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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3.6
surffisher (198) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - FEB 22, 2009
12 oz bottle, 2008 vintage. Pours clear and deep copper with a tan head. Aroma is malty, fruity (raisin), and spicy, with lots of nutmeg and some cardamom and vanilla. Flavor is bitter and spicy with a dry woody/peaty malt profile with some fruity esters. Body is a bit thin, but smooth, with relatively low carbonation. Distinguished from most other winter warmers by the heavy reliance and influence of the spices, almost at the expense of other flavor elements.

4
Cruzan59 (197) - Lititz, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 2, 2009
6-pack from Bottle King, Dumont, NJ...2008 bottle pours dark reddish brown, beige head...sweet smell of cherries, plum, malt, and chocolate...taste also includes fig and caramel, and a touch of vanilla...smooth mouthfeel, decent lacing...tasty brew.

3.4
Rockcrawler (197) - Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA - MAY 18, 2010
50.7 Oz. Pours a dark black amber with brownish tan head. Aroma heavily of spices and notes of cinnamon, fruit, and molasses. Taste is very sweet and spicy. Palate is full bodied and almost syrupy. Definitely a very interesting beer that grows on you after awhile

4.5
WanderinCelt87 (197) - Hamburg, New Jersey, USA - DEC 25, 2013
Pours a lovely black with a tan head. Has a very robust smell of spice and malt. Has an amazing taste of spice and malt.

3.9
haggis03a3 (197) - Orinda, California, USA - JAN 14, 2008
2007 on tap. Black color with a beige head. Aroma of malts and spices. Flavor was an explosion of well balanced spices and malts.

3.9
Bobsy (194) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 18, 2008
I picked this bottle up in San Francisco, and with the hope that I can hasten Spring’s arrival by getting rid of all my winter seasonals, I popped the cap. I can tell you right now that a luscious fruitcake aroma hit me as I poured this into a chalice. A very dark rusty blood body (ugh...I have to work on these descriptions) gives birth to a medium sized well-browned meringue head. The aroma of the aforementioned fruitcake is the big hit in this. It smells smooth and rich, full of spices that are not overplayed, but well-meshed instead. The flavour is impressive and soothing. There is quite a lot of caramel malt forming a backdrop against nicely balance cinnamon and nutmeg flavours, along with the hint of pine, before leading through to a slightly dry finish. The body is medium, and matches the flavours and feel of this beer very well. In fact, overall I’d say this is an excellently crafted seasonal brew, that left me wanting more.

3
hopslovin (194) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - APR 6, 2008
2007 Bottle. Brown pour with thick and foamy brown head. Great spice aromas. Mint, coriander, and spruce are present in flavor. Lots of spice. Medium mouthfeel. Very different.

3.7
19Oracolo78 (193) - ITALY - APR 29, 2017
Birra dal colore scuro, schiuma beige, fine e non persistente. Al naso sentori di caffe, malto tostato, caramello e spezie. Al palato moderatamente corposa con note di caffe, toffe e coriandolo. Nel finale rimane dolce e abbastanza stucchevole. In ogni caso una buona birra.

3.7
ivan9856 (191) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - JAN 2, 2006
I sampled a 12 oz. bottle. The body is mahogany with a large, rocky tan head. There is excellent lacing. Rich malt, yeast, and spices like nutmeg and gingerbread, are featured in the nose. The backbone of dark roasted malt quickly yields to a complex midpalate with a variety of flavors such as coffee, dark chocolate and licorice. The aforementioned spice spectrum, roasted nuts and anticipated pine needle essence are also revealed The finish is moderately hopped, and fairly long lasting. A very good seasonal ale.

3.6
efrumtheidiot (190) - Colorado, USA - FEB 15, 2008
2007 bottle. pours a dark ruby-copper with a tan head. aroma is clove, spice, dark fruits, sweetness, and yeah, i actually do sense the furniture polish hughie wrote of (haha, a strangely satisfying aroma)! taste is clovey, liquorice, dirt, spices, light cinnamony raisins. tastes very christmas-like, similar to bread pudding. mid-light bodied with a bubbly, prickly mouthfeel. not a bad brew at all, has that classic anchor taste with a holiday twist. not a flavor explosion, but a gently satisfying holiday session brew. will definately buy again next year.


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