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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 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - DEC 3, 2004
Dark almost opaque brown body. Light tan head. The aroma is typical of this beer, it always makes me think of Juicy Fruit gum. spicy nutmeg and some pine. Flavor is much like the aroma, with more sweetness. Medium-light almost thin body. These beers are almost exactly the same every year. Why do we have a separate entry for them all?

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
Pailhead (6385) - 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 that’s 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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
Storm (2684) - Amager, DENMARK - OCT 10, 2005
35,5 cl bottle. Tasted during trip to California. Black colour with a nice beige but little head. Roasted aroma that contained hints of spice and chocolate. Oddly spice flavour with notes of darkchokolate that ends very dry nearly no bitterness, very low body. Little carbonation. When visiting only 12 pack could be purchased hence I am now tasting the last of twelve poor christmasbeer.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
yayforbeer (753) - Orange Park, Florida, USA - NOV 9, 2005
Dark brown beer with a small tan head. Very spicy aroma, almost like mince meat pie. I was really looking forward to this beer and had high hopes since the porter is one of my favorite U.S. brewed beers. The flavor just didnt agree with me, there seemed to be some heavy dark malts, which was ok but then odd flavors appeared that shouldn’t be in any beer.. green beans? stewed cabbage? medicinal herbs? Finish is dry with an odd vegetable bitterness. The flavors seemed to be mismatched and incompatible. I’ll keep a couple for trying again this Christmas, but somehow I don’t think it will be any better by then. We can hope.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
11026 (1772) - Alabama, USA - NOV 30, 2004
Bottle. I wasn’t 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 (18725) - 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 I’m sucking on a walnut shell.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Headbanger (3803) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - APR 5, 2006
I’ve 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 it’s 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 (1940) - 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.

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