argo0 (11329) - Washington DC, USA - DEC 8, 2002
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Cloudy dark garnet, with minimal head. Aroma is weak piney/spruce. Taste is spruce/pine, malty, spicy and slightly sweet.
Volgon (2763) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - DEC 8, 2002
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: DEC 21, 2006 A bit hoppier than past years. Allspice aroma and taste. Less nutmeg than previous years.
DavefromChicago (201) - Illinois, USA - DEC 7, 2002
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottled. The rating is high, but, you just can’t beat Anchor for a great seasonal X-mas brew...at least U.S. brews. This deep reddish-brown version is full of roasted malt, lightly hopped and spicy. Rich and smooth with flavors and aromas of cider, bananas, raisins, honey and lotsa nutmeg. Not as assertive as last years, which I had on tap. Great beer in the spice/herb category.
Nate (3636) - Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 6, 2002
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Awesome aroma - nutmeg/cardammon/pumpkin pie spice/mulling spice, sweetness. Like eggnog or Xmas potpourri. Dark brown clear liquid with small lacing off-white head. Medium high carb with medium-heavy body. Taste was very interesting, though a little too bitter. Lots of spices and the aftertaste and subsequent belches were like eggnog. The spice remained on my breath for a long time after. Wouldn’t drink more than one in a day, but a nice diversion.
JahNoth (1039) - Rochester, New York, USA - DEC 6, 2002
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Very interesting beer. The aroma is terrific - like a Christmas candle - very unique and refreshing. Strong malt and hop backbone to complement the holiday spices. Very interesting, and tasty.
hopscotch (8785) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - DEC 6, 2002
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
This beer rocks.
Rich spicey aroma. Notes of perfume, gingerbread, alcohol, baked apples with cinnamon, nutmeg, ah hell, lots more, but you get the idea. Liquid Christmas, Kwanzaa, Chanuka, whatever!!!!
Crystal clear deep ruby ale with a light brown, frothy head. Mostly diminishing with no lacing. Still, a beautiful beer.
The flavor is malty and spicey up front. Lightly pungent and bitter on the backside. I also detect prunes. Excellent and interesting flavor.
Lively carbonation. Full-bodied with a heavy and oily mouthfeel. Short, lightly tart, lightly bitter, herbal finish. Great Winter Warmer!
JFGrind (1835) - Glenside, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 6, 2002
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
This week I had my first taste of this year’s Special Ale on draft. Aroma is a strong and spicy. Color is dark, and head is tan and strong. When it comes to Anchor Special Ale it’s all about the spice. This year’s edition the spiciness is less evident than in past year. I have to run out and grab a case or two of 2002 so I can cellar it. I’ll be drinking my private stock this beer for periodically the next year. It will be pure enjoyment.
YogiBeera (2435) - Hamburg, GERMANY - DEC 6, 2002
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Wonderful chocolate ginger and spicey nose. Black with a big frothy head. It tastes like Gingerbread with initial tones of hops that leads to a dry nice bitter finish. Great and with the 2000 my favorite vintage of Anchor special Ale.
Dorwart (2359) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - DEC 5, 2002
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Nice thick, creamy head. Not overly spicy like some ’christmas’ ales. Hint of nutmeg present. Excellent dark roasted color. A little sweet though. Slightly bitter aftertaste. One of the better (more drinkable) holiday brews I have had.
DankbrewedDank (162) - East Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - DEC 4, 2002
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Smelled like a pumpkin pie. Probably the nutmeg in it. The spices really worked well in this dark ale. They were well balance with the malts so it wasnt too overpowering. It was smooth and good and just got better as it warmed. I think this is the first spice/herb/vegtable I actually liked.