overall
89
97
style
RATINGS: 2096   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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hetyu's rating

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
hetyu (273) - - MAR 2, 2013
Bottle (2012) - Darkest brown with small town ring of head. Christmas spice aroma, lots of clove, slightly perfumed and floral. Taste is rich malty, cocoa, clove, toffee mad molasses. Medium bodied with a clean finish.


4.4
deepdrinker (314) - Leeds, ENGLAND - DEC 9, 2017
UPDATED: DEC 10, 2017 Pours jet black with a browny white head. Nut and spice aroma. Coffee taste. Very nice ale

3.6
kajser27 (2063) - Zagreb, CROATIA - DEC 7, 2017
Dark brown to black colored, medium+ frothy tan head, not all that lasting. Aroma is of malt, dark chocolate, roasty, spices, aniseed?, toasty, bit bready. Taste is medium sweet malt, chocolate and roasted malt, spices, toasty, some caramel, bready, licorice, light orange peel?, medium roasty bitterness, dryish finish. Medium bodied, soft+ carbonation, bit creamy.
(bottle 2017, Pivoteka, Zagreb)

2.7
ghostbeer (250) - Nebraska, USA - DEC 7, 2017
I thought this was a very nice winter seasonal. The warm spices and the rich base beer worked together well. I got lots of clove and some allspice which made me want pumpkin pie or cranberry sauce to go with it.

2.9
thejackpacker (672) - East Sussex, ENGLAND - DEC 5, 2017
Bottle from systembolaget. Aroma is deep and thick but no overall master flavour. The apperance, dark with a lovely stout like coffee style fizz. The taste is much darker than most christmas ales, more like a stout. Smoke, dark malts, burnt wood charcol. Not a massive fan of this ale/stout hybrid flavour.

3.4
williamlantz (54) - - DEC 3, 2017
UPDATED: DEC 3, 2017 2017: Dark, almost black colour with a tan head. Aroma: liquorice, some caramel, malt, earthy notes, some wood and spices. Taste: liquorice, salt, roasted malt, plums, a little cacao, some sweetness.

2.9
geologyguy (1670) - Columbia, South Carolina, USA - DEC 1, 2017
Smell is of tobacco...some chocolate maybe...dark malt mostly...taste is dark malt with a light bitterness...some complexity...lightly bitter finish...meh..had at casual pint with Megan, John and the young crew

3.5
mjmoen (608) - - NOV 20, 2017
C-. Pours a dark brown color with khaki head. The after taste is not pleasant.

4
eallenbrown (35) - - NOV 11, 2017
A spice beer bug hiding more depth than your typical pumpkin offering. Ginger cinnamon and fennel come through with notes of molasses and other dark fruits, and the roasted male holds up to those additions nicely. Not my personal favorite, but really well done for a spice. Only misstep is they could have brought mire hoppy pine bites in with the right finishing hops. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

3.7
oobawa (1789) - Tennessee, USA - NOV 6, 2017
2017 bottle. A bit of a pleasant surprise, not as heavily spiced and overbearing as most Winter Warmers, more herbal and dry than a liquid gingerbread cookie. Seems hoppier than the last OSA I drank--granted, it was several years ago--and comes across far more invested in bright green pine, anise, and juniper notes (maybe spruce tips) with an underlying malt sweetness that mixes caramel-slathered bread with mild hefe hints of banana and clove. Finishes bready and bittersweet. Definitely grows on you as it warms. Good year to buy a sixer.

3.6
balloonbuffoon (647) - - NOV 4, 2017
12floz bottle, 2017 edition (I didn't bother to check to convert date code to mm.dd.yyyy format), $1.75 unit cost, mug glass. I've had this beer many times through its releases. Sometimes I've even aged a few for a year to no detrimental nor incremental affect on quality (spice notes tend to smooth out, never went beyond a year). Well as with previous editions, this beer is similar - dark with a moderate amount of tan head, notes of cardamon, cinnamon, toasted malt, black licorice prevail in aroma and taste, all set to brown porter base that is medium in body. I'm detecting more of the spice notes than in prior experience. I chalk it up to my impression at the moment, which is to say less favorable than other times. Reviewed as 3.6, but this could fluctuate based on past/future experience and circumstances as much as +/- 0.5 points (this can be said for many beers, but this one especially). All that be said, I consider this to be a good holiday beer that I once considered to be an exotic beer.


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