RATINGS: 2080   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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glennmastrange (2881) - 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. I’m not a big spiced beer fan, but this one was pretty good.

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 wouldn’t search out a six pack.

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.

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.

moseefus (79) - Little Rock, Arkansas, USA - NOV 22, 2007
Didn’t 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.

drfabulous (8085) - 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, it’s spiced as a a winter and the taste is very much all spice, coriander, and what else? It doesn’t entirely come together well.

mar (5423) - Dallas, Texas, USA - NOV 22, 2007
wow very different than what i was expecting. very dark almost black pour but at the bottom i could see some ruby. 1 finger khaki head. lots of hops with a tad bit of malts on the nose. interesting flavor with some spices and some hops.

douglas88 (9418) - Portland, Oregon, USA - NOV 22, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 9, 2009 2006 Bottle. Pours dark brown with a good off-white head. The body is on the thick side. It’s quite hoppy, a ton of spices, and some Christmas Tree perhaps. Not bad at all. A good brew. Easy to drink, but also complex. 2009 edition: pours a dark brown with a large beige head. A spicy nose, toasted malts, light pine. Sweet flavors, loads of spice and pine. Light chocolates.

BDR (2534) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - NOV 21, 2007
Sweet chistmas spice nose on this dark beer. Similar taste. Smooth finish. Not bad.

f351c4v (411) - Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 21, 2007
(2007) Pours a dark brown hue with a nice, tan head. Aroma of great Christmas cookies; cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger. Malty body gives way to spiced finish, almost like a fres gingerbread cookie. I look forward to this release every year.

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