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Anchor Our Special Ale (2001 and earlier)



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RATINGS: 456   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.59/5   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.

NDmullet's rating

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
NDmullet (208) - South Bend, Indiana, USA - JAN 26, 2003
2000 vintage, 1.5 L magnum. Pours a deep ruby color, darker than expected, lightly cloudy. Tan, craggy foam head that gently fades. Aroma is initially spicy, obviously, in the form of prominent ginger, juniper berries, cinammon, and allspice, among others. All of this blends nicely with the darker/chocolate hued malts. The nose becomes fruitier and more complex as it warms, mostly apples and soy. Soft and lightly sweet malt presence sets the table nicely for the spiced elements. The texture is rather thin, but not flat. Finishes with a welcome medium bitterness. An interesting and well crafted potpourri of a beer, which truly does invoke holiday visions. Incidentally, I believe this is the oldest beer I've ever sampled.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
stephenco (49) - Makati, PHILIPPINES - JAN 18, 2016
330ml bottle from HK Brewcraft. Pours dark brown with beige head. Good spicy holiday ale.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
tmoreau (3474) - Lombard, Illinois, USA - DEC 23, 2015
Shared í99 12 oz. bottle poured to snifters, showing a mahogany hue, with some ruby highlighting at the base, a thin, rapidly reducing layer of light tan head foam, and light spots & strands of lacing. The nose was a malty sweet, Barleywine-like scent, dark fruit as plum & prune, subtle holiday spice, and a touch of lurking alcohol? Light to medium bodied, the taste was similar notes, and also included a slight woody/cedar hint? Texture was a little thinned, and there was almost no effervescence, but that was okay with me. Turned out to be a fairly tasty & successful cellar experiment, with no noticeable oxidation, and just reduced, all around character.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Nie (80) - - DEC 18, 2015
Bottle. Strong gingerbread nose, touch of nutmeg. Unsweetened gingerbread with a healthy amount of bitterness.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
rouhlas (2246) - GREECE - JUN 19, 2015
355ml bottle at home. Dark brown color with beige head. Roasted malty aroma, spicy, caramel, bread. Sweet and light bitter taste like aroma. almost medium oily body with soft carbonation.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
alexsdad06 (8251) - Ohio, USA - MAR 31, 2015
12 oz. bottle shared by Tmoney99 from notes. Pours a clear dark brown color with a medium sized beige head. The aroma is sweet caramel malts, some maple, generous amounts of holiday spices (especially given the age) and some oxidation. The flavor has more sweet caramel malt, holiday spices, roast, smooth chocolates and some light fruitiness. It surprises me that this ages well being a smaller beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Travlr (19908) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - AUG 21, 2014
Draft at Paradiso Dupont. Clear maroon color, thick beige head. Seems over spiced to me, with lots of residual sugar

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Headbanger (3748) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - APR 26, 2014
12oz bottle í96 Vintage (Old Notes)-Pours a dark brown with a decent sized tan head. Aroma of spices, caramel, and malt. Taste of the same. This medium to full bodied brew is well balanced and goes down smooth on those cold nights.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
gschrade (969) - Collinsville, USA - DEC 3, 2013
I had this at Global Brew. Pours reddish-brown with a brown head. Taste nutmeg, cinnamon, spicy. I thought this was so so. I could drink this again. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 13/20
stantheman (855) - British Columbia, CANADA - FEB 4, 2013
Bottle from 6 pack bought at Liquor Barn in North Burnaby. Iím not real big on most herbal/spice ales, as most I find rather weak, but this one is a pleasant surprise.

Pours very dark, a bit translucent, with a medium golden head. Nose is sweet and spicy. Taste is of cinnamon, nutmeg, perhaps a bit of clove, and of course there is caramel in the background.

Very nice for type!

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 6/20
Leini (1682) - SWEDEN - FEB 3, 2013
330ml bottle, 2012 edition. Sold as "Christmas Ale" in Sweden. Dark brown body with a 2cm thick head. Cloves, peach, syrup, chocolate and spices that remind of Fernet-Branca. Dry ending, almost sandy, with a touch of mint. Since I donít like Fernet Iím struggling with this one.

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