RATINGS: 2053   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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2.9
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Soonah (1120) - Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA - DEC 30, 2006
The pour is dark brown with ruby highlights and a moderate off-white head that dissipates quickly. The aroma is of spice and a little bit of roasted malt. The flavor is nutmeg. Then some more nutmeg and even a little bit more nutmeg thrown in for good measure. With a little bit of sour mixed in there. Tightly carbonated. While I appreciate the effort at continually innovating this brew, Im glad this stuff isnt around very long.

3
   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
dornoy (701) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - DEC 30, 2006
2006 version. Brown head , orange body. Very tasty, good for a new year beer. Worth the try.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
TURDFERGUSON (4051) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - DEC 30, 2006
12oz 2006 bottle. I dont normally like spicey winter warmers, but this one has a little more to it. A solid offering from a innovative brewery.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
sfontain (851) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - DEC 29, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 1, 2008 1/1/2008: 12 oz. bottle. Our Special Ale 2007. Dark brown pour; very minimal head that dissipates into a tiny ring. Aroma of caramel, dark fruits, and spices including cloves and nutmeg. Flavor of brown sugar, spices, caramel; very light roast. Medium-bodied with very little carbonation after half an hour. Better than 2006 if I recall, but nowhere near the 2003 version.
7/4/7/3/15 = 3.6

12/29/2006: 12 oz. bottle, Our Special Ale 2006. Firstly, I cant believe I somehow missed the 2005 offering. Secondly, why the hell are the latest years lumped together into one beer? Pour is very dark brown with a hint of garnet when held to a light; the pour gives a short-lived, creamy, tan head that dissipates into a medium-sized ring around the top of the beer; a small amount of head can be revived by swirling. Aroma is spicy with cinnamon, cloves, licorice, bubble gum, and caramel. Flavor is worse than the 2004 beer, which was worse than the 2003 beer (why is this beer getting worse every year?); surprisingly nondescript and fairly sour; cinnamon, cloves, malt, and rotting vegetables (nice); more hops than previous years if I recall correctly. I cant get over the sourness of this or the lack of the complexity we saw in previously years. Palate is smooth if a little light. I rate this beer perhaps more seriously than I rate any other beer because it was mindblowing in 03; this isnt a bad beer, but its by far the least outstanding Our Special Ale Ive had to date. I will be cellaring about 4 of these, and Ill give it another try next year.
8/4/7/3/15: 3.7

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
jezmez68 (404) - Chesterton, Indiana, USA - DEC 28, 2006
Just okay. I wanted to note that ratebeer totally pussed out by not including a separate 2005 and 2006 version of this beer, but merely has 2005 and later. Way to mail it in, ratebeer. If its a different beer every year, we should honor it, even if it is only half-assed. Enjoy.

2.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
stison42 (318) - Blacksburg, Virginia, USA - DEC 28, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 21, 2007 Black. Lightly spiced, a bit more spice would have added to the beer a lot. Only an Ok beer.

3.2
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
bitbucket (2165) - Kirkland, Washington, USA - DEC 26, 2006
On tap at Beveridge Place Pub. Pours a hazy dark copper with a lasting yellow head. Sweet taste with a dry finish, with lots of spice along the way, which almost makes it taste like a pumpkin beer.

3.7
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
swanmann (739) - Norman, Oklahoma, USA - DEC 26, 2006
2006 12oz bottle poured like molasses with an orange tinted tan head. Moderate retention. Definite soy aroma, heavily roasted. Flavor is heavily roasted malts, smokey, no real bitters to speak of, but very mild sweet finish. Full, mellow palate.

2.9
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Panzuriel (2003) - Westerville, Ohio, USA - DEC 25, 2006
Dark brown beer with a full tan foam. Nose is of spices and maybe a hint of evergreen. Taste is more spice and evergreen and a bit of coffee as well. body is full. Finish is dry and warming.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Ingevara (910) - SWEDEN - DEC 25, 2006
2006. Tempting magnum bottle, promising fragrance, high long lasting head. Fullbodied maltiness, balanced bitterness, a little smoke but not dominant. Full of spicies and not too much sugar or alcohol. STurde companion to any christmas meal.


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