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Anchor Our Special Ale (2002)



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RATINGS: 271   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.62   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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
AmEricanbrew (5575) - Same Trailer, Different Park, Louisiana, USA - FEB 11, 2010
From the cellar, enjoyed 02.07.2010. Mahogany color/ light brown head. Awesome nutty sweet vanilla bean aroma, with mint leaf, fresh baked gingerbread cookies. Light/ medium body with soft carbonation. Roasty brown malt flavor with vanilla extract, black licorice, ginger, other sweet spices. very fucking good

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
theisti (3175) - Leawood, Kansas, USA - FEB 5, 2010
All beers shared by csbosox, courtesy of his departed friend Mark. Cheers to you Mark.

Side by Side of the 1999, 2000 and 2001 Vintages:
1999 - Pour is a ruby brown, hazed, with a thin rim of an off white head. Aroma of big full nutmeg, soft, spiced coriander, bunch of yeast. Nice delicate and full nose. Taste is pretty metallic, oxidized, behind that, and after the oxidiation clears there is some of the spiced nutmeg of the nose. Palate is medium, lightly carbonated, with a lingering yeast aftertaste. (8,4,6,3,14 - 3.5)
2000 - Pour ditto to the 1999, though a bit flatter looking. Aroma is metallic showing substantial oxidation. After that clears, a bit of nutmeg, clove. Taste is showing the oxidation with a dry metallic nature, followed by spruce, nut, tree bark. Palate ditto the 1999. (6,4,5,3,11 - 2.9)
2001 - Pour ditto the 1999. Aroma is full and round, chestnut, vanilla, cinnamon, even some cranberry. Certainly the best nose of these three. Taste is really well integrated, some of the nut berry and yeast of the nose, along with a pleasant dry fruit character. However, there are also some phenols present that detract. Palate ditto the 1999. (8,4,6,4,16 - 3.6)

Side by Side of the 2002, 2003 and 2004 Vintages:
2002 - Pour is a hazed brown ruby with a 1/4 inch tan head. Aroma is big spice yeast, clove, hazel / nutmeg, dry fruit even. Nice. Taste is dry fruit light sweetness, along with the spice yeast, touch of oxidation in the back. Palate is thinner than some of the older vintages, medium to thin. (8,4,7,3,15 - 3.7)
2003 - Pour ditto the 2002. Aroma is the typical potpurri of spice, with some light metallic. Taste is showing oxidation, up front followed by the potpurri spices, dry fruit ester sweetness and a hint of vanilla. Palate is medium to thin, some light carbonation, long spiced finish. (6,4,6,3,12 - 3.1)
2004 - Pour ditto the 2002. Aroma ditto 2002. Taste is spice, cinnamon, earth, yeast and nuttiness. Nice integration of flavors, really get the malt in this more than others. Palate is medium, more full bodied than the 02 and 03. This was the class of the session. (8,4,8,4,15 - 3.9)

Tasted by itself:
2007 - Pour is hazed brown ruby with a 1/4 inch tan head. Aroma is softly spiced, potpurri, clove, yeast esters. Much more subdued than others. Taste is clove, light white pepper, general yeast. Not much malt, some faint pine hop. Palate is thin to medium, long dry pepper aftertaste. (7,4,6,3,14 - 3.4)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
after4ever (6055) - Brier, Washington, USA - NOV 28, 2009
magnum, capped. no head, lace, or legs, after a few minutes...but theres massive head at first and a big web of honeycombed bubbles in the bottle on first pour. big dark spice nose, with hardwoods and earth showing. creamy medium body. plenty of firmly active carb. earth, roast, coriander, cloves, and chocolate on the mid palate. long spicy finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
bsjay (54) - Oregon, USA - OCT 15, 2009
Do I remember exactly what this one tasted like 7 years ago? No. Do I have the willpower to save bottles for vertical tastings ten years down? Absolutely not. That said, I have tried every yearís offfering and rarely been disappointed, unless 02 was that one year it was too clovey. Hmm

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
bhensonb (10689) - Woodland, California, USA - SEP 18, 2009
Bottle from Liquid Solutions. Pours a deep brown with ruby tones. Head is finely bubbled tan. Aroma is lightly xmas spice. Full bodied with creamy carbonation. Flavor is toffee/treacle, cinnamon, and malt. It is very smooth. Very integrated. Some hot bits in the finish. Quite flavorful.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
CheersMate (1305) - Fremont (Seattle), Washington, USA - AUG 12, 2009
50 oz. bottle found at Bottleworks! Holy crap...I canít belive this was at Bottleworks. Glad to have tried this one. $25 for a 50 oz. Nice off-white head that fades away to a thin head, but the head is a nice off-white brownish head. Great looking beer! After 7 years, I am glad this thing still carries as much carbonation as it does. Dark brown almost black in color. Nice looking ber I must say. Very malty with a slight spice aroma. The aging has had an effect on the spices. Again, for this beer the time hasnít destroyed the spices. Spices come out more as the beer warms, but that malt has had a nice amount of time to develop and add a great flavor along with the spices. Wow, I canít belive I was able to try this. Actually, I keep drinking this and the beer warms up this thing still has a fair amount of spice in the flavor but not in the aroma. The spice seems a bit more mature. A carbonated beer for its age.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Snojerk321 (2975) - San Diego, California, USA - MAY 7, 2009
12oz bottle. Pours a deep hazy coffee brown with a 2 finger tan head that left some spotty lacing. Nose was reminiscent of port wine with some sweet malts, toffee and a hint of coffee in the nose. good spice and toffee on the palate with a long finish that really stuck to the tongue. Very full bodied and bursting with flavor. My favorite of the aged Anchor X mas brews.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
aspidites (1272) - manteca, California, USA - FEB 7, 2009
Nutmeg, coriander, allspice, treacle and bread nose. Almost salty on the palate with lots of spice and fruitcake notes. Clean lingering finish. Seems spicier that usual this year.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
nickd717 (3457) - San Francisco, California, USA - FEB 4, 2009
UPDATED: AUG 26, 2011 Bottle at The Bruery, 2002 vintage, drank it December 2008, vertical with 2001 and 2008 vintages. Dark amber color with an off-white head. Aroma of roasted malt, nutmeg, ginger, and brown sugar. Taste is the same, malty and spicy, not quite as mellow as the 2001. Medium-full body.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Ibrew2or3 (6760) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - DEC 20, 2008
2002, consumed during our 2002 to 2006 vertical Dec. 2008. Pours dark hazy brown with mocha head and a bit of cobweb lacing. The aroma comes across as gingerbread cookie, molasses, hints of pepper and a whiff or two of caramel candy. The taste has a mix of concord grape jam, chocolate, hints of burnt molasses and smooth highly roasted malts. It ends with a bit of drying roasted malts and lingering sweet dark fruitiness. Very nice. Another one that has aged wonderfully.

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