Saturday, December 16, 2006


Have had about one of these every year for at least the past five years, and it's typically in keeping with ANDERSON VALLEY BREWING s high standards. Their brews just always seem to be far better-than-average, except when they're not, and as I've mentioned here before to the consternation of some, BOONT AMBER might still be my all-time favorite beer (though I recognize some nostalgia for youth and/or regional pride may be in play here). Anyway, this year's model of the WINTER SOLSTICE SEASONAL ALE does not disappoint. Very spicy, definitely in the 80th-90th percentile for Christmas flavors, this one, and incredibly aromatic of same. I was a bit disheartened by a slightly more "watery" feel than I usually enjoy, but was cheered by the general combination of flavors and the way the deep amber flowed nicely and even changed its character as it warmed up. Getting through an entire 22-oz. bottle was no challenge, is what I'm trying to say. It's no JUBELALE this time around, but definitely worth a guzzle. 7/10.

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