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RATINGS: 997   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.45   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 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
TheBeerGod (5253) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - MAR 21, 2004
2003 Vintage. Dark reddish brown body with a medium tan head. Spicy hop aroma and an underlying sweetness seem to be the main culprits here. I can't pick out exactly what the sweetened notes remind me of. Possibly fruit, but I can't be certain. The taste leans more towards cocoa and hops which completely threw me for a loop. The mouthfeel is very creamy as well. Not too bad, but the hops detract from this just a smidge. Still, this is pretty good, although nothing extraordinary.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Crash (531) - Macomb, Illinois, USA - MAR 12, 2004
I had a cold so I didn't smell much of anything. It had a redish brown look with medium frothy off white head. Sweet flavor that finishes sweet.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - MAR 3, 2004
2003 Version. Dark amber pour with decent sized head. Head skipped out on the tab before the check came. Sweet malt taste without any real hop bite. Spiciness of light pepper and mellow coriander. Falvor has vanilla and banana. I usually like lost of their beers but not so much with this one.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
veronika (410) - SWEDEN - FEB 23, 2004
Hazy golden. Aroma is sweet and sour. Flavor is floral. A rather thin ale and not much to remember.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 7/20
DarkElf (3033) - La Jolla, California, USA - FEB 22, 2004
2003 bottling. Fittingly, this is a winter beer because it's pretty abominable (okay, it's not as bad as the joke); Many may like the dominance of the vanilla, but it comes across as artificial and perfumy to me; Sweet and perfumy nose is strongly vanilla and a good lead-in for the beer; Similarly, the flavor is overwhelmingly that of sweet vanilla which dominates whatever maltiness can be discerned; Somewhat bitter, but the beer has little hops presense; Reddish brown in color; Smallish tan head recedes quickly and leaves no lacing

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
rlgk (10557) - Göteborg/Jönköping, SWEDEN - FEB 15, 2004
Golden, a little hazy, and with a nice offwhite head. Aroma brings some pear but also some hops. Flavor from sweet fruit.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
BigBastard (668) - L.A., California, USA - FEB 13, 2004
Vanilla, vanilla, vanilla! Tastes slightly of sweet coffee, some caramel, slight hops, but a HUGE vanilla flavor stands out. Really good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
xsketchyx (184) - Oregon, USA - FEB 8, 2004
Really malth and sticky sweet, not much in the way of hops. A very unique tasting seasonal.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
hershiser2 (1227) - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - FEB 1, 2004
Paid $2.99 for a 1pt 6oz bottle. No freshness date. UNBELIEVABLE head... one of the biggest I have ever seen. Makes pouring and drinking a nightmare though... but this beer's gorgeous. Light amber, with almost a salmon hue. The head is frothy, soft and beigeish-salmon. It lasts, and lasts, and lasts, and laces, and lasts. Sweet fruity smell... slighty IPA scented (grapefruit), but also reminds me of peach and sweet wine. Taste is good. Bittersweet, IPA tatsing, but the strong ale aspect of this beer does come through. Not horribly strong, but not entirely weak, either. It has the grapefruit up front, followed by a warming alcohol that trickles down my throat, warming my pipes all the way down. I was VERY impressed with this beer. I'd never seen it or heard of it before.. but man oh man, am I glad I found it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
AleDrinker (1089) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - JAN 27, 2004
This is my favorite christmas ale. Very nice balance of malt, hop, and sweetness. Very nice smooth texture going down. Great creamy head. I can't wait til next winter.

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