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Anchor Our Special Ale (2004)



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RATINGS: 433   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.63   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
shadey (1910) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - NOV 23, 2004
On tap at MacGreggors in Henrietta. Beautiful deep red color with a fluffy soapy head. Spicy holiday aroma. Lots of different aromas that were tough to distinguish in the bar. The flavor was smooth and tasty. Lots of spice, but nothing too powerful. All very subtle with a nice sweet malt finish. Very nice stuff.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
mdi (573) - Nebraska, USA - NOV 23, 2004
120z bottle Nice looking in the glass, good frothy/creamy tan head, deep dark color, showing blood red in the light. Smells of cedar and gingerbread and seems to be faintly briney. Drinks fairly smooth, nice bodied...chocolatey dark malts give it some character along with more of that gingerbread spiciness and woody, piney quality then a whack of hop bitterness comes in. Hey, Iíve never been a big fan of this beer, Iíve always thought that it was disgustingly over spiced/flavored....but this one doesnít taste as much like a rancid Christmas candle as some of the older ones I remember. I actually havenít drank it for a few years because it turned me off so much, but this one is OK, although I wouldnít want to drink it all night.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
JPDIPSO (4956) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 23, 2004
Iíll start by stating that his is the way I remember this one smelling. Aromas of nutmeg, ginger snaps and juniper berries. Chestnut color with a tall light tan head and ringlets of lace. Malty start leaning toward caramel and a touch of roasted malt. Fairly thin on feel, but does seem to get thicker and more oily as it warms. Hints of alcohol show up mid quaff. Bitterness seems to come from both hops and some black malt. A definite holiday porter. Somewhat in Ernestoís camp with this one, in that the recipe does not seem to change significantly each year, but if they say it does, it does.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
BŁckDich (5464) - McCall, Idaho, USA - NOV 23, 2004
Dark chocolate color with ruby edges. A light fizzy brown head & small islands of lacing. Nose of ginger, candi sugar, peppery spice. Tastes unique, lots of ginger, I canít pin it down but itís good. Lots of ginger.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
whaleman (2178) - North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 22, 2004
Dark ruby-brown body and nice foamy tan head (after an aggressive pour). Great aroma of raisins, dark spiced rum, nutmeg, and hints of chocolate and cherries. Dark fruit and malty flavor. Cloves and nutmeg are apparent. Medium light body, but very clean and nice. An excellent holiday beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
5000 (6298) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - NOV 22, 2004
Bottle pours dark Brown, reddish hues, medium frothy tannish colored head, fairly sticky lacing, with soft carbonation. † Fresh herbal/floral aroma, and a bit like spring rain in the forest. † Perhaps fresh cut spruce is what I am smelling? † Chocolately, yet subtle, with a VERY Necco wafer like flavor. † Perhaps a bit of licorice as well. † Light hop profile, but noticable. † Good body, medium mouthfeel. † Finishes slightly dry, hints of the aformentioned chocolate & licorice, semi-sweet.† Necco wafer, never thought I would taste that in a beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
YourDarkLord (1800) - Urbana, Illinois, USA - NOV 22, 2004
Good stuff again from Anchor for their Celebration Ale. Dark brown body under a frothy beige head. The aroma was malt and yeast and a provocative blend of spices. Good rich feeling in the mouth. Medium bodied. The flavor was refreshing and flavorful and echoed the aroma essences. Will hold some bottles for next year.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Terminus (3283) - Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA - NOV 22, 2004
bottle-ONieals in Albuqueque-pous dark brown with a nice tan head after an agressive pour the second time around. big sweet, nutty, aroma. I get a note of cooked green beans and gingerbread. pretty much like most OSAís. Ginger, cinnamon, and cardboard in the flavros, but that wasnít a bad thing. Dave (Whaleman) got a clove note, but i guess my senses are not akin to cloves. A slight vege note in the finish. the long finish goes to gingerbread from the veg note. could be the best OSA ever!!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
eboats (1082) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - NOV 21, 2004
Smells like Christmas time like the label suggests. Gingersnaps, cinamon, and cloves. Unbelievable smell. Tastes like roasted almonds, gingersnaps, cinamon and cloves. Has a somewhat bitter aftertaste. This appears black, but in the light you can see a brilliant ruby glow. It comes with a tan head that actually looks dirty yellow in areas. The only distinction I made between 03-04 versions was that the 04 didnít have quite the pronounced gingersnap taste the 03 did.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
brewcat (5) - USA - NOV 21, 2004 does not count
I liked this beer a lot. The aroma is the real winner here. Subtle yet complex. Initial impressions were of fresh roasted french vanilla coffee beans. Later chocolate malts, and carmel come through. Flavor follows nicely with the spices really shinning through, cinnammon and dash of cloves? Subtle bitterness complements the coffee aroma nicely and fades gentlely as the dry finish leaves you wanting more.

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