overall
89
97
style
RATINGS: 2090   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
Papsoe (25056) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - JUL 4, 2007
(Bottle 35,5 cl) Vintage 2005. Pours a very dark brown with a reddish tint and a fine, light brown head. Very delicious aroma - spicy almost cola-like. Medium body with very roasted - but never burned - malt accents and some spices although they’re hard to pinpoint. The finish is dry. Lovely. 280607

3.5
Beerhunter111 (22513) - P´Castle, GERMANY - MAR 20, 2014
Dunkelbraunes Bier mit schöner Schaumkrone. Geruch sehr röstmalzig, winterliche Gewürze. Geschmack röstmalzig süß, Karamell, Gewürze.

3.8
Leighton (22327) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - DEC 17, 2009
Tap at the Bell House, Brooklyn. Pours a dark, almost black maroon with a medium, off-white head. Sweet-smelling aroma: lightly roasted malts, caramel, some spices. Flavor is rich and varied with strong notes of sweet, dark fruits, candies like licorice, and some slight maltiness. Also hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Really, pretty dynamic. Medium bodied with decent carbonation, the beer is easy to drink. Quite good; stands apart from the crowd.

3.3
Rasmus40 (21990) - Beder, Aarhus, DENMARK - JAN 25, 2011
Clear dark red brown with a light brown head. Aroma is loads of ginger, which is just too much. Roasted malt and a little dried fruit can be picked up as well. Moderate sweet flavor and a soft and dry finish. Would have been much better if they had held back a little with the ginger. 050111

2.8
Koelschtrinker (21492) - K?ln (Cologne), GERMANY - JUL 6, 2011
Malzig-fruchtiger, etwas scharfer und sehr würziger Geruch, der mehr verspricht, als das, was das Bier dann tatsächlich auch zu bieten hat. Malzig-würziger, aber noch milder Antrunk, minimal bitter. Später malziger und süßer, besonders die starken Gewürznoten, die im Geruch prägend waren, fehlen mir hier. Zum Ende hin etwas grasig und röstmalzig. Fast schon entäuschend. Test vom 27.6.2007, Gebinde: Glasflasche Noten: 11,8,8,9,10,8 - 8,55

3
fiulijn (21274) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 17, 2005
UPDATED: AUG 8, 2010 2010-08-08, vertical tasting, vintage 2008, 2 years old, 7-4-4-3-10=28
The color is very dark, no light passes through; generous, compact head. Good aroma, chocolate cake, cedar peel, chinese spices. The body is lean, the mouthfeel quite dry; it has some roasted malt flavor, heavily roasted nuts, not very good. The final is dry, with the black, roasted malt only, dusty. Not pleasant.

2010-08-08, vertical tasting, vintage 2006, 4 years old, 6-4-6-3-12=31
The color is very dark, no light passes through; generous, compact head, a bit more brownish than the 2008; immediately evident that it has less carbonation. Strange aroma, mild, gingerbread and soap, almost metallic; some chocolate. The body is a bit rounder and less dry than the 2008; chocolate and roasted malt flavor, also here the malt is heavily roasted, but better hidden; there are traces of a starting oxidisation and of metal. Balanced, better than almost all Scandinavian Julöl, but nothing spectacular.

2010-08-08, vertical tasting, vintage 2005, 5 years old, 6-4-6-3-13=32
The color is very dark, no light passes through; generous, compact head, more similar to the 2008 than 2006. Delicate aroma of roasted malt, chocolate and spices. The body is round enough like the 2006, but a bit more dynami, probably because of a light sourness; the flavor is again chocolate and roasted malt and roasted nuts; it shows less oxidization than the 2006, and it doesn’t have the metallic trace. Balanced, as well not spectacular.

2008-02-15, vintage 2007, 6-4-6-3-11=30
Dark chestnut color, almost back, with a reasonably big head. The aroma is strange, with soap, meat, sweet nuts, spices and cookies. It has a medium mouthfeel, with a medium flavor of roasted malt and some spices (nutmeg and maybe cinnamon in the front); the almost roasted malt feeling is more evident at the end. Boring, unbalanced, not very pleasant. I won’t come back on this one soon.

2005-12-12, vintage 2005, 7-4-7-4-15=37
Dark brown color; creamy beige head. I’m quite disappointed by the first impression (too dry mouthfeel) so my recommendation is to leave it to breathe in the glass for 20 minutes…
The aroma is nice, with malt, caramel, spices, light gingerbread or cookies. The taste is round, well malty, with a brandy touch, caramel, spices and raisins (a light Christmas pudding). And the hopping is quite good as well. Very pleasant.

3
saxo (19522) - Højbjerg, Aarhus, DENMARK - FEB 10, 2008
Bottle. Medium head with medium duration. Color is dark brown. Aroma and taste are malt, herbs and hops.

3.6
harrisoni (19341) - Ashford, Kent, ENGLAND - MAR 14, 2006
Bottle from Utobeer. Very dark ruby with beige head. Spice and fruit peel with some herby hop on the aroma. Nice dark malts. Spice, charcoal, tarry, espresso coffee all in the mouth. It has a strange character. You expect it to be all spice from the aroma, but it has body and presence. Thick and unctious. This is good stuff. Orange zest on the palate on the finish

2.3
mcberko (18981) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 13, 2010
12 oz. bottle, pours dark brown with a small tan head. Aroma of cinnamon, ginger, vanilla and clove. Flavour of christmas spices and heavy on the ginger. This definitely isn’t for me.

2.9
Oakes (18851) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 21, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 30, 2011 2011 version. Pours dark brown with a thick head. Smells soapy on the initial pour, with lots of herbals. As it warms, the aroma mixes pine with orange, cinnamon and some dark sugars. On the palate, it’s a bit thin, lacking any serious malt sugars. This in turn reduces the ability of the beer to carry the spices across the palate comfortably. The spices are muted, leaving only traces of cinnamon and clove on the palate. So spiced ale yes, winter warmer, no. It’s just too light.

2007 Magnum
Dark brown. Spicy, minty, cinnamony aroma doesn’t disappoint. Grk. Thin and flat body. Spices limp along without any particular malt to back them up. Liquorice flavour is strong but comes across far too bitter - again showing a lack of residual sugar. Thin, weak, poorly executed. Far below Anchor’s and this beer’s standards. Had to choke it back. 7 - 3 - 3 - 1 - 6 = 2.0


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