overall
89
97
style
RATINGS: 2080   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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3.1
Hanuta06 (469) - 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.

3.4
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
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 wouldn’t keep me from reaching for a lot of other winter releases first.

3.8
HomeBrewHawk (464) - De Soto, Kansas, USA - DEC 26, 2007
2007 vintage. 12oz. bottle served in a shaker pint glass. Poured a dark, reddish brown. One finger of fine bubbled light tan head. Lots of pine and cinnamon spice in the aroma. Very fragrant. Medium to full bodied. Plenty of caramel malt and some dark fruit. Pumpkin pie spice and spruce in the finish. The spice seems a little more subdued this year allowing the base beer flavor to be more evident. A Christmas tradition for me that I always look forward to drinking.

3.3
BaroneBirra (462) - Gorizia, ITALY - DEC 11, 2013
2013 version labeled for Europe. Sweet cloves aroma. Lots of Christmas spices in the taste: cloves, cinnamon, orange peel and candy apple. Nice because reminds all the Christmas flavours,but too low with body an alcohol and unbalanced with spices .

3.7
mribm (462) - Ocala, Florida, USA - DEC 24, 2011
This beer always has a lot of spiciness in the nose, but it somehow gets lost in the taste. It could also use a little more alcohol, to give it that warming feeling. I like this beer once a year, for its uniqueness in flavor, however I couldn’t drink more than a few bottles a year.

3.3
KieferUGA (461) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - DEC 3, 2007
12 oz. bottle. 2007 vintage. Pours a deep, clear mahogany with a small light, cream color head. Aroma of pine tree and cinnamon. Mouthfeel is a combination of spices, maple syrup, and licorice. Hint of a bitter ending, but not too overpowering.

4.4
Braastad (459) - FINLAND - MAR 23, 2013
Dark red, almost black beer. Creamy head that lingers. Great beer, lots of berries, blackcurrant?

3.4
climberbob (458) - Virginia, USA - FEB 3, 2015
2013 bottle. Dark ruby. Different to earlier years w more pronounced spruce or some other similar notes. Good solid Xmas beer. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

3.4
RiverHorse (457) - New Jersey, USA - NOV 24, 2007
Pours a dark copper color with small hints of amber peeking through when held to light. A finger of light tan head frothed up quickly, then the lacing stuck around on the sides of the lager glass. The scent was of brown sugar, malt, dried fruit and spice. A hint of cinnamon and brown sugar came across up front with some sticky molasses , nutmeg and dried fruit to finish. I am glad to have tried this, but wouldn’t search out a six pack.


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