overall
89
97
style
RATINGS: 2110   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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3.6
ScottyP (425) - Brentwood, Tennessee, USA - APR 19, 2009
Dark brownish poor white white head. Aroma is sweet, spicy, bready all at once. Sweet, gingerbread taste with hints of chocolate and roasted malts. Nice finish. I really enjoyed this one. Good holiday beer.

3.6
RooftopRogue (423) - Champaign, Illinois, USA - MAR 11, 2006
) This beer introduces itself with an aroma consisting of ginger, clove, cinnamon, fruit, and all-spice. It is black in color with a good sized caramel head that dissolves leaving a good amount of lacing on the sides of the glass. This moderately thick beer enters and flows through the mouth smoothly. It enters with a mild bitter taste and turns more bitter as a mixture of spices (ginger and clove being the strongest) penetrate the taste buds. This beer leaves the mouth with a sour/bitter ginger taste lingering.

3.3
cgreb (422) - Marburg, GERMANY - NOV 4, 2009
bottle (asheft) 2007 - dark brown beer with a thick beige head. Spicy aroma like cinnamon. Flavour has a lot of fruits and spices.

3.3
bconch (422) - - JAN 19, 2013
2012. Dark brown pour. Little to no head. Smell of dark fruits. Taste is similar with a coffee presence. Almost like a Belgian stout.

3.4
TimsRatings (421) - - NOV 30, 2013
From 1.5 l bottle. Pours a clear caramel coot with lots of light brown head. Mild aroma of malts. Fruity and malty with nutmeg aftertaste. I can see drinking this in front of a fire on a cold winter night. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

2.5
badwhale (420) - Bitterville, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 31, 2011
Bottle to a pilsner glass. Poured a brown / orange / copper color with an off white head. Had the scent of pine, a little. Kind of a watery mouthfeel, and tasted of spice / herbs / pine. I’m not a SHV fan, so it’s hard for me to give a really strong rating, however this wasn’t too bad.

4.1
MarkBarnes (418) - Waterville, New York, USA - DEC 15, 2006
Dec. 15, 2006. 12 oz. bottle of 2006 vintage sampled Dec. 8 at Farm 255, Athens GA. Drank this one in dimly-lit conditions at my sister-in-law’s wedding party, and am now referring to hastily scrawled notes on the back of a business card: "Raisiny, hoppy, frothy, full-body, lasting malt palate, dark fruit, 18/20, aroma-avg." Sounds like it was pretty good! ;-) (Haven’t met an Anchor product I didn’t like -- a lot.)

3
Hopped_Silly (418) - California, USA - NOV 24, 2013
Light aromas and flavors of dried dark fruits, roast malt, caramelized apple/banana and holiday spice. Reminiscent of your average Belgian Dubbel or quad, except with a very watered down mouthfeel and finish. Decent aromas and flavors, just thin. Overall, a light and quaffable holiday ale, perfect for your average family/work gathering.. as I assume it will likely make numerous people happy with its holiday flare. Not bad, though a long ways from its Belgian cousins. --- tasted while on a long journey to understand the world around me...

3.8
matty (417) - Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 22, 2016
12 oz. 2011 bottle tasted on 2016-01-22. Pours a deep ruby red color with a finger thick tan head. Aroma is heavy of spices, wood and a little bit of alcohol. Medium body, taste is interesting. A combination of malt and spice but I can’t put my finger on just one thing. Finish is more of the same. A complex beer.

4.2
CEZ (415) - Milano, ITALY - FEB 20, 2006
Hazy dark brown body, good tan head. Smells like licorice, flowers, caramel, yeast. On the palate, it shows a strong toffee and roasted malt character. Smooth and medium-bodied, with loads of subtle spicy notes coming through (orange peels, nutmeg, pine). Long slightly tarty finish. Complex, yet quite drinkable.


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