overall
89
97
style
RATINGS: 2109   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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3.3
argo0 (14127) - Washington DC, USA - NOV 27, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 7, 2005 (12-6-05, draft) Clear mahogany body with creamy tan head. Aroma is moderately sweet, nutmeg, some juniper, chocolate, cherry. Taste is medium sweet, nutmeg, cherry, grape, juniper, some molasses, light chocolate. Smooth medium body, very drinkable. Much better than my first time trying it. (7/4/7/4/14)

(11-27-05, bottle) Crystal clear dark red-brown body with nice tan head. Aroma is medium sweet, nutmeg, molasses. Taste is medium sweet, molasses, nutmeg, light earthy, caramel. Watery medium body, light stickiness. (5/5/6/3/11)

3.5
Lubiere (13905) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 15, 2006
Dark reddish brown with a thin moka head. Butterscotch, cinnamon and thyme in aroma. In mouth, a rather spciey malt, perfumey, a bit buttery. Molasses. Almost detecting rosewater in finish. Interesting, but not to par with previous versions. Dégustation de Vieux Stocks III, Oct. 13, 2006. Bottle bought in late 2005.

3.1
Drake (13733) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 26, 2008
UPDATED: DEC 10, 2008 2007 bottle from Whole Foods Charlottesville. Pours reddish-black with a very large head and mad amounts of lacing. Strong cinnamon/coffee aroma. Taste of coffee, raisin and spice (anise?) behind a very thin mouthfeel. Taste is good, but the rest is lacking. 6/4/7/2/11..... 12 ounce bottle from Whole Foods Market Charlottesville, 2008 release. Pours a dark brown color wirh a medium head. Highly splced, slightly tart aroma. Taste is also highly spiced with hop notes, eggnog. Medium bodied. 6/4/6/3/11

3.5
Christian (13670) - Odense, DENMARK - MAR 26, 2008
UPDATED: NOV 12, 2011 2006 bottle in 2008. Dark brown with a medium sized off-hite head. Strongly spiced aroma, strong clove, along with resin, allspice, cardemum, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Dark dried fruit in the background. Flavour is sweet and spiced. Finishes dry thanks to resin and spice. I’d like to say that the beer is too spiced for my taste, but the mix of spices is so interesting I can’t stop taking another sip and discover more. 3.2

Fresh 2011 bottle. Strong spicy aroma dominated by clove and cardemum, with some raisin and dark sugar. Caramel and spice flavour with a slightly roasted finish

4.1
Stuu666 (13395) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - DEC 29, 2013
UPDATED: MAY 30, 2014 Bottle at xmas tasting, 2013 version. Deep brown, spices on nose, liquorice and aniseed, sweet toffee malt, spices. Bottle at home, Deep brown, nice blend of spices, sweet chocolate, dry, spicy finish, light spruce.

3.4
kermis (13363) - The Hague / Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS - NOV 17, 2012
Bottle shared from ABC Beers. Pours dark brown with a small tan head. Aroma of Christmas spices, nutmeg, dark fruits, Christmas pudding. Flavour is moderate sweet and light bitter. Medium bodied with soft carbonation.

3.1
bierkoning (13352) - La Tropica/Doarp, NETHERLANDS - FEB 27, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 18, 2011 2005 version: Tap, ’t Klooster Delft. Sold as "snow Anchor". Loads of clove both in aroma and flavor. Very spicy, with clove up front. Some malt and raisin. Lacks balance. 6 3 6 2 10 = 2.7 2007 version: bottle: Strong aroma of red berries, cardemom and ginger. Spicy, yet warm alcoholic flavor with red berries. Thin. Too spicy to be really enjoyable. 2010 version: bottle. Dark brown color. Anis, dried fruit, orange peel and cardemom in the aroma. Sweet, spicy flavor with lots of citrusfruit, cinnamon, anis and cardemom. Spicy, but still satisfyingly balanced. (7 4 7 2 13 = 3.1)

3.4
BeerandBlues2 (13308) - Escondido, California, USA - JAN 27, 2009
2008, bottle. Pours clear dark brown with an average, fizzy, light brown head, somewhat lasting with fair lacing. Aroma is heavy malt (cookie, caramel, nutty), average hops (flowers, herbs, spruce), average yeast (dough, earth) with notes of plum, licorice, and nutmeg. Medium bodied, sticky texture, average carbonation, and a bitter finish. Long duration, light sweetness and acidity, moderate bitterness.

3.5
bu11zeye (13029) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - DEC 10, 2005
(Bottle) Pours a dark brown body with a small tan head. Aroma of pine, orange, licorice, and nutmeg. Flavor of nutmeg, cocoa, roasted malt, and molasses.

3.9
Dogbrick (13010) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - JUL 3, 2006
UPDATED: NOV 19, 2008 <b>2005 Magnum:</b> Deep dark brown color with a little red around the edges, with a thick beige head that retains well. Patchy lacing. Aroma of malt and pine, as well as some dark fruits. Pleasant flavor of roasted malts, spices (ginger mostly), and pine. The finish is spicy with some hops and a bit of chocolate. Solid, as with pretty much every year. It doesn’t seem like Anchor ever does anything too drastic to the recipe but that is fine.

<b>2006 Bottle:</b> This year’s version (sampled Oct 2007) is a dark reddish-brown color with a medium light beige head that dissipates pretty quickly. Speckled lacing. Spicy, malty aroma with some herbs. Medium, smooth body with nutmeg, fruit and earthy malt flavors. The finish is mildly spiced and short. Not quite as good as the previous year but still enjoyable. .

<b>2007 Bottle:</b> This year’s version (sampled Feb 2008) is dark mahogany with a thick beige head that lasts awhile. Pine and spices in the nose. Medium-bodied and smooth with pine, herbal hops and spice flavors. The finish is moderately bitter hops and leaves a dark fruit and spice aftertaste. Par for the course with previous years. .

<b>2008 Bottle:</b> Sample at the holiday beer tasting at Blacklick Wine & Spirits on 11/13/08. Pours dark brown with a medium khaki head that diminishes slowly. Stringy lacing. Aroma of malt and circus peanuts, plus some pine. Medium body with flavors of sweet malt and pine along with ginger and cinnamon. The finish is lightly spiced with a sweet aftertaste. Seems to have fallen off compared to past years.


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