overall
89
97
style
RATINGS: 2105   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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3.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
madnorwegian (209) - FRANCE - DEC 14, 2016
Really enjoyed this one. Often Xmas brews are too boozy and sweet. This one has malty fruitiness but also nice crisp bitterness. A good one.

3.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
Jashiu (933) - Gdask, POLAND - DEC 14, 2016
2016 edition on tap @Lawendowa 8 Gdańsk (Dec 2016)
Very spicy aroma full of cinnamon, nutmeg and plentiful others. Some molasses and caramel also present. Taste is sweet and very weak bodied, feels watery and that was a disappointment.

2.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
Sledutah (7384) - Utah, USA - DEC 12, 2016
12oz bottle from the state store
Pours clear dark brown with a small beige head, light lacing. Aroma of toasted malts, cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin spices. Flavor of dark fruit, nutty, caramel, bready and spices
Ok, but I wouldnt recommend it.
Earlier Rating: 12/13/2010 Total Score: 3.4
2009 bottle shared at the SLC holiday tasting
Appearance: Dark brown with a medium off-white head and good lacing
Aroma: Pine and brown sugar
Taste: Pine and dark fruits
Very nice

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Sarlacc83 (2201) - Portland, Oregon, USA - DEC 12, 2016
2006 bottle thanks to Douglas. A: Pure black with a cappuccino head. N: Cola, all-spice, pumpkin malt, minerality, oxidation, some toffee, and a good amount of clove. T: Sweet and a bit spicy. M: Medium body, no alcohol, soft carbonation. O: Still going. This has aged decently, though I wouldnt let it go any farther before consuming lest it fall apart.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Saeglopur (2024) - Vienna Woods, AUSTRIA - DEC 12, 2016
355 ml bottle from BeerLovers, bb 08-2018.
Dark copper-brown body, with a big, creamy, lacing, dark beige head.
Aroma of nuts, dark bread, dried fruits, spices, some banana, some cocoa.
Tastes of dark bread, cocoa, spices, dried fruits, roasted nuts, some toast, some liquorice.
Medium, oily mouthfeel, with an average carbonation.
Finishes smooth, roasty, a bit dry, toasty, bready, a bit spicy, with cocoa and some roasted nuts.

Nice one. Smooth and well balanced, with a well hidden alcohol. Less spicy than previous Anchor Christmas Ales Ive had, but with interesting dark bready and medium roasty notes instead. Im just missing the last bit of character maybe, while it still is a pleasant, dark winter ale.
Earlier Rating: 12/16/2014 Total Score: 3.7
355 ml bottle from Ammersin 5 Vienna, 2014 version.
Dark copper body, with a medium, creamy, beige head.
Aroma of yeast, christmas spices, dried fruits, some chocolate.
Taste follows this pretty much, with some more subtle bitter hops.
Quite full, creamy mouthfeel, with an average carbonation.
Finishes very spicy, quite dry, a bit bitter hoppy and slightly sweet malty.

Nice! Not my favourite Anchor beer, but a nice christmas beer, quite unique, with lots of spices. Lacks the last bit of character though in my opinion.

2.7
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
jflopsu (1532) - New Jersey, USA - DEC 10, 2016
Pours a dark brown with brown head. A malt based aroma with caramel. A watered down and sweet caramel taste with raisins. A sweet caramel and dark fruit malt aftertaste.
Earlier Rating: 12/24/2013 Total Score: 3.6
Pours a dark black with a thick light brown head. A mix aroma of dark fruit, Christmas spices, and some malt. Taste is light with a mix of fruit, spices including cinnamon and nutmeg, malt, some raisins and light coffee. A light aftertaste. Overall a good Christmas beer which I purchased in a 51oz bottle.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Kleg (192) - The Beach, Florida, USA - DEC 10, 2016
Opaque black pour with a small beige head and fair retention. No lacing. Soft dark malt flavor with a light spice taste. Smooth mouthfeel with a warming finish.

3
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
emacgee (4662) - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA - DEC 10, 2016
Dark copper brown pour with a profuse mocha tan head. Nose shows spice and burnt sugar with prune juice and dried fruit. Some light oxidation and grassy/earthy notes. Flavor is a touch sharp with some dry and bitter spices. Dark fruit and some caramel. Medium body. Meh.
Earlier Rating: 11/6/2011 Total Score: 3.5
Dark garnett brown pour, black in the glass. Two fingers of sticky tan head. Very interesting nose, notes of star anise and licorice with sweet malt and birch syrup and a hint of herbal hops. Flavor kind of falls flat, needs body and background character for the spice profile. This beer as it is is a white canvas for spices as opposed to a beer whose character is supported by spices. Needs more going on than "natural flavors".

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Sparf (269) - SWEDEN - DEC 9, 2016
rgng 2015. Halvst och aningen alkoholbemngd doft. Julkryddor och kavring, ven en slng av kaffe. Helt svart brygd med ett snabbt avtagande skum som lmnar en snygg hinna. Smaken r mustig och kombinerar kaffe och beska i brjan, drefter kakao, aning vanilj och muskot. Torr avrundning. Frvnansvrt tunn kropp och en vlavvgd kolsyra.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
tightslice (1187) - Redwood City, California, USA - DEC 5, 2016
Bottle from Whole Foods Market in Redwood City, CA. Aroma is cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, raisins, spiced breads. Taste is cloves, raisins...great balance of spice and sweet (without being too cloying or overwhelming). Very festive.
Earlier Rating: 11/11/2014 Total Score: 3.7
Format: Bottle from Whole Foods in Redwood City, CA
Aroma: Cloves, cinnamon, burnt sugar, light pine
Taste: Mild sweetness up front, then earthy hops and a tangy sweetness left in the mouth
Palate: Tingly carbonation, light body
Overall: A solid option for those who enjoy the seasonal autumn / pumpkin beers


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