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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3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DuffMan (10070) - 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!

2.6
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
gnoff (10057) - 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

2.8
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
GT (9982) - Oceanside, California, USA - DEC 5, 2009
12oz. Pours a cloudy deep red with a one finger dark tan head that has little retention and lacing. Aroma is spice, toffee, apple cider, nutmeg, cinnamon. Taste is spicy, watery, spruce, huge medicinal feel. Lots of cough syrup, Sudafed, Nyquil. Pretty light bodied but syrupy mouthfeel. Sort of gross. Im surprised that a brewery with as much to live up to as Anchor would actually produce something this bad every year.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
KyotoLefty (9982) - 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.

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
marcus (9980) - Sacramento, California, USA - JAN 17, 2006
This dark brown ale poured with a nice tan head. The flavor is very malty with a spicy finish. This years brew seems maltier and less spicy than most of the previous years.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
olio (9941) - 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

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
alexsdad06 (9936) - 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.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
phaleslu (9926) - 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.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
deanso (9922) - Doncaster, South Yorkshire, ENGLAND - NOV 8, 2012
35cl bottle from ABCBeers, the Hague. Thick off white head. Clear black pour. Herbal taste but quite smooth. A nice brew.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
sebletitje (9910) - Enghien, BELGIUM - DEC 19, 2008
Thanks to super Dave, the cellar king of FL for bringing these rare offerings. Got to try the 2005 and 2006 versions. Both of them pour brownish with light tan - beige head, 05 had a more lingering lacing on the glass. Aroma was a little more in the favor of the 05 version with a more nutty nose vs. a piny approach for the 06. 05 offers a more gingerbread taste with spices, smooth and light caramel. 06 has more light chocolate notes and caramel with molasses. with attenuated cinnamon touch. Overall bot are very enjoyable beres that have aged well. Score goes to the 05 version.


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