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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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
bsjay (54) - Oregon, USA - OCT 15, 2009
cloves, spices, malt, caramel, chocolate, candy, the perfect stocking stuffer!!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
zizzybalubba (1736) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - SEP 27, 2009
UPDATED: NOV 12, 2010 Magnum shared at Loganís 2009 pre-GABF Party (2004 version as listed here). Light brown pour with a tan head. Aromas of nutmeg, brown sugar, and, surprisingly, alcohol. Slightly sour flavor with still cinnamon and nutmeg. If that doesnít sound very good to you itís because it isnít. Thin bodied. I remember really liking some of the OSAís when they were newly released but I just donít think this has held up well.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Guerde (1260) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - AUG 11, 2009
(bottle) Pours out a dark murky brown with a light beige head that leaves a ring around the snifter and stays. Aroma is strong of cola, ginger snaps, light spearmint, rye, and a bit of brown sugar too. Further warming results in this beer bearing an uncanny resemblance to JP/Stone/Nogne Holiday Ale. Taste has hints of dark fruits, brown sugar, cola, and dries out to a nice finish of dark chocolate and roasted malt. Everything is fairly subtle at first, but as this warms up, the rye really shows up in the finish, yielding a big rye bread taste. Mouthfeel is medium and carbonation is smooth. Oddly enough, for this being 5 yrs. old and of a low ABV, there is no presence of oxidation. Pretty good stuff.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
poolboy (66) - Lafayette, Indiana, USA - FEB 18, 2009
Dark brown with off-white head. Tastes of molasses, ginger, and toffee. Malty aftertaste. A good Christmas ale.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Ibrew2or3 (7777) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - DEC 20, 2008
I brought this 2004 vintage, I didnt bring the 03, that was consumed during our 2002 to 2006 vertical Dec. 2008. Pours hazy dark brown with tan edges and 30 second mocha head. The aroma is smooth dark molasses, hints of chocolate, dark gingerbread, rye bread, more molasses only lighter in color and old toffee. The taste is dry dark chocolate moving into molasses and a touch of fruitiness. It ends dry with roasted malts, chocolate and rich ripe aged dark fruitiness.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
sebletitje (8270) - Enghien, BELGIUM - DEC 19, 2008
courtesy of cicgarcitybrew. Pours dark brown with yellowish - tan head. Aroma is malty and chocolate. Taste, light and dry. malty, chocolate with notes of cocoa powder - caramel and some very faint spices. My favorite of our 2008 vertical tasting. This one aged quite well.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
kiefdog (1826) - Tampa, Florida, USA - DEC 18, 2008
Bottle courtesy of Retorp. Pours a dark brown to black color with a thin white head. Aroma is malty and chocolatey with some notes of tree root, earth, caramel, honey, burnt molasses. Flavor is malty and sweet with notes of cocoa, chocolate, some burnt toast, spice and molasses notes. Generally medium body with a sweet and malty finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
after4ever (7044) - Brier, Washington, USA - DEC 18, 2008
Magnum. Thanks, Skoi and Terry! Well, actually, I guess it was ours collectively, but thanks for getting stoked to open it for Terrys birthday. So this beer has four years on it. Pours dark brown with a dense and creamy tan head that settles eventually, albeit slowly. Big spicy nose, some dark tree fruit, caramel, and brown bread. Creamy medium body still showing firm carb after four years--awesome! The spice, fruit, caramel, and bread notes duke it out on the mid-palate, with the spice eventually taking the top spot and washing out into a drying, spicy finish. For $15 a magnum, this is not a masterpiece, but is more than worth the money. Maybe we shoulda gotten a couple. lol

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
markwise (5010) - North of Tampa, Florida, USA - DEC 17, 2008
Thanks retorp for the share. Pours cola brown with off white head. Aroma is nut, plum, sugar, spice, and seductive sweetness. Flavor is same with spice, roasted malt and an almost anise esque sweetness. Very good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Christian (12189) - Odense, DENMARK - DEC 15, 2008
Rated at Christmas time 2008. Cloudy dark brown with a firm little deep tan head. Intense aroma with plums most prominent - fresh plums and prunes. Nutmeg, cinnamon and clove along with it. Slightly earthy, but overall, aged gracefully. Flavour is dryish with a sweet middle part, fruity and spicy, with toffee and chocolate. Lasting nutmeg and dark caramel aftertaste.

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