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RATINGS: 1001   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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
hotstuff (4139) - Indiana, USA - AUG 25, 2003
Dayton, OH AleFest:The appearance of this beer consisted of a small sized tan head with fine-small sized bubbles that quickly dissipated.The body was clear and uncarbonated.This beer's hue was amber and it had a malty and spicy nose.It had a sweet and a light bitter flavor to it and the palate was light-medium bodied and smooth.This beer left good lacing on the sides of my glass.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
presario (4649) - Stampede City, Alberta, CANADA - AUG 18, 2003
2002. Light copper. Fast fading light brown head. Warm earth and pine aroma. Caramel flavour. Very nice. Light and smooth. Light alcohol note in the finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
TipsyMcStager (1139) - Calgary, Alberta, CANADA - AUG 18, 2003
(2002)hoppy, malt in the aroma. Pours amber brown, nice foamy head. Caramel and sweet flavour, but balanced. Hops are more present in the aroma than the flavour. Nice malt presence. An enjoyable beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
egajdzis (5364) - Spring Mount, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 25, 2003
Poured a rich copper color with a small quickly diminishing head, no lacing. Spicy malty aroma. Malty, sweet (vanilla, nutmeg, caramel) taste.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Dogbrick (8237) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - JUL 18, 2003
2002 Bottle: This beer is a ruddy brownish-amber with a medium light tan head. Decent lacing. Aroma is lightly spiced with cinnamon, along with a little vanilla, malt and caramel. Fairly rich body with a nice spiced blend. Flavors of nutmeg, malt, caramel and even a little bit of hops. The finish is a little sharper than I would have liked but overall this is a good beer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
BBB63 (6083) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - JUN 29, 2003
UPDATED: FEB 20, 2005 22oz bottle at Clark St. Ale House in Chicago. Dark amber with little head and no lacing. Medium to full-bodied. Aroma hints of raisin and plum, grapefruit, roasted malt, and spices. It has enough hops to balance the initial sweetness of the malt. Fruity element to the taste also. Sharp and tangy finish, spice show now. Dry and creamy mouthfeel. Great beer and highly recommended.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
ClarkVV (3892) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JUN 24, 2003
UPDATED: FEB 10, 2009 02 bottle. Black pour with some white head on it. Nice and dark. Has a deep root/floral aroma, with some spices. Initial taste is big and spicy. Spices are mainly licorice and some coriander. A dry vanilla is also present. Some maltiness in the body is pleasant. Overall this is a great winter beer, however it is more on the herbal/french liqueur spice side and has a less complex body than my favorite anchor special ale. It is a great beer though with tons of body and character. Not as flat as I would like out of the bottle, but then, I am generally comparing this to all the anchor I have had on tap.
2003 bottle. Gone is the weird slightly astringent herbal spice flavor. I dont miss it. In is the lovely cherry malt with other soft fruits. But even more exciting, there is a beautiful subtle hops presence that builds up slowly and lingers on the finish. It’s one type of hops, can’t quite put my finger on it. Hmmm fuggles maybe?? it’s damned good. nice to see an improvement. 8/4/8/4/16
08-09 bottle/draught Wow, what happened to this guy? Been a while, but this is more like the summer solstice than what the winter used to be. Sticky, candy-corn and caramel-like sweetness with some raisin and apple flavors?? Weird. Some hoppiness (green, fresh, floral notes) and light spicing help balance some of the sweetness, but it still comes off too mushy-sweet and very muted overall. Rating is for this version.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Smacky (71) - San Clemente, California, USA - JUN 24, 2003
My goodness. Anderson Valley never fails to impress. A top 5 brewery for me, and probably one of their best beers...especially when it's cold out. Sehr dunkel. Sweet and spicy mouth follows the bready, spicy bouquet. A great winter time ale, possibly the best ever.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 8/20
clvand0 (350) - Lexington, Kentucky, USA - MAY 30, 2003
This beer pours a murky amber color with a small tan head and moderate lacing on the glass. The aroma is somewhat malty and very sweet. The flavor has a hint of some sort of nut. It is very full bodied, but I don't think it fits my taste well. It rates about average in my book. There are also a lot of spices in the flavor. This beer is not very drinkable but it leaves an ok taste on the palate.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
WISEGUY572 (1373) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 27, 2003
Beautiful reddish gold ale with crisp pumpkin colored head that fades to a good lacing. Taste of malt, floral hops, and cinnamon, with a good bitter finish. Mouth feel is full and thick, with a tannic feel that probably comes from cinnamon. Not as spiced as Corsendonk or as sprucey as Anchor. Easy beer to like

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