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Anchor Our Special Ale (2002)



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RATINGS: 277   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.63   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.

Brewmaster's rating

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
Brewmaster (168) - USA - DEC 21, 2002
Unique and creative brew, compared to others I have sampled. Enjoyable at first - but definatly an “occasion beer”. Aroma and flavor of pine, gingerbread and other spices as others have mentioned. Has Christmas written all over it. Too much for my tastes – and a LITTLE more tolerable when ice cold. Aroma and Flavor is great at first - but gets almost sickly, however I can manage to get through an entire glass.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
marcus (7805) - Sacramento, California, USA - APR 21, 2015
2002 Bottle gifted by bhensonb. Fortunately, I have an official Anchor Our Special Ale glass for this momentous occasion. The beer pours very dark brown, nearly black with a modest light tan head and a lovely roasted malt aroma. Over the years, the spices and hops have melded with the malt to create a composite rounded flavor. It is still a pleasure to drink, but certainly not as well-defined as I assume it was when first bottled. Roasty dark fruit and a long dry malty finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
HonusWagner (1793) - Florida, USA - DEC 21, 2014
Thanks to Jon for the share on the magnum. Plummy and all kinds of weird spices. Not really my thing but not awful.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
slowrunner77 (7438) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 5, 2014
christmas tree in a bottle. pours a ruby-tinged black with a redish-off-white head. every year is different but similar. 02 was a good year. one of my favorite seasonals. orange peel, dark malt & fruit, a little spice. great silky heavier mouthfeel. good stuff."

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Alengrin (3536) - BELGIUM - AUG 25, 2014
Spiced winter beer, made with different ingredients each year and available from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. The 2002 version had a beige, creamy, stable head and very dark burgundy colour, almost blackish. Strong and very inviting, elegant aroma of coffee, chocolate, cloves, cinnamon, citrussy hops and raisins, taste deep malty, lightly toasted and assertively, dryingly spicy, like a Belgian Christmas ale, dark fruits, long dry hoppy finish. Very complex and very good.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 7/20
Sarlacc83 (1480) - Portland, Oregon, USA - AUG 17, 2014
Bottle shared by Douglas. Thanks! Rating 700. A: Dark mahogany, very thin head, and lacing. N: Peppercorn and cardboard. Rust and toffee. Red pepper and cedarboards. Uhh... T: Spicy and sweet. Breaking down, but not totally there, yet. M: A touch watery. Lighter body, very little carbonation. O: I like having these because I like being reminded these aren’t supposed to go for that long. (Can’t wait for the ’96.)

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
douglas88 (7423) - Portland, Oregon, USA - AUG 16, 2014
Bottle. 2002 vintage. Pours a very dark mahogany color with a medium beige head. A fruity nose, oxidation, tobacco, some spices. The flavor is mild oxidation, big caramel, toast, light spices, big tobacco, some leather. Had mellowed away from spice and hops to a more subtle rounder ale. Very good actually. Certainly cardboard, but the oxidation is pretty nice to my taste. I’ve had older OSAs that I didn’t like, this is quite good. 12 years old. Drank in 2014.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
AndySnow (5116) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - DEC 9, 2013
How: Bottle.
Where: Shared at home.
Appearance: Deep amber colour with a small beige head.
Aroma: Hops, spices, dried fruit, raisin.
Body: Medium body and carbonation.
Flavour: Hops, malt, spices, caramel.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 15/20
jredmond (6503) - New York, New York, USA - DEC 4, 2011
Bottle vintages 2000-2006 shared at Paul’s Dec 3rd tasting. The 2000 and 2001 were by far the best - very interesting how this beer has aged especially considering the low alcohol to begin with. Aroma of prune, fig, raisins, bitter coffee and molasses. Mouthfeel is thin, but not too watery with notes of dark fruits, brown sugar, molasses and some spices.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
j12601 (8000) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - DEC 4, 2011
Bottle courtesy of Andy at Paul’s tasting. Pours a clear ruby tinged brown with a thin white head. Soft old spices with a bit of nutmeg coming through over old plum and prune notes. Medium bodied, sweet malt, toast. Roast and toast, a bit of bitter roast. Spices on the finish and coffee bitterness.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
thirdeye11 (5835) - Dallas, Texas, USA - SEP 2, 2011
(12oz bottle thanks to bu11zeye) very dark brown, cloudy pour, ruby hints and a ring of dark tan bubbles. Nose of a bit of olive, soy, chocolate, spices, and mild oxidation. Taste of chocolate, vanilla, heavily spiced, a bit bitter, some soy. Has aged quite nicely.

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