overall
89
97
style
RATINGS: 2124   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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4
natejgood (533) - Bozeman, Montana, USA - NOV 17, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 19, 2008 I’m rating the 2007 Spcial Ale. It pours relatively dark with a lot of medium brown head. The head leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. It smells of holiday spices, including nutmeg, cloves and pumpkin spice. It smells like the holidays. The flavor starts with some sweet coffee, moves onto some of the holiday spices, and ends with a bit of bitterness around the sides of my mouth. The beer leaves the mouth a little dry, and the carbination is very light. This is a very good offering for a holiday beer. An update to my rating. The 2008 beer is just as splendid as the 2007.

3.9
Ljunkan (530) - Karlstad, SWEDEN - JUL 16, 2008
Need to update this one. Sold as Anchor Christmas Ale here in Sweden, I was surprised when a friend found 4-5 bottles back in April. This beer has an absolutely wonderful aroma; a quite strong one for only 5,5% ABV. Wonderful malt, spices, pine needle... almost imperial stoutish smell. Flavour is really good, even though it maybe smells better than it tastes. Wonderful taste of Christmas-spices, particulary ginger, and some pine needle. Need too buy this again next Christmas...

3.4
bobaidan (530) - Southington, Connecticut, USA - DEC 10, 2008
2008 bottle. Pours dark brown with a medium head. Aroma is dark caramel with some nice spicy hops. Mouth feel is very carbonated, but in a good way. Flavor is spicy but rounded off nicely with sweet roasted malt.

3.4
Maddog (528) - Kettering, Ohio, USA - DEC 5, 2009
2009 bottle. Not usually a big fan of Christmas beers, but this one is pretty good. The pour is dark amber with aromas of spice. The flavor is caramel malts with spices of nutmeg, clove and cinammon. A tasty Christmas beer that is not overly spicy which is often the problem of beers of this style.

3.8
stevencon (525) - Sarasota, Florida, USA - NOV 21, 2012
UPDATED: DEC 26, 2013 From 2012 bottle: dark brown pour off white head. aroma of christmas in the best way possible. ginger bread cookies cinnamon slight hint of clover not super sweet light other beers.well balanced aroma; i could smell this beer for hours. very bready brown ale taste that moves to holiday spices like the aromas above. Warming but no hint of alcohol. this beer tastes like a well made ginger bread house. the only bad thing is the taste doesn?t hold up to the aroma. still good tasting but i had hoped for more. 2013 on tap has less ginger break and more green herbs like fennel and sage. I think I like the 2013 version better than the 2012.

3.2
rob19a (525) - - DEC 21, 2017
14/20 really enjoyed the wackiness of this beer - very unusual taste - ale with almonds, quite malty but with sweetness.

3.5
jblendy (521) - Hawthorne, New Jersey, USA - NOV 11, 2006
Pours very dark brown with a nice tan head. Sweet, spicy, malty aroma, and flavor follows well. Cinnamon and nutmeg dominate the flavor, but there is still a nice maltiness and body to it. Fairly balanced, but with a slightly watery but still thick body. Great for the season, but not something I’d want year round. So I guess they got it right.

4.3
BeerKurve (520) - - FEB 1, 2013
Spruce, Cinnamon, Licorice, Spices and Malts. The flavor itself reminds me of Christmas and and Pine Trees. Body is light and carbonation is just right, giving it a easy and crisp drinkability. Overall one of the best Winter Warmer ales I’ve had yet!

3.8
elmatador00 (519) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - JAN 2, 2008
06 Magnum. Shared with some friends during 08 new year. Pours a dark cloudy brown with a creamy tan head. Has excellent lacing. Hints of sweet potato pie (cinnamon, nutmeg, honey) some hop, lots of malt. Finishes thick with a creamy spice taste on the tongue.


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