overall
89
97
style
RATINGS: 2105   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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3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
chilehead (186) - Laguna Niguel, California, USA - DEC 9, 2005
I had this on draft at Pizza Port San Clemente. A very different and seasonal tasting brew. Nose strongly of cider spices and bubble gum, mouth of bubble gum, fruit, and cinnamon. I wouldnt want this all year round, but its just right for Christmas :-) Pour was dark brown.

3.1
   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
theviolet (186) - New York, New York, USA - DEC 10, 2008
2008 Bottle Into Tumbler. Aroma seems very spicy in a holiday type way with a bit of caramel. Not something I particularly enjoy. Looks nice, small tan head, rich brown body, good lacing. My initial thought when tasting it was wow, bitter. As i swallowed, the bitterness was replaced by holiday spices, and a slight bit of sweetness. Aftertaste was again bitter in an almost toasty, slightly burnt way. Has a bit of creaminess, but not overly prevalent.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
marv3mania (185) - Lansing, Michigan, USA - NOV 15, 2013
2013 vintage. 12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. Appearance is ruby-tinted dark brown with a thin tan head. Aroma is caramel, toffee, pine, and some light holiday spices. The aroma gets richer and maltier as the beer warms. Taste pretty well follows the nose, with a fruity taste at the front and the holiday spices at the ends. Very nice, with lots of different tastes and smells. I like it.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
mustangjoe (183) - redondo beach, California, USA - DEC 1, 2005
On tap @Najas, Redondo Beach, Ca. Dark brown, just about black with a nice tan head on top. My first Anchor OSA, and it was great. Aroma was overflowing with spicyness and earthy overtones. Delicious flavors come through as well to make this a definite new favorite of mine. It was great drinking this brew while the sun was setting over the Pacific.

3.1
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
rodsquad (181) - Aberdeen, SCOTLAND - DEC 29, 2016
Bottle from Fountainhall Wines. Pours dark, dark brown with a creamy light tan head. Smells of sweet malt and demerara sugar. A treacle-sweet taste with mild bittering malt. Moments of caramel. It has a smooth silky mouthfeel with gentle carbonation. This is a sweet, easy drinking brown ale. Nice and mellow.

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Diablokev (180) - Lakewood, Colorado, USA - DEC 26, 2013
2013 version. Aroma is nutty but slight. Appearance is dark brown with a cream head. Taste is a bit nutty as well very smooth and easy to drink. Overall not bad.

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
jport4087 (178) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 3, 2009
Dark brown color with a small tan head. Sweet, spiced aroma of nutmeg, molasses and spices. Flavor of sweet malts, brown sugar, and nutmeg.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Tsotsi (178) - Florida, USA - DEC 25, 2010
12oz Bottle on Xmas Day... Pours a dark brown color with a tan head. Nose is a nice roasty malts, with tons of spices. Get cloves, nutmeg, cinnnamon, slight nutty aroma as well. Flavors are a same as the nose with the spices shining on the front. Nice sweetness followed by a nice bitter chocolate finish. Medium bodied and a good beer especially on the holidays.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
luvcasks (178) - USA - NOV 18, 2007
pours a dark brown with gorgeousgarnet highlights and nice tan head Very nice caramel, a little roast, some oak nutmeg, some dark fruits (figs) maybe some all spice Flavor is almost like a porter while sliding away with a lighter body and a more festive flavor profile. The hop flavor is nicely restrained yet present to keep the beer enjoyable. The finish is nice long, rich with short hint of figs and nutmeg leaving a slightly creamy dry finish WOW! Another of my holiday must finds... still a solid beer year after year. For me this is beer to taste as it ages try some when young and with patience try in a year or two the spices change and is still a treat Oh Yeah! Thanks to the brewers at Anchor for bringing the regular caps back instead of the screw tops

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
lethe (177) - New York, USA - JAN 31, 2006
Dark brown pour with minimal white head. Nose is pleasing with a rush of chocolate, spice and bready malt. Palate is slightly sticky with heavy carbonation. Flavor is surprsingly close to a wheat (banana, clove) at first, followed by chocolate and gingerbread that finishes a little acrid and chewy. Pretty good overall with the flavors working up until the end when they become a bit harsh.


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