TChrome (1481) - North Richland Hills, Texas, USA - NOV 24, 2002
Wow!! There is a ton of good things
happening in a glass of Anchor Christmas Ale.
The flavor in multi-layered. Beginning with a hop bitterness,
followed by a malt sweetness, then burnt coffee and finally a dash of
alcohol. This is a delicious brew.
grant (842) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - NOV 24, 2002
Smells like good bread and eggnog (nutmeg). Unusual brown/burgundy color. Nice tan head. Spice flavors are overpowered by nutmeg (just a touch of cinnamon). Saddle blanket smell. Very unique in individual aspects, but holisticly (as indicated by the overall impression), the parts do not congeal into a coherent whole. fraternie (1031) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 24, 2002
A great disappointment. Flavor is almost medicinal/ black licorice, no spice of cinnamon that I so enjoyed last year. Smooth, but off by a lot. Maybe I got a bad bottle... MOboy (510) - Kansas City, Missouri, USA - NOV 24, 2002
2002: Oh my. I sit here with a very empty feeling in my heart. After my journey to the beer store on my luch break, working the last four hours of my shift (anticipation is a BITCH) and finally getting home to crack open this beauty, I am almost sad. This years vintage is nowhere near as nutmeggy, gingery, cinnamony or anything elsey. It was like my tongue was numb or something. I had to wait until 10 seconds after i swallowed the stuff to start getting any distinguishable flavors. The appearance and the aroma are still there, but the flavor is wayyyyy muted. I am puttin a 6'er in the cellar and hopefully next year I can change this description.
aracauna (3710) - Georgia, USA - NOV 23, 2002
Nice big khaki wet foamy head. Body is blackened ruby. Aroma is candy-like, life fruit hard candy. Surprisingly low in malt aromas considering the color. The flavor has a sprucey smell, but lacks the harshness that's usually associated with it. That blends with a candied lemon flavor, minus the tartness. The flavor is also candy-like but not really sweet. I had expected a higher malt profile. Very low bitterness and flavor is a bit thin underneath the spices.
estoppel (1028) - Buffalo, New York, USA - NOV 23, 2002
Dark reddish brown body, medium tan head, spicy sweet nose. Very spicy body with a hint of bitterness. As it warms, the malts emerge. rmalloy (199) - los angeles, California, USA - NOV 23, 2002
Strong nutmeg aromas, and perhaps cloves too. Lightly but nicely hopped. Pleasant maltiness. Nothing really special despite the name, since you can add spices to any beer at home and I doubt the chemicals in the spices undergo complex chemical reactions with aging. Still a pleasant beer. herbjones (742) - Orange, California, USA - NOV 23, 2002
On Tap. Was not impressed at all. Nothing really stood out for me on this one. Spice was in the background as was the malt and hops. I'll try again in the bottled version but for draft thumbs down. Jokes (1455) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 22, 2002
Well, this was perhaps the oddest beer I've had. Way darker than I expected, and also far spicier. My first thought was gingerbread cookies. Good ones. However, like most any cookie, too many is too much. At the beginning they seem like the perfect holiday food, but by the end, all we want is to go back to the good old Chocolate Chip. Seriously, I couldn't handle all the spice, but enjoyed while I could. Too bad half isn't good enough... Aurelius (5662) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - NOV 22, 2002
A remarkable and risky brew. Aroma is allspice, vanilla and piney (rosemary?) Tannic, herb-bitter cola flavor but very satisfying. Rich brown, good bottle, great label. I agree with Beerguy, a long spice-bitter finish. Exceptional, and a commendable recipe for a holiday (the PC term for Christmas in San Fran, I reckon) brew.