RATINGS: 2107   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
This is our special ale from the brewers at Anchor. It is sold only from early November to mid-January. The Ales 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.

Editors 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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   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Strykzone (7252) - Wood River, Illinois, USA - DEC 16, 2007
Pours like a porter. Body is almost black with red highlights and a medium sized light brown head. Aroma is malt and vanilla with some roastiness. Flavor is mixed and just a bit confused. It is pretty well balanced and features some mild coffee, caramel, nuts, dark fruit, and some tart hop. An aftertaste of dry malt and hops singes the throat and tongue. This beer is flavorful and interesting but tries to do too much.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
MaltOMeal (1094) - Land of Sugar, Texas, USA - DEC 15, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 16, 2007 12 oz bottle 2007 batch. pours a dark brown with huge tan head which lingered throughout the drinking. Aroma was spicy and malt like youd expect from a winter warmer. Flavor is more malty and some spice - nutmeg and gingerbread - yet overall it was more similar to a brown ale. Mouthfeel was medium-to-thin with some carbonation and a dry aftertaste. Was a good beer, but the aroma was more appealing than the taste delivered.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
DrHomolka (761) - Portland, Oregon, USA - DEC 15, 2007
12oz, 2007, relatively fresh. Pours a cola color with a large, foamy off-white head that has very good retention. Interesting, unique aroma. Smells like those candies that are caramel with the white chewy center. Cant remember what theyre called. Other aromas include Christmas, nutmeg, belgian-like yeast, hot cocoa, a slight roastiness. Man, this smells pretty awesome. Tastes like a Christmas ale with a little dark twist. Spicy, gingerbread, somewhat roasty, faint chocolate, holiday spices (ginger, cinnnamon, etc). Not incredibly drinkable but definitely interesting and tasty. A nice little beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jgb9348 (6099) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - DEC 15, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 26, 2016 2007 Batch:
Deep black coloured body with a dense tan head, that fades quickly. About 80% opaque - very nice colour. Aroma of roasted malt, nutmeg, cloves, gingerbread and even a little bit of horsehound. Medium-bodied; Strong spicey flavour with nuts, roasted malt, chestnuts, licorice and toffee loaded into the taste. Aftertaste shows mostly malt character, tucked into nuts and bittering licorice. Overall, a good, long-lasting spicey beer, perfect for christmas and the new year celebration time of year. I liked previous years better, but this was still a solid offering. Rating for this batch: 8,4,7,2,14 2014 Batch: Very nice deep dark brown coloured body with a still large, two centimetre tall tan head. Aroma of spices and roasted malt with a good deal of sugars in this batch. Nice earthy flavours with the spruce and anise hitting hard. Aftertaste is nice and mellow - not much spiciness and seemingly easier to drink than in years past. Overall, a very nice beer, and perhaps the aging has helped a bit, but this was a nice drink that Ill be happy to have in coming years whenever I crack open the next bottle of this vintage. I sampled this Magnum (1,5Litre) bottle purchased from Costco in Pentagon City (Arlington), Virginia on 22-November-2014 for US$12,89 sampled at home in Washington on Christmas Day 2016, 25-December-2016.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
Bier brauen (246) - Bremerton, Washington, USA - DEC 15, 2007
2007 edition. Nice aroma but thin mouthfeel and bitter taste. Not as big as the inviting seasonal aroma would promise.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 5/20
michael-pollack (4959) - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 15, 2007
Bottle (2007 Edition): Sweet, malty aroma; Like a barley wine. Smells of malts, sugarcane, nutmeg, and toffee. Poured dark ruby with a small, dense, tan head that lasted throughout. Clear. Sparkling. Heavily sweet flavor. Tastes of caramel, malts, nuts, sugar, nutmeg, molasses, and honey. Vinous. Really nasty flavor. Medium body. Dry texture. Lively carbonation. Dry, sweet, malty finish. I poured this out.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
downender (8524) - Bristol, Gloucestershire, ENGLAND - DEC 15, 2007
Bottle (2006 edition) from Corks, Bristol. Deep ruby red colour with a short-lived tan head. Big aroma of christmas cake with plenty of cinnamon, nuts and dark fruit. Chewy mouth feel with plenty of spiced flavours and a dry, hoppy finish. Very enjoyable.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
cathcacr (647) - Oregon, USA - DEC 15, 2007
2007 ed. Mouthfeel and a certain flavor aspect are highly reminiscent of Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar. Finishes slightly watery just like the aforementioned as well. Its actually not as big as the inviting seasonal aroma would promise.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 7/20
cheap (5739) - Beaver Valley, Beaver County, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 14, 2007
UPDATED: JAN 26, 2014 Darker brew. Had this trice, 2014, 2010 & 2007. Piquant, overly spiced metallic aroma. Caliginous appearance. Flavors that are a therapeutic back throat notion. A stronger alt feel. Entertaining palate. Overall a tranquilizing brew. Slight creamy sensations, save it. Tastes better on the finish. Yes, the spice is very apparent in this dark beer, almost in yer face but not quite.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Pastor (799) - Skowhegan, Maine, USA - DEC 14, 2007
bottle poured dark ruby with a nice tan head that fades to a thin lace Aromas of gingerbread cinnamon, nutmeg . Ya it smell like christmas. Flavors of sweet fruit spices, cinnamon exspecially. There is a light bitter to the taste, but i think it comes from the spices more than hops, it has a great mouth feel to it, nice and crisp. it is a very interesting holiday brew.

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