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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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
douglas88 (8412) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Ron (3587) - 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
doublebock (554) - 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
HogTownHarry (6375) - 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
garthicus (2908) - 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!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
BlackDonald (1126) - Gulf Shores, Alabama, USA - APR 18, 2008
This was quite spicy, like drinking a Christmas tree. Lots of nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. One of the better vintages, but just too spicy for my palate, not just what I want to drink in a seasonal beer. More pronounced hop bitterness this time around, with an underwhelming bitterness, but still lighter and quite dry in the finish. Which seems to be on par with other vintages.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Snojerk321 (2960) - San Diego, California, USA - MAR 16, 2008
12oz bottle from BevMo. Dark ruby brown color, foamy tan head. Very malty, plenty of spice, nutmeg, anise. Well balanced, not overly spicy or malty. Some dryness on the finish, light bitterness. Medium bodied and pretty creamy. Very nice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Boutip (5910) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 25, 2008
Bottle courtesy of Unclemattie: Poured a deep dark brown color ale with a nice light brown foamy head with good retention but no lacing. Aroma of big caramel and toffee malt with light spices, which may include spruce. Taste is also dominated by some spices with huge caramel and toffee malt with some moderate sweetness. Full body with average carbonation and no apparent alcohol.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
GG (2332) - NorCal, California, USA - JAN 16, 2008
Not much else to add to this years verion. It’s still very tasty but some of the spicy character have mellowed a bit and the malts are more prominent. It has the usual suspects in the flavor and aroma profile. Thankfully the ginger has been toned down, but they left out the spruce character. I also didn’t pick up any chocolate on the flavor, but it seemed a bit more raisiny too me. A nice beer though.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Tmoney99 (13475) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JAN 13, 2008
Bottle found at Village Pub in Covington, KY. Poured dark reddish brown color with an average frothy light brown head that lasted with good lacing. Good complex sweet spicy aroma. Medium body with a sticky texture. Good sweet dark fruit spicy flavor with an average sweet finish of moderate duration. Complex good brew.

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