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RATINGS: 1135   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.46/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 207   ABV: 6.9%
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 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
walter (359) - Staunton, Virginia, USA - FEB 9, 2006
Draft, Baja Bean, Staunton VA. Murky orange/brown with little head. Nose is faintly fruity, faintly caramel malt, little spice, and no hops. Flavor is mainly fruity-sweet (peach/apricot), but not overly so, with some nice caramel and mild chocolate malt flavors. It kind of ends up tasting like a cream soda. Not what I was expecting in a winter seasonal, but not at all disappointing. A little on the weird side with all the fruitiness, but solid nonetheless.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
BrewDad (5328) - Olympia, Washington, USA - FEB 9, 2006
[Bottle] Pours a dark orange brown color. A good nice clean head. The aromas where a good mix of malts and spices. There where litle to no hops in the nose of the brew. Loved the flaaovrs this was a very easy to drink winter beer. Not your typical knock you out the door types.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Kingsley (26) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 8, 2006
Deep organge-amber in color, with a tan head that dissipates readily. Aromas of fruit predominate. Flavors of apricot, peach, raisin, coriander, grapefruit, pear. Lovely balance of fruit, spice, hops, and a full mouth feel. Good body without being syrupy. One of the best winter seasonal ales Iíve tried.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Ughsmash (7508) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 7, 2006
2005 Bottle. Hazy copper pour with a short creamy beige head. Nose picked up a plethora of darker malts and spices... caramel, nuttiness, brown sugar, and mulling spices were all present, with hints of dry, leafy hoppage. Soft caramel and wintery spicage are the most distinct characteristics of the flavor... with woody hops, charred toffee, and vanilla coming through, too. Syrupy feel at the front of the palate transitions to a buttery/creamy texture across the middle to the finish (felt a lot like the Summer Solstice, but with more spices). Mildly astringent toward the finish. Not bad, but a tad thick and sweet for my taste.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
muzzlehatch (4744) - Beloit, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 3, 2006
12 oz bottle, 2005 vintage, from...??...(Dec 2005). Cellar temperature from a Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass. Ruddy, deep red-inflected dark umber, light bubbling action lasting some minutes, smallish lasting near-white head....aromas of black walnuts, raspberries and tarragon waft out, a strange confusion but interesting and not uninviting....luscious thick fruitiness is balanced by a fairly harsh, burnt, woody hoppiness and acerbic spicing on the tongue, hints of bakerís bitter chocolate and strong finishing mineralic qualities make this one that is a bit of a challenge to quaff easily....syrupy initial mouthfeel does dry out somewhat at the end thanks to all the harsh astringent elements....quite distinctive and interesting overall though I think it would profit from a few months of mellowing.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
HogTownHarry (6375) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - FEB 1, 2006
Bottle (12oz). Poured dark copper with an average lasting foamy-creamy tan head. Mild medley aroma of light caramel roast malt, apple and apricot, and Christmasy spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice) - pleasant, heck, even a hint of dry floral hops and the alcohol is not quite hiding in behind it all. Taste has a strong amount of vanilla extract, slightly scorched - plus the light malt and spices, very much like a fruity/spicy Christmas cake with a bitter alcoholic finish after the sweet start. Mouthfeel is fairly flat, sugary, syrupy and sticky. Very nice! Dessert beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
jde123 (775) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - FEB 1, 2006
Pours a somewhat hazy, but dull brown color, with a skim of a head. Bubbles cling to the sides of the glass. All in all, this beer doesnít look very appetizing. Aroma is quite spicy, a lot of various odds and ends it seems went into this one. Mild, yet biting flavor. Distinct orange, vanilla, cinnamon, others...very nice! I really like this winter seasonal, probably one of the best all year.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
blankboy (7216) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 31, 2006
Bottle. Pours a very bubbly dark amber with an average size lasting off-white head. Mild aroma of vanilla, spices (mainly cinnamon & nutmeg), malt and maybe a touch of fruit. Flavour starts with lots of vanilla, almost too much in my opinion, along with some caramel malt, spices and alcohol and ends bitter. Medium bodied and very smooth. Itís good but Iíd like it better with less vanilla, itís a little too sweet for me..

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Beaver (1647) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JAN 27, 2006
12 oz bottle. Pours a hazy reddish orange with a creamy off-white head that retains pretty well.

The aroma is sweet grainy malts and some spices (vanilla, gingerbread) and a little honey.

The flavor is more gingerbread and vanilla and caramel. It has a sweet alcoholic finish. The mouthfeel is is medium and a little watery.

Overall, itís too sweet for me. I donít really care for the blend of spices too much either (especially the vanilla - not a big fan). Very reminiscent of cream soda. Give me an Anchor OSA over this anytime!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
fbennett (293) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JAN 23, 2006
This beer pours a cloudy orange/grey weird but that is what it looked like and leaves a very small white head. The nose of this brew is nice, sweet vanilla, citrus, herbal notes (pine as well). The taste is so smooth you could almost chug it cause of the small amount of carbonation, the malt presence is done to perfection the caramel flavor in this brew bounces around your palate for a few minutes then is subdued by just a touch of bitter and winter spices to round out the finish.

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