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Anchor Our Special Ale (2004)

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RATINGS: 430   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.63   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Kevin (2071) - 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.

3.9
   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.

4.1
   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.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
beerguy101 (5278) - 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.

3.9
   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!

3.5
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
IHCNavistar (93) - Orinda, California, USA - NOV 13, 2004
Bottle. Aroma is nice and hoppy. Pours a dark amber brown. Aroma is strong with hops, malt, and some other botanicals/spices. Flavor is strong with a strong hop finish. I hear that this beer ages quite well. Definitely a repeat buy!

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
hellomynameis (874) - Mayer, Minnesota, USA - NOV 12, 2004
Yum! Nice spicy aroma with a great dark brown colour and full creamy/rocky head. This beer is very smooth. The spices are noted in the flavour as well. I can detect some gingerbread flavours as well as a bit of a bitter chocolate and pine-like finish. Very tasty, nice for the holiday season.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
3fourths (7978) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - NOV 12, 2004
UPDATED: DEC 3, 2004 Very dark brown body with a medium brown creamy head, with almost a little burgundy light coming off the top of the head... the nose is active with yeast and spices, some Belgian-style yeast with a little rosemary note, some plums, marachino cherries and sweet sugary wood esters. Palate is quite smooth and creamy, with a rich milky wood and cherry flavor, almost a little bubble gum in there as well... sweet dark fruit and wood finish, with a small amount of bakers chocolate noticed at the end, which reminds me a little bit of Rogue Chocolate stout, how the sour, real chocolate flavor was easily identifiable. Good beer this year, less of the pine-needle flavors that many noticed in the 2003, even though that was something I enjoyed.

Update
Vertical with 02 and 03, this opne comes in second, behind 02. With respect to the other two, this one tastes like plum or cherry cough syrup, very medicine-like.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
beerinmarch (2830) - Washington, USA - NOV 12, 2004
Thanks to Gromit we were able to try the 03 and 04 verticaly. This years had a more subtle spice in the nose than last year, don’t get me wrong, there is still an amazing amount of warming spice that brings all those winter memories out. This years flavor was a bit stronger, more toasty spice taste, a bit more cinnamon bite and a lighter bitterness in the finish. Very smooth and warming.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
daniela (9) - Berkeley, California, USA - NOV 6, 2004 does not count
This year’s edition is fantastic and beautiful, chocolate brown with a tan head. Spruce and gingerbread flavors are very strong but blend well. More dark-roasted flavor this year, slightly less sweet. This beer has evolved from a one-pint sipper to a smoother-drinking stout. Be sure to drink it cold. Probably my favorite seasonal beer of all time.


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