overall
90
97
style
RATINGS: 2102   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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3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
redgold07 (308) - Irving, Texas, USA - NOV 12, 2007
2007. Pours a pretty dark brown with a nice tan head. Spicy aroma and great spicy taste. Definitely a good holiday brew. 12 oz. bottle.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
jstraw (1966) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 11, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 16, 2009 Dark mahogany big, foamy tan head / Winey root beer, brown sugar, and spice nose / Light to medium body, fizzy, a touch watery with good balance and decent finish / Herbaceous flavors of sassafras, root beer, brown sugar, toffee, raisins, coffee, and cocoa / An interesting, unique brew.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
thefederalist (307) - Jonesboro, Arkansas, USA - NOV 9, 2007
Pours quite dark, nice tan head w/ lacing. Aroma of cinnamon and nuts. Flavor is salty, nutty and mild. Vague dacetyl in the mouthfeel. I was unimpressed.

2.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 7/20
Wegro (332) - Fresno, California, USA - NOV 9, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 29, 2008 2008 bottle. ok i dont remember this beer being this bad, but i have learned a lot since the last one came out. honestly all i can think of is jagermeister with this one. its like somebody put a shot of it in a very light bodied porter and thats wtf is in my glass right now. i think its going down the drain.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
robertjm (881) - Albany, California, USA - NOV 8, 2007
2007: Getting earlier and earlier every year! Remember when you HAD to wait till after Thanksgiving Day to get this. Merchants actually got penalized if it was released early!!! Nice frothy tan head. Dark brown in color with little or no light passing through it when I hold it up to my computer monitor. Fair amount of fine carbonation. Aroma loaded with spices, especially ginger root. Heavy ginger in the flavor as well, with other spices too, which even it out. "Normal" body mouthfeel, as opposed to what it used to be like a few years ago. Rather bitter aftertaste lingers on the palate longer than Im care to have it. This used to be my favorite XMAS brew to grab, but not anymore. Too one-sided in the flavor profile compared to others.I also remember when the flavor profile seemed to change every year. They claim it still does, but Im not 100% sure of that.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Skyview (5834) - Papoose Jct, Minnesota, USA - NOV 8, 2007
2007 vintage: Pours a semi-clear, dark reddish borwn brown with a thick off-white head that has some good retention and lacing. Aroma of some spiced dark caramel malt, nutmeg cinnamon, and something resembling the scent of a wet dog. Flavor is medium bodied, some light carbonation, along with flavors of dark malt, cinnamon, cloves and a touch of nutmeg. Finish is slightly spicey, a little dry with a clove and malt aftertaste. Quite the seasons greetings brew.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Guerde (1297) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - NOV 6, 2007
(bottle) Pours dark red/brown with an off-white head. Aroma is very unique with some nice nutmeg, cinnamon, and the smell of pink Extra gum, along with some pine tones. Flavor is very spicy with as OSLO said bubblegum too. An odd beer indeed, but its pretty good and a nice change of pace.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
sthlm (1289) - Duluth, Minnesota, USA - NOV 6, 2007
UPDATED: FEB 3, 2012 [Bottle, thanks Guerde] Pours dark brown-amber with a thin beige head. Aroma is extremely spicy, with nutmeg strongest, but cinnamon also present. Taste is a little bitter up front, which is then followed by a strong bubblegum flavor. Medium mouthfeel. Pretty good finish. Very unique beer that I couldnt drink a lot of, but that would be nice to have again around Christmas. Old rating: 8/3/7/3/16=3.7

Re-rate: [10 Bottle] Mulling spices integrated beautifully (more nutmeg than cinnamon), barley shows through towards the end. Fuller mouthfeel than I remember, long finish. A really, really enjoyable beer.

[05 Screwtop bottle at 7 years old] Much more muted taste and aroma, and a little muddled compared to the 04. The spices especially are subdued and more oxidation is present. Still has nice underlying vinous character. Slightly thinner and finish length is shorter. I still enjoyed this, but I had it pegged in the mid 3 range at best.

[08 Bottle at 4 years old] This one is a bit of a disappointment, and the least impressive vintage I have had so far. Oxidation is really showing, and the spices are buried. Low 3s to upper 2s.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
jetzler (622) - oklahoma city, Oklahoma, USA - NOV 5, 2007
Bottle, nice darl ruddy color with medium head, nice hops some molases and licorice flavor quite nice and very enjoyabe well balanced. Nice

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
BINGEBOT (240) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 3, 2007
2006 bottle that I picked up in January. Pours dark brown with a nice light brown head. Smells of deep dark malty goodness. Tastes malty as well with a hint of nutmeg or some such spices. Definitely has some roasted chocolate attributes. A bit light on the body. Very nice for a cold day in November!


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