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 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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3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
SpringsLicker (3606) - Tennessee, USA - NOV 28, 2007
2006 Pours deep garnet/ruby brown with a fleeting tan head. Light caramel and spice aroma. Starts sweet with a sour bitterness in the finish that must come from the spices. I dont know if this one works for me.

3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
DYCSoccer17 (3686) - Woodland, California, USA - NOV 27, 2007
2007 Vintage. I have had many other vintages in the past, but I guess I havent bothered rating them, surprisingly. Aroma is of pine needles, hops, spiciness, nutmeg, and some allspice, too. Pretty aromatic and fairly quaffable. Gorgeous rather transparent mahogany colored body with a rocky, frothy light tan head that is rather large and persistent. Good lacing. Hmm, somewhat astringent, lightly sour start, which is a little chalky and chocolate-roasted like. Some light spiciness with more allspice comes in later with a little more roastiness. This isnt really doing it for me. Kind of harsh, astringent, and boring.

3.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
DJC (238) - USA - NOV 26, 2007
2007 version, Valley oak tree on label: Opaque body, with a tan head that disappeared way too quickly. Splotchy lacing. Holiday cookie-like aroma, which was quite a bit sweeter than the flavor. At first, the flavor profile consisted of cardamom, nutmeg, giner, allspice, and toffee, but the finish could best be described as acrid coffee and smoke. The carbonation was lively, but overall mouthfeel was slightly on the watery side. I feel that Anchor did a pretty good job with this one, but years past had finer offerings.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
DubC5000 (305) - San Francisco, California, USA - NOV 25, 2007
Winter 2007 Edition. Pumpkin, allspice, nutmeg, strong maltiness at the outset. Very spicy bouquet. Blood red with substantial, foamy, tan head. Initially spice overwhelms flavor: allspice, clove, nutmeg, cinammon. Malt takes on midpalate, with a touch of spicy hop on the finish. Spices subsist till the finish; however, the finish is rudely abrupt for such a boldly flavored ale, and it may have benefited from a more drawn out flavor. Still, quite a warming ale. I might take a case up to the mountains with me next month.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
glennmastrange (2828) - hobe sound, Florida, USA - NOV 25, 2007
Bottle. Malts have a moderate aroma of pumpernickel bread and toasted, light notes of perfume and earth for the hops and yeast, with rootbeer, clove and nutmeg in the background. Head is creamy, off-white, has excellent lacing and is mostly lasting. Color is a deep reddish brown. Flavor starts lightly sweet and acidic and finishes lightly acidic and bitter. Palate is light to medium, between watery and creamy and has a lively carbonation. It finishes lightly dry. Im not a big spiced beer fan, but this one was pretty good.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
RiverHorse (457) - New Jersey, USA - NOV 24, 2007
Pours a dark copper color with small hints of amber peeking through when held to light. A finger of light tan head frothed up quickly, then the lacing stuck around on the sides of the lager glass. The scent was of brown sugar, malt, dried fruit and spice. A hint of cinnamon and brown sugar came across up front with some sticky molasses , nutmeg and dried fruit to finish. I am glad to have tried this, but wouldnt search out a six pack.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
csbosox (1229) - Prairie Village, Kansas, USA - NOV 24, 2007
Old Rating Deep dark red with a vanishing khaki head. Active carbonation. Smell is wintergreen at first followed by overowering roast, dark coffee, and a mild earthy/spiciness. Intial mouthfeel is full, taste is milk chocolate, malty, and cream followed by a spicy rush and what tastes like nutmeg and cloves. Moderate mouthfeel at the end.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Nihon (247) - Vernon, Connecticut, USA - NOV 24, 2007
2007, dark reddish brown, low carbonation. Spicy hoppy aroma, coriander,nutmeg, with a little bit of sweetness. Medium bodied, smooth with medium bitterness. Hops are fairly heavy, not overwhelming, aftertaste of spices and hops.

2.9
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
moseefus (79) - Little Rock, Arkansas, USA - NOV 22, 2007
Didnt like it as much as the 2006. Pour was beautiful, almost black with a thick tan head (that is still there 10min later). Smells of hops, malt, spices. Taste is quite hoppy with that spice kick right underneath. Finish is slightly long and bitter for me. The spice seems to be ginger driven, with nutmeg, and a hint of cinnamon. Quite tasty, though I think I like some other christmas ales better.

3
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
drfabulous (7663) - Lexington, Kentucky, USA - NOV 22, 2007
Not exactly what I expected. 2007 batch. Very spice-driven, almost the way a pumpkin beer might be. Of course, its spiced as a a winter and the taste is very much all spice, coriander, and what else? It doesnt entirely come together well.


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