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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3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
KimJohansen (10486) - Frederiksberg C, DENMARK - DEC 25, 2007
Pours black medium off white head. Spicy roasted aroma. Roasted flavor with spicy notes and a dry finiish.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
DocLock (10458) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 23, 2006
Draft at the Drafting Room. This one pours dep brown. The aroma was chocolatey and spicy, with a gingerbready malt presence. The flavor was like minty, spicy chocolate chip cookie dough dipped in molasses, then pureed. Well done, as usual from these guys.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
pivnizub (10454) - Bochum, Porř, GERMANY - MAY 6, 2009
Bottle (vintage 2007): Deep ruby amber coloured, a bit hazy, small off-white foamy layer; christmas spices, coriander toasted malt and dried fruits in the nose; moderate to solid - relatively dry - bitter-sweet flavour, medium bodied; dry bitter finish, rounded by some toasted malt and spices. Pleasant, well rounded stuff.............

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
leaparsons (10400) - Wigston, Leicestershire, ENGLAND - OCT 29, 2006
Bottle. Swan and Rushes, Leicester. Black with a small beige head. Aromas are herbal and spicy with root vegetables and liquorice. Some dark chocolate bitterness. Flavours are herbal, medicinal and berruy fruit with bitter dark chocolate and spices. Earthy and smoky with a long aftertaste. I could still taste this on the palate after a half hour walk home. Very good.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Fin (10300) - Merton, Oxfordshire, England, Oxfordshire, ENGLAND - DEC 8, 2008
Had this at a Caf/bar in the company of Loz, Casey and Traci on 17-11-08, just before we said cheerio to Casey and Traci. Pours very dark brown with light beige head. Really nice and creamy, some condensed milk and big caramac flavours leapt out at me quite yummy with good Christmassy feel. A7 A4 F7 P4 OV14 3.6

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
allmyvinyl (10283) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - DEC 14, 2013
355ml bottle from appellation wines, Dalry. Pours opaque dark brown, thin off-white head. Nice tight bubbles. Big Christmas-spice aromas, dark sugar and ginger biscuit. Taste has more spice, a treacle sweetness, and light bitterness. Festive.

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
jercraigs (10258) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 31, 2005
UPDATED: AUG 4, 2015 2008-12-06. Dark brown body with a modest khaki head. (3+) Sweet malt aroma, spice is well rounded, nutmeg? (7+) Sweetish flavour has a malty base, nutmeg, spice. (7+) Average plus palate. (3+) Pretty much how I remembered it from previous years! 7+/3+/7+/3+/15-16 = 3.5 2008 Vintage. On tap at Coles, Buffalo

2006 Vintage. Bottle at Volo. Very dark brown-black body with a smallish creamy tan head (3+). Spicy (nutmeg, cinnamon) and sweet malt in the aroma. Flavour is similar to aroma, with the addition of ovaltine/cocoa notes. Nutmeg, very light anise, sweet malt middle. Average palate. Pleasant, but as always with this one I find it hard to wrap my palate around the melange of spice flavours. 7/3+/3/7/14 - 3.4

2005 Vintage. December 2005. Draft @ Coles in Buffalo. Black body with small creamy tan head. (3+) Sweet malt with abundant but mild spice notes in the aroma. Flavour has lots of nutmeg and something I called anise that may or may not be. Mild nutty notes at some points. Plenty of malt throughout. I enjoyed this a bit more than previous years, but there is still something unharmonious about the whole package that detracts from it for my tastes. 6/4/6/3/14 - 3.3

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Maria (10213) - Thisted, DENMARK - FEB 4, 2007
Vintage 2005, bottle. Its an almost black beer with a delicious, steady and creamy head. The aroma is hoppy and spicy just like the flavour, that also has notes of nutmeg, licorice, plum, pine needles and a dry, slitghtly btter finish. A nice Christmas beer.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
BVery (10122) - Plymouth, Minnesota, USA - DEC 10, 2011
Bottle. Nice rich reddish brown pour with a white head. Aroma is black licorice and spice. Palate is medium - maybe slightly thin. Taste is nutmeg, spruce, fruitbread. Decent.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
j12601 (10089) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - DEC 21, 2008
Mini growler of the 2008 offering, from Half-Time. Pours a clear but almost ruby black color with very little of what appears to be a dark tan head. Ample spice and possibly cherries on the nose with a good deal of sweetness, almost caramel like. Mouthfeel is a little thin, but theres a nice smoked note that comes forward. Finish has just a touch of bitterness and hint more smoke. Body could be thicker, but overall a rather tasty beer.


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