overall
95
99
style
RATINGS: 432   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.64/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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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4.1
Syd (921) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - NOV 17, 2004
2004 - Bottle pours a dark deep red like amber color with a decent head and good lace. The aroma is spicy and floral. The flavor is spiced, but less than last year, and malty with a good solid body to float over. reminds me of an Old English Ale in some ways - perhaps it is the holiday mood I get from this gem if an Ale. Overall, this is the finest OSA since I’ve been trying them.

4.1
FtWorthBrew (105) - Fort Worth, Texas, USA - NOV 28, 2004
Dark red/brown color, burnt amber head. Great spicy and yeasty smell. Cooked Fruity flavor almost stout but very drinkable and mild. My glass didn’t last long. I’m not familiar with this brewery but I’ll be giving them another try.

4.1
AcctError12410 (53) - chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 30, 2004
UPDATED: DEC 2, 2004 Cola-colored, biege cascading (then quickly fading) head. aroma of the outdoors: pine, spruce, and woody hops. subtlety is the key here. hint of chocolate malt, touch of sweetness, faint spicy hops, delicate arona hops, and a soft pine or spruce flavor that hits then quickly dissipates. and i’m pretty sure i taste Smarties (it’s the yeast, i guess) Best batch in years.

4.1
DocLock (10835) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 2, 2004
On draft at the Drafting Room, Spring House, PA. Pours dep brown with medium tan head. Great complex aroma of spice, fruit, malt, hops, cinnamon, perfume. Tastes malty, very spicy, with nutmeg, cinnamon, dark fruit, nuts, and chocolate in the finish. Very good.

4.1
MAP (1133) - Lakewood, Ohio, USA - DEC 2, 2004
Cola-like appearance with a much thicker lasting head on top. Aroma has notes of caramel, pumpkin, nutmeg, ginger and more pumpkin. Flavor is a bit chocolatey with a decent heft of spice The aftertaste is well roasted with a little bit of lingering spice with it as well. This has an exelent blending of spicy aroma, warm malty taste and a pleasing distinct aftertaste. Quite an outstanding winter brew.

4.1
crzybob77 (530) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - DEC 3, 2004
Just about opaque brownish appearance. A good, very drinkable beer. Nice spicey flavor and a hint of licorice jumped out at me.

4.1
GuilTTy (735) - Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA - DEC 11, 2004
Fabulous rich mahagony pour with ruby and black highlites. Creamy reddish, light brown head with a full and satidfying spicy aroma of roasted malt, pine and maybe sugar. Surprisingly light mouthfeel but full of flavor. Some sweetness and spices but not exactly traditional "Christmas/winter" spices. I didn’t detect nutmeg or cinnamon (though I’ll look for it in the second glass. Anchor has always put out one of my favorite seasonal brews and this year’s edition is very good (though I did prefer the 2003 recipe just a bit more). Too bad they bottle such a limited amount each year. Go out and get a case (or 2 if you can).

4.1
lamas (1648) - Washington DC, USA - DEC 11, 2004
Bottle. Pours a deep mahogany with thick tan head. Aroma is of cinnamon, spices and malts. Taste is of fruity malts and spices. Finishes with a taste of banana. This beer has been a Christmas tradition of mine since ’99 and this is one of the best yet.

4.1
sayravai (4710) - Helsinki, FINLAND - DEC 12, 2004
(Bottled) Deep, quite clear, very dark red color with a small but tight and lasting, brown head. Spicy and malty espresso aroma with anise and licorice. Coffee-malty, roasted and spicy, quite dry flavor with a bitter espresso finish. Extremely smooth, roasted and dry-coffeeish mouthfeel. Quite full-bodied with low carbonation. An excellent, christmas-spicy, stout-like brew! Anchor’s best effort so far!

4.1
dolemike1 (1288) - Jeannette, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 17, 2004
Pungent spicy aroma, over a nice dark brown body, flavor is spicy, ginger, chocolate, fruit, and potpourri, interesting as usual. Finished slightly bitter and warming. Good.


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