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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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 10/20
siberianrun (10) - Arbutus, Maryland, USA - MAR 8, 2003
This beer has an intensive spicy vanilla like after taste. It reminds me of dessert. A warming winter treat!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Gunshy (479) - Ohio, USA - FEB 23, 2003
This beer poured an amber color and formed and off white foamy head. A good amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of hops, caramel and vanilla. The flavor was of caramel and vanilla. This is a beer that probably could use a bit of aging to bring out some of the aromas and flavors a bit better. Not a bad beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
dorkasaurus (15) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 2, 2003
I always look forward to this seasonal but this year it seemed a bit off. I even tried a few six packs from different stores to test for handling deficiencies but it was the vintage that is off. A bit acrid and strangely spiced for my taste--not harmonious.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
IslandHaole (1091) - Yokosuka-Shi, Kanagawa-Ken, JAPAN - FEB 2, 2003
Deep orange with small tan head. Malty sweet nose.....Vanilla caramel swirl ice cream comes to mind. Tastes the same with some spicy flavors and mild hop bittering. Just a bit fizzy and sticky but a nice warming brew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
rodolito (163) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 1, 2003
I love this beer on a cold San Diego winter evening! Don't get too many of those, but hey! Liquid waffle in a glass. Pours a clear ruby copper color with a beige thick head that quickly dissipates. Aroma of sweetness, vanilla, and caramel. Flavor is sweet, syrupy, with lots of malt and vanilla. Creamy with a bit of diacetyl that adds some nice butteriness. A bit bitter in the aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation. Great for dessert.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 6/20
Admiral (524) - Schnecksville, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 31, 2003
Weird. Both citrusy and cola-like. Maybe I got a bad one, maybe the donut I had just now threw off my palate, but I'm not sure I like this at all. Head dissipates rapidly, and the beer is reddish-amber.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
kmeves (1098) - Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 28, 2003
A very nice beer. Good balance. Deep amber color, small brown head. Nice bitter finish.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
BigSkyman007 (202) - USA - JAN 25, 2003
UPDATED: JAN 16, 2004 2001 Vintage, bottle conditioned. A buddy of mine had this stuff in his fridge, and I tried some. By far the best of the winter seasonal beers I've ever had, it packs a good punch alcohol wise, without having the heavy taste. Nice and sweet and malty. Pleasant vanilla hints in the aroma. Noticeable vanilla flavor, with a hint of caramel. A beer to drink slowly and savor the flavor, and very strongly recommended for anyone looking for a good winter brew.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 2/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 5/20
Pjones6738 (500) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 16, 2003
What the? This doesn't smell like beer. Smells like Vanilla Coke. Reddish brown color, no head. Bleh, way too sweet and vanilla tasting for me, and I normally like sweet.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
ElGaucho (2189) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - JAN 16, 2003
UPDATED: DEC 22, 2005 2005- Firstly, we really need to split each year’s vintage out into separate beers; this goes for all seasonals that change their recipes from year-to-year. This year’s version has a spicy nose, although I can’t pick out the spice. Dark amber w/ steady visible carbonation and a creamy, off-white head that is mostly lasting. Creamy and very satisfying. Just stops a wee bit short of being full bodied. Somewhat sweet. I really like this brew, but a little more oomph would have been appreciated. 2002- Sweet, hoppy aroma with hints of nutmeg, vanilla and perhaps some cinammon. Reddish amber hue with a smallish, mostly eroding head. Body is somewhat cloudy from minute particles. Alcohol is fairly strong, although you have to be paying attention to notice. Butterscotch aftertaste (from the vanilla) which is unique and enjoyable on the one hand, yet somewhat strange on the other. Very good, but not a session brew and behind SNCA, Goose Island Christmas and Hales Wee Heavy in the Christmas Ale category. Ar 10, Ap 4, Fl 8, Pa 3, Ov 16.

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