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Anchor Our Special Ale (2004)



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RATINGS: 435   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.64   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
thirdeye11 (5816) - 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 (22854) - 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 (3389) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
cgarvieuk (17632) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - APR 22, 2011
bottle at home ... dark brown ... thin brown lacing ... soft sweet chocolate raisine nose ... light cola ... little coconut ... little chocolate ... big soft roast malt ... hint of rum ... quite nice.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Cavie (4043) - Fort Worth, Texas, USA - FEB 23, 2011
Bottle courtesy bu11zeye. Murky pour with a mainly brown color and touches of red near the edges. Almost no head or carbonation. Aroma is sharp spices and clay notes. Nutmeg for sure in this one. Dry flavor with bitter spices that linger for awhile. Some clay earthiness as well.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
boFNjackson (4191) - Portland, Oregon, USA - DEC 26, 2010
Bottle [2004, in my possession for one year, before was in the Woodstock Wine & Deli in Portland]... Poured near black with a thing, bubbly, tan head that faded quickly. Nose had a bitter-sweet molasses thing going on. Lots of molasses sweetness with licorice/anise, muddled fruits, cocoa, and dark-roasted malts.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
madvike (3105) - Middleton, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 25, 2010
Bottle - Looks beautiful, with a deep, dark mahogany cola pour with a massive foamy tan head that doesnít look like itís going anywhere. The smell is intoxicating, with rich molasses and brown sugar, ginger, and a light allspice note. Itís a little too sweet, and thereís a hint of soy sauce, but itís still a really nice smell. However, itís something that I think Iíd rather smell than drink...but here goes. Hmm...the taste is fairly muted in relation to the smell. Lots of malt, but pretty dry and flat until the finish, where the molasses comes out, along with burnt sugar, the ginger, and a little bit of toffee. Lightly bitter finish, with some anise and the molasses lingering around for awhile. Surprisingly thin in the mouth, with excellent carbonation, but such a watery mouthfeel that it detracts. I expected this to be a little heftier. All in all, much, much better than the 2003, but not totally my cup of tea.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Damico (2948) - Royersford, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 9, 2010
The malty aroma still has hints of spices. The color is a bit darker ruby brown than the í09 we drank. The flavor has lost a lot of spicrs and gained a lot more malty, abbey dubbel type flavor.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Ughsmash (7387) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - APR 22, 2010
Bottled. Poured rich mahogany with a creamy, well-retained beige head.. looked great in the glass! The aroma picked up toasted nutty notes with lesser molasses and oxidation, accented by herbal notes, allspice, and cardamom.. dry and airy overall impression.. this was miles different from the older vintages I drank recently. The flavor found lightly sour molasses and tarry sweetness at the core, with the sourness sticking all the way through the drink.. dry coffee bitterness, nutmeg, and a touch of oxidation around.. finished with dry, tacky spices and an almost barrel-ly impression. Medium-bodied with just an OK flow through the palate.. dry and weathered feel.. seemed like it was a ways downhill.

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