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Anchor Our Special Ale (2001 and earlier)



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RATINGS: 453   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.59   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
Our Special Ale, a dark, rich, heavily spiced ale with a recipe that changes with each passing year. - The enticing ruby color is topped by a dark creamy head that emits both malty and spicy aromas with ginger being a prominent one. The full body is matched with complex dry and spicy flavors that produce a nice favorable combination before finishing on the dry side.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
madmitch76 (18167) - , Essex, ENGLAND - JAN 15, 2011
2nd February 2008
1994 botltle! Very dark brown ale. Doesn’t smell great! Not too bad in the mouth. Porterish with a slighlty spicy finish. Okay but clearly past it’s best.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
tkrjukoff (4172) - SWEDEN - DEC 26, 2010
Pours dark brown with ruby tones. Small tanned head leaving nice lacing. Aroma is spicy of ginger and cinnamon and bitterorange, malty and some licorice. Very nice. Spicy mouthfeel. Acidy, fruity and spicy flavor. Acidy sour and spicy palate. Finishes short with hoppy and spicy aftertaste.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
damzz (345) - Massachusetts, USA - DEC 12, 2010
UPDATED: DEC 16, 2010 Pours a dark, real dark, opaque dark, lovely opaque dark. I’m okay; moving on now. Head is slight light brown with minimal lacing with both quickly receding. On the palate, the spices come on fast in a medium body with a malty sweetness - slight - followed by a bitterness that is well balanced against the sweetness. This is like drinking a sourdough dark pumpernickel (huh?) with cloves and cardamon and a hint of orange peel. It is a great drink. Remembering why and ultimately for whom this brew was created: MERRY CHRISTMAS!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
andyhwcinc (1657) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 12, 2010
I enjoyed this at Delilah’s 12th annual Winter Beer Tasting in Chicago, IL. From what I remember of this one, it was rather sweet with a bubble gum like aroma, which right now sounds a bit weird but while sampling it, it did smell like bubble gum. Perhaps the spices and malt matured in such a way that it became rather sweet. Not bad though.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
rgray81 (7) - Oklahoma, USA - DEC 10, 2010 does not count
This beer caught me by surprise. Nice dark color with very little head or lacing. I notice a toffee and spice flavor and with a roasty aroma. Very matly and with some spice notes. Good beer overall.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
manuchampions (1243) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 9, 2010
355ml bottle from Brewery Creek in Vancouver. I have had this several times before but failed to rate it. 2010 vintage bottle: Pours with a pretty thick, brownish head. Colour is dark/ruby red. Aroma is very malty, with a touch of sweetness and spice. Flavour is malty, with just enough sweetness to balance, and a smokey essence. Spruce and spice was more restrained than in year’s past. I like it more this year.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
weaselkenievil (1608) - Cheshire, ENGLAND - DEC 6, 2010
*slaps self in face* Ginger! How in the name of high school football did I miss that? Cheers guy below. Almost black brown with a nice medium pale beige head. Strange medicinal type qualities. Must be the ginger. I was a big of gingers in real life. Probably due to sticking up for my sister for all those years.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
bbrock81 (312) - Le Mars, Iowa, USA - NOV 27, 2010
Wow, ginger to the fore this year! Ginger on the nose, ginger on the tongue, ginger all around. Pours an almost opaque brown, with a huge tan head this disappears quickly. Aroma is a cross between sweet but roasted malt and ginger, while the flavor is almost all on the ginger. I can’t tell you what else to expect, as that’s really all I can get out of it this year, is ginger. Not very good, honestly, and not something I’ll be buying again until next winter.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
SuzyGreenberg (1603) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JUN 10, 2010
12 oz. bottle; 1999 vintage; side by side with a magnum of 2002; thin cola brown with thin tan head; aromas of juniper berries, spruce and nutmeg; just a lovely nose; texture is thin with very faint flavors of spice, nutmeg and berries; pretty nice but flavors fall flat compared with the nose; touch of dry oxidation

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
beastiefan2k (2830) - Emerald City (formely NYC & KS), Washington, USA - MAY 29, 2010
All shared by csbosox, thanks Chris:

1999 bottle and 11 years old . Doing better than expected, still oxidized but some spice coming through (grass-like). Some wet brown leaves.

2000 bottle and 10 years old . Much more oxidized than the ’99, especially in the flavor.

2001 bottle and 9 years old . Basically somewhere between the ’99 and the ’00.

Bottom Line:. Too old for the small bottles, if you are looking for a decade old OSA keep to the magnums.

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