RATINGS: 2104   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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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   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
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. "

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
PhillyBeer2112 (2803) - Oviedo, Florida, USA - APR 27, 2006
UPDATED: NOV 22, 2014 Update for the 2014 40th Anniversary edition. Its been years since Ive 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, Im sure.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
SudsMcDuff (8296) - .....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 cant 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 ..

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jb (3154) - Rochester, New York, USA - APR 23, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 9, 2015 2005 - Great look - dark reddish brown with tan head with good lacing. Aroma of mostly cinnamon, palate is rich and creamy - chocolate, yeast, some hops and loads of malt. These special anchor ales are always a treat. 2006 - nice dark porterish stuff. Served on draft in a Belgian-styled goblet. Thick tan head. Aroma of chocolate, toffee, molasses. Faint spices also. Malty palate, faint smoky taste. Decent, much less Christmas spices than most Ive had this year. 2014 - an outstanding year. Clear, dark, orange highlight, 1 inch head. thick lacing. Heavy nutmeg presence in nose and palate. Sweet, delicious smooth rich palate. Not super complex.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Scubatrip (610) - Annandale, Virginia, USA - APR 17, 2006
From the tap, pours very black without much of a head but nice lacing. Very sweet to the nose and tongue. Definite cherries and sweet maltiness. I liked this one.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
STEPHENDR (478) - California, USA - APR 14, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 5, 2008 Anchor xmas 2006dark chocolate color, not a strong nose, chewy body, a bright malty beer that tastes of raw cookie dough slightly bitter finish Anchor xmas 2007 app 9 nose 8 taste 8 body 3 overall 16 12 oz. glass bottle- color of deep reddish brown, with a lingering coffee colored head - nose of malt, nutmeg, bubblegum, and wisp of hops taste of malt, coffee, some spiced and hint of bitterness- body is medium to full, and slightly oily, and with medium to high carbonation aftertaste of coffee grounds , and dark chocolate

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
beastiefan2k (3822) - HdG (past: NYC, KS, Rain City), Maryland, USA - APR 11, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 13, 2008 2005 bottle. First thing I have to write is the flavor is chocolate mixed with some sort of spice/herb. Poured into small Sam Adams glass. No head. Color is black. Smell is distinct, some sort of spice. Body is medium, Taste is great, like I mentioned off the bat. Finishes with no bitterness at all.

Rerate time: 2005 bottle. This one split into snifter glasses. This beer without a doubt is much better than the 3 previous vintages I have drank tonight. Taste is still chocolate heavy with some spices in the background. Has not changed much in the past year. Rating will stay the same.

2006 bottle. A slightly different version where the spices overtake the chocolate which I loved so much in the previous version. A bit more bitterness to this version. Not so much a fan as the 2005.

Re-rate 2006 bottle I cannot believe, how much a year (plus) has done to this beer and how much better it tastes. Just what I like about this beer, the chocolate from the malt comes in and the spices easy off just a bit but still there. Very easy drink, this seems to be a bit more carbonated then I remember any other vintage. In the past 5 years or so.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Ibrew2or3 (8493) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - APR 2, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 20, 2008 2006, consumed during our 2002 to 2006 vertical, Dec. 2008. Typical OSA pour with nearly opaque brown body and mocha head. The aroma is fantastic with rich dark fruitiness, dark molasses, toffee, earthiness, wow. The taste is rich too with perfectly ripe black grapes, chocolate, faint burnt molasses and smooth winter spices. Very nice. 2005, consumed during our 2002 to 2006 vertical, Dec. 2008. Another typical OSA pour with nearly opaque brown body and mocha head. The aroma has lots of smooth blunted spices, gingerbread, dark rye bread, dry earthiness and filberts and hazel nuts. The taste is very similar. Yum. I get a mixture of gingerbread cookies, some rye twang, a bit of velvety dark chocolate, earthiness and rounded out by filbert and hazel nut like nuttiness.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Gusler (2653) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - APR 2, 2006
UPDATED: NOV 29, 2007 Release 2007 The beer departs the stubby 12-ounce bottle a clear brown with a portly creamy light tan head; as it evaporates, the lace provides a thin curtain to drape the glass. Nose has a sweet malt aroma, followed closely by the spices, cinnamon, and cloves, crisp and clean. Start is decently malted, sweet and a touch of bite at the back, top is moderate in feel. Finish has a determined acidity, the hops perfect; the spicy sweetness carries to the end, as always a good drinking beer that only gets better with age. Anchor Our Special Ale 2006 The beer pours from the stubby 12 ounce brown bottle a deep mahogany color, the head modest in size, the color a light tan and the texture creamy as it fades away, the lace forms a concealing blanket to cover the glass. Nose has a sweet malt presence, spicy and appetizing, hints of pine. Start has a nice malt profile, the top light to moderate in feel. Finish is sternly acidic, somewhat sweet, the hops delightful, and the aftertaste dry and lingering, a good beer, but one that improves with age. Release 2005 Upon its extraction from the 12-ounce stubby brown bottle, the beer sets in the glass jet-black with a creamy tan head that is mountainous in size as its slowly fades to nothingness, the lace forms a thick blanket to obscure the glass. Nose is sweet with hints of Oak, Cherries, maple syrup, quite a treat for the old schnozzle, start is lightly sweet, the grain presence delightful, top is light to medium in its feel. Finish is delectable in its acidity, the hops pleasingly spicy, the aftertaste dry and long lasting, a fine drinking beer that does improve with a little age.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Tmoney99 (14189) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - APR 1, 2006
Bottle. Poured a black color with a huge frothy light brown head that lasted. Good complex sweet spicy aroma. Medium body with a sticky texture. Good sweet bitter spicy flavor with an average finish. Complex good brew.

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