RATINGS: 2068   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 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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   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

   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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
tgncc (3112) - 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.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
natejgood (493) - 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.

   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.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 10/20
JB175 (1665) - Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 16, 2007
Have had it a few times and never really got into it. Brownish pour and an interesting earthy, spiced aroma. Flavor is like an exploded spice rack with way too much earthiness. Still havent tried any really old ones yet.....

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
bdigital (658) - Ft Wayne, Indiana, USA - NOV 16, 2007
07 Bottle: Wow, this poured much darker than I was expecting. A dark amber/brown color with a small, white/cream head. Very earthy aroma with notes of burnt coffee, nutmeg, spruce and some other stuff I cant make out. Medium-light body with flavors of dark fruits, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and coffee. This is the first time Ive had this brew and I find it to be quite damn delicious. Ill definitely have to seek out some older vintages.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 8/20
wetherel (1871) - Cupertino, California, USA - NOV 15, 2007
$1.99 2006 bottle from South Bay Drugs bought on 7/9/07. Pours with a 2 finger medium bubble tan head, that disappears and returns as a great 2-3mm foam over the surface. Aroma is of a mild oxidation and some malt. Flavor is bland oxidize with a very mild sourness. Certainly way past its prime, which makes me wonder, because this beer is collected and sold in verticals. Maybe I got a bottle that was exposed to too much heat. Hmmm. I would guess acetobacter.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
theisti (3980) - Kansas, USA - NOV 15, 2007
12 oz. bottle (2007 version). Pour is a clear mahogany with a tan head. Aroma of spice and yeastiness. Hint of dried fruit and berries. Taste is a nice blended spiciness - cinnamon, cardomman, yeast, nuttiness (nutmeg) and some nice soft earthiness. Finish has a hint of bitterness and some licorice. Overall, nice, though a touch thin.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
joohefner (380) - Isla Vista, California, USA - NOV 15, 2007
dark earth color with very small tan head. spicy sweet treacle aroma with a light orange peel note. smooth thin body. spicy cocoa earth flavor, like a spiced brown ale. the spice is pretty complex: sage, nutmeg, and i also pick up some yeast phenols. good very layered but its body seems awkwardly thin

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