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Anchor Our Special Ale (2001 and earlier)



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RATINGS: 451   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.59   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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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.

DrnkMcDermott's rating

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
DrnkMcDermott (2855) - Downers Grove, Illinois, USA - DEC 7, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 6, 2006 Sample taste at <a href=http://www.chibeer.org>Chicago Beer Society vertical tasting, Dec. 1. This total rating is a general huzzah for the whole stack, since no gripe I may have could possibly dissuade you from wanting to have your own vertical of as many vintages as possible:<ul><li>2001 More of a cherry smell. This one comes up with a tough of ginger. This particular bottle, though, is just skating at the edge of drinkability. <li>2000 A nice, darker color than the 2001 Brown in color, with maltiness that tends to the Pale Ale category. Has the complimenting fruitiness of an English pale ale. <li>1999 Darker still in color, Has a continued fruitiness from aging. This one has begun to lose its spiciness. Malts are a deeper brown ale style; in fact, this one comes across with an impression of an English nut-brown ale. <li>1998 Settled to the same brown color as the 1999. Nice impressions of leather and pipe tobacco, and a touch of chocolate. Also has some sourness that comes in nicely. <li>1997 Darker still than the more recent beers. My first note is of chocolate covered cherries and the smoothness of book leather. <li>1996 This particular sample has gone flat. Itís still got a nice chocolaty component. But that canít get around it being flat, and just a bit vinegary. We only opened one bottle, so Iím not sure if it was just one bad one. <li>1995 After the flat í96, we got back to a nice fruity and well-balanced holiday beer. Iím again reminded how well these 5.5% beers have kept. This vintage brings the malts back to the forefront. <li>1994 A bit of cherry and black currants in the smell, otherwise only borderline interesting. Does put an interesting woody hop component. <li>1993 Got just a taste. It comes in a little bit watery. May be a touch of smokiness. <li>1992 Slight cherry overtones. Taste is just a touch volatile. This is pretty well-aged; for something thatís been in the bottle so long, itís held up very well. <li>1991 Light mťlange of spice flavors over malts. A noticeable English hops profile remains to be found. Again, a well cared for beer. <li>1990 This one holds up pretty well, too, even if it only offers a vague impression of brown malts. Still some spices here, but somewhat ďemptiedĒ of their kick.</ul>

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Travlr (14150) - 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 (3425) - 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 (778) - 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 (678) - 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 (1063) - 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.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
jeremyh70 (809) - Missouri, USA - JAN 13, 2013
Clear brown with ruby highlights. Big pillowy off white head with good lacing. Aroma of sweet root beer with some herbal spicing. Ginger and some nutmeg taste with a vegetal flavor and bitterness that has a hint of pineyness in finish. Dry with moderate carbonation and moderate mouthfeel. Not my favorite Christmas beer because of vegetal taste and bitterness. Wanted it to be less dry. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 6/20
Lukaduke (2435) - Portland, Maine, USA - JAN 7, 2013
1997 vintage.... probably a bit to long in the cellar. Poured a flat brown mahogany color with no visible head. Aromas are faint malts with caramel and herbal touches. On the palate its flat watered down cola... nothing else. Just taste like a cup of cola left sitting for a day full of melted ice....

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
rvhouten (13) - NETHERLANDS - JAN 7, 2013
A complex spicy winterbeer. Although this is a dark beer, it is easy drinkable. Well balanced. Cinnamon, pine and a hint of roasted malt. Aftertaste reminds me of bayleaf.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
wheresyourball (521) - El Cajon, California, USA - JAN 6, 2013
On tap at Vine Cottage in La Mesa. Pours ruby-brown with almost no head, and smells like cinnamon and spices. Flavor is spices, toffee, chocolate, fruit, bread. Watery mouthfeel.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
zacgillbanks (2728) - Tyne & Wear, ENGLAND - DEC 31, 2012
2012 Bottle from Rehills, Newcastle. Extremely dark brown with ruby red highlights. Sarsaparilla, blackcurrant, vanilla and orange blossom? flavours with chocolate and a sweet floral hoppy finish.

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