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Anchor Our Special Ale (2004)



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RATINGS: 435   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.64/5   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
frankR (144) - Davis, California, USA - NOV 18, 2004
Dark brown liquid, slight amber hue. Creamy diminishing tan head. Nose of Anchor yeast, roasted tones, coffee and chocolate and fruit. Fluffy light but tingly body. Flavors starts with roasted tones and finishes with fruit, some slight hop bitterness and some noticable minty herb. Very delicious stuff for the holidays.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
BuckNaked (1230) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - NOV 18, 2004
Bottle: Deep ruby brown, slightly opaque, with a medium light brown head. Aroma: Very crisp, fresh pine, gingerbread, spruce boughs, banana, maple, cinnamon, brown sugar, spiced plums, bubblegum, pinefresh. Taste: More bitter than I expected, but in a good way. Dark gingerbread, cherries, chocolate, roasted malts, spruce, anise, ginger, light coffee, cinnamon, nutmeg, belgian candy sugar, mild caramel, and just a hint of citrus & grapfruit hops in there that keep everything else in check. Finishes mildy dry, bitter, leaving you with a distinctly cinnamon, spruce, and chocolate tasting malt on your tongue. Medium to full bodied. Excellent beer for the holidays.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
biz82 (1328) - austin, Texas, USA - NOV 18, 2004
Pours deep red with little head. Very appealing and fresh aroma of dark caramel, raisens, maple, spruce, with a sharp winey hint. Thick, rich body and mouth feel. Flavors match the aromas. There is little bitterness or hop character. Previous years seemed more intense. An exceptional ale none the less and particularly good on draught.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
heemer77 (5217) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - NOV 18, 2004
Very dark amber and brown body. Has a thin yellow head that stays around. Aroma is gingerbread and some bananas. Also has a little bit of musty tree, like standing in a stand of trees, with just hint of pine. The flavor is a little thin and reminds me of a dark bread with hints of anise and some currants. A very rich brew that would probably age well.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
szkot (100) - Minnesota, USA - NOV 17, 2004
A nice winter warmer. Taste is well rounded, not terribly bitter, nor too sweet.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Kevin (2182) - New Mexico, USA - NOV 17, 2004
bottle. pours almost black with a lasting grey/orange head. aroma is nutmeg and sweetness with cinnamon and ginger. remarkable gingerbread taste. very sweet but not overly so. finish is lingering spice of ginger. mouthfeel is clean if a little watery.i enjoyed this immensly.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Lumpy (1802) - Carrollton, Texas, USA - NOV 17, 2004
Bottle. Dark pour, a little red when a bright light shines through it. Strong roasted malt flavor. Other flavors that come out are ginger bread, spruce grum, bubble gum, prune and a very light cinamon. They did a great job of combing just the right amount of spices and malts. Very, very enjoyable.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Syd (921) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - NOV 17, 2004
2004 - Bottle pours a dark deep red like amber color with a decent head and good lace. The aroma is spicy and floral. The flavor is spiced, but less than last year, and malty with a good solid body to float over. reminds me of an Old English Ale in some ways - perhaps it is the holiday mood I get from this gem if an Ale. Overall, this is the finest OSA since I’ve been trying them.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
beerguy101 (5342) - Newark, California, USA - NOV 16, 2004
Dark brown color. Medium sized white foamy head. Aroma is malts, nutmeg and a touch of hops. A medium bodied ale. Malts are fruity and sweet. Spices are nutmeg, cinnamon. There seems to be some chocolate and coffee flavors in this year’s batch. Touch of gingerbread. Very smooth and nicely balanced. I said this last year and this year is no different…Year after year, I always have trouble describing this beer. Its one of my favorites and I always look forward to it arrival, but then I got to figure out what to say about it. Each year that gets just a little harder. But as they say on this years label… the intent remains the same: joy and celebration. So drink one and enjoy. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and crisp. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Hab40oz (242) - Grants Pass, Oregon, USA - NOV 15, 2004
derekarent and myself, enjoyed the this treat along with the 03 addition by way of our buddy Gromit. What a great night, this brew is a little different from its predicesor, the aroma is a little less strong, you can’t detect as much of what you will be tasting as with the year before, I wonder if with aging this will become the same. However the taste is just as strong if not stronger with awesome cinnamon and other spices present to give a very good festive warmth. I very much enjoyed this beer, Thanks Anchor!

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