overall
89
97
style
RATINGS: 2110   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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3.1
TheEpeeist (3709) - Media, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 21, 2006
12 oz bottle - 2006. Burgundy brown with a short, smooth tan head. Grape, orange, cloves. I think sangria or mulled wine. Rather sharp and fizzy. Toffee is overwhelmed by wood alcohol and bitter spices. Sour apple with a chalky finish.

3.1
jon112981 (327) - Bristow, Virginia, USA - DEC 24, 2006
Bottle. Dark pour with thick white head. Slightly bitter with a sweet undertone. Very light tasting but not as smooth as I expected.

3.1
Driftwood6 (214) - USA - DEC 7, 2007
On tap at Brixie’s, Brookfield IL. Spices pretty subdued. Most noticable was the dry finish with a touch of bitterness. I think I liked the Great Lakes Christmas Ale a little better.

3.1
Bier brauen (246) - Bremerton, Washington, USA - DEC 15, 2007
2007 edition. Nice aroma but thin mouthfeel and bitter taste. Not as big as the inviting seasonal aroma would promise.

3.1
Canadianlush (169) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - DEC 16, 2007
Poured much darker than I thought it would. Almost like a porter to echo Strykzone’s comments with a full tan head. Sweet aroma of something that I can’t make out. Taste is full, sugrary and lingers. Not something I’ll pick up every year. Kind of a let down considering how reliable the guys at Anchor are.

3.1
SirSlarty (68) - Reading, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 16, 2007
Looks and smells almost like a brown ale. Frothy tan head. Looks great. Tastes good too. Surprised me. Major hints of apple and other fruits.

3.1
BlackForestCO (978) - Aurora, Colorado, USA - DEC 21, 2007
07 bottle. Poured a tawny brown with a pillowy, light tan head that left nice lacing. Nice aroma of caramel, spices (clove and ginger mainly), and a hint of pine. I didn’t enjoy the flavor as much as the aroma. It began with a slightly spicey pine taste that led into a somewhat smooth caramel finish. It was relatively smooth on the palate. I just couldn’t really get into this beer.

3.1
GG (2332) - NorCal, California, USA - DEC 24, 2007
I’m not a huge fan of this beer when it’s fresh. After a bit of age on it it comes around nicely, but aside from that issue it’s not a bad beer. Aroma is holiday spices, like cinammon and nutmeg, some clove and allspice wrapped up in a caramel bow. Appearance is dark brown, cloudy with some red edges coming thru the light, a nice one-finger thick head. Mouthfeel is a touch watery. Flavors were mostly an uncharacterized sweetness, perhaps caramel but the spices really make this hard to distinguish. A tasty beer for sure, but as I said after 1-2 years this beer really hits it’s peak. Looking forward to trying the ’07 in ’09.

3.1
bleeng (1682) - Seattle still not near Beersel., Washington, USA - JAN 4, 2008
2007 version. Thick full white head on top of a dark, almost opaque beer. Nose of pine cones, spices, like a clear, cold winter day in the Rocky Mts. Taste is sweet, tangy, a bit hoppy with a nice malt background. Of course the pine cones and spices overwhelm this beer. A bit over-carbonated and the finish is a bit thin. One is enough. These are best aged for at least one year.

3.1
mybestfriend (263) - Gothenburg, SWEDEN - FEB 17, 2008
2007 bottle. Pours an almost black colour with a beige head, On the nose I got some fresh, but artificial, citrus (made me think of detergent) mixed with some ginger, roasted coffee beans and julmust (a swedish christmas soft drink). The taste is a bit sweet and resembles the aroma but with much more ginger!


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