RATINGS: 2069   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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3.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
TheEpeeist (3709) - Media, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 21, 2006
12 oz bottle - 2006. Burgundy brown with a short, smooth tan head. Grape, orange, cloves. I think sangria or mulled wine. Rather sharp and fizzy. Toffee is overwhelmed by wood alcohol and bitter spices. Sour apple with a chalky finish.

2.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
RollinHard (1024) - Fort Worth, Texas, USA - DEC 20, 2006
12oz "and later" bottle. Pours a dark redish brown with a small dissipating head. Aroma starts off really weak so I let the beer sit. Then the spices start peak through, which is nice for the aroma. Some nutmeg, ginger,wood, and cinnemon. Tastes of nutmeg, light toffee, and some off tangy quality that seems like it should be fruity, but its not. Finishes dry, and even more woody, while the cinnemon lingers in my nose. Cloys badly in the finish, and the beer wasnt even that sweet to deserve such an effect. Without the spice flavors and aromas, theres nothing going on in this beer at all. This beer reaffirms my experience with Left Hands XXXmas, in that I just dont want these darn spices in my beer.

2.3
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
aarossell (151) - Grandville, Michigan, USA - DEC 20, 2006
My bottle was 2006... brand new. Smells and looks a lot like soy sauce...add some strong ale aromas. Tastes okay. Not terrible...but I was expecting more of a spiced pale ale or something. oops. Very odd malts and sour flavors. Dark. Tan head.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
edfitz (118) - Toledo, Ohio, USA - DEC 20, 2006
Heavy malt aroma with hints of banana, toffee and spices. Frothy head with a red body. Moderately sweet with a bitter finish. Tastes of fruit and ginger. Maltier and creamier than other Christmas beers that I have had.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
chef201atc (261) - Fort Worth, Texas, USA - DEC 20, 2006
Deep, deep brown pour that light barely penetrates. Topped with a frothy dark tan head that dissipates quickly. Great nose ginger bread cookies and sweet dried fruit. I could smell this all night! Palate is somewhat thin and mildly carbonated. Taste is more bitter than the nose suggested. Some of the ginger comes through in the flavor. Has a nice dry finish.

2.5
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
chimpscampee (566) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 20, 2006
I dont know if aniseed and corianderar are part of the spicing but whateverit is it is gross. I taste cranberry more than cherry. Unbalanced with too much malt. Syrupy and a bit cloying. Yuck.

3.5
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Rune (11653) - Troms, NORWAY - DEC 20, 2006
355ml bottle, vintage 2005, bought at lbutikken in Copenhagen a year ago. I suppose one year aging in the cellar has enhanced the flavour. Pours a yellow-brownish head over a deep, rusty brown body. The smell is rather weak but dark fruit offset by vanilla can be detected. Rich and complex taste of aniseed, dark malty sweetness, black coffee and spicies (a pepper note). The beer finishes off with crisply bitterness. Medium palate (20.12.2006).

3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
grease (42) - Reno, Nevada, USA - DEC 20, 2006
An annual disappointer, the spices are always way too much in this beer. To Anchors credit, age can work wonders on some years. I had the pleasure of multiple vertical tastings of 20+ year-old to near-current bottles, and there were some real winners in the pile. 2006 has assertive spruce and other holiday spices, but not quite as intense as the last several years. Still, one bottle a year usually does it for me. Worthy of setting aside to follow the maturation.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
mocarmel (48) - Fortville, Indiana, USA - DEC 20, 2006
Nice even flavor. Taste like traditional anchor steam that has been malted up a bit. Slightly chocolate/vanilla overtones.

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
brigg (643) - Washington DC, USA - DEC 19, 2006
(bottle) Dark mahogany body with thick brown head. Aroma has chocolate, cherry, spices, and is moderately sweet. Taste is medium sweet with a hint of fruit (cherry, among others); rich dark chocolate and roasted coffee. Light to medium body but leaving a mouth-coating film afterwards.


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