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RATINGS: 989   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 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Silphium (3160) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - DEC 13, 2003
Poured a nice, clear red-brown, with at thin light tan head. Sprucey, grapefruity aroma on the pour. The first few sips were akin to biting into a pine twig- spicy, floral hops were dominant. Grapefruit notes as well. When the beer warmed, the malt complexity really developed, with woodiness and dark fruit competing with a touch of chocolate and a hint of spice. Started out like an IPA and finished like a nice Amber. This interesting combination worked for me.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
CaptainCougar (7129) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - DEC 12, 2003
2003: Dark copper ruby color with a thick off-white head. Caramel malt, fresh hops and spices fill the aroma. Body goes through a confused wide range of flavors starting with sugary caramel malt, going through a spiced and lightly sour stage, and finishing dry, bitter and spiced hoppy. This could definitely use some more balance. Perhaps it's a little premature right now. Otherwise, a very interesting brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 8/20
urbnhautebourg (997) - Annapolis, Maryland, USA - DEC 9, 2003
2003. I can't help but think that the most significant flavor here is that of Crunch Berries--like the Cap'n Crunch spinoff cereal. It ruins the beer for me. In general, I need to remember to stay away from fruit flavored beers.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
elnadeau (786) - Laguna Niguel, California, USA - DEC 8, 2003
2003 bottle: Dark amber with a decent head, sweet toasty vanilla aroma. Nicely balanced with a unique flavor set consisting of roasted caramel malt, cookie and vanilla finishing with some hops bitterness. A very different and enjoyable creation, I'll look to pick up a sixer for the holidays.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Sickboy282 (1115) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 7, 2003
After the first sip I thought this beer beer was average or below, but as it warms up, the flavors roll. A very smooth finish with a strong caramel palate.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
LiebeBier (808) - Annapolis, Maryland, USA - DEC 6, 2003
Looks great in the glass. Red/brown color with tan head. An ultra sweet fruity aroma. This beer is tart and just too overwhelmed by the fruit flavor. Fruit in this type of beer just doesn't work for me.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jgb9348 (4636) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - DEC 3, 2003
2003 Vintage:
Great amber colour with copper highlights and a thin dense off-white head. Aroma of caramel, strong malt and a bit of spices. Medium-bodied; Assertive hoppiness with a fair spicey/sweet flavour-very nice! Aftertaste similar to a hoppy scotch ale! Overall, fairly nice-definately worth trying! I bought this twelve ounce bottle from Norm's in Vienna, Virginia and sampled it on 21-November-2003.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
SDbruboy (1864) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 3, 2003
2003 bottling. Clear amber-brown color with a large tan head that left great lacing. Nice aroma, sweet malty backbone with prominent spice and floral hops. Flavor is sweet, dark roasted malts with a nice balancing of spice and bitter hops. Medium body and moderate carbonation. Another good seasonal - more to my tastes than the Anchor "OSA" that I just rated.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
ante (3374) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - DEC 2, 2003
Dark brown, small whiet head. Malty aroma of dark roasted malt, toffee, vanilla and caramel. Has also a malty flavour, hints of chocolate, toffee and vanilla. Quite sweet and smooth. Medium bitter finish.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
irishsnake (355) - Oakland, California, USA - NOV 23, 2003
UPDATED: DEC 12, 2004 Pours a hazy amber/brown, with nice carbonation and a prettty tan head. Aroma is mostly of caramel/toasted malts. Flavor starts sweet, and ends with a light hoppiness. Pleasant enough, but seems lacking. Re-Rate for 04: pours a chill-hazed amber with a pourly-retained white head. aroma is primarily of vanilla, with some toasty malts. flavor is all vanilla-like a cream soda. average mouthfeel and drinkability. avbc has lost some good brewers lately (Fal&Brit) and it shows in this poorly-conceived beer

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