RATINGS: 438   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.64/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
This is the thirtieth special ale from the brewers at Anchor. It is available 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. In ancient times, trees symbolized the winter solstice, when the earth with its seasons appears born anew.

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   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
5000 (6862) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - NOV 22, 2004
Bottle pours dark Brown, reddish hues, medium frothy tannish colored head, fairly sticky lacing, with soft carbonation. Fresh herbal/floral aroma, and a bit like spring rain in the forest. Perhaps fresh cut spruce is what I am smelling? Chocolately, yet subtle, with a VERY Necco wafer like flavor. Perhaps a bit of licorice as well. Light hop profile, but noticable. Good body, medium mouthfeel. Finishes slightly dry, hints of the aformentioned chocolate & licorice, semi-sweet. Necco wafer, never thought I would taste that in a beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
YourDarkLord (1800) - Urbana, Illinois, USA - NOV 22, 2004
Good stuff again from Anchor for their Celebration Ale. Dark brown body under a frothy beige head. The aroma was malt and yeast and a provocative blend of spices. Good rich feeling in the mouth. Medium bodied. The flavor was refreshing and flavorful and echoed the aroma essences. Will hold some bottles for next year.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Terminus (3669) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - NOV 22, 2004
bottle-ONieals in Albuqueque-pous dark brown with a nice tan head after an agressive pour the second time around. big sweet, nutty, aroma. I get a note of cooked green beans and gingerbread. pretty much like most OSAs. Ginger, cinnamon, and cardboard in the flavros, but that wasnt a bad thing. Dave (Whaleman) got a clove note, but i guess my senses are not akin to cloves. A slight vege note in the finish. the long finish goes to gingerbread from the veg note. could be the best OSA ever!!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
eboats (1082) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - NOV 21, 2004
Smells like Christmas time like the label suggests. Gingersnaps, cinamon, and cloves. Unbelievable smell. Tastes like roasted almonds, gingersnaps, cinamon and cloves. Has a somewhat bitter aftertaste. This appears black, but in the light you can see a brilliant ruby glow. It comes with a tan head that actually looks dirty yellow in areas. The only distinction I made between 03-04 versions was that the 04 didnt have quite the pronounced gingersnap taste the 03 did.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
brewcat (5) - USA - NOV 21, 2004 does not count
I liked this beer a lot. The aroma is the real winner here. Subtle yet complex. Initial impressions were of fresh roasted french vanilla coffee beans. Later chocolate malts, and carmel come through. Flavor follows nicely with the spices really shinning through, cinnammon and dash of cloves? Subtle bitterness complements the coffee aroma nicely and fades gentlely as the dry finish leaves you wanting more.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Tejas (1005) - Dallas, Texas, USA - NOV 21, 2004
I think I just swallowed a Malt flavored Christmas tree. I guess this one isnt as spicy as years past but its spicy, nonetheless. Not overpowering though. Almost reminds me of a Porter b/c its so dark & malty. Glad I tried it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
joshpiledean (316) - Seattle, Washington, USA - NOV 21, 2004
Mohoghany pour. Medium head, very creamy head. Aroma is rich spice. First pull is the same. Malts are definately present, providing some light chocoalate notes, but the big star here is the spice which provides a nice depth and interesting flavor. Nice aftertaste follows.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Sham (1844) - Seattle, Washington, USA - NOV 20, 2004
Dark brown with ruby hints. Thick and creamy tan head. Strong lacing. Aroma is full of ginger and cinnamon. Piney hops. Caramel in the flavor with small bittering hops. There is an abundance of spices. Again, the ginger is hanging about. Cinnamon. Spruce. Thick body. Finishes bitter and spicy.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
herbjones (742) - Orange, California, USA - NOV 20, 2004
I like the fact that they didnt go overboard with the spices this year. The deep roasted malt flavor is allowed to be the star with all the spices relegated to a backup role. Very nice, one of the better years imo.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
ClarkVV (6535) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 20, 2004
Bottle thanks to bucknaked. Pours a wonderfully deep brown black. Up to the light there are dark ruby tinges. Mocha yellow head. Bubbly. Aroma of spruce (yes, I was told to look for this, but hearing that, it is undeniable), light ginger (oh no.), light brown malts and some honey and a touch of belgian yeast!!! yes!! even though it is moderately filtered, you can taste a touch of yeastiness, like a belgian brown ale. Flavor is highly reminiscent of a belgian bruin, but add in the spruce, big right off the bat and then add in some ginger, cinnamon and a light hops. Thank god, I was about to give up on OSA. Last year was as close to undrinkable as it gets. This year returns to its stoutish roots. medium full and a bit too much carbonation. So refreshingly better than last year. thank god.

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