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 (3144) - 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
mabel (10004) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 6, 2008
UPDATED: APR 10, 2009 [854-20071124] 12floz (Vintage 2006, w/ jerc). Strange old musty booze aroma with dog paw and burnt grain hints. Black body with a quick creamy curry-tan head. Christmas spicy coffee malt flavour seems like it has an invisible stick of cinnamon resting in the glass. Medium-full body. Interesting but not impressive. (6/3/7/3/14) 3.3

[1893B-20081206] Tap. Mild spicy Christmas fruits and rum and sweet toasty yeast aroma. Clear, dark brown red body with a long-lasting creamy off-white head. Sweet caramelized leaves and mild spices and honey and grainy yeast bread and mild perfume in the flavour. Medium body. Repeatable, enjoyable. (7/4/7/4/15) 3.7
(Vintage 2008 @ Cole’s; Buffalo, NY)

3.5
45thstbrewer (94) - Conowingo, Maryland, USA - JAN 23, 2008
Anchor’s holiday brew was pretty good at first but the more i drank the more i disliked it for some reason

3.5
garthicus (2962) - Dublin, IRELAND - FEB 8, 2008
Bottle, thanks Harry. Ruby red, brown frothy head. A cinnamon- toffee nose, very warming. A dry-bitter-spicey-butter flavour with a wonderful christmas pudding finish. Enjoyable

3.5
Goodgrief (2071) - Middletown, Delaware, USA - FEB 16, 2008
Jan. 2007 - I’m trying to be fair. I hate these overly spiced ales. This one, if I look at it clinically, was probably good. Deep brown color with red highlights. Nice head and lacing. Lots of roasted malts, chocolate, and some spices...too many of them for me to even finish the bottle, but if this is your thing, I’ll bet this beer would be loved. Rich thick mouthfeel. Not again for me, though.


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