maltdog (617) - Colorado, USA - DEC 2, 2005
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle, near room temp. Light-absorbing red/brown in the glass. Dense Guinnesslike sand-colored head amazingly does not shrink at all. Pumpkin pie spices, maple, sugar cookies, and cardamom augment the buttery malt nose. Sweetish flavor with candied fruits, gingerbread, Swiss milk chocolate, aloe, sassafrass, and mace/clove/cardamom. Mild cocoa nib bitterness. Phenominal satiny milkshake mouthfeel. Halfway down the glass, and the lacing is solid, as if it were spray paint. Mellow aftertaste of cinnamon-laced coffee, chocolate covered raisins, and surprise! ripe mango. Balanced to perfection. Stunning!
Tejas (872) - Dallas, Texas, USA - DEC 2, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Draught > Flying Saucer. Wow, much better than last year. Nice smooth palate with a creamy taste on the tongue. Doesnít overpower you with spice either. Really nice balance this year! I might actually buy a 6 pack to enjoy at home.
3fourths (8037) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - DEC 1, 2005
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: JUN 18, 2012 Looks the same as the others... it looks like Anchor OSA. Rich and sharp toffee, butter and perhaps scotch aroma - sharp is the key word. Very fresh, very robust and it smells almost chewy. Piney flavor up front with a semi-caustic texture - rough and brittle it feels. My first impressions are that it may need some cellaring, but for now itís a decent presentation of juniper and spruce-like mellow spicyness with a light buttery note as well. Itís going to be really interesting when I do a vertical including this year as Iíve done in the years past. OSA is still one of the top beers I look forward to every winter.
mustangjoe (183) - redondo beach, California, USA - DEC 1, 2005
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap @Najas, Redondo Beach, Ca. Dark brown, just about black with a nice tan head on top. My first Anchor OSA, and it was great. Aroma was overflowing with spicyness and earthy overtones. Delicious flavors come through as well to make this a definite new favorite of mine. It was great drinking this brew while the sun was setting over the Pacific.
TChrome (1418) - Bedford, Texas, USA - DEC 1, 2005
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Beer pours dark brown with a gourgeous, creamy, dark tan, totally retained head. Aroma is sweet malty goodness, with spices, and some kind of tree aroma I am not able to identigy, spruce maybe? The malt flavor of this beverage is one of the deepest and thourough I have had. The flavor is sweet, earthy, with cinnamon, trees in the flavor as well. The elements sound disparate, but the whole is compelling and convincing. Delicous.
Storm (2684) - Amager, DENMARK - DEC 1, 2005
2.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
On tap. Very dark reddish brown colour with a nice head. Aroma of fresh pumpkins. Light body but with a lot of flavour of cinnamon, spice, sweetness and a touch of pumpkins. Bu ends up little bitter.
pinkzambia (1478) - Boise, Idaho, USA - NOV 30, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle: I havenít had a bad Anchor brew yet. This one is a dark, dark brown with a reddish tint along with a fluffy light brown head. The aromas are rich and malty as well as those of sweet spices. The tastes were licorice, peat rich soil, spices and organic root beer. The alcohol flavor seemed to come through pretty strong. The feel is perfect for a winter beer, a thick, full body. Deeeelishous!
Gorbalev (2924) - Ontario, CANADA - NOV 30, 2005
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle, bought in San Francisco. Very dark brown, big bubbly tan head. Aroma of Christmas! Well, Christmas tree at least. And rosemary. And perfume. And nutmeg and cinnamon. Not your typical "festive" beer aroma by any stretch, much more herbal and plant like. Very earthy. This perfume / spice mix transfers over to taste. Thin body; wish it had a little more. Silky mouthfeel. Weird and interesting, not sure I could drink a lot because it is quite sweet as well, but kudos to the effort and originality. My first Anchor "Special Ale".
jde123 (764) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - NOV 30, 2005
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
This is my first taste of Anchorís Special Ale, and I really like the idea of a changing recipe. Pours dark but thinly into my glass, developing a very large tan head. Upon first glance (discouting the head) and sniff of the aroma, I had incorrectly deduced it as a porter. I think it was the strong coffee and caramel notes. These also come through in the flavor, but more towards the end, when you sit in the glow of a finished glass of beer. Otherwise a complex amalgam of flavors, a little bit of dark fruits some nut flavor. Very good!
AlabastorJones (804) - San Francisco, California, USA - NOV 30, 2005
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
a decidous tree with leaves in the holiday season? california is mad weird, brown body with an uber thin ring of head, spicey nose, sprucey, citrusy and cedar like, dry rye flavor, super sweet thick malt finish, light and delicate on the palate, crisp tart and bitter, well done (clapclapclapclap)