Dickinsonbeer (5074) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - DEC 13, 2002
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
51 oz Magnum bottle! Very dark brown/black with reddish highlights, and a huge orange/dark tan head. Aroma is of some spices but not overly done- enough to let some hops come through in the smell. Taste is very complex and spicy with some hops and good caramel malt flavors. Tastes better when it gets wwarm- the spices and hops come out. Very easy to drink- smooth and sweet. A very unique beer- could use even more hops however.
YogiBeera (2570) - New Jersey, USA - 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.
Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - APR 17, 2004
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Dark, nearly black color. Rich, full, cocoa/tan head. Aroma:sizzles with flavor! Espresso, chocolate, a little anise, tons of cinnamon and nutmeg, others I can't quite get my nose into. Sweet and velvety. A charge in the mouth on first taste, great carbonation, easy texture, glorious flavors: this is utterly sublime! I truly feel Anchor's Our Special Ale the finest winter ale ever crafted.
Screw Santa! This is the ultimate reward for the beer lover who's been good all year 'round.
I'm also getting a little piney/juniper or other arboreal flavors in here. Did they start adding Christmas Trees to the boil? Works great with all the other flavors in there, but nutmeg-haters should stay away.
TChrome (1447) - Bedford, Texas, USA - NOV 24, 2002
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
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.
foduck (330) - Denton, Texas, USA - NOV 29, 2002
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JUN 5, 2003 Juniper and nutmeg like aroma, a lot of spices. Very winter-type brew, some coffee in there too. Dark blackish/brown with brown head. Thick feeling. Spices come through with a bit of bitterness and dark malts. I think I like this so much because it reminds me of my homebrew.
Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - OCT 19, 2004
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
REALLY dark color (almost black) with some red twinges in the light. Nice tan head with really nice lacing. Aroma is more black licorice than anything else to go along with pine and all sorts of spices (mostly allspice?). I’m getting high just sniffing this stuff (reminds me of 5th grade). First sip is rich tobacco juice, cinnamon and as it warms a bit, vanilla. Sweet chocolate and mollasses. I swear if I keep drinking, I couldn’t possibly come up with the whole spice rack that Anchor throws into this nectar. Another year, another great beer. Thank you Anchor Brewing.
beerguy101 (5359) - Newark, California, USA - NOV 15, 2002
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Deep dark red color, large foamy head. Aroma is malty with nutmeg, clove and chocolate. A medium bodied ale, fraught with spices most noticeably nutmeg. Very warming, smooth taste. Perfect combination for a winter beer. Lots of flavor. If my memory is correct this year’s version reminds me of some of the late 80’s early 90’s vintages. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter with a hint of nutmeg.
hopscotch (10658) - 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!
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.
crazyvin (2026) - New York, USA - DEC 13, 2002
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
This is one of the darkest ales i have ever seen. It is not too hoppy and the spicy after taste is the perfect complement to cheese.