overall
89
97
style
RATINGS: 2104   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 Ales 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.

Editors 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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3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Photog (215) - Camillus, New York, USA - DEC 1, 2011
Color is beautiful, deep ruby red. Very malty, toasty caramel malt. Lightly spiced. Not a big hop presents, pretty good warming beer.

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
o_Merlin_o (214) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 9, 2014
2013 version in bottle. Pours a dark amber color with a creamy dark head. Excellent lacing. Very light aroma of hops and dirt. Excellent hops palate. Quite aqueous. An excellent beer. Would be better if it wasn't so aqueous. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

3.9
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
TheKernOwl (214) - West Sussex, ENGLAND - JUN 4, 2016
2014 version. Classy; pretty impressive amount of spices atop a caramel malt nose: allspice, pine, gingerbread, star anise, juniper? Who knows. A flat coke signoff. Little thinner than, but reminds me of, Kerkoms "Winterkoninkske" beer a good thing. Sweetness is balanced out with a slight bitterness (that sort of light end typical of, say, Porterhouse Brewery). I know this is going to sound very Waitrose (up-market UK supermarket), but it does remind of the year Heston Blumenthal did mince pies with pine sugar; maybe its the Christmas thing.

3.1
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Driftwood6 (214) - USA - DEC 7, 2007
On tap at Brixies, Brookfield IL. Spices pretty subdued. Most noticable was the dry finish with a touch of bitterness. I think I liked the Great Lakes Christmas Ale a little better.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
barenada (211) - Georgetown, Indiana, USA - DEC 18, 2005
(draft) Pretty damn good. Higly malty, with a touch of coffee. No chocolate or licorice at all, but still a good beer.

2.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
hiddenvariable (210) - pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 30, 2007
2007, on tap at ds. poured a clearish dark brown, with a thin tan head. huge spicy nose, with lots of nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, and anise. more of that in the flavor, with the anise and nutmeg overpowering the light sprucey hop notes and the caramel malts. a touch sweet on the finish, with the spices again dominating everything. medium bodied, and a good carbonation. i dont like anise, and after a while that was all i could taste. i dont like this style, but for some reason i keep trying.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
jodah52 (210) - Michigan, USA - DEC 18, 2009
2009. Dark reddish-brown with a dense tan head. Aromas of malt, cypress, foxwood and spruce in the nose; a hint of warm gingerbread-like spices in the mouth. Flavor is sweet with a dry afterbite, bit of sourness at the end. Very good holiday beer.

3
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
boisebeerguy (209) - boise, Idaho, USA - DEC 24, 2013
Good spice aroma and taste to this beer. Not to heavy for how dark it is. Im always happy to see this on the shelf.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
ericmc83 (207) - Arkansas, USA - NOV 23, 2005
Aroma is amazing. Spices galore. It is a perfect reminder of what season it is...the aromas I associate with this time of year are captured very well in this brew. The spices I sensed on the nose are slightly less dominant in the flavor. Rather, the flavor is a rich, chewy, chocolate, toffeeness that collaborates nicely with the spice. This is my first OSA and wow...Im impressed to say the least.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
mesperon (205) - Hillsdale, New Jersey, USA - FEB 15, 2010
2009 Edition. Beautifiul dark mahogany with nice foamy head, which doesnt last, and bubbly lace. Aroma of cinnamon, clove, sweet fruit - bannana and bubble gum. Light at first, then a bit of sweetness, followed by cinammon stick, cedar, and then a clovey bitterness in the end. Very nice and warming. Spices are very nice and not overdone.


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