malt and a hint of orchids..Color is a red-brown.Taste is complex.I taste ,malt and barley.,and creamy taste.Has a winter flair indeed.Has a bitter finisih.Quite nice and different.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
OldRaspy (292) - Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA - APR 26, 2006
Poured from a 12oz bottle a dark amber with a small quickly disappearing tan head. Aroma was of caramel malt, vanilla, and a small touch of floral hops. Flavor was a smooth caramel, some good spices, a a small hop bite in th e finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
1FastSTi (3343) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 27, 2006
2005 vintage. The beer pours to a dark amber body with a thin head. The aroma is vanilla, strong milky caramel, apples. The flavor is milky caramel, light spices, subtle tartness, sweetness like yellow apples. The palate is creamy milk with some good sweetness and moderate carbonation. A good drink.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
luvcasks (178) - USA - MAR 25, 2006
Aroma: Caramel, Spices, Oak and VANILLA Appearance: Amber to brown with a thin off white head Flavor: Again complex with Malty, Caramelly, Raisiny, Spicy flavors which are dominated by Vanilla Palate: For a light bodied beer, the flavors are complex enough to linger for a while with a little hoppy bitteness for some respite Overall: A very wonderful festive ale.... I am not sure if it would be a winter warmer... For me the vanilla was a little too much to be quaffable but make no mistake a very wonderful beer

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