coolfunnj (321) - Margate City, New Jersey, USA - NOV 15, 2010
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
2010 version..aroma reminiscent of pumpkin pie with plenty of gingerbread, nutmeg and cinnamon..yumm..very dark brown appearance with slight tan head lacing each sip..delicious flavor mixing pumpkin,gingernread cinnamon nutmeg perhaps caramel..slightly tingly carbonation perfect medium body very drinkable even sessionable at only 5.5 abv..this is my favorite holiday beer and after two years where i really wasnt so jazzed about it this years is excellent really i cant name a more complex or full flavored brew at this abv
jmanock (20) - - APR 8, 2014
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
about as perfect a beer for me as you could get. especially when aged a few years, this beer is in my top 5. what can i say? the dark fruit and spice of this is awesome. mulled wine and nutmeg aroma with a body that tastes a lot like plum, dark cherry, cinnamon and sugar. just the right bitterness to balance. this beer ages very well and the aging will mellow out the piney bitterness and let more of the dark fruit flavors come through.
weepingsuds (222) - Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA - FEB 21, 2006
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
This blew me away. The aroma is nothing short of miraculous. I had to look twice to make sure this was a beer. My wife said it is heavy on the plum, but that may be teaberry as others have notted. The balance of holiday spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and the malt sweet overtones are nearly perfect. WOW!!!!!!!!
TChrome (1415) - 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.
gwfrankpsu (231) - McKinleyville, California, USA - DEC 24, 2006
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
I donít know what other people are drinking, this is one of the best Christmas beers. Almost black color with a nice malt and nutmeg and ginger aroma. The flavor is again Nutmeg, ginger and to my mind holly. There are a few beers I look forward to each year and again this does no disappoint - thankd, Fritz.
yesyouam (1016) - Fairport, New York, USA - JAN 30, 2007
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: NOV 28, 2009 [28 Nov 2009] Anchor Our Special Ale 2009 is a very dark brown ale with a thin, dense mocha colored head that leaves sip lines all the way down the glass. It smells a little sweet, sort of like ginger bread. Other spices are present in the aroma, notably nutmeg. Itís smooth and medium bodied with a dry, astringent finish. Thereís a lot of flavor going on here. The malt is a little sweet and resiny and it melds well with all of the spices. The nutmeg and cinnamon start to create an apple pie flavor, but ginger and juniper take over and provide the spicy, bitter finish. Actually, this doesnít seem as bitter as it has in the past. Itís all about the spices. [Aroma: 9 (4.5) Appearance: 5 (4.5) Taste: 9 (4.5) Palate: 4 (4) Overall: 4.5 (18)]
[28 Nov 2008] Anchor Our Special Ale 2008 is a very dark and dim red-brown ale with a thin, splotchy, mocha-colored head that leaves nice lacing. It has a coffee and orange peel aroma thatís slightly sweet like molasses and cola. It has a dry medium body with a slightly scratchy finish. Itís flavored with a burst of spices: nutmeg, licorice root, ginger and candied orange peel. It has a hint of sweetness, like Coke syrup and some nutiness. It is complex and unique. [Aroma 8/10, Appearance 4/5, Flavor 8/10, Palate 3/5, Overall 15/20]
[30 Jan 2007] This beer pours a deep brown with a red-orange hue. It has a small, off-white head of big thin bubbles. Great clarity. The aroma is that of a medium malt, redwood trees, and orange peel. There are spices present in the smell as well: Clove, cinnamon, nutmeg-- maybe even coriander seed. This beer is commandingly hopped; moreso than Liberty Ale. The aftertaste is of bitter grass with a powdered cinnamon feel. This is the kind of beer that gets me excited about beer. [Aroma 10/10, Appearance 4/5, Flavor 8/10, Palate 3/5, Overall 18/20]
Byeast (4) - USA - MAR 30, 2007 does not count
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Appearance: poured very very dark brown , almost black and fairly opaque but with some nice ruby edges , an inch of lasting tan foam sits atop , lots of sliding lace.
Smell: The aroma on this beer is so inviting and sooo Christmas-y. Rich , gingerbread / spiced cake maltiness , some chocolate , hint of nutmeg , cinnamon, and allspice , and some evergreen/pine like scent.
Taste: Rich and rounded malt flavors of gingerbread , bit of cocoa / chocolate , allspice and cinnamon , some slight berry in a juniper / plum like way, roasty quality , a hint of nutmeg that reminds me of eggnog , lots of evergreen tree character throughout , some more spices and a resinous pine in the finish that bites a bit in the back.
Mouthfeel: the natural carbonation is moderate and soft , with a slightly prickly end.
Drinkability and notes: Anchor OSA is a must have in my book during the wonderful Christmas season. The flavors in this beer capture my idea of a holiday offering more completly than any other ivíe tried. Its so great that this beer is born anew each year , and the 32nd has not dissapointed.
Fagus Sylvatica or the European Beech ( pictured on this years label ) :
*Capable of reaching heights of up to 48 m tall and 3m trunk diameter
*Typical lifespan of 150 to 200 years, though sometimes up to 300 years
*Very popular ornamental tree in parks and large gardens, not only in Europe, but also in North America and New Zealand.
Wulfstan (509) - California, USA - DEC 21, 2007
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
The 2007 ale, in December 2007: dark, almost black, red-brown with a big, thick light brown head that is long lasting and leaves some lacing. The aroma is nutmeg, rootberr, and hint of anise and clove over a malty-toasty body. The taste is rather like a porter-brown ale (of the Newcastle type) mix with spices, toasted grain (not burnt), rootbeer, and faint hints of coffee and chocolate. There is a light bitterness. Itís fairly complex and hard to pin down and is very tasty, interesting, somewhat complex, satisfying, and smooth.
killerK (14) - Alamo, California, USA - MAR 24, 2008
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
2007, bottled. dark ruby with tan head. overwhelming aromas of nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie. slight bit of anise, spruce, and black licorice. medium full body that tingles with a good dry hop to balance the complex flavors.
WanderinCelt87 (157) - Hamburg, New Jersey, USA - DEC 25, 2013
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Pours a lovely black with a tan head. Has a very robust smell of spice and malt. Has an amazing taste of spice and malt.