overall
89
97
style
RATINGS: 2105   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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3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
mfaulke (92) - Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 8, 2007
There was a massive head on this beer upon pouring, but it quickly dissipated. Its malty, and finishes a little dry. The spices really come through in the finish, but arent overpowering. If the mouthfeel was a little thicker I would have liked it even more. Definitely worth a try.

4.2
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
LordCorkscrew (1774) - Ronco Scrivia (GE), ITALY - DEC 8, 2007
Straordinaria birra di Natale in stile dunkel con varie spezie, bottiglia da 33cl al Duca. Aroma speziato dominato dalla noce moscata, che si sente anche nel sapore abbastanza complesso e piccante con finale secco. Straordinaria.

3.1
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Driftwood6 (214) - USA - DEC 7, 2007
On tap at Brixies, Brookfield IL. Spices pretty subdued. Most noticable was the dry finish with a touch of bitterness. I think I liked the Great Lakes Christmas Ale a little better.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
nramsburg (259) - New York, New York, USA - DEC 7, 2007
Tasty spicy holiday beer. Pretty consistently good -- Ive had this from other vintages. Malty aroma, and little smoky, perhaps some coriander and orange taste. Not too heavy or spicy, good bitter finish, and definitely my favorite holiday beer.

4.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Optigon (562) - Bloomington, Indiana, USA - DEC 7, 2007
2007. Pours dark brown, a bit of lacing, moderate white head. Aroma is herby with a bit of a bubblegum quality. Mouthfeel is moderate. Flavor is again, akin to bubblegum with qualities of coriander and chamomile.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DuffMan (10072) - the land of bitumen, beef & beer, Alberta, CANADA - DEC 7, 2007
UPDATED: AUG 27, 2011 2007 vintage. Clear deep copper with a light brown gense foamy head showing excellent retention and strong early lacing. Very intriguing spicy aroma. Not the usual spice, this is more like mace and bergamot with a little ginger and licorice. Also some cedar mulch aroma. Very interesting! Same spice-dominated palate overlying some nice crystal malt with flavours of orange rind, clove, ginger. Smooth and medium bodied with a surprisingly bitter finish, ending with a tartness that reminds of a good California common style. In fact, that is what this is like in a nutshell-- a very spiced-up, well-made California common. Unique and delicious and perfect for the season!

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
BMan1113VR (7922) - Los Angeles, California, USA - DEC 6, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 26, 2009 2007 vintage in a magnum bottle. A very good tasting extremely dark ale with a very large brown head. Medium to full bodied with a short duration. Aroma is very fresh, with possibly some pine scents. Very much different from Anchors other products.
Dec 6, 2007.
Ar: 7; AP: 2; F: 8; P: 4; O: 14
Total Score: 3.5/5.0

2005 Vinatge. Waited too long on this one. Mar 3, 2008. Pours with a light brown, creamy, head that lasts. Murky brown body. Aroma of soy, madera, and prunes. Alcohol legs on the glass. Taste is way too oxidized. Sat for too long. Creamy mouthfeel, with some fizz left. Bitter and very very oxidized.
Ar: 6; AP: 4; F: 5; P: 3; O: 12
Total Score: 3.0/5.0

2006 Vintage. This one was waited on for too long. Pours with a decent sized, light brown, foamy head covering a hazy dark brown body. Aroma has elements of oxidation, figs, plums, yeast, cinnamon, and vanilla. Taste is salty, smokey and oxidized. Over the hill in a baby SA Triple Bock sort of way. I am disapointed because this one looked and smelled quite good. I guess I know that these will not last much longer than a year (low alcohol I guess). Too bad.
April 21, 2008.
Ar: 7; AP: 4; F: 5; P: 3; O: 12
Total Score: 3.1/5.0

2008 vintage. November 16, 2008. Bottle marked 803. Pours a deep mahogoney with a fluffy light brown head. Good lacing and retention. Aroma of allspice, cinnamon, pine, molassas, caramel and maple. Taste is spiced with some tabbacco, allspice, caramel, plenty of hazlenuts, and bitter molassas. Creamy mouthfeel, light bubbles, slightly warming. Good winter warmer.
Ar: 7; AP: 4; F: 7; P: 4; O: 15;
Total Score: 3.7/5.0
2009 had a bit more of a twang to it.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Nephilium (1782) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - DEC 5, 2007
Very nice brown sugar and spice aroma, with just a hint of spiciness. Pours a red so dark it can only be seen when held up to a light. Small cap of light brown head. Clean crisp palate. Fairly light mouthfeel. Flavors of various spices jumping around and a hint of pine. One of my new favorite winter beers.

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
truebluehes (202) - Tipton, Iowa, USA - DEC 4, 2007
Bottle. Dark, black brew with a beige head. Aroma is sweet with hints of spruce and a little malty. Flavor is sweet with nice bubbly mouth-feel. Spices hit quite strong with a dry finish with lingering roasted malt.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
pineypower (3249) - Ocean County, New Jersey, USA - DEC 4, 2007
2007 Bottle. Pours out mostly transparent brown with a slight off white head. Aroma of spice, mostly nutmeg and some cinnamon. Taste is slight caramel, with some nutmeg, cinnamon, and some other light earthy/spice notes. Pickup a bottle or two every year, and always good.


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