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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 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
eraserhd10 (226) - new haven, Connecticut, USA - JAN 3, 2005
Next year I will forego getting an xmas tree and just put a small string of white lights around a six-pack of this excellent holiday offering-- which is becoming quite the holiday tradition for me! (Its better than caroling!) This strong, Pine-laced, porter-ish ale deserves to be served with a stilton cheeseburger with some thick steak fries. It is robust and beefy. Not too fruity, but a definite presence of nutmeg and allspice. Happy Holidays!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
philbertk (1873) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAR 10, 2010
Anchor Brewing Company--Our Special Ale--30 Years--2004 12 oz. Bottle. 5.35% ABV--50 IBU’s? (4.75 / 5.0) Winter Ale--Rich tan head. Clear dark red bronze black color. Roasted spicy nutmeg hop front. Tangy crisp rich dry sweet roasted black cherry toffee caramel spicy body. Clean dry mild citrus spruce spicy hop end. WOW! Sampled 12/15/2004.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
hershiser2 (2007) - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - DEC 7, 2004
Paid $9.99 for a 6-pack. Looking forward to this year’s, as last year’s was so incredible! Appearance: deep brown with ruby hilights, huge, frothy, fluffy head. Smells: pine sticks out first... next is chocolate and raisens. Flavor is piney, chocolatey, raiseny, roasted nuts, deep orange, ginger, and more... VERY complex. Finish is smooth and completely satisfying. There’s not much better than this.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
RooftopRogue (423) - Champaign, Illinois, USA - JAN 3, 2006
This beer offers a wonderful aroma full of peppa, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, all-spice, and molasses. This beer fills the glass with a dark dark brown solution that resides under a thick walnut colored head. This thick and heavy beer presents itself smoothly to the mouth. The palate is enticed with the initial flavor of nutmeg, then ginger creeps in followed by all-spice. All these flavors come together to leaving a wonderful mixture of taste resonating on the palate and in the throat for a good long time.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
irishpenguin13 (36) - Leesburg, Florida, USA - DEC 11, 2007
ah yes, the 2004. , in 2004 it was great (as always), 3 years later i had this one again and it was more than great. i was wondering if the cap seal would hold after this long. needless to say, it did. it had a beautiful head and all the spiciness to back it up. the best part was how the flavors came out more after being cellared for 3 years. yum yum.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
mgermani (1002) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 3, 2008
Bottle of 2004 vintage, provided by Capflu (thanks for the trade!)

What a distinctive beer - where to begin? Pours a beautiful near-black amber with a lovely deep brown head wich great retention and lovely lacing. Aroma is unbelievable. Wow - reminds me of Pannepot. Rich and sweet, notes of graham cracker, toasted oatmeal cookie... sweet and pungent. Taste is very complex - fig, chocolate malt, slightly dry finish, definitely some bittering hops, light astringency. The fig really shines through, I find, and it’s a bit watery. Wonderful creamy but slightly thin body with good carbonation. What an interesting beer, I wish we could get it year-round. And what a great opportunity, to enjoy the 2004 vintage nearly 8 years later. Thanks again to Capflu!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
eboats (1082) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - NOV 21, 2004
Smells like Christmas time like the label suggests. Gingersnaps, cinamon, and cloves. Unbelievable smell. Tastes like roasted almonds, gingersnaps, cinamon and cloves. Has a somewhat bitter aftertaste. This appears black, but in the light you can see a brilliant ruby glow. It comes with a tan head that actually looks dirty yellow in areas. The only distinction I made between 03-04 versions was that the 04 didn’t have quite the pronounced gingersnap taste the 03 did.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
BigBastard (668) - L.A., California, USA - DEC 2, 2004
Excellent holiday beer! Lots of spice and malt give it a smooth, creamy taste without going overboard. Almost desert like in it’s decadence!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
tiggmtl (4544) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 7, 2004
WOW. IT SMELLS JUST LIKE GINGERBREAD! What an incredible aroma for a holiday beer. Opaque dark brown with ruby tones and dense tan/brown head that recedes slowly with some lacing. Gingerbread continues in the flavour with finishing pine-like bitterness. Thick, luxurious mouthfeel could use just a touch more carbonation. Bottle.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
bark (255) - Linköping, SWEDEN - DEC 8, 2004
Bottle. The colour is very, very dark ruby red (almost black). The liquid is clear. The large foam is beige; it dissolves slowly into a finger thick layer.

The smell is quite strong with lots of bitter hops (mostly Challenger), coffee, citrus peels, spices and burned malt.

The carbonation is quite strong but very pleasant.

The taste is burned and bitter with flavours of black coffee, apricot jam, bitter almonds, some sweetness, dry hops, and a rather powerful body. The long lasting aftertaste is bitter with notes of citrus fruits and coffee drops.

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