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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 16/20
unclebleen (620) - California, USA - NOV 22, 2003
Pours a reddish amber color with a medium off-white head. Aroma is malty with a light spiciness. Like harlequinn noted, the flavor is very much graham crackers. Also notice some vanilla and earthy notes. Body is medium with some alcohol on the swallow.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Reid (1850) - Salem,Oregon, Oregon, USA - NOV 18, 2003
Ok bought in the 12 oz brown bottle..GoldMedal Winner apparently. Nice enough beer poured into the pint glassdark amber/ruby red beer..slight haziness..nice creamy off white head. Good aroma mostly malts though the spices do peek through. The taste though while above average is not that good..its mostly maltiness with as liquorice style bitterness..it ends fast to..then theres an alkoholic warmth in the throat. IT is as it says very creamy and smooth on the front of the palate..somewhat dry on the back..then the alcoholic aftertaste. Its a drinkable ale..ok but sort of lightweight despite the alcohol volume..not very exciting.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Vac (2445) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 17, 2003
A medium thick to thick tan head sits atop a burgundy body with a good amount of lacing left behind. The malty aroma is sweet and full of vanilla with a slight fruitiness and a subtle spiciness. A nice aroma but not overly aromatic. The flavor is malty and sweet with notes of vanilla and fruit and a slight spiciness. Medium to full bodied, smooth with a slight tingle on the tongue and a warming sensation.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
belgianhomebrew (646) - Acworth, Georgia, USA - NOV 15, 2003
2003 - Good roastiness in the aroma. Chad describes this as liquid smores and I would have to somewhat agree. A very interesting winter brew which should mellow with time and age well.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
harlequinn (2744) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - NOV 15, 2003
A beautiful ruby garnet coloring with a fastly fading tan head. First flavors are like that of graham crackers and an incredible malt backbone with a slightly sweet hop bite in the aftertaste. Aroma is lightly spicy and floral. After warming, flavors of smores come out and this reminds of something that you would drink around the campfire and tell great beer stories. Lots of marshmallow and chocolate. Very sweet, but not cloying, and very nicely balanced. Nicely cabonated, with an amber-alt character throughout. Finishes lightly sweet and extremely smooth.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
smoosh (536) - New Albany, Indiana, USA - NOV 13, 2003
Bottle: very fruity aroma. I get the aroma of cherries and berries. Very nice deep amber color. Spicy, fruity and malty flavor. Maybe a hint of bitterness at the end. Nice!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Wrath (362) - Valparaiso, Indiana, USA - NOV 10, 2003
Red amber color with medium white head.Sweet hoppy malty aroma.Creamy sweet malt flavor with some bitterness. Nice warming balanced finish that makes you want another one. Good Seasonal Ale.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Sham (1845) - Seattle, Washington, USA - NOV 10, 2003
Nice reddish amber pour with a decent sized head and good lacing. Hops and sweet malts are dominant in the nose. I'm very impressed by the flavors. A creamy start, malts kick in, hops finish it all of. Oh, what a nice palate. So creamy and pleasing. Fine winter beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
BückDich (5464) - McCall, Idaho, USA - NOV 9, 2003
Pours a dark amber color with an off-white head and no lacing. The aroma is very mild with light pnwern hops, ginger & cinnamon. The flavor is moderately bitter but sweet enough at the end to balance things out. This wasn't a bad winter seasonal, not my favorite though.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Gromit (479) - Port Orchard, Washington, USA - NOV 6, 2003
Full disclosure: I'm not a spiced beer fan. I'm rating this as a Winter style and not of the RB designation of "spice/herb/vegetable." 2003 offering Pours a nice reddish brown with some head that goes away rather quickly and doesn't leave much lacing. Smells of spicy malt, though more malt than spice. Taste is of strong spice that, quite frankly, leaves a rather strong aftertaste. The spice is of vanilla, nutmeg, and something...mediciney? I want to say clove but that's not quite it. Sadly, the spice taste completely dominates anything "beer" related. Palate is thin for a Winter beer, but average I guess for most anything else. Overall I'm not impressed. Again I'm not a big spice fan, but even discounting that this is just okay.

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