RATINGS: 1140   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.46/5   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 6   EST. CALORIES: 207   ABV: 6.9%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Each year, when people are starting to unpack their winter clothes and replenish their firewood, our tiny brewery in the coastal redwoods of Northern California makes seasonal preparations of a different kind. As the cold arrives, we release a unique beverage created to add warmth to even the coldest and darkest of winter’s days. Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale begins with a very high original gravity to create a hearty and spicy brew with a deep amber hue and a smooth finish. Anderson Valley Brewing Company wishes you the very best for the holiday season and the New Year.

MALTS:
Pale Two-Row, Crystal (40L and 80L), Munich (20L)

HOPS:
Northern Brewer, Liberty

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4.5
SledgeJr (3577) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - JAN 24, 2004
This year's entry (2003) seems to have the perfect balance of malt and hops. Very very smooth drinking for a christmas ale. Nice esters to the palate.

4.5
hershiser2 (3667) - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - FEB 1, 2004
Paid $2.99 for a 1pt 6oz bottle. No freshness date. UNBELIEVABLE head... one of the biggest I have ever seen. Makes pouring and drinking a nightmare though... but this beer's gorgeous. Light amber, with almost a salmon hue. The head is frothy, soft and beigeish-salmon. It lasts, and lasts, and lasts, and laces, and lasts. Sweet fruity smell... slighty IPA scented (grapefruit), but also reminds me of peach and sweet wine. Taste is good. Bittersweet, IPA tatsing, but the strong ale aspect of this beer does come through. Not horribly strong, but not entirely weak, either. It has the grapefruit up front, followed by a warming alcohol that trickles down my throat, warming my pipes all the way down. I was VERY impressed with this beer. I'd never seen it or heard of it before.. but man oh man, am I glad I found it.

4.5
jsmerig (1679) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 20, 2010
Pours a rich amber color with an off-white head. Scent yields a hint of cherry along with spice. This is an incredibly drinkable holiday beer. Most times the spiciness with these types of ales is overbearing. The taste leaves you with a residual sweetness and spiciness that prevents drinking more than a couple at one session. This starts of very full and malty, but then ends with a pleasant dryness that unveils the taste of semi-sweet cherries that was hinted at earlier.

4.5
thetmaxx (927) - West Sacramento, California, USA - JAN 26, 2011
Poured into a lager style glass. Color is dark amber almost copper. Head is thin and leaves light lacing. Aroma is pleasant, very malty hint of fall leaves, and a slight bit of coffee. Flavor is surprisingly different from the aroma in a good way. Flavors of vanilla and chocolate come through with some coffee. No typical Christmas spices detected, and I think that’s a good thing. Full bodied, and thick like honey almost, with an average carbonation. Overall a fantastic winter ale that I look forward to enjoying next year as well!! Couple downsides... The "boontling" under the cap is unreadable unless you scrape off the rubber seal, and it doesn’t burp up very smooth at all. (No points deducted for burpability)

4.5
improvjock (328) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JAN 14, 2012
Bottle. Pours a medium to dark brown with big, soft, creamy head. Aroma of vanilla, cinnamon, and other spices. Flavor is of bready malts and cinnamon. VERY smooth and creamy. One of the best beers, let alone winter ales, that I’ve ever had. Da-yumn! MMMMMMmmmmmmmmm. Yeah!

4.5
Hogues71 (5) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 25, 2012 does not count
Caramel Flavor with amber hues and a great palate. Cinnamon, black licorice undertone. Delicious! ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

4.5
ordybill (1815) - Douglasville, Georgia, USA - DEC 26, 2016
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a clear amber color with a medium sized white head. The aroma is grainy with some malt and spice. The taste is pretty sweet with malt and has a creamy texture with a hint of spices.

4.4
fuchebu (146) - Croydon, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 5, 2001
This one is spicy and pleasingly balanced. Nice kick without being punishing.

4.4
harlequinn (2744) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - NOV 15, 2003
A beautiful ruby garnet coloring with a fastly fading tan head. First flavors are like that of graham crackers and an incredible malt backbone with a slightly sweet hop bite in the aftertaste. Aroma is lightly spicy and floral. After warming, flavors of smores come out and this reminds of something that you would drink around the campfire and tell great beer stories. Lots of marshmallow and chocolate. Very sweet, but not cloying, and very nicely balanced. Nicely cabonated, with an amber-alt character throughout. Finishes lightly sweet and extremely smooth.

4.4
Ida7999 (105) - Milford, Massachusetts, USA - APR 7, 2004
amber, reddish color with a nice foamy head and a good amount of carbonation, aroma is spicy with malt and definite hints of apples and vanilla; very different flavor, both sweet and spicy – spices hit first followed by a burst of an apple/vanilla finish, very smooth


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