y0cola (361) - fremont, California, USA - NOV 17, 2003
UPDATED: NOV 20, 2003 Spicy bellpepper and spices smell. Small head and red body. Tastes of spices and bitter vegetable aftertaste. Unbalanced with overpowering alcohol and bitterness. Needs aging to reach optimized flavor. TChrome (1472) - North Richland Hills, Texas, USA - NOV 15, 2003
Excellent effor from Anchor. Aroma is wonderful and bursting with spice. Appearance is darkly attractive. There is a nice head with good retention and some lacing. Flavor is very good. Malt flavors of a stout then some nice hoppiness and you have spiciness mixed in throughout. Very tasty. Very good. flutetokill (523) - Fresno, California, USA - NOV 14, 2003
Deep, reddish-brown color with a tan head. Very spicy aroma, full of nutmeg, cinnamon, and pine. The taste is very spicy, with licorice, pine, and a bitter bite. Crisp, fairly dry palate. loweredsixth (946) - Clovis, California, USA - NOV 14, 2003
Very dark brown (shows a little light through) with a large off-white head. The aroma screams nutmeg...also some cinnamon. The flavor was full of nutmeg, cinnamon, other spices, piney hops, and some earthy/woody tones. Crisp feel with a semi-dry finish. foduck (330) - Seattle, Washington, USA - NOV 14, 2003
Impressive without being too high-gravity extreme. Malts dominate doggy aroma. Spices dominate flavor, spicy hops and some holiday spices. Some bitterness from some kind of coniferous tree, goes down very nicely, satisfying. Great beer, reminds me of my homebrew a lot.
beerguy101 (5360) - Newark, California, USA - NOV 14, 2003
Dark brown color. Medium white foamy head. Aroma is ginger bread and spices. Year after year, I always have trouble describing this beer. Its one of my favorites and I always look forward to it arrival, but then I got to figure out what to say about it. Each year that gets just a little harder. To be VERY simple (and probably incorrect) It’s a brown ale with spices added, the spices change subtly from year to year and every once in a while there is a real surprise (the 2000 edition with spruce tips comes to mind) this years batch highlights ginger and nutmeg(?) Its still really young and needs at least a couple of months to mature. But this year’s version is very smooth for a young beer. Its nicely balanced and very easy drinking. This one has potential of being really great. Stay tuned… Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. happy4hops (376) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - NOV 14, 2003
Reminds me of there porter somewhat(very spiced/flavored though)I like how this brew evokes christmas.Hard to pin down all the spices used.It has a moderate dark tan head some lace.Nice dark brown/red color.Nice lively yet mellow Anchor carbonation.Sweet bubblegum,pine,licorice,some chocolate...Seems quite mellow overall(compared to other vintages) Brodie (540) - Boone, North Carolina, USA - NOV 14, 2003
This rating is going to be in sharp opposition to most of the other ratings for this beer. I did not like it at all. I actually sent it back, not because there was something wrong with it, just because I wasn't going to be able to finish it. My gripe is that the sample I had was completely over-powered by a black licorice aroma and flavor (which I don't like, obviously). Vanilla was the next spice/flavor, followed by a blend of other spices, possibly clove, ginger, and/or cinnamon. I had this beer fresh on tap, maybe it needs to age until Christmas to balance out. guzzler67 (1696) - Hanover, Maryland, USA - NOV 10, 2003
Dark brown with a brick red tinge. Complex, shifting aroma displaying a wide array of spices, including many found in pumpkin ales. The ginger stood out in the taste, though; the liquid equivalent of a ginger snap. Lively carbonation in the full-bodied, moderately sweet flavor. Crisp, dry, lasting finish. scraff (2121) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - NOV 10, 2003
Super dark reddish brown in apperance, nice thick tan head that left beautiful lace work. A rich, sprucey pine, vanilla, ginger, clove, nutmeg, chocolate extravaganza. And it's not that sweet! Just enough hops to balance the malt. As stated below, this beer is awesome when fresh, I'm kind of curious how it develops over the next year or two. One of the best winter seasonals I've had so far this year...and it's only November!! Keep'em coming.