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Anchor Our Special Ale (2004)



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RATINGS: 435   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 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
Pailhead (6017) - Plymouth, Michigan, USA - DEC 12, 2004
Bottle: Beer #400 and first attempt at a real beer since my DR trip. Nice aroma of ginger and black licorice . Pours a dark red thatís somewhat transparent when held to the light. Nice tan head with fair retention. Pretty good lacing. Sweet up front with ginger, clove, pepper, smoke, and pine in the finish. Has a similar finish to the punkin ale by dogfish head, but not quite strong or as harsh. Smells great, but not impressed with the taste.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
11026 (1772) - Alabama, USA - NOV 30, 2004
Bottle. I wasnít that impressed with this one either. Lots of spices, too many for me. Other than that, this seemed to be a run of the mill beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
fiulijn (16924) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 5, 2004
Dark brown color; thin creamy head. Aroma of caramel, spices, molasses, light roasted malt. Too dry taste, with loads of bitter caramel; some phenol, nuts and roasted nuts. Quite weak structure. Strong final. Too raw!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
HopsOrDie (687) - New Lenox, Illinois, USA - DEC 29, 2004
Pours a dark reddish brown. Aroma and flavor match well with a nutty taste followed by nutmeg and spices. Flavor is so nutty it seems like Iím sucking on a walnut shell.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Headbanger (3578) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - APR 5, 2006
Iíve also had it cellared for a year and was disappointed compared to the other vintages. Good head but was very light tasting compared to other years.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
maeib (8749) - Wootton, Northampton, Northamptonshire, ENGLAND - MAY 2, 2006
Bottled. A very dark brown coloured beer with a fast dissipating off-white head and a goodly amount of yeast at the bottom of the bottle. The aroma is heavily spiced with ginger. nutmeg and cinnamon together with some licquorice root notes and a ton of sugar. The taste shares these smells but itís really over-sweet and over heavy on some of these spices, especially the ginger. I really expected to love and relish this but it fell really short of my expectations and I ended up happy it ended.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 9/20
RSRIZZO (1905) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - DEC 2, 2007
Had this beer on 11/20/2004. Aroma is roasted and sweet. Color is a deep dark amber with a tight thin head. Taste bright and clean with a mild roasted flavor. Starting with light/medium body it goes down crisp and light. The finish comes on with a mild roasted flavor backed by a smooth bitterness that leaves you with a clean feel. I like this beer, its crisp, clean and easy drinking, but its not what a good winter brew should be. Overall its just not rich and bold enough for a winter brew. Looking back it seems this is the mildest they have made it and it also likes like 2002 was the best so far.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 9/20
BeerRules (243) - Houston, Texas, USA - AUG 5, 2005
UPDATED: AUG 7, 2005 big beige head on a mahogany body. Aromas of nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, etc. This is cool! Ive never had anything like this before. Said spices are evident in the flavor. Has a slight bitterness to it with a coffee finish. Hey this is kinda cool and everything, but the spices kinda started to piss me off. Oh well.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
bombshelter (349) - San Francisco, California, USA - FEB 20, 2006
tasted vs the 03 and 05. worst of the bunch. predominantly cinammon nose, but flavor is disappointingly thin and unexciting.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
zizzybalubba (1691) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - SEP 27, 2009
UPDATED: NOV 12, 2010 Magnum shared at Loganís 2009 pre-GABF Party (2004 version as listed here). Light brown pour with a tan head. Aromas of nutmeg, brown sugar, and, surprisingly, alcohol. Slightly sour flavor with still cinnamon and nutmeg. If that doesnít sound very good to you itís because it isnít. Thin bodied. I remember really liking some of the OSAís when they were newly released but I just donít think this has held up well.

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