overall
89
97
style
RATINGS: 2110   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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3.6
MoritzF (9901) - Ottobrunn, GERMANY - MAY 30, 2006
(bottle, vintage 2005, with many thanks to bierkoning !) Dark brown colour with a stable tanned mid-sized foam. Moderately sweet and slightly roasted malt aroma with a floral note of violets, toffee, liquorice and cinnamon. Bittersweet flavour, medium body, moderate carbonation. Roasty malty taste with liquorice, violets and citrus peel; dry, malty and spicy finish with a lasting aftertaste with chocolate and spices. Complex and tasty brew.

3
rgrep (156) - Wellington, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 27, 2006
Thanks to beer_ledgend for this one. Pours black with a light brown head. I’ve probably held on to this bottle for a bit too long as the aroma is barely there but I can still detect some toasty malt, a touch of cinnamon and tarry notes. The body is thinner than expected and drops off quickly without lingering. It has a spicy sweetness, some apple and a little astringency in the finish.

4.1
bhensonb (15191) - Woodland, California, USA - MAY 26, 2006
Hints of spice, tar and chocolate. Deep ruby color(under halogen). Malty, hoppy flavor with hints of creosote (tiny hints). Nice mouthfeel, not too thin. Aged well over the past few months, but perhaps this is where the tarry notes came from. Really it is quite tasty. Leaves the mouth with a dark, spicey, sort of astringent feeling. Can’t wait for 2006.

4.2
after4ever (8025) - Mukilteo, Washington, USA - MAY 22, 2006
UPDATED: JUN 12, 2006 12-oz bottle. Pours a deep piano-key ebony with a dense, substantial tan head that falls to lace within a couple of minutes. Definite soft fragrance of squash and some cinnamon. Creamy, pie-dough mouthfeel, with that spicy pumpkin coming through. Big roasty finish. Hops are there just enough to steady the flavor, rather than contrast or enhance it. Really a beautiful way to spend a winter evening...or, well, count down the last couple days before Memorial Day (put ice cubes in your pockets if you really need that frosty nip). Another Anchor triumph.

3.9
patrick767 (4063) - fort wayne, Indiana, USA - MAY 13, 2006
bottle - I tried this one far too late in the season (May), but it has a great Xmas aroma that brings to mind evergreen and spice. It pours dark brown with a big, tan head. The flavor is very spicey with loads of malt and some mild hops that’s more noticeable in the finish. The medium body is just about right for this ale. It could stand to be a bit more intensely hopped and have a little more body, but this is a very nice brew.

3.5
starfireming (309) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - MAY 11, 2006
Huge tan head(unchilled), lovely nearly opaque colour with hints of chestnut. Smells quite spicy, rather moldy. Gentle palate, intense flavours of basement and holly wreaths. Thick mouthfeel.

3.8
JFGrind (2047) - Glenside, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 30, 2006
I’ve been slowly consuming my case of OSA 2005 over the past five months and thought an appropiate time to rate it. After opening the bottle I’m greeted by a gingerbread nose, murky cola brown body and a thin tan head. Medium body with cocoa, licorice, and bitter sweet flavors. Reminded me of a spiced Old English Ale. I think Anchor Brewing is producing more quaffable OSA’s, I’m only half way through my 2005 case so I should be cellaring it for a few years.

3.7
bfeldmann (1050) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - APR 28, 2006
"Poured a dar dark brown almost black color with nice size tan head. Aroma was of spices and caramel malts and chocolate. Flavor was roast and spices there was some woody flavor in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel was a little thinier then i expected. "

4
PhillyBeer2112 (2850) - Oviedo, Florida, USA - APR 27, 2006
UPDATED: NOV 22, 2014 Update for the 2014 40th Anniversary edition. Its been years since I’ve last had this beer. Spices are light, nose is worty, caramel malt, hazelnuts, maybe a wee bit of nutmeg or ginger. A little smoky. Still that nice full malty palate, balanced and fluffy. No change to the numbers. Once again a very nice beer, but my experience tells me this is really something to age around 5 years. Pours a nice brown-garnet with a fluffy head. Big nose of nutmeg and ginger. A touch of molasses. Nutmeg dominates the flavor with a dry powdery character. The finish is off dry. Just a touch of cookie-ish molasses malts. The mouthfeel is soft, fluffy and velvety as always. Put a few years on it and its truly exceptional, I’m sure.

3.5
SudsMcDuff (8429) - .....Manchester United.........., Texas, USA - APR 25, 2006
UPDATED: APR 6, 2010 hahahaha....put me in a room and my fears and weaknesses will show....weakness #1 is good spiced xmas beer. i can’t help it. dark dark brown...good lacing...tan head...beutiful spice dust -Tar smell...tasty too! ..is quite full and complex....yes, xmas ales are my forte....man u, 4-0.....

rerate ’06...seems to be a let down but last years scores seem right, one less in taste, but overall has gone up slightly...

rerate:08 .. . this year seems darker .. Sat 12/06/08; drank while watching arsenal vs wigan .. .. lots of sweet pine, cherry, fruity all spice aromas .. big pretty head, impressive .. . a bit over spiced, would age well .. 5 years would be good .. . very x-masy, relaxs me ..


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