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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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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.


3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
badbeer (434) - Iowa, USA - NOV 1, 2008
Dark brown with a red hue, nice tan head that retains pretty well. Lots of nutmeg and ginger in the aroma, but some cinnamon bread and spice are there too. Taste is of ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, brown sugar, and maybe a bit of licorice. A little thinner on the tongue than I would have liked, carbonation is about medium levels. Pretty good and has held up pretty well. I’d drink this again.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
SuperDave (1932) - Beautiful Sunny Mesa, Arizona, USA - SEP 30, 2008
A bunch of this stuff just showed up at Sun Devil Liquors, which I thought was odd given the vintage. But, I couldn’t help but pick one up. Pours a dark brown with a foamy tan head that recedes to a ring. Aroma is lots of spice; cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and ginger. Also sweet roasted malt. Flavor is sweet, but not overdone. Some dark fruit and malt, and the spice comes through nicely. Very enjoyable. I may have to pick up another!

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
ChainGangGuy (4422) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - SEP 16, 2008
Appearance: Pours a deep, dark brown body with a full, though quickly thinning, light beige head. Smell: Earthy, smokey dark maltiness, some chocolate and caramel with notes of aniseed, nutmeg, cinnamon, and even allspice. Taste: Dark malts with minor hints of sweetened cocoa and dark caramel. There’s still a big sprucy spiciness present, but it’s definitely died down over the years. There’s still a dull, earthy bitterness surrounding the maltiness. Touch of fruit, along with citrus and candied ginger in the background. Wisp of smoke. Drying finish with a lingering taste of spiced cocoa powder. Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium low carbonation. Drinkability: A pleasing wintery treat from yesteryear.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Alldaydrinker (559) - Norwood, Massachusetts, USA - SEP 4, 2008
Courtesy of Irishboy, Thanks Richard! Pours a chocolatey dark brown color that is opaque. Head is fizzy dark brown that dissapates to small ring. Nose is very sweet, fruity, fig, plum, nutmeg and other spices. Initial taste is of cocoa, light roasted malt, cloves, nutmeg and red fruits. Mid palate displays the cocoa and tanginess of fruits. Finishing with a good palate, duration is above average. Light bodied. Velvety smooth mouthfeel. Minor hop balance on the finish. Interesting brew.

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
ansermadide (1526) - Kyle, Texas, USA - JUN 9, 2008
(Sample from December 14, 2006 Beer Club Meeting) Deep, dark color with red tint. Nose was of roasted flavors, cinnamon, spices... expected, I suppose. Flavor was well balanced: malty, sweet and fruity, spicy, gentle hops... reminded me a little of being trapped under a Christmas tree with a lingering presence of hop cones... and that scent... yep - like Christmas in a bottle. Goes down easy. Well done considering what was thrown into this medium bodied special brew... a pleasure to experience.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
douglas88 (6335) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JUN 6, 2008
UPDATED: JUN 9, 2008 Footbalm shared a giant 50.7 oz bottle of this over Thanksgiving last year and I didn’t realize I had not rated it until now, luckily I wrote down the rating. Pours a deep red with a nice big tan head. The aroma was full of spices and pine notes, very appealing. The taste was well balanced between tons of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg with a light chocolate and malt body. Smooth and full body. Really nice beer especially for over the holidays.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Ron (2688) - Rochester, New York, USA - MAY 24, 2008
I had forgotten about this one being stuck in a box in the beer cellar area. Nice dark, brownish-red in color. Good tan head, dense and creamy. Aroma of fruit. Smooth, drinkable, nice and mellow. Cellaring did it some good. Lightly sweet with a dry finish.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
doublebock (514) - California, USA - MAY 18, 2008
Deep red color with generous tan head. Spicy pine aroma with citrus and ginger aroma. Chewy palate though bit flat. Smoky roast flavor with orange, ginger and crisp hopiness.

3.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
HogTownHarry (6130) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - MAY 7, 2008
Bottle (12oz). Shared with Garthicus, courtesy of superman - I mean Irishboy. Clear deep ruby, decent sized off-white head. Dry roast aroma, coffee beans, cocoa, herbal bitterness, a hint of sharp pungent medicinal molasses and a little dry cinnamon. The taste - wow, that’s a toughie - big maple syrup/caramel backbone, but incredible dry, leeched out pungent spice/herb bitterness, like an aged sultana/candied fruit/treacle Christmas cake had been steeped in a light sweet stout for a couple of years. Slick, somewhat flat, dry/acidic mouthfeel, long bitter medium-weight finish. Showing its age, but very nice.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
garthicus (2732) - Dublin, IRELAND - MAY 7, 2008
Shared with HogTownHarry, Harrys bottle with thanks to Irishboy (another double whammy) Appearance: Deep black colour, brown small but creamy head. Lovely oatmeal, thick chocolate too, can’t wait for the flavour! Flavour: Cinnamon, pine, malt, bitter hops, and some old pine needles... very little carbonation, little alcohol too but somehow quite warming.. A quirky beer but a great one at that! (strangely there is an almost dusty-raisen finish!) Thanks Harry!


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