You may remember that I drank a magnum of the 2007 ale in January of this year.
Also remember that each year Anchor changes the recipe of this winter warmer to spice things up. Not surprisingly the taste is similar. However there are a few noticeable changes.
First, this beer it a lot lighter in color. While the lighting in the picture does not quite pick it up, the beer is almost a bright red with a dark center. (click on picture: see bottom of the glass. Sorry, I'm not a photographer). Last year's brew was a lot darker. Also there is a thinner mouthfeel, more of a citrus taste, and a very very bitter coffee aftertaste. While the citrus and coffee flavors were present in '07 I feel they have been ramped up in '08.
You really can't go wrong with this beer no matter how much they tinker with it. Always enjoyable. May your upcoming holidays be warm and filled with beer. Cheers.