overall
89
97
style
RATINGS: 2107   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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3.9
f351c4v (411) - Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 21, 2007
(2007) Pours a dark brown hue with a nice, tan head. Aroma of great Christmas cookies; cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger. Malty body gives way to spiced finish, almost like a fres gingerbread cookie. I look forward to this release every year.

3.8
matty (410) - 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.

3.3
bconch (408) - - 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.

3.9
leems (406) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JUL 27, 2010
2008 magnum, dark brown with a fluffy tan head, aroma is sweet and spicy. Flavor is deep sticky maltiness with a nice piney hop and then spices like all spice, nutmeg, etc. Nice and Christmasy tasting, one of my fave Christmas beers.

3.4
leebotton (406) - Bristol, Somerset, ENGLAND - NOV 18, 2015
2015 version out of bottle from brewers droop, Bristol. pours deep dark ruby with an orange brown thick persistent head. Aroma is warming with doughy spice like light cinnamon, there is an earthy character against the soft roast nature and possibly spruce notes. The flavour has a dry, nutty roast/char flavour which is balanced by a silky texture. There are subtle spice notes here. Toward the back of the tongue there is a liquorice flavour reminiscent of my early homebrew but much cleaner and later,, some doughyness is perceived in the flavour. Overall, some great flavours and certainly a multifaceted beer though i would say the dough character is somewhat overwhelming some other aspects of the beer. Very nice, though.

2.9
ScipioA (405) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 4, 2013
This is a 12 oz bottle from the 2013 batch. I haven’t had the others so can’t comment in comparison. Pours out a dark brown with a chocolate head that reminds me of many porters I’ve had, but with slight red tint. Nice big pillowy foam. Even once the foam had gone away there wasn’t much to the aroma to note, some roastiness and a little wine-like yeast stood out. Sweet with sort of a bittersweet chocolate fruityness. However the spices are very distracting, it’s like accidentally getting all the spices you’d use making gingerbread dough all up in your nose. Very light mouthfeel with a surprisingly strong alcohol flavor for 5.5%. Call me a grinch but I just ain’t digging these spiced winter seasonals.

4
Crafty07 (404) - Florence, Kentucky, USA - FEB 12, 2008
Without a doubt, I feel warmly filled with the Christmas spirit after drinking this delicious spiced beer despite it being mid-February. Dark mahogany pour with decent beige head, this winter beer hits the drinker with a sweet mixture of spices (cinnamon? toffee? someone suggested pumpkin) I noticed a strong chocolate presence as well. Very smooth spiced beer that finishes well.

3.1
kreepindeth (404) - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA - NOV 5, 2006
Not a huge fan of this one. Pours a ruby-brown color with a very thin head. Cannot place aroma, almost like dried dates. Taste is slightly toffee-like with hints of spiciness that I cannot quite place. A fun beer to try once, but I probably won’t be picking it up again.

3.3
jezmez68 (404) - Chesterton, Indiana, USA - DEC 28, 2006
Just okay. I wanted to note that ratebeer totally pussed out by not including a separate 2005 and 2006 version of this beer, but merely has 2005 and later. Way to mail it in, ratebeer. If it’s a different beer every year, we should honor it, even if it is only half-assed. Enjoy.

2.3
wihlan (403) - Malmö, SWEDEN - NOV 29, 2014
Flaska från systemet - Doftar verkligen jul och lite parfym. Färgen påminner om julmust och med vitt skum. Har en tydlig smak av jul med men tyvärr smakar den parfym med.


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