overall
89
97
style
RATINGS: 2107   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 Aleís 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.

Editorís 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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3.5
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.

3.4
Speedle (266) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - DEC 13, 2007
pours black with a big brown head....aroma of cookies and ginger...tastes of gingerbread...malts and hops are nicely balanced...crisp dry finish...nice change of pace for me with this one, Iím not a huge fan of spiced brew but I enjoyed this

3.8
reakt (950) - Greater London, ENGLAND - DEC 13, 2007
2007 bottle from Quaffs. Deep reddish amber with a nice beige head thatís tan around the edges. Gingerbread and cinnamon came rushing out of the bottle as soon as I removed the cap but thereís some sprucy hops, milk chocolate, orange and malt underneath. Maybe itís just me in the Christmas spirit but I get a hint of icing sugar also. A great looking beer with a great aroma, in fact, still sniffing it now in preparation for a let down. Actually, no, I quite like it. Not earth shattering but very enjoyable, Christmas in a bottle if you will. Spice initially dominates but theres a late rush of chocolate, hops and malt in the finish that lingers for a while. Could have a little more body imo but Iím still gonna buy a few of these and stick em away. Also very curious of the other vintages now...Screw mulled wine, bring on the Noels and Christmas specials...

2.7
EKGoldings (664) - Radford, Virginia, USA - DEC 13, 2007
UPDATED: JAN 6, 2015 Had this beer may times over the last 25 years or so. Dang, Iím old. Somewhat variable because they supposedly use a different recipe each year. This one rarely rings my bell. This one from 07 reminds me of years past, where the flavor of spice dominates and does not please me. Course, I generally frown on spiced beers, preferring hops to dominate. Nonetheless, this is a well-made, spiced Christmas ale that should be on everybody who enjoys this styleís short list. Iíve had these at one year age and didnít find my enjoyment particularly improved. Iíve had this a few more times since this review in 2007. Nope, Iím not a fan. Spicing is never subtle and classy, always seems in your face an YUKKY.

2.9
OldMrCrow (2435) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 12, 2007
Bottle, 2007 vintage, fresh.

Pours a gorgeous dark dark ruby with a nice tan head. Beautiful to look at! Nose is all spice: allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, spruce tips. Flavor is very spicy, not particularly sweet, sprucy.

I can see how this would appeal to many, but it really doesnít do it for me. Itís too heavily spiced. This is one I can do without. Giving it a 2.9 is a disservice if rating to style, but itís almost generous as a measure of how much I enjoyed this one.

3.9
can8ianben (1538) - State College, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 12, 2007
2007 version. On tap at Lucky Baldwinís in Pasadena. Deep and dark and delicous. A friend asked if I had ordered a guiness. very thick tan head which leaves rings around the glass. Very rich and malty, but some holiday spice present as well - nutmeg or cinnamon? It was served a little on the cold side, but warmed very nicely and ended up being just an incredibly rich and complex beer. Very tasty.

3.6
smackie (54) - St. Augustine, Florida, USA - DEC 11, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 14, 2007 Wife brought this home, my choice would have been the Sierra Nevada holiday ale, but she did good. One of the reasons I love the holidays.

4.1
irishpenguin13 (36) - Leesburg, Florida, USA - DEC 11, 2007
2007 AOSA is unbelievably great. every year it never ceases to surprise me. especially one thats been cellared for atleast a year.

3.6
Jonte (1413) - Gothenburg, SWEDEN - DEC 11, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 12, 2007 2007. Bottle. The color is dark brown with a little red. The head is beige. Aroma: Spices, roasted malt, plums, dried fruit, licorice and caramel. Flavor: Roasted malt, spices, plums, smoke, toffee, cocoa, licorice. Roasted and bitter finish and a dry mouthfeel.

3.5
pdiddy (22) - San Marcos, Texas, USA - DEC 10, 2007
2007. Aromatic and floral. Nearly black, this beer is spiced up and great for the holidays. I detect a tiny amount of anise as well as the other flavors commented on.


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