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RATINGS: 1827   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.54   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
This is our special ale from the brewers at Anchor. It is sold only 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. Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons appears born anew.

Editor’s 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.


4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
bsp77 (724) - Minnesota, USA - NOV 10, 2009
Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint. Dark brownish-ruby with creamy tan head that mostly recedes with slight lacing lines. Aroma of faintly sweet spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, orange and gingerbread; nice chocolate and caramel undertones. Bittersweet roasted malts with light notes of coffee, chocolate and caramel. The spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger) are subdued overall, especially compared to the smell, but provide a nice counterbalance. Slight bitter finish from the roasting. Almost seems a little stale, akin to an English Old Ale. Moderate carbonation, medium body, somewhat dry finish. This appears to be a Robust Porter with a fairly subdued holiday spice profile. This is a must purchase every year.

4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Suzie_Johnston (1) - California, USA - DEC 20, 2009 does not count
Anchor Steam "Our Special Ale" is the beginning of the holiday season. Though the taste is a bit different every year somehow the taste of a Christmas tree comes through. My husband always finds it for me to make my holiday perfect. This is the taste of the solstice.

4.4
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
jikvig (269) - NORWAY - OCT 1, 2010
Had the 2008 vintage On the nose, I digg the raisins, coffe, chocolate flavours that show up! Also getting "gløgg" which is a Scandinavian thing, almost like a gluhwein (google it) It´s kinda shy in taste at the begging, before it builds up. Soft bitternes, a lovely rich malt flavour. Really smooth in the mouth. Getting some roasted malt aswell in on the end palate. This is for me, christmas in a bottle! Never tried this beer, but doing so in the middle of july makes me look forward to snow and december! The nose is fantastic, and taste is really good! I just wish the beer was more foamy in taste, but it holds really good for a 2 year old beer! I want to get my hands on an 09 as soon as possible!

4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
adnielsen (9077) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - DEC 3, 2010
UPDATED: NOV 27, 2012 Tap @ Falling Rock Denver. 2010 vintage. Very dark red/brown appearance. Very spicy aroma with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Dark tasting flavor full of special spices. Quite tasty and quite unbelievably tasty. Great beer (4.6)

Bottle @ home picked up at Wilbur’s Fort Collins. 2012 vintage. Minty, ginger, allspice, spicy bready aroma. A bit tangy, smooth, toasty malty, light chocolate, a touch nutty, minty, ginger flavor. Please don’t change the recipe! (4.4)

4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Beerheart65 (1000) - Pori, FINLAND - SEP 21, 2012
Strong aroma has herbs, sweet licorice, pine. Clear rd/black. Short beige head leaves lacing. Palate is lively and has both sweetness and dry roasted crispness. Taste has spicy herbs, almost like medical herbs, pine, caramel, anise, nutmeg, cardamom. Lots of Christmas spices. Enjoyment.

4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
Braastad (416) - FINLAND - MAR 23, 2013
Dark red, almost black beer. Creamy head that lingers. Great beer, lots of berries, blackcurrant?

4.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
emartell (244) - Zapopan, Jalisco, MEXICO - DEC 6, 2013
Aromas sumamente interesantes, y los cuales te hacen saber que estás ante una gran cerveza. Color obscuro, profundo, turbia. En el aroma las principales notas son herbales destacando notas a pino. Al paladar el pino vuelve a hacerte presente, junto con notas especiadas. En general excelente cerveza.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
scraff (2121) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - NOV 7, 2005
Deep brown and mahogany, thick creamy tan head. Rich nose of gingersnap cookies, toasted caramel, and spruce, with lighter notes of nutmeg and chocolate. Flavor is spiced throughout with ginger, nutmeg and spruce prevalent, some light chocolate tones blended in, with a late soft bitterness rounding it out. Medium to full bodied, soft carbonation, spiced bittersweet finish. Like Hanukkah, err, I mean Christmas in a bottle....

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
ericmc83 (207) - Arkansas, USA - NOV 23, 2005
Aroma is amazing. Spices galore. It is a perfect reminder of what season it is...the aromas I associate with this time of year are captured very well in this brew. The spices I sensed on the nose are slightly less dominant in the flavor. Rather, the flavor is a rich, chewy, chocolate, toffee’ness that collaborates nicely with the spice. This is my first OSA and wow...I’m impressed to say the least.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
mustangjoe (183) - redondo beach, California, USA - DEC 1, 2005
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.


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