RATINGS: 2053   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 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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4.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Angeloregon (2055) - Portland, Oregon, USA - NOV 19, 2007
2005 vintage on tap at Belmont Station and also a 2007 magnum pour at Danimals 30th birthday party--Poured a deep chestnut-mahogany brown-amber. One or two-fingered off-white head. Spicy, nutty, gingery aroma that proved quite complex. Flavor and palate just as intriguing. Crisp and full bodied. Sweet and dry. Hints of root spices and spruce, fur, or pine needles. One of the best winter beers of all time.

3.6
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
ucusty (2691) - raleigh, North Carolina, USA - NOV 18, 2007
Pours dark brown with fizzy tan head, reminiscent of a coke. Very complex aroma; oak, mace, and dark fruits. Notes of caramel, figs, and a hint of pumpkin.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
luvcasks (178) - USA - NOV 18, 2007
pours a dark brown with gorgeousgarnet highlights and nice tan head Very nice caramel, a little roast, some oak nutmeg, some dark fruits (figs) maybe some all spice Flavor is almost like a porter while sliding away with a lighter body and a more festive flavor profile. The hop flavor is nicely restrained yet present to keep the beer enjoyable. The finish is nice long, rich with short hint of figs and nutmeg leaving a slightly creamy dry finish WOW! Another of my holiday must finds... still a solid beer year after year. For me this is beer to taste as it ages try some when young and with patience try in a year or two the spices change and is still a treat Oh Yeah! Thanks to the brewers at Anchor for bringing the regular caps back instead of the screw tops

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Sigmund (6896) - Tau, NORWAY - NOV 18, 2007
355 ml bottle, vintage 2007, courtesy of Cardinal pub, Stavanger. ABV is 5.5%. BB Sep.09. Very dark reddish bown colour, nearly black. Large and lasting tan head. Nice vinous and sweetish aroma, notes of malts, herbs, oak, spices and caramel. Malty flavour with moderate notes of caramel and herbs, moderate hops and spices in the finish and aftertaste. A very pleasant beer to drink.

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Ungstrup (35005) - Citizen of the universe, DENMARK - NOV 18, 2007
Bottled. A pitch black beer with a slight brown shine under a huge brown head. The aroma is sweet with strong spicy notes among them strong notes of spruce and cardemomme - a bit too much for me. The flavor is sweet again with strong notes of spices - especially spruce and cardemmome, but then a note of roasted malt joins in, and combines with the spices to give it an extremely dry finish.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
salzy (14) - USA - NOV 17, 2007
07 bottle purchased as part of a case from Waywood Beverage, Kennett Sq. Pa. Nose of Cola and nutmeg, small bubbles linger after the almost non existent tan head forms. Taste of mild sweetness, bublegum and assorted spice on the front end, roasted coffee beans on the back. Moderate carbonation, clean and refreshing. Worth the time

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
craftbeerdesign (2254) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - NOV 17, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 25, 2010 07 bottle. I didnt really know what to expect from this.... I liked what I tasted. Pours a dark brown with minimal head. Spicy on the nose and through the palate. Flavors of pumpkin, coffee and nutmeg are pronounced. A winter warmer... very festive. Solid beer.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
tgncc (3107) - Bellmore, New York, USA - NOV 17, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 25, 2009 Aroma is spicy, some nutmeg and other holiday spices. The appearance is attractive, A very dark, slightly translucent ruby/brown. The flavor is also dominated by spices, nutmeg, cloves. The finish is spicy, like nutmeg. Fairly thick mouthfeel. Not bad.

4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
natejgood (487) - Bozeman, Montana, USA - NOV 17, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 19, 2008 Im rating the 2007 Spcial Ale. It pours relatively dark with a lot of medium brown head. The head leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. It smells of holiday spices, including nutmeg, cloves and pumpkin spice. It smells like the holidays. The flavor starts with some sweet coffee, moves onto some of the holiday spices, and ends with a bit of bitterness around the sides of my mouth. The beer leaves the mouth a little dry, and the carbination is very light. This is a very good offering for a holiday beer. An update to my rating. The 2008 beer is just as splendid as the 2007.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Skeegle (566) - Maryland, USA - NOV 17, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 19, 2007 I really liked this beer. It was packed with flavor, too many to describe. Nutmeg and molasses are prevalent with hints of cinnamon. It was like someone took the spices out of a pumpkin pie and put them in it. Very good. Best seasonal.


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