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Anchor Our Special Ale (2004)



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RATINGS: 438   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 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
after4ever (7358) - 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 (5085) - 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 (12552) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Svesse (7680) - Hässelby, SWEDEN - DEC 13, 2008
Bottle at Akkurat, Stockholm 2 Dec 2008. Dark brown colour with firm, pale brown head. Malty, spicy nose with notes of chocolate, cinnamon and nutmeg. Malty, spicy taste with toffee, chocolate and spices. Slightly earthy, dusty cellar notes lurking in the background. Medium body, moderate bitterness. Seems to have aged pretty well, with all the spices and a good roasted, malt character still there. Nice one.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
yespr (39085) - Copenhagen O, DENMARK - NOV 21, 2008
12 fl oz bottle. Pours dark brown to black with a huge and tan head. Chocolate and roasted malty aroma. Light dark fruity note too. Light wooden ad dark fruity flavoured with a light oxidised note. Lingering fruity and roasted malty finish with a lasting mild spice note.

   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.

   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!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
ChainGangGuy (4708) - Woodstock, 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.

   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.

   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.

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