Winter Ale / Warmer

Anchor Christmas Ale 2005

Anchor Christmas Ale 2005

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Tree:  Quercus agrifolia (Coast Live Oak) I found the latin name rather humorous.  “Agrifolia” sounds close to agriphobia.  Not sure what would happen if a tree had a fear of farming?  I digress.  Another stout-like brew for this year’s batch.  It pours a deep mahogany with similar garnet hues as the 2002 vintage.  The head seemed […] ... [Read more]

Anchor Christmas Ale 2002

Anchor Christmas Ale 2002

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Tree:  Populus fremontii (Fremont/Alamo Cottonwood) Picking up where I left of yesterday, I found myself pouring vintage 2002.  The contents of the bottle was much darker this time around and the head much more dense than before.  Looking through the glass into some light and a clear garnet color was evident.  Familiar dark brown hues on […] ... [Read more]

Anchor Christmas Ale 2001

Anchor Christmas Ale 2001

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Tree:  Washingtonia filifera (California/Desert/Arizona Fan Palm) Pouring a deeper ruby reddish color it looked more like a Scottish style ale mixed with a Porter.  The head plumed rather fast and formed a tight knit beige barrier. When it came to the aroma, this year’s vintage had Scottish ale all over it.  Dark malt notes that were […] ... [Read more]

Anchor Christmas Ale 2000

Anchor Christmas Ale 2000

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Tree:  Torreya californica (California Torreya or Nutmeg) The start of a new decade.  I wonder what they added to the brew to make this beer that much more special.  In any case, it poured very similar to the year prior with a deep brown color.  One could argue that it is a brown ale or […] ... [Read more]

Anchor Christmas Ale 1999

Anchor Christmas Ale 1999

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Brewed since 1975 this seasonal Christmas ale (aka Our Special Ale) has become a tradition in and of itself.  The more I’ve learned about this beer, the more I want to add it to my holiday traditions.  There are a few interesting facts surrounding this beer that you must know. The ingredients are “top secret” […] ... [Read more]

21st Amendment Fireside Chat

21st Amendment Fireside Chat

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So … Christmas in July? Well, I didn’t realize exactly what I was grabbing off the liquor store shelf and adding to my mix-and-match sixer a couple of days ago. I ended up with this Winter Warmer from 21st Amendment and thought I’d better not wait another day, considering it was brewed and released last […] ... [Read more]

Anchor Christmas Ale 2006

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Well it’s Christmas Eve, 2010. Just 36 hours from now, Christmas will have come and gone. The extra ham or turkey will now go between two pieces of bread and the mashed potatoes and Jello salad will be nibbled ‘til they’re gone. So with the holiday season’s end in site, I wanted to make sure […] ... [Read more]

AleSmith YuleSmith Holiday Ale

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One moment I’m sitting in my living room on a cool, February evening in San Diego and I pop the cap of an Alesmith bomber. I pour. Immediately I am transported to a pine forest. Lots of resiny pine going on here. Towering, resiny pines. Am I having a stroke? No, I’m having Yulesmith, a […] ... [Read more]

Left Hand Snowbound Winter Ale

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Smells medicinal, a greeny, almost menthol spice, cough drop anyone? Also picking up some black licorice, cloves and maybe cinnamon. Dark almost black brown color with decent head but vanishes pretty quickly leaving only a faint film. Loosely resembles the surface of the moon. It has a very herb-y, floral note that you cannot miss, […] ... [Read more]

Hoppin’ Frog Frosted Frog Christmas Ale

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As the holiday season began to wind down, I still had a single remaining Christmas ale in the fridge. Eager to end the year on a high note, I broke it out with a couple of fellow Perfectly Happy Men on New Year’s Eve. I had previously sampled Hoppin’ Frog’s Pumpkin Ale and was awed […] ... [Read more]