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Anchor Our Special Ale (2001 and earlier)

 (RETIRED)
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98
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RATINGS: 451   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.59   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


4.6
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
damzz (278) - Massachusetts, USA - DEC 12, 2010
UPDATED: DEC 16, 2010 Pours a dark, real dark, opaque dark, lovely opaque dark. Iím 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!

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
andyhwcinc (1513) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 12, 2010
I enjoyed this at Delilahís 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.

3.1
   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.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
manuchampions (1237) - 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 yearís past. I like it more this year.

3.1
   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.

3
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
bbrock81 (306) - 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 canít tell you what else to expect, as thatís really all I can get out of it this year, is ginger. Not very good, honestly, and not something Iíll be buying again until next winter.

3.6
   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

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
beastiefan2k (2522) - 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 í99, especially in the flavor.

2001 bottle and 9 years old . Basically somewhere between the í99 and the í00.

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

2.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 2/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 7/20
brokensail (11532) - Orange County, California, USA - MAY 25, 2010
1999 Vintage. A: The pour is a slightly hazed rusted amber color with a minimal off-white head on top. S: The nose is inviting and quite typical for the Anchor Christmas beers. Plenty of spice: cinnamon and clove for the most part. There are also some nice fruits in the form of figs and raisins. T: Thereís something very "off" about this beer. A slightly meaty/fishy taste which overpowers the other flavors for the most part. A bit of fruit and sugar is all that saves this one. M: The body is medium with a fairly decent level of carbonation. D: Itís unfortunate that this one seems to have taken a turn for the worst. I donít quite know what I would suggest to do with this beer.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jtclockwork (8911) - , New Jersey, USA - MAY 10, 2010
Dark black pour in the glass. Little head. Nose and taste is slightly spiced. Rated 3/1/03


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