Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco, California. This is the 37th edition of this beer, each being made with a different recipe and each label showing a different tree. The presentation is very nice, as usual. The neck label goes on to read that "it is sold only from early November to mid-January" though I'm absolutely certain I'm drinking this on Halloween and I bought it a week ago. The story goes on, something about trees and newness of life.
I drank the 2010 version last year back when my Dogfish Head glass still existed. And I had the 2009 edition while re-watching Jimmy V's emotional speech. Let's get started. I really want to get this done outside of the window that the beer is actually sold.
Caramel and cinnamon, sweet and spicy aroma. Nice inviting gingerbread smell. Exceptionally creamy and foamy, though the beer is a bit thinner than I had expected. Caramel and a basket of spices dominate the initial flavors. Cinnamon and nutmeg, enough but not overdone. The beer is also not sweet, more on the spicy and earthy side of things, with pretty decent balance. Prunes and cherries, molasses and brown sugar, yet still not sweet. There is enough bitterness in the background to keep it tame. The 5.5% alcohol shows through toward the end, with some warmth and a light pop. Very nice. I like to try these each year, and while they are good, they are not usually very memorable. No exception this year. I'm sure next October I'll need to read this again to refresh my memory.