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 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
R4N5H (1163) - NETHERLANDS - FEB 7, 2017
35.5cl bottle poured into a snifter on 1-Feb-2017. Dark brown with a medium sized beige coloured head. Aroma of sweet malt, spices and cocoa, Medium body and carbonation. Taste of chocolate, vanilla, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon. Light bittersweet malty finish. Enjoyable seasonal.

3.8
HourGlass13 (845) - North Carolina, USA - FEB 7, 2017
Poured a clear dark brown with a frothy off white head. The aroma is grainy malt, alcohol, dark fruit, some yeast. The flavor is moderate sweet, with a healthy dose of spices, earthy and organic. Rich and smooth, some dark fruits, and hop bitter, with a slight smoke hint. Medium heavy bodied with average carbonation. A real nice ale.

3.5
thorongil2 (2995) - , Ontario, CANADA - FEB 3, 2017
(Tap) clear, bright dark reddish amber colour with a small brown head; aroma of milk chocolate, hint of jam, then roast and chocolate liqueur; smooth palate; balanced flavour with a long, light bitter finish

4.2
freekyp (2192) - Thomasville, North Carolina, USA - FEB 2, 2017
Anchor’s Xmas ale never disappoints and 2016’s vintage is no exception. Less malty with less fruit cake character, this one is earthier and smoky, not unlike a wee heavy, but with a healthy dose of wintry spices. Ginger and clove stand out. Dark fruits and lightly sour raisins in there too. Rich but tempered by a sprightly fizz that works well in context. Sampled through a Fizzics, a creamy sweet malty body was bolstered by the treatment.
Earlier Rating: 12/3/2007 Total Score: 3
Utterly unique and a fascinating quaff. A very pretty beer to behold pouring a dark mahogony and capped with a resilient rocky tan head. The nose is sweet and roasty, not unlike a porter, but there is also a dollop of molasses and perhaps maple thrown in. The flavor is much the same with molasses and licorice playing a strong part in the finish. Blindfolded I would have pegged this as some sort of gruit ale. I love an adventuresome brew and Anchor certainly had some fun here. Inspiring!

3.7
Palidor19 (3186) - Brandon, Florida, USA - FEB 1, 2017
Highly bubbly with a strong rich head. Notes of dark fruit, bread, yeast, toasted nuts. For the winter beer drink ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Earlier Rating: 12/29/2005 Total Score: 3.9
More on the fruity side and less on the X-mas side of taste. Still very good though. Taste a little tart with with fruit. Mild Chocolate notes. A real pleasure to drink

3
Juks (438) - Tallinn, ESTONIA - FEB 1, 2017
355ml bottle, thanks Marduk! Almost black, dark brown with very small beige head. Aroma is sweet, gingerbread, cinnamon, nutmeg, some coffe beans. Taste is bittersweet, cinnamon, some hopiness, spruce. Long aftertaste with chocolatey, resinous notes. Quite lively carbo, medium bodied. Drinkable ok brew, but nothing special.

2.8
FatPhil (15961) - Tallinn, ESTONIA - FEB 1, 2017
355ml bottle - thanks Marduk!
Sickly sweet aroma, some solventy aspects. Dark. Molasses, spicy, erm, what and why? This is no "our special ale", this is an amateurish immitation. Dry harsh finish.
Earlier Rating: 6/22/2007 Total Score: 4.1
Keg (Gallows Bird, Espoo)
Really dark, almost black, tight cappuccino head. Huge aroma - dark fruits, spices and ginger. Huge, but wonderfully well integrated range of tastes. Dark fruits, raisins, plenty of chocolate malt, burnt caramel, and some tantalising spices - some not out of place in a christmas pudding. Anchor’s best ever beer (so far...) (8-4-9-4-16=4.1)
Rerate: Bottle 2007, drunk 2010-01 (7,4,8,5,15=3.8)
Really mellowed, rich, spices also mellow. A proper non-gimicky winter ale. Lovely smooth palate,carbonation soft. Finish delicately burnt, but very liquoricey. BCs well.
Rerate: Bottle 2010, drunk fresh (7,4,7,4,14=3.6)
Sweet spicy aroma, very spicy - cakey. Deep red, small ring head.. Spicy - woh!!! mint! Full and roasty body, but the mint comes through so much. Full palate, sweetly smooth, crisp carbonation. Finish has roasted choco. Very drinkable, packed full of flavour. Refreshing. Good, but possibly weak compared to prior ones. Too light?

2.8
Marduk (7580) - Reval, ESTONIA - FEB 1, 2017
355ml bottle. Clear very dark brown color. Medium size, yellowish head, stays. Sweetish, spruce, fruity, malty and some plastic in aroma. Sweet, caramel, toffee, spruce, some heat in taste. Spruce, tar and some caramel in aftertaste. Fizzy carbonation. Sweet and sticky and tarry brew. Drinkable brew.

3.2
kidmartinek (4999) - austin, Texas, USA - JAN 30, 2017
Dark beer, A lot of gingerbread. Very Christmasy beer. Dark red brown. Aks aks puff ram.
Earlier Rating: 11/15/2012 Total Score: 3.4
Pours red tinted amber. Whole wheat flour and ginger aroma. Tastes.like straight mile gingerbread cookie. Strong bite and creamy mouthfeel. Good if you want desert but I haven’t even eaten dinner yet. Aww, its good anyway.

3.9
llucmaduell (247) - barcelona, SPAIN - JAN 23, 2017
A beer of understanding I have not finished or not finished d’agradar MHA. I found the little balanced, long way in the mouth, low density water, little gas. A beer correct but does not repeat.


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