RATINGS: 2069   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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3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
j12601 (9799) - 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.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
deanso (9776) - the Hague, NETHERLANDS - NOV 8, 2012
35cl bottle from ABCBeers, the Hague. Thick off white head. Clear black pour. Herbal taste but quite smooth. A nice brew.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DuffMan (9756) - the land of bitumen, beef & beer, Alberta, CANADA - DEC 7, 2007
UPDATED: AUG 27, 2011 2007 vintage. Clear deep copper with a light brown gense foamy head showing excellent retention and strong early lacing. Very intriguing spicy aroma. Not the usual spice, this is more like mace and bergamot with a little ginger and licorice. Also some cedar mulch aroma. Very interesting! Same spice-dominated palate overlying some nice crystal malt with flavours of orange rind, clove, ginger. Smooth and medium bodied with a surprisingly bitter finish, ending with a tartness that reminds of a good California common style. In fact, that is what this is like in a nutshell-- a very spiced-up, well-made California common. Unique and delicious and perfect for the season!

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
phaleslu (9716) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - NOV 27, 2010
Draft served in a tulip at International Tap House-Soulard. Pours a dark amber-brown color with a tan head that laces the glass. Aroma of figs, cherries, lums, vanilla, caramel malts, raisins, grapes, nutmeg, and other winter spices. The flavor stays pretty faithful to the nose. Medium-bodied, with low carbonation and a malty, spicy mouthfeel. Good winter beer.

2.6
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
gnoff (9702) - Mlndal, SWEDEN - NOV 6, 2006
UPDATED: FEB 2, 2014 First rating
Initial Rating Date: 11/6/2006
330 ml bottle at Haket, Gteborg.
2006 Christmas ale.
Ruby red color, tan head. Spicy clove scent. Taste is clove and lots of spicy malts. Low bitterness.
8/4/7/3/14=3.6

Second rating
UPDATED 11/19/2006
Bottle
Vinous a bit minty, strong sugary smell. Deep ruby red color, tan head. A bit fruity taste, thin and boring, vinous. No bitterness. Just plain too boring.
5/3/5/2/9=2.4

Rerate
On tap as part of a flight at Brewers Tasting Room, St. Pete, FL, on January 22, 2014.
Clear very dark red color, light brown head. Sweet, spicy taste. Tart, dry aftertaste. Thin mouthfeel, low bitterness. Sweet scent, a bit spicy.
5/4/5/2/10=2.6

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
alexsdad06 (9688) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - MAR 22, 2010
12 oz. bottle 2006 vintage. Pours a ruby infused brown color with a small fleeting beige head. The aroma is mild chocolaty with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and licorice. Some fig and raisin fruitiness is also present along with slight vegetal notes. The flavor is more mild chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, figs, raisins, and caramel sauce. This is at the lower end of medium bodied. Year after year one of the better Christmas beers you can find.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
JorisPPattyn (9674) - Ursel, BELGIUM - OCT 10, 2007
2006 vintage, from a shelf in my cellar, generous donator unknown but thanked Huge, darker beige head, creamy, over fully dark-opaque, red-shot brown beer. Spicy nose; roasted grains or roasted (sweetish) multi-grains bread. Resins and rosemary, cloves, meatgravy aromas. Roasted taste as roasted coffee, breadcrust and walnutpeel. Flavours of clove or allspice and liquorice. Ends pretty dry - spicy/bitterish, near tartness. Restsugars all but gone. Rather well-bodied, neither slick nor chewy. Some discreet alcohol. Decent spicy winter ale, not too sweet, but not too special neither. Bit roasted-roasty...

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
olio (9673) - Tampere, FINLAND - NOV 21, 2012
355 ml bottle.
Originally rated on 20101104. (8+3+7+3+15)
Pours slightly hazy ruby red color with a medium-sized frothy head. Aroma has less surprisingly very spicy with cardamom, ginger, some yeast, mild malty notes and some ripe fruit notes. Lots of spices on the flavor also, some fruits, mild toffee notes, wood and malts. Not too over the top with the spices, decent christmassy brew.
3425

3.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
DrSilverworm (9671) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - MAR 27, 2011
2010 version. Smells great, definitely a pine smell in it thats appropriate for the season, maybe even some roasted nut smells. Appears to be a very dark brown color when poured, but when shining a light through the glass the beautiful red color becomes very apparent. Stickier texture than I prefer, lively carbonation though. Sort of an odd vegetable-ish after taste, but its certainly interesting and not too strong.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
KyotoLefty (9645) - Kyoto, JAPAN - DEC 31, 2009
2008 vintage, one year old. Magnum bottle. Huge spice, licorice, anise, cinnamon, cant really tell. Roasty bitterness that is stout-like. Fresh dark fruit: cherry, blueberry. Very interesting--rich yet rather light-bodied. Very fruity, with too much spice to drink much of, yet its fun.


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