overall
96
99
style
RATINGS: 276   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.63/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Our Special Ale, a dark, rich, heavily spiced ale with a recipe that changes with each passing year.

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4.4
JahNoth (1039) - Rochester, New York, USA - DEC 6, 2002
Very interesting beer. The aroma is terrific - like a Christmas candle - very unique and refreshing. Strong malt and hop backbone to complement the holiday spices. Very interesting, and tasty.

4.4
hopscotch (11161) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - DEC 6, 2002
This beer rocks. Rich spicey aroma. Notes of perfume, gingerbread, alcohol, baked apples with cinnamon, nutmeg, ah hell, lots more, but you get the idea. Liquid Christmas, Kwanzaa, Chanuka, whatever!!!! Crystal clear deep ruby ale with a light brown, frothy head. Mostly diminishing with no lacing. Still, a beautiful beer. The flavor is malty and spicey up front. Lightly pungent and bitter on the backside. I also detect prunes. Excellent and interesting flavor. Lively carbonation. Full-bodied with a heavy and oily mouthfeel. Short, lightly tart, lightly bitter, herbal finish. Great Winter Warmer!

4.3
JFGrind (2054) - Glenside, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 6, 2002
This week I had my first taste of this year’s Special Ale on draft. Aroma is a strong and spicy. Color is dark, and head is tan and strong. When it comes to Anchor Special Ale it’s all about the spice. This year’s edition the spiciness is less evident than in past year. I have to run out and grab a case or two of 2002 so I can cellar it. I’ll be drinking my private stock this beer for periodically the next year. It will be pure enjoyment.

4.6
YogiBeera (2569) - New Jersey, USA - DEC 6, 2002
Wonderful chocolate ginger and spicey nose. Black with a big frothy head. It tastes like Gingerbread with initial tones of hops that leads to a dry nice bitter finish. Great and with the 2000 my favorite vintage of Anchor special Ale.

3.3
Dorwart (2598) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - DEC 5, 2002
Nice thick, creamy head. Not overly spicy like some ’christmas’ ales. Hint of nutmeg present. Excellent dark roasted color. A little sweet though. Slightly bitter aftertaste. One of the better (more drinkable) holiday brews I have had.

3.8
DankbrewedDank (162) - East Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - DEC 4, 2002
Smelled like a pumpkin pie. Probably the nutmeg in it. The spices really worked well in this dark ale. They were well balance with the malts so it wasnt too overpowering. It was smooth and good and just got better as it warmed. I think this is the first spice/herb/vegtable I actually liked.

3.5
hoorayforbeer (105) - Denton, Texas, USA - DEC 3, 2002
Yup, it’s heavily spiced. I don’t think my spice cabinet even has all the stuff I tasted in this one. I’m still not really sure how I feel about this one...

3.8
Hopistotle420 (1178) - Amherst, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 3, 2002
Tannish pink head. Deep ruby-garnett brown hue. Nutmeg, ginger, vanilla nose. Light footed, sweet first. Spices are very nicely balanced, light caramel accents, vanilla, nutmeg, cranberry, chocolate overtones, and lingering bittterness in the finish, almost perfumey. Terribly drinkable.

3.6
Bov (12888) - Bienne, SWITZERLAND - DEC 2, 2002
either is this vintage more balanced than the 2001 or my appreciation for those spices has changed - dark ruby-brown colour, no head, deep ginger and nutmeg aroma with vanilla notes, sweet and tart with an incredibly long spicy and bitter finish - this beer is really something special and it smells like christmas ... and I’m still not sure if I like it or not !

4
AceOfHearts (1374) - Mountain View, California, USA - DEC 1, 2002
Dark, slightly reddish color. Sudsy-looking pour and sloshing. Spicy nose but less prominent than their ’01. Very complex and interesting flavor: Spicy nutmeg, cinnamon, and some hints of pumpkin pie as it warms, as well as pine needles. Nice taste! I want more!


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