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Anchor Our Special Ale (2004)



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RATINGS: 431   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.64   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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This is the thirtieth special ale from the brewers at Anchor. It is available from early November to mid January. The ale's recipe is different every year, but the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life. In ancient times, trees symbolized the winter solstice, when the earth with its seasons appears born anew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
sthlm (1231) - Minnesota, USA - JAN 30, 2012
[Bottle] This is a really, really solid beer. Perfect balance between spices and underlying malt, with vinous notes, and just mild oxidation. Good mouthfeel, smooth, and a long finish. Wow, I appear to be in the minority in how much I enjoyed this, but I thought that this was one of the best spiced beers that I have ever had. Much better than the ’05, which I tried immediately after this.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
arminjewell (6293) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - DEC 18, 2011
Pour is dark reddish brown with thin off white head, aroma has notes of lots of pine and spruce notes, touch of caramel, dark fruit and molasses that are very mellow, touch of minty in there as well. Taste is a mix of molasses, dark fruit, hints of cinnamon spice, lots of pine and spruce with a mint touch, the combination is a bit weird but this one is rounded out a bit better.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
adnielsen (9252) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - DEC 10, 2011
Bottle @ Bull & Bush Christmas tasting. Brown appearance with a light brown head. Minty, ginger, fairly carbonated aroma. Somewhat oxidized, dull toffee, minty spicy flavor. Not all that bad- well at least in comparison to the older vintages.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 15/20
jredmond (5458) - Manhattan, 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 the older years is full of prune, fig, raisins, and molasses. Mouthfeel is getting thinner and thinner in comparison to the older years - still with notes of dark fruits, molasses and some spices.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
j12601 (6607) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - DEC 4, 2011
Bottle courtesy of Andy at Paul’s tasting. Pours a clear brown with a thin beige head. Peppery, prune and plum, malt and sweet toast. Malty and sweet, very nice caramel note, though there is a bit of age on it as well. Finishes with more sweet caramel, oxidized and toasty.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
alexsdad06 (5562) - Ohio, USA - SEP 24, 2011
12 oz. bottle from my cellar and consumed at home on a cool early fall evening. Pours a clear brown in color with a small beige head that disappears quickly. The aroma still has quite a bit of allspice, some sweet malts, mild earthy notes and a touch of oxidation. The flavor has mild notes of allspice, mild malt sweetness, light fruit notes, some earthy and herbal notes and a splash of vanilla. The problem I had was this had really thinned out and the flavor was watered down. I haven’t had this since I started on the site and without notes don’t feel comfortable blending the ratings, but this has definitely fallen off in the past few years.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
thirdeye11 (5593) - Dallas, Texas, USA - SEP 2, 2011
(12oz bottle thanks to bu11zeye) medium ruby brown with very little head. Nose of sweet grain, tons of allspice, wafers and vanilla. Taste of unsweet chocolate cookies, bittersweet finish. The 2002 and 2003 we had the same day were both fairly good, but this one has not aged nearly as well.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
oh6gdx (20618) - Vasa, FINLAND - JUN 7, 2011
Bottled@Man In The Moon (had in 2010). Deep ambery colour with a small off-white head. Aroma is raisins, spices, mild Madeira like notes as well as some slight toffeeish notes. Flavour is rather similar in a very pleasant balance. Has aged very pleasantly. Man In The Moon in Stockholm certainly has some gems in their Cuveecellar.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Dixonian (1562) - Plano, Texas, USA - MAY 23, 2011
12oz bottle thanks to bu11zeye. Reddish brown pour with a bit of tan head. Has the spiciest aroma of all three (02, 03, and 04) with lots of nutmeg and cinnamon. Flavor is earthy, roasted, and spiced.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Blairgus (2641) - California, USA - APR 22, 2011
22 April 2011, bottle w/ cgarvieuk. nose is cola haribo. med/thin and slightly fizzy. interesting. i like 2010 better. this is christmas spice and rich milk chocolate. nice for an xmas beer.

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