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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 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
BeerLimey (2154) - California, USA - NOV 28, 2002
Draft 2002: Great pour, dark in body with excellent head formation. Roasted coffee on the nose, comes through fairly bitter on the palate. Chocolaty and nutty, with a herbal spiciness that gains as it warms.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
jayme9874 (756) - Hamburg, New York, USA - NOV 27, 2002
(2002 bottled) A very deep dark ruby/brown. Thin dark tan head and lace. Nose of ginger, mint, pumpkin, graham crackers? and others. Medium bodied, flavors of cola, mint, clove, ginger, some malt in the back seat with a sprinkling of hops. Similar if not the same as last years.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
BillKismet (3321) - Seattle, Washington, USA - NOV 25, 2002
Not bad, but dissapointing compared to the 2001 vintage. The spiced ale was of a beautiful red black appearance with a coffee top. Nutmeg dominates the aroma with ginger dancing around the periphery as well as the possibility of cloves and allspice. The taste is initially dominated by nutmeg and allspice with a characteristic bitterness. Clove residue becomes apparent and adds a dryish element as well. This was less refined than the previous year’s vintate, but still apt for the season.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
cb (810) - Roeland Park, Kansas, USA - NOV 24, 2002
The taste of nutmeg and other "spice" was almost overwhelming at first. Kind of deadened my tastebuds after the first couple sips. Interesting and I’d not turn one down if offered another time.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
TChrome (1409) - Bedford, Texas, USA - NOV 24, 2002
Wow!! There is a ton of good things happening in a glass of Anchor Christmas Ale. The flavor in multi-layered. Beginning with a hop bitterness, followed by a malt sweetness, then burnt coffee and finally a dash of alcohol. This is a delicious brew.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
grant (842) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - NOV 24, 2002
Smells like good bread and eggnog (nutmeg). Unusual brown/burgundy color. Nice tan head. Spice flavors are overpowered by nutmeg (just a touch of cinnamon). Saddle blanket smell. Very unique in individual aspects, but holisticly (as indicated by the overall impression), the parts do not congeal into a coherent whole.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
fraternie (814) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 24, 2002
A great disappointment. Flavor is almost medicinal/ black licorice, no spice of cinnamon that I so enjoyed last year. Smooth, but off by a lot. Maybe I got a bad bottle...

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
MOboy (505) - Kansas City, Missouri, USA - NOV 24, 2002
2002: Oh my. I sit here with a very empty feeling in my heart. After my journey to the beer store on my luch break, working the last four hours of my shift (anticipation is a BITCH) and finally getting home to crack open this beauty, I am almost sad. This years vintage is nowhere near as nutmeggy, gingery, cinnamony or anything elsey. It was like my tongue was numb or something. I had to wait until 10 seconds after i swallowed the stuff to start getting any distinguishable flavors. The appearance and the aroma are still there, but the flavor is wayyyyy muted. I am puttin a 6’er in the cellar and hopefully next year I can change this description.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
aracauna (3030) - Georgia, USA - NOV 23, 2002
Nice big khaki wet foamy head. Body is blackened ruby. Aroma is candy-like, life fruit hard candy. Surprisingly low in malt aromas considering the color. The flavor has a sprucey smell, but lacks the harshness that’s usually associated with it. That blends with a candied lemon flavor, minus the tartness. The flavor is also candy-like but not really sweet. I had expected a higher malt profile. Very low bitterness and flavor is a bit thin underneath the spices.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
estoppel (1028) - Buffalo, New York, USA - NOV 23, 2002
Dark reddish brown body, medium tan head, spicy sweet nose. Very spicy body with a hint of bitterness. As it warms, the malts emerge.

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