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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3.1
SirSlarty (68) - Reading, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 16, 2007
Looks and smells almost like a brown ale. Frothy tan head. Looks great. Tastes good too. Surprised me. Major hints of apple and other fruits.

3.1
Canadianlush (169) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - DEC 16, 2007
Poured much darker than I thought it would. Almost like a porter to echo Strykzone’s comments with a full tan head. Sweet aroma of something that I can’t make out. Taste is full, sugrary and lingers. Not something I’ll pick up every year. Kind of a let down considering how reliable the guys at Anchor are.

3.3
Strykzone (7624) - 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.

3.7
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 you’d 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.

3.8
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. Can’t remember what they’re 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.

3.6
jgb9348 (6474) - 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 I’ll 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.

3.1
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.

2.2
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.

3.6
downender (8882) - 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.

3.8
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. It’s actually not as big as the inviting seasonal aroma would promise.


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