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RATINGS: 2040   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
This is our special ale from the brewers at Anchor. It is sold only from early November to mid-January. The Aleís recipe is different every year, but the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life. Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons appears born anew.

Editorís Note: due to the significant similarity in style and strength from year to year (despite potential differences in the exact spice blend), this beer is no longer separated by vintage.


3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
mgumby10 (1856) - Jupiter, Florida, USA - MAY 30, 2007
2006. Pours a murky brown, with a medium, bubbly brown head. Big aromas fill the air before I even sit down. Some nice dark fruit, cinnamon, molasses, and raisins formulate the smell. The taste is medium-bodied, lightly sweet and kind of nutty. It has a slight bitterness to it in the finish. The dark fruits give it that touch of sweetness. Big malty flavors pretty much round it out, but its kind of a mixture of nutty vs. sweet. Falls somewhere in between. Decent.

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
georgekappus (296) - Brookfield, Connecticut, USA - MAY 26, 2007
2006 vintage. Pours a chocolately brown with a thick caramel colored head. The flavor is of bitter coffee and mocha. Perhaps nutmeg as well? Not an overly enticing beer which is why it took 6 months to finish the six pack.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
joe1510 (501) - Illinois, USA - MAY 24, 2007
12oz. Bottle 2005 $10.99 6-pack Binnyís Orland Our Special Ale poured an extremely dark mahogany that is only transparent along the edges of my pilsner glass when held to the light. A creamy 2 finger mocha head sits on top and fades a a 1 finger dense craggy head. Sticky webbed brown lacing trails down the glass. The smell makes me think of Christmas with all the smells coming from the kitchen. There are a lot of spices in the nose including nutmeg and maybe a touch of cinnamon. The others are hard to pick apart. Theres even some bing cherry and plum. Also, reminiscent of warm bread pudding. A slight roasted malt in the background but the fruits and spices take over. I think this is what a winter warmer should smell like. It has it all crammed in there. The roasted malts serve as the backbone and donít really show themselves until a minor bitterness in the finish. The spices come through up front with the nutmeg taking the front. The dark fruit come through mid-palate and dance around on your tongue in holiday cheer. Very nicely done. The mouthfeel is the only thing holding this beer back. Itís average but if it was a little heavier in body it would be great. The mouthfeel is on the thin side and feels a little dead in my mouth. Donít get me wrong itís not bad just nothing to get excited about. The weaker mouthfeel actually helps the drinkability a little bit. If it were creamier it would make a better beer but it would be too filling to get high marks for drinkability. I could definately sit around and drink a couple of these on a cold winter night. I really like Our Special Ale and would recommend it to anyone to try at least once. The spices really add a nice touch. Great cold weather beer. One to share with friends and family.

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
krysztofar (344) - belleville, Illinois, USA - MAY 16, 2007
06 vintage consumed in may of 07. color is garnet as the pour begins when done itís a deep brown with 1/2 inch of khaki head on the top. nose has some sweet dried fruit and spices cinnamon and clove in particular. interesting flavor starts with a tart cherry with some coco on the edges. the hops are effervescent and as they fade bring back a licorice and spice flavor that lasts. different thatís for sure.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 15/20
padrefan98 (854) - (San Diego) Santee, California, USA - APR 26, 2007
12 oz bottle 2005 done as a verticle with the 2004 thanks to fordest. I thought this one was better. Less oxidation, more flavor. The freshness factor played a part here. Same earthy spicey flavor.

3.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
jerome6957 (17) - New York, New York, USA - APR 23, 2007
2006 bottle. Pours a dark ruby with a thin brown head. Very enticing aroma of spice, complex dark fruits, cola, and citrus. Flavor explosive...roasted dark malts followed by a unique spicy, earthy flavor (is that allspice? nutmeg?) and citrus. Just as youíre falling in love the body thins out and leavves you alone with a little astringency. Well balanced, but thin on the palate.

3.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
littlefelix (29) - Santa Clarita, California, USA - APR 23, 2007
2006 as well. This was a very complex beer. I enjoyed it, but cannot drink to many. Almost a barleywine in flavor, just not as strong %-wise. You can really taste the raisen/prune/veggie flavors in there. Thick and slow drinking.

2.6
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 9/20
blinesam (235) - USA - APR 21, 2007
2006 edition. 12oz bottle. Mediciney, too many flavors and spices to be a good beer. would probably be a better just to smell it and drink another beer.

3.2
   AROMA 2/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
BREWMUSKCLES (2506) - New Jersey, USA - APR 16, 2007
starts out with a cherry cough medicine and quickly a brandy feel comes in to class it up. then a banana nut kind of caramel comes in (how dare you sir) and somehow it all works out. probably because itís christmas time and you have awoken our pleasant memories. tinge of bitter and pale ale needles of pine quickly run thru the mild astringent tight bubble wash. 2006 aaahhh a good year

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
gunnfryd (13799) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - APR 15, 2007
Bottle. Dark brown colour with a beige head. Aroma is roasted, caramel, alcohol. Flavour is sweet, cardamom, spices, roasted. Nice beer.


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