overall
89
97
style
RATINGS: 2107   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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3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Radek Kliber (7293) - Toronto (Can) Krotoszyn (Pol), POLAND - NOV 23, 2006
Botlle.2006. Pours as deep ruby red ale with reddish-copper fine top. Aroma very Christmas like, ginger, nutmeg, light hint of vanilla and perhaps juniper? Medium bodied, smooth soft texture. Above mentioned aroma blended with brown sugar and cookie dough. Late chewy finish with green and herbal hop charcter.There is a lot of ingredients here. Christmas beer indeed. Highly recommended for that night, celebrate with pleasure.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Beer5000 (6375) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - NOV 23, 2006
12 oz bottle. Nice dark red, almost black body with a thick light brown head. Aroma is slightly roasted and spicy. Very pleasant flavor, a medium body porter with a well balanced spice mix of cloves, ginger and fruit. Almost a bit cookie flavor. This gives me a nice Christmas feeling.

3.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
ganache (5773) - New Jersey, USA - NOV 21, 2006
Bottle. Spicy aroma with cherry, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, orange peel, light molasses, and unidentified herb. Really smells of the holiday season! Great brownish-bloodwine-colored body with a light brown head. Bitter and slightly sour taste. Light chocolate and cherry, spices listed above are restrained to the point of near-elimination. Extremely earthy notes, very dark feel on the whole. Heavy, full body with spice texture, otherwise silky cream. Aftertaste is very dry and bitter, of the earthy and woody variety. Earthy hops are light. Very unusual ... me likes, but me doesnt love.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
MrBendo (1064) - Swedesboro, New Jersey, USA - NOV 20, 2006
UPDATED: NOV 7, 2007 2006 Bottle. Poured a cloudy deep burgundy, with a medium, long lasting head. Aroma of orange peel, cinnamon, sweet fruits. Taste of sweet caramel malts, raisins, finish of hops. Thick and mildly sticky texture. A very good christmas-time beer.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
marchcow (664) - Coralville, Iowa, USA - NOV 18, 2006
Bottle 2006 version. Strong malty and yeasty aroma. Hay and wet wool, earthy and natural. Good strong dark color with thick dissipating tan head. Good carbonation. Balanced towards a bitter and dryish finish but well balanced and smooth. Slight spiciness. Creamy mouthfeel that drys out. Slight coffee aftertaste. Very good and drinkable.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
drinkbeer (283) - Redondo Beach, California, USA - NOV 17, 2006
2006. smooth, dark, tight carbonation. just the way I like it. This ale turns me on. tan head dissipates fairly quickly. ga ga ga ginger. i love my Ginny gin ginger. Cloves. I love my clovey clove cloves. The smell, no its not exactly williams-sonoma, because it is fresh pine tree. It is winter solstace. Just feel the beer. literaly, touch it, play with it. Caress it. Gently though. It is a fine ale to be indulged this time of year. So go ahead...Indulge!

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Hangover (1133) - oxford, Georgia, USA - NOV 14, 2006
2006. Dark brown pour with a huge creamy tan head with nice lace and head retention. Aroma is of rich caramel, pine needles, chocolate, roasted malts and citrus hops. Taste has an initially agressive and carbonated mouthfeel, big on flavor. More of the spice/nutmeg towards the middle but Im a bit distracted by the citrus notes. Finish is bitter and long. Good for a seasonal, not something I could drink very often.

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
CigarsLoveBeer (153) - Illinois, USA - NOV 13, 2006
Bottle, 06 vintage. Attractive tan head. Dark color. Malt, cloves, and licorice aromas. interesting, but somewhat mild. The taste was much the same, with a somewhat interesting colection of sweet spices noted in this beer towards the end. The finish was dry, mild, and lingering. Body was much lighter than expected. Seems like it could go well with spicy or smokey food, as well as vegetable dishes.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
unclemattie (4358) - Georgia, USA - NOV 12, 2006
Dark brownish-red with a light tan head. Woody aroma. Maybe a little nutmeg or clove too. Slightly tangy on the palate. Smokey finish. This would go great with some smoked salmon, cheese, and crackers right about now! Honestly, not all that impressed this year.
Earlier Rating: 9/15/2006 Total Score: 4
Deep brown reddish color. dark malt flavor. dried fruit, figs, raisins, dates. some spice, some pine.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jblendy (519) - Hawthorne, New Jersey, USA - NOV 11, 2006
Pours very dark brown with a nice tan head. Sweet, spicy, malty aroma, and flavor follows well. Cinnamon and nutmeg dominate the flavor, but there is still a nice maltiness and body to it. Fairly balanced, but with a slightly watery but still thick body. Great for the season, but not something Id want year round. So I guess they got it right.


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