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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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
shadey (2079) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - JAN 6, 2006
Dark amber color with white head. Aroma is sweet and smooth. Flavor is beautiful and rich. Sweet, slightly smokey, candy. Kinda twisted.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
pinkzambia (1803) - Boise, Idaho, USA - JAN 5, 2006
Bottle:Beautiful amber color with a small, bubbly light brown head. The aromas are hops, spices and shoe leather. The taste represented to me an almost perfect balance of the right amount of hops and malts, if you are going for a balance. I also picked up hints of cola which may have been another type of spice or root. When they say in the commercial description "smooth finish" they aren’t lying. Smooth all the way around, noticeably smooth. I thought this was great. A nice break from many of the stronger winter beers.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
zach8270 (4022) - Henrietta, New York, USA - JAN 3, 2006
(bottle - 12 oz) Hazy red pour with a thin and filmy white head. Aroma is fruity and spicy, yet surprisingly light. The only things I could get out of it were hints of orange, nutmeg and some cinnamon. The taste is a mix of sweet and nutty. Begins with a slightly sweet and spicy taste, possibly of cloves, cinnamon and some of the orange I thought I smelled in the aroma. It then goes to a smooth and nutty middle with a nutty and sweet finish and a slight aftertaste of cinnamon. Really smooth and creamy.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
CMUBEERMAN (426) - - DEC 31, 2005
Not the best of the winter/holiday seasonals. I’d rather have a celebration to be honest. Not enough hops or warmth to make a worthy contender.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
haddon90 (1617) - Newport Beach, California, USA - DEC 31, 2005
On draft at RFD, Washington, D.C. Copper pour with a thin head. Spice and malty notes. Frouty aroma as well. Some nutmeg and caramel. Heavy taste. Some hops, caramel is definitely present. Some spices as well, such as nutmeg and cinnamon? Interesting beer, to say the least.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 26, 2005
Translucent cherry copper in color with a thin, tightly packed off-white bubble wrung for the head. Amarillo aroma jingles all the way, and is eventually joined by maraschinos, strawberry cream instant oatmeal flakes flung over strawberry fields, saffron and some floral accents. Flavor proceeds somewhat as expected, with cherry almond nougats, almond butter and a tiny, but bright, amaretto flavored hop stamp. Somewhat withdrawn flavor appeal. Slight kiwi-grapefruit crčme. Thin, void of even a single grain of complexity. Light entry and exit, and never staying in one place across the palate. Lacks carbonation, nearly a Snapple that’s been cracked on the shelf. Finish takes us to a cherry on top of eggnog cheesecake custard. Boring.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
JCapriotti (1379) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 25, 2005
2005 bottle. Reddish amber body, frothy and fastly fading off-white head. Aroma has berries, amber-style malt, sweet shampoo. Hmm... taste has a strange fruity shampoo character too. Flavor is like an amber ale with some sweet spices and raw vanilla. Some spices like nutmeg last into the finish. A bit too fizzy. But not bad overall. Pretty decent beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
TheBeerOrg (2145) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - DEC 24, 2005
UPDATED: FEB 11, 2010 Current rating is for 2009 bottle.
2009 bottle - Pours dark amber and cloudly. Notes of tart yeast, cherry, cinnamon, leather and pale malt. Medium to full bodied with soft carbonation. Ar6 Ap3 Ta6 Mf3 Ov12
2007 bottle - Pours dark ruby with a mostly receding tan head. Aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg, and fruity toffee. Taste is earthy toffee, cinnamon, and light holiday spices. Mouthfeel is full bodied and slightly sticky with moderate carbonation. Bready and sweet.
Ar7 Ap4 Ta7 Mf5 Ov15
2006 bottle - Pours reddish-amber with a mostly receding white head and an efferevescent body. Aroma of sweet caramel, nutmeg, gingerbread, and toffeed alefruits. Taste is sweet with notes of oak, vanilla, caramelized malts, clove and unique spices. Mouthfeel is medium/full and sticky with moderate carbonation. Pretty good winter beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
timmy300 (203) - bloomington, Illinois, USA - DEC 24, 2005
lots of vanilla in the aroma and flavor.....also some spices......i think that it is a little overly spiced, but was still very enjoyable......tastes kind of like egg-nog beer....

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
SB (334) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 21, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 23, 2005 From Bottle

Poured ruby brown, with off white bubbly, fast disappating head. Aroma of spices, fruits, and malts. Flavor complex. Hints of spices (nutmeg, allspice, Cinnamon) and fruits such as cherries. Hints of Vanilla, caramel, and slight chocolate flavor toward the end of the brew. Nice warming alcohol flavor, but not overdone or overpowering. Rich, smooth, and creamy. Very drinkable and the 6.9% sneaks up on you. This is the best of the winter brews i’ve had so far. (2005)

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