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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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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 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
FtWorthBrew (105) - Fort Worth, Texas, USA - NOV 28, 2004
Dark red/brown color, burnt amber head. Great spicy and yeasty smell. Cooked Fruity flavor almost stout but very drinkable and mild. My glass didnít last long. Iím not familiar with this brewery but Iíll be giving them another try.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
piwodevo (53) - chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 30, 2004
UPDATED: DEC 2, 2004 Cola-colored, biege cascading (then quickly fading) head. aroma of the outdoors: pine, spruce, and woody hops. subtlety is the key here. hint of chocolate malt, touch of sweetness, faint spicy hops, delicate arona hops, and a soft pine or spruce flavor that hits then quickly dissipates. and iím pretty sure i taste Smarties (itís the yeast, i guess) Best batch in years.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
DocLock (8054) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 2, 2004
On draft at the Drafting Room, Spring House, PA. Pours dep brown with medium tan head. Great complex aroma of spice, fruit, malt, hops, cinnamon, perfume. Tastes malty, very spicy, with nutmeg, cinnamon, dark fruit, nuts, and chocolate in the finish. Very good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
MAP (1133) - Lakewood, Ohio, USA - DEC 2, 2004
Cola-like appearance with a much thicker lasting head on top. Aroma has notes of caramel, pumpkin, nutmeg, ginger and more pumpkin. Flavor is a bit chocolatey with a decent heft of spice The aftertaste is well roasted with a little bit of lingering spice with it as well. This has an exelent blending of spicy aroma, warm malty taste and a pleasing distinct aftertaste. Quite an outstanding winter brew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
crzybob77 (530) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - DEC 3, 2004
Just about opaque brownish appearance. A good, very drinkable beer. Nice spicey flavor and a hint of licorice jumped out at me.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
GuilTTy (728) - Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA - DEC 11, 2004
Fabulous rich mahagony pour with ruby and black highlites. Creamy reddish, light brown head with a full and satidfying spicy aroma of roasted malt, pine and maybe sugar. Surprisingly light mouthfeel but full of flavor. Some sweetness and spices but not exactly traditional "Christmas/winter" spices. I didnít detect nutmeg or cinnamon (though Iíll look for it in the second glass. Anchor has always put out one of my favorite seasonal brews and this yearís edition is very good (though I did prefer the 2003 recipe just a bit more). Too bad they bottle such a limited amount each year. Go out and get a case (or 2 if you can).

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
lamas (1372) - Washington DC, USA - DEC 11, 2004
Bottle. Pours a deep mahogany with thick tan head. Aroma is of cinnamon, spices and malts. Taste is of fruity malts and spices. Finishes with a taste of banana. This beer has been a Christmas tradition of mine since í99 and this is one of the best yet.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
sayravai (4673) - Helsinki, FINLAND - DEC 12, 2004
(Bottled) Deep, quite clear, very dark red color with a small but tight and lasting, brown head. Spicy and malty espresso aroma with anise and licorice. Coffee-malty, roasted and spicy, quite dry flavor with a bitter espresso finish. Extremely smooth, roasted and dry-coffeeish mouthfeel. Quite full-bodied with low carbonation. An excellent, christmas-spicy, stout-like brew! Anchorís best effort so far!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
dolemike1 (1288) - Jeannette, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 17, 2004
Pungent spicy aroma, over a nice dark brown body, flavor is spicy, ginger, chocolate, fruit, and potpourri, interesting as usual. Finished slightly bitter and warming. Good.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
lagermonkey (725) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - JUN 4, 2005
Christmastime is here. OSA is near. Everytime The chill comes in I have another beer. A tradition. Pours a deep dark brown with a 1/2 inch thick rocky tan head. Smells piney and lightly hoppy. Roasted malt and spicy. Cinnamon and nutmeg. Tastes of pine/spruce. Lightly hoppy, smoky roasted malt. Spicy, nutmeg and clove. Orange rind. Light bitter finish. Smooth and sticky simultaneously. Really drinkable and a whole lot of flavor which is always a winning combo. Not as tasty as last year but very good nonetheless.

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