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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4
ElGaucho56 (394) - USA - JUL 20, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 2, 2007 2006 variety. Pours a opaque black with discernible brown/red facets, slight head. Xmas spices noticeable in all stages, on the nose, palate, and finish. Nutmeg, cinnamon, maybe ginger?, accompany medium body and hop bitterness, though no flavor, in the finish. Good stuff for the holidays. 2007 vintage seems even better balanced, rich and complex spices in great balance with sprucy hops. Delicious.

2.9
lachneger (394) - NETHERLANDS - JAN 25, 2015
Karamel kleurig bier met een witte schuimkraag die snel verdwijnt. Smaak zoet (karamel)kruidig ricola( de gele zak) snoepjes. Geur kruidig. Gedronken met Bryan.

3.5
Bacchus66 (393) - South Carolina, USA - DEC 10, 2015
From bottle, pours dark brown with a medium, frothy light brown head. Aromas are caramel and malt, nuts and spice. Flavors add raisin notes and more spices. Medium bodied. Honestly I was expecting more from this (based on the appearance?), almost like the alcohol should be a tick higher to give it more backbone. Still, an enjoyable colder weather brew.

3.7
TreborWhip (393) - Reading, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 23, 2009
12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass produced a thick, foamy, tan head with almost black body. Sweet aroma of chocolate and molasses. Taste is complex with hints of brown sugar, caramel, toffee, and spices. Very pleasant and light seasonal ale.

3.4
SimonRoller (391) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - NOV 28, 2011
Bottle, pours dark red/brown with off white head. Aroma is spices, gingerbread and some orange. Taste is some spices, cinnamon, malts. Kind of bland I think, but still good.

3.4
GODiSSOUTHERN (390) - Virginia, USA - DEC 27, 2011
2009 vintage at Alamo Drafthouse. Poured dark brown with an inch off white head. Tastes of licorice, anise, and root beer. Medium light carbonation. Interesting and unique flavor.

3.8
naivepegasus (387) - USA - NOV 20, 2008
2008 version. pours a dark brown with about two fingers of tan, slowly dissipating head. Sweet raisin and sweet fruit odor. Lots of spice, I taste, cinnamon, pumpkin and clove. Interesting, I kind of dig it, its good for a nice cold.

3.8
JohnQPublic (387) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - DEC 26, 2008
Pours a clear deep brown, with a thin creamy light tan head on top. Nose is spicy, some brown sugar, with a bit of very light roastiness in there also. Hard to get a handle on. Taste starts off with very clean, light brown sugar and a hint of roasty malt. Dry, light, and clean. Spiciness emerges about 3/4 of the way through - at different points, you get evergreen needles, nutmeg, clove. Maybe a bit of cinnamon. Finish is long, dry, and somehow fluffy and light, with a bit of lingering roastiness that comes out more in the finish than in the actual flavor. Mouthfeel is spot on, light and fluffy. Really a superb beer.

4.1
adam42381 (386) - Fort Myers, Florida, USA - JUL 25, 2010
UPDATED: DEC 16, 2010 2010 Edition Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Spiegelau tulip. Bottled on October 19, 2010 according to date code printed on label. Appearance: Pours a dark cola brown with faint ruby highlights a 1-2 finger creamy dark tan head. Smell: Sweet mix of winter spices with nutmeg and ginger being the most obvious. Taste: Winter spices up front followed by mild citrus hops in the middle and ending with lightly toasted malt at the finish. Aftertaste is a mix of spices and toasted bread. Mouthfeel: Medium-to-full-bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Drinkability: Good drinkability. You could knock back a few of these on a cold evening. Overall: Very good beer overall. Anchor never disappoints me. I’d recommend picking this up this year (and every new year’s subsequent variation from here on). --- 2006 Edition Reviewed 12-22-2006 - - Rating: 4.5/4.0/4.5/3.0/4.0 Appearance: Poured a near black color with hints of red. Nice dark cream 3 finger head. Very reminiscent of Guinness. Smell: Very strong aroma of hops with a nice mix of spices. Taste: Nice smoked flavor building into an interesting mix of spice and a hint of coffee. Lightly bitter finish. Mouthfeel: Slightly bubbly at the beginning from the carbonation followed by a smooth, medium-body. Not as thick as I expected. Goes down very smooth. Drinakbility: For what it is, a winter warmer, it has high drinkability. It’s not something you grab when looking for refreshment but I could see enjoying a couple in one sitting. Overall: I think the 2006 was a high quality beer. It has a nice flavor that will send me out to buy a 6-pack before they’re gone. I would recommend it as a winter warmer.

3.9
AdamGott (386) - Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA - DEC 13, 2011
aroma of ginger and slight pine, medium frothy head, dark brown pour almost like thinned out molasses, ginger/molasses taste with a bit of sweet fruitiness - 2011 version


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