overall
90
97
style
RATINGS: 2102   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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2.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 1/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
shendrix (478) - Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 21, 2007
Well, a decidedly interesting brew. More complexity than I expect from an ale. The boquet of this one gives something away immediately--it smells vaguely of pine. Sure enough, the flavor betrays a bit of lemon zest on the back of the tongue, a hint of nutmeg, and an overtaste of spruce. Not so bad as one might think, though nothing I would want in a daily drinker. Worth trying once though.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Egon (478) - Gothenburg, SWEDEN - DEC 18, 2007
Draught. Black, small white head. Spicy and dry. The spices dominate, maybe a bit too much? Is it ginger? Medium body. Interesting beer but some might not like it due to the Christmas spices.

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
JoshuaB (476) - Detroit, Michigan, USA - DEC 2, 2005
Very cool looking. Deep garnet with lots of foamy tan head. Nose is mad gingerbread, along with some pine, dark malts, and light spicing. Taste is different, but nice. Starts out with some nice semisweet malts and then progresses to involve ginger, light hops, cinnamon, pine, a nice sourness, and some chocolate. More chocolate undertones, its tart and bitter near the end. A good effort. Not a cookie cutter Christmas ale by any means, and by far the most complex. Cant really drink more than one of these in a setting, but I will enjoy my sixer within the next couple weeks.

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
HopBackDoc (474) - Hatboro, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 5, 2006
2006 batch. Pours black with small tan head. Aroma of grains, spice and yeast. Big malt flavor and mild carbonation. Accented with coffee, some chocolate and a berry in the finish. Not bad.

2.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 8/20
MrRain (472) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - DEC 17, 2008
12oz bottle poured into an English pint, starting temperature is 39 degrees F. AOSA 2008 pours dark burgundy with a medium-sized off-white head. This is a pretty beer. The aroma consists of mild hops, spicy nutmeg, a hint of mint. The flavor is very spicy. The flavors tend to sit on the beer rather than blend with the beer. The flavors include nutmeg and pepper with a thin caramel base. The beer could be a bit thicker to help absorb the spices. The finish is spicy and leaves the feeling of raw ingredients in your mouth.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
ElBorracho (472) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 19, 2005
On tap at The Village Tap. Poured nice and dark with a thin head. Lots of coffee, burnt wood, clove, and other spices. Finishes with a really nice hop kick that really makes this one stand out. This is good one that makes the impending cold a bit easier to take.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
M82 (469) - Kansas, USA - NOV 8, 2013
Three year aged 2010 offers big cherry characteristics adorned with chocolatey, caramelly, spiced biscuit, bold flavor from a quaffable, slightly sticky medium

A deep mahogany body supports a fading, tight, delicate, frothy head which fades to a thick ring
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I cant believe how well this 5.5% brew has held up, the aroma and flavors are saturated in rich cherry characteristics with herbal accents and delicate chocolatey, caramely, bready notes featuring whispers of vanilla, finishing with an eloquent base of yeasty, doughy biscuit accentuated by the aforementioned components

12oz 2010 vintage served at 55 into 15.125oz Riedel Vivant Chardonnay Tumbler


3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
alagnak (468) - Littleton, Colorado, USA - NOV 25, 2009
2009 version. Nose is Christmas in a glass - coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses. Flavor is more of the spices upfront (like a cold, slightly yeasty chai tea), with a darak caramelly slightly roasted flavor underneath. A little strawberry shows up as it warms. Body is just a touch on the watery side. Pretty decent stuff.

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
youdictategood (467) - Florida, USA - NOV 16, 2012
2012 - Single bottle from Total Wine. Very dark amber pour with a small tan head. Heavy lacing. A lot of vanilla and ginger in the aroma, along with some pine, citrus, and dough. Pretty heavy malt taste to start, then grass/pine, bread, bitter chocolate. Finishes with some cinnamon/ginger spice. Medium-bodied, low carbonation. Not bad, but wouldnt keep me from reaching for a lot of other winter releases first.

3.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Hanuta06 (466) - Washington, USA - DEC 12, 2014
2014 Serving: from bottle--purchased at The Beer Junction. Aroma: moderate malt and floral aroma. Appearance: very small, light-brown initial head with no lacing and fully diminishing longevity. Dark-red/light-brown body. Taste: lightly sweet initial flavor and lightly sweet, roasty finish with average duration. Palate: medium bodied with watery texture and lively carbonation. Overall: okay.


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