RATINGS: 2124   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 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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AgentSteve (1647) - SF Bay Area, California, USA - DEC 21, 2007
Pours deep brown with fluffy thick head. Nose is a cola like malt with caramel and spice. Flavor is cloves and spice. Very smooth and easy drinking.

Wulfstan (509) - California, USA - DEC 21, 2007
The 2007 ale, in December 2007: dark, almost black, red-brown with a big, thick light brown head that is long lasting and leaves some lacing. The aroma is nutmeg, rootberr, and hint of anise and clove over a malty-toasty body. The taste is rather like a porter-brown ale (of the Newcastle type) mix with spices, toasted grain (not burnt), rootbeer, and faint hints of coffee and chocolate. There is a light bitterness. It’s fairly complex and hard to pin down and is very tasty, interesting, somewhat complex, satisfying, and smooth.

brewandstew (11) - Salisbury, Maryland, USA - DEC 21, 2007
12oz bottle, 2007 vintage. Pours a dark brown with a light frothy head. Aromas of ginger, cinnamon, and other seasonal spices. Taste resembles that of a stout, and not overly bitter. Alcohol comes through a bit on the tongue. Pairs well with a hearty stew, winter squash, yams, and would go well with anything containing cranberry. I really enjoyed drinking this with my vegan sweet potato and winter squash minestrone.

BlackForestCO (1288) - Aurora, Colorado, USA - DEC 21, 2007
07 bottle. Poured a tawny brown with a pillowy, light tan head that left nice lacing. Nice aroma of caramel, spices (clove and ginger mainly), and a hint of pine. I didn’t enjoy the flavor as much as the aroma. It began with a slightly spicey pine taste that led into a somewhat smooth caramel finish. It was relatively smooth on the palate. I just couldn’t really get into this beer.

BeerVirgin72 (880) - Pickerington, Ohio, USA - DEC 20, 2007
Had on draft at Brews in Granville. Poured a dark brown, slight creamy head. Sweet, spicey smell. Taste was caramel, cinnamon, ginger, butter, with just a hint of hops. Very delightful, actually!

JustinBennett (67) - junction city, Kansas, USA - DEC 20, 2007
bottle thanks to ford9719. poured a dark brown. smelt of ginger and spice. tasted bitter. cinnamon after taste.

Ethereal (2471) - Los Angeles, California, USA - DEC 20, 2007
UPDATED: JAN 2, 2009 Bottle with Mes & tashi. Dark brown, lacing. Great aroma of cloves and other Christmas spices. Palate is light and drinkable - a refreshing change for a Christmas. Overall, fantastic! Updated - 2008 version, batch 294, on tap at Microbar, 18th Oct 08. 8/4/7/4/15 Restrained nose of Christmas spices with a dusting of sugar. Ruby brown with a persistent cream head. Lots of chocolate and caramel flavours. Smooth and drinkable. Gets the winter ale feel with a surprisingly low ABV. Good stuff.

Jmichael (640) - Asheville, North Carolina, USA - DEC 20, 2007
rating based on average of two years 2006 and 2007 on a vertical. 2007. pours a brown. spicy aroma, loose and spicy wit some sour backgrounds, not too complex and dissapointing. 2.5. 2006. pours a brown. sweet malty aroma, light sweet vanilla aged oak presence, deeper and more complex. 3.2

mikebeertaster (114) - washougal, Washington, USA - DEC 19, 2007
Had this beer out of a bottle. It is a full flavor, but frankly not my favorite. it has a smoky taste to it and that just doesn’t work for me.

drpimento (3814) - La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 18, 2007
Not a huge fan of spice beers, but this one is substantially better than the rest. Pours with a big dark tan frothy foamy head. Plenty of lace. The spice is definite but yet balanced with some good bitterness. Some sweetness there too. The finish is good with the flavor not too heavy. Not quite a session beer. Had this one on draft at Bodega Brew Pub downtown La Crosse, Wis USA. They have bottles of the ’06 & ’07 as well.

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