RATINGS: 2102   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 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
FatPhil (15298) - 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. Anchors 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?

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
Marduk (6996) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
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 havent even eaten dinner yet. Aww, its good anyway.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
llucmaduell (220) - barcelona, SPAIN - JAN 23, 2017
A beer of understanding I have not finished or not finished dagradar MHA. I found the little balanced, long way in the mouth, low density water, little gas. A beer correct but does not repeat.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
jybi (201) - FRANCE - JAN 17, 2017
Voici une belle surprise avec cette Merry Christmas 2016 Happy New Year de chez Anchor. Mme si le titrage alcoolique est un peu faible (6,5% Abv) pour une bire hivernale et que celui-ci aurait gagn tre augmente pour renforcer la puissance de la bire, celui-ci est bien utilis pour rsultat une bire harmonieuse, juste et agrable. Ltiquette prsente une approche un peu diffrente des classiques, avec une nouvelle anne sous le signe de la renaissance et du symbole de larbre pour le solstice dhiver. Je vais tre plus terre terre et mintresser notre breuvage qui doit tre avant tout festif ! En verre, notre Anchor, prsente une belle robe dun brun profond et se pare dune multitude de fines bulles la rendant des plus gracieuses. Une mousse beige, nappe convenablement la bire de 3 5 mm dpaisseur. Le nez est trs beau se portant sur la cerise, le pruneau et le caf sur de jolies notes pices de rglisse et de cannelle procurant une sensation de vin chaud. Lattaque sur le malt, le caramel et le rglisse est un peu en dedans mais prpare bien lentre en matire de lamertume qui est douce sur des notes de caf. Larrire bouche sintgre quant elle parfaitement bien, soyeuse sur des armes de cerise et de candi. Lensemble est trs chaleureux et parfaitement homogne. Le final laisse quant lui sexprimer des notes de cherry avec des belles variations autour de la rglisse. La longueur, malgr les 6,5 % Abv est trs correct. En conclusion, il sagit ici dune trs belle bire qui brille par son quilibre. Avec un peu plus de puissance et un brin de complexit en plus, je ne serai pas rest sur terre...je serai mont sur le pin!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
dnstone (2964) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - JAN 16, 2017
Poured a deep brown color with an off-white head. Mild roast aroma with some hints of spice. Medium bodied, rich flavor with some spiced character; holiday bread is a good comparison. Quite nice. Notes: Magnum bottle shared by PJ at our brew session, Jan 17
Earlier Rating: 12/11/2012 Total Score: 2.7
d that mostly settles off. Aroma is like a spiced roasted lager. Tastes the same way with some vegetable and rd apple notes. Not my favorite.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Drjohnrock (761) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JAN 15, 2017
Twelve ounce bottle of the 2016 edition at my nieces house (thanks, Darci) on December 24, 2016. Almost opaque ruby/brown color, nice sweet/spicy aroma with some earthy notes, fine flavor like the nose but with what tastes like a liquefied spruce tree (in a good way) thrown in. Great stuff.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Blairgus (4389) - California, USA - JAN 15, 2017
15 Jan 2016, bottle. dark brown and foamy head. nose is dark brown banana bread. med body and mildly fizzy. banana bread up front, banana lingers, burnt dark bread comes out toward the end. sweet up front and mildly bitter at the end. nice.
Earlier Rating: 4/18/2011 Total Score: 3.4
27 Nov 2014, bottle. 2014 vintage. dark ruby. nose is spiced up front with caramel malt backbone. med body and fizzy. has a very burnt malt element, there is a sharp spice i cant place. decent. (7 3 7 3 14 = 3.4) 16 nov 2013, bottle. 2013 vintage. Dark ruby/brown. Nose is gingerbread. Thin body and moderately fizzy. Ginger and lightly toasted molasses cookies. Nice. (7 3 7 3 14 = 3.4) 5 Dec 2011, bottle. 2011 vintage. dark ruby, clear, no bubbles, thin foamy head. aroma is ginger and toast. not as gingery as 2010, nor is there as much chocolate. but it does seem quite similar. med body and fizzy. ginger is there but not as prominent even as in the aroma. there is a tart/teeth on edge malty flavor, and some burnt toast. just okay. 28 Nov 2010, bottle. 2010 vintage. (9 3 8 3 15 = 3.8) dark ruby brown colour, clear w/ a couple bubbles. great ginger nose w/ some spicy (ginger) kick. wow! i like this. a ginger beer w/ a dark chocolate element. thin/med body and too fizzy and needs more alcohol. i like that ive never had a beer like this before. ginger and dark chocolate. awesome!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
msbernac (2325) - Krakow, POLAND - JAN 13, 2017
Bottle Aroma-caramel, honey Appearance-black, hazy, tan foam, Taste-medium bitterness, medium sourness, light sweetness, Palate-medium body, sticky, average carbonation, long finish, Overall-very good

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
suurjuust (3256) - ESTONIA - JAN 13, 2017
355ml bottle. Dark brown beer, small beige head. Nose is cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, mild roast. Flavor is similar ti the nose, but with more cinnamon and cloves, some malty acidity and chocolate notes. Fairly dry finish. Lighter palate than expected, but its also less interesting than expected. Its not bad or anything, just lacks that certain je ne sais quoi.

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