overall
89
97
style
RATINGS: 2124   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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3.5
tgncc (3145) - Bellmore, New York, USA - NOV 17, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 25, 2009 Aroma is spicy, some nutmeg and other holiday spices. The appearance is attractive, A very dark, slightly translucent ruby/brown. The flavor is also dominated by spices, nutmeg, cloves. The finish is spicy, like nutmeg. Fairly thick mouthfeel. Not bad.

3.5
Nihon (247) - Vernon, Connecticut, USA - NOV 24, 2007
2007, dark reddish brown, low carbonation. Spicy hoppy aroma, coriander,nutmeg, with a little bit of sweetness. Medium bodied, smooth with medium bitterness. Hops are fairly heavy, not overwhelming, aftertaste of spices and hops.

3.5
DaMenace123 (253) - Houston, Texas, USA - NOV 30, 2007
Dark brown pour with big head. The aroma and flavor were both dominated by ... rose. Spicy flavor.

3.5
pineypower (3350) - Ocean County, New Jersey, USA - DEC 4, 2007
2007 Bottle. Pours out mostly transparent brown with a slight off white head. Aroma of spice, mostly nutmeg and some cinnamon. Taste is slight caramel, with some nutmeg, cinnamon, and some other light earthy/spice notes. Pickup a bottle or two every year, and always good.

3.5
BMan1113VR (7930) - Los Angeles, California, USA - DEC 6, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 26, 2009 2007 vintage in a magnum bottle. A very good tasting extremely dark ale with a very large brown head. Medium to full bodied with a short duration. Aroma is very fresh, with possibly some pine scents. Very much different from Anchor’s other products.
Dec 6, 2007.
Ar: 7; AP: 2; F: 8; P: 4; O: 14
Total Score: 3.5/5.0

2005 Vinatge. Waited too long on this one. Mar 3, 2008. Pours with a light brown, creamy, head that lasts. Murky brown body. Aroma of soy, madera, and prunes. Alcohol legs on the glass. Taste is way too oxidized. Sat for too long. Creamy mouthfeel, with some fizz left. Bitter and very very oxidized.
Ar: 6; AP: 4; F: 5; P: 3; O: 12
Total Score: 3.0/5.0

2006 Vintage. This one was waited on for too long. Pours with a decent sized, light brown, foamy head covering a hazy dark brown body. Aroma has elements of oxidation, figs, plums, yeast, cinnamon, and vanilla. Taste is salty, smokey and oxidized. Over the hill in a baby SA Triple Bock sort of way. I am disapointed because this one looked and smelled quite good. I guess I know that these will not last much longer than a year (low alcohol I guess). Too bad.
April 21, 2008.
Ar: 7; AP: 4; F: 5; P: 3; O: 12
Total Score: 3.1/5.0

2008 vintage. November 16, 2008. Bottle marked 803. Pours a deep mahogoney with a fluffy light brown head. Good lacing and retention. Aroma of allspice, cinnamon, pine, molassas, caramel and maple. Taste is spiced with some tabbacco, allspice, caramel, plenty of hazlenuts, and bitter molassas. Creamy mouthfeel, light bubbles, slightly warming. Good winter warmer.
Ar: 7; AP: 4; F: 7; P: 4; O: 15;
Total Score: 3.7/5.0
2009 had a bit more of a twang to it.

3.5
pdiddy (22) - San Marcos, Texas, USA - DEC 10, 2007
2007. Aromatic and floral. Nearly black, this beer is spiced up and great for the holidays. I detect a tiny amount of anise as well as the other flavors commented on.

3.5
Pastor (799) - Skowhegan, Maine, USA - DEC 14, 2007
bottle poured dark ruby with a nice tan head that fades to a thin lace Aromas of gingerbread cinnamon, nutmeg . Ya it smell like christmas. Flavors of sweet fruit spices, cinnamon exspecially. There is a light bitter to the taste, but i think it comes from the spices more than hops, it has a great mouth feel to it, nice and crisp. it is a very interesting holiday brew.

3.5
jmikolich (1486) - North Ridgeville, Ohio, USA - DEC 23, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 24, 2008 12oz, 2007 bottle, this one is interesting a good sipping brew, with tastes of Cinnamon Graham crackers is predominate in what im tasting, dry mouth feel and nice smooth finish... interesting. 12oz, 2008 bottle, Fresh. Again more of the same graham spices, perhaps cinnamon and im getting some vanilla in here, something sweet which is really good to me.

3.5
Beershine (5253) - VANCOUVER, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 24, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 30, 2011 Pours mahogany red, with a nice lasting head and lacing. Nose is gingerbread. And pie spice with some vanilla, and s’mores. The body does not quite match up and fails to substantiate the aromas. There is weak backbone and a body that could be stronger and bigger.

3.5
mcox90 (2161) - Wilton, New Hampshire, USA - DEC 24, 2007
12 oz bottle, 2007, Pours a beautiful clear coloa color with a small offwhite head. Faint aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg are released when pouring. Taste was of same spices with some malts, no hops. Taste was very clean and sharp. This was a good beer, but I agree with one of the raters below me who stated the beer needs a little maturity. I’ve put the rest in the long term cellar. Will check it out next year.


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