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 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
detroiter (958) - Euphoria, Minnesota, USA - JAN 13, 2007
2006 Version. Pours a dark brown, with two inches or more of soft and sudsy tan foam. Good head retention, decent webby lace. Mild spice and chocolate in the nose. Flavor dry chocolate malt with LOTS of drier spice that reminds me of Celestial Seasonings Roast-A-Roma herbal tea. Id enjoy these flavors better in a subordinate role, rather than as the main attraction. A bit of licorice and leather in there too. Smooth, nice carbonation, medium body. A bit too much spice for my taste.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
slimchill (1044) - Austin, Texas, USA - JAN 11, 2007
UPDATED: JAN 7, 2009 2006 Bottle. Nose is pine, some malty sweetness, cinnamon and clove. Pours a dark amber with a patchy but steady brown head. Taste is very Christmas, also very piney and lots of spice. Palate is somewhat thin but crisp.

2007 Bottle. Sweet grape nose with a touch of caramel. Very little spice with a touch of alcohol. Deep amber with a thin brownish head. Lots of grape flavor, mild sweetness with a soft palate well-balanced malt complexities.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
irishsnake (355) - Oakland, California, USA - JAN 11, 2007
beer pours a very pretty, ruby-tited deep brown, with a tan head that retains well and leaves massive lace. nose is of course spicy, but not as over-the-top as some years (no pine sol, not super clovey). chocolate notes in the aroma, along with, perhaps, some light cinamon, and maybe some cardamom. flavor is again more beer-like than some other years, with the spices adding nuance to a flavor that again has bitter chocolate notes. pleasing vintage of this brew. perhaps some astringency in the finish.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
decaturstevo (6061) - decatur, Tennessee, USA - JAN 9, 2007
An aroma of raisins and spice. A dark brown pour with guey lacing. A flavor of toasted malt with little to no alcohol. A surprisingly dry bitter finish that has a bit of a twang. Not a bad beer just not one of my faovorite styles.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
swoopjones (7020) - Buffalo, New York, USA - JAN 9, 2007
2006 On tap @ Coles Buffalo, NY. Dark brown with Khaki head. Always something different & usually good. 2006 no exception. Usual suspects of pine, nutmeg, chocolate & cinnamon. Enjoyable again.

2.7
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
thebaldwizard (1206) - Ohio, USA - JAN 9, 2007
The aroma was like A-1 steak sauce--very smokey too. Very dark brown body with a tan head. The palate was thin to medium. Tangy roasted malt with hops in the finish, and a beef jerky flavor throughout. I was dissapointed with this one.

3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
foduck (330) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JAN 9, 2007
I dont know if its me that changed or the beer that changed but it doesnt seem as good as previous years. Too sweet and cloying now. I seem to remember more spice before.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
beerheart (237) - Erie, Colorado, USA - JAN 8, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 27, 2008 2006. Deep brown color with hints of red. Thin creamy head. Nice lacing. Hints of chocolate. Spicy aroma. Full bodied. Sweet chocolate taste. Lite alcohol finish. Stellar brew. Had the 2002 on cask at the Gingerman in Houston in December 2004. That was un-freakin-believable. 2008. I think this went toward an English or even Belgian strong ale. Very malty.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
AskForJenny (1077) - Ontario, New York, USA - JAN 8, 2007
2006 12oz - Gift from PR; Dark tan head over molasses colored liquid. Roasted malts on nose, blueberries and cinnamon on palate, then licorice, then bitter malt. A fun one.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BeerPrince (1701) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 8, 2007
This was the 2006 edition. A very good ale with a nice spice balance with the malty base. Nice spruce and pine aroma and flavour with bittering hops throughout. Quite rich and tasty.


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