overall
89
97
style
RATINGS: 2109   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 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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3.8
HighlanderOne (1327) - York, SC via NJ, South Carolina, USA - DEC 22, 2006
Poured from bottle. 2006 batch. Looks like Guinness with a sloppier head. Malt, chocolate, clove, pine, and even mint in the aroma. Hops and malt blend well in the flavor, but theres something else, woody and bitter in there that lingeres into the aftertaste - could be ginger. Has a porter-like feel to it. Nice beer for a slow, winter drink.

3.2
BeerBelcher (972) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - DEC 22, 2006
I had this on-tap at Nessun Dorma in Milwaukee. This beer poured nearly black and was opaque (the bar was also pretty dim). It had a tan head with not too much staying power. It smelled of chocolate with no hop aroma. First taste had only a little hop and seemed a bit sour. Character of the beer improved as it got a bit warmer and an oaky-bourbony flavor came out. Mouthfeel was a bit thin, but I thought it drinkable. Overall this beer was decent, but not as good as some other winter warmers I’ve had this year including the Goose Island Christmas Ale.

3.5
madcow75 (426) - Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 21, 2006
bottle. Pours brown with a red hue when held up to the light. Thick light brown head. Fruit, leather, some toffee and spices in the aroma. Taste of toffee and some fruit, dry and finishes with some tobacco. Not bad for a holiday brew.

3.1
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
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 it’s not. Finishes dry, and even more woody, while the cinnemon lingers in my nose. Cloys badly in the finish, and the beer wasn’t even that sweet to deserve such an effect. Without the spice flavors and aromas, there’s nothing going on in this beer at all. This beer reaffirms my experience with Left Hand’s XXXmas, in that I just don’t want these darn spices in my beer.

2.3
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
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
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
chimpscampee (566) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 20, 2006
I don’t 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
Rune (12741) - Tromsø, NORWAY - DEC 20, 2006
355ml bottle, vintage 2005, bought at Ølbutikken 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).


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