overall
89
97
style
RATINGS: 2089   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
This is our special ale from the brewers at Anchor. It is sold only from early November to mid-January. The Ale’s recipe is different every year, but the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life. Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons appears born anew.

Editor’s Note: due to the significant similarity in style and strength from year to year (despite potential differences in the exact spice blend), this beer is no longer separated by vintage.

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4
eallenbrown (34) - - NOV 11, 2017
A spice beer bug hiding more depth than your typical pumpkin offering. Ginger cinnamon and fennel come through with notes of molasses and other dark fruits, and the roasted male holds up to those additions nicely. Not my personal favorite, but really well done for a spice. Only misstep is they could have brought mire hoppy pine bites in with the right finishing hops. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

3.7
oobawa (1729) - Tennessee, USA - NOV 6, 2017
2017 bottle. A bit of a pleasant surprise, not as heavily spiced and overbearing as most Winter Warmers, more herbal and dry than a liquid gingerbread cookie. Seems hoppier than the last OSA I drank--granted, it was several years ago--and comes across far more invested in bright green pine, anise, and juniper notes (maybe spruce tips) with an underlying malt sweetness that mixes caramel-slathered bread with mild hefe hints of banana and clove. Finishes bready and bittersweet. Definitely grows on you as it warms. Good year to buy a sixer.

3.6
balloonbuffoon (594) - - NOV 4, 2017
12floz bottle, 2017 edition (I didn't bother to check to convert date code to mm.dd.yyyy format), $1.75 unit cost, mug glass. I've had this beer many times through its releases. Sometimes I've even aged a few for a year to no detrimental nor incremental affect on quality (spice notes tend to smooth out, never went beyond a year). Well as with previous editions, this beer is similar - dark with a moderate amount of tan head, notes of cardamon, cinnamon, toasted malt, black licorice prevail in aroma and taste, all set to brown porter base that is medium in body. I'm detecting more of the spice notes than in prior experience. I chalk it up to my impression at the moment, which is to say less favorable than other times. Reviewed as 3.6, but this could fluctuate based on past/future experience and circumstances as much as +/- 0.5 points (this can be said for many beers, but this one especially). All that be said, I consider this to be a good holiday beer that I once considered to be an exotic beer.

3.6
buddybutch (125) - Nantes, FRANCE - OCT 1, 2017
2016 bottle. Big light browned head, but fast flattering. Nose : dried fruit, liquorous, alcohol Aroma : dry roasted malt, mid malt Light bitter, dry, thin body Almost flat.

4.2
Diabolique (33) - POLAND - SEP 28, 2017
Butelka V.2016 trochę wyleżana. Jednak za każdym razem jest podobnie... pierwszy łyk i w uszach pojawia się u mnie "Jingle Bell Rock" Bobbiego Helmsa. Magiczny koc w kratę owija mnie od stóp do pasa a telewizor zamienia się w skwierczący ciepłem kominek. Jedno z moich ulubionych piw zimowo/jesiennych. Niech już będą święta!

3.9
Schnabelhund (108) - TAIWAN - AUG 27, 2017
Our Special Ale pours a very dark brown color with a frothy beige head of short to medium life span. If the head had dissipated a little more slowly, this brew would have been very beautiful. The bouquet is somewhat savory and has notes of prunes, pine, and Worcester sauce while the malt has the aroma of fruit bread, which carries over to the sweet attack. The well balanced mid-palate is less savory than the nose suggests and the layered mix of dried dark fruits, roast, and pine resin notes is very pleasant. It leaves a long finish with notes of German dark bread crust on the palate. Damn, this is good beer.

3.3
angel77 (3860) - oviedo, SPAIN - AUG 15, 2017
UPDATED: AUG 15, 2017 Botella 33 cl en el Lúpulo Oviedo diciembre 2011. Edición 2010. Fcpref 09..2012. (r2111). Maltosos muy especiados, recuerdos de anises y algunos enebros. Cuerpo medio fino, espumoso. 5.5 vol suaves. Original.

2.7
hauxe (935) - Butzbach, Hesse, GERMANY - JUL 28, 2017
2015 vintage. Pours mahogany from the bottle. The crown is thick and frothy. Aroma is toffee, red berry, port wine. Taste is a bit tart, mildly bitter, spicy, oddly void of sweetness given the aroma, weird. Body approaches being medium, but also oddly thin at times. Interesting, but it failed to grow on me.

3.5
Erzengel (9463) - Wuppertal, GERMANY - JUL 23, 2017
2009 vintage. Intense plums and dry cake. Bready grainy body with dry dried fruits - cherries and plums, Round with no bitterness and a moderate sweetish malty aroma in the and. Very round, but probably too long matured.

3.6
hawthorne00 (4111) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - JUL 21, 2017
2016 bottle, 12C. Very dark brown with a light tan head that fades to a coat. Aroma of strong bread, brown sugar, dried banana, spices - mace, nutmeg etc. Spices are by no means domineering. A bit lighter bodied than expected. Only a little sweet with bread, dried fruit and spices before a modestly bitter finish. Very nice with subtle depth, but hoped for a little bit more grunt for 6.5%


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