BeerBunker (965) - Burbank, Illinois, USA - DEC 11, 2008
Pours dark brown with a minimal tan head. Still heavily carbonated after six years. Aroma is of bourbon, spice, malt, caramel, and tobacco. Taste is of dark fruit, malt, bourbon, tobacco, spice, and caramel. Tastes like it was barrel aged with cherries and a pack of smokes. Lingering booze bite. Finish is very mellow, with some nice fruit and alcohol tastes. Crosling (1864) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - NOV 28, 2008
Dark mahogany colored ale with a long lasting white head. Very nice aroma showcases notes of fruit cake, vanilla, nutmeg and mint. Flavor is very nice and brilliantly balanced. Notes of cinnamon, pine, juniper and fruit cake. Very nice body to it and well as a nice finish. SDalkoholic (2386) - Linda Vista, California, USA - DEC 29, 2007
12 oz bottle from a Liquor store in North Park. I have a long story I want to tell about this beer. First, I have been in search for this 2002 special ale since it was the only one I was missing in the lineup. Well, I went to this store since I had remembered it had vintage 6 packs left so I bought a 2005 six pack and when pulling out the first bottle to examine the year I noticed it said 2002. I was so excited and now I get a wish come true for Christmas.
The aroma is mild with the slightest notes of dark roast malt and light spicing. The appearance is a deep brown with thick head still able to be created despite its age. The flavor is sort of bland and lost most of its original flavors I imagine it had but it still is smooth and drinkable. I honestly think its past its prime and still say the fresh batches of Anchor’s special ale will be the best tasting.
TBone (17528) - Pori, FINLAND - DEC 29, 2007
Bottledoh6gdx (26488) - Vasa, FINLAND - DEC 29, 2007
Dark nut brown color, very small off-white head. Chocolaty, rye breadish "vintage aroma". Very coffeish, roasted flavor, some American hops. Liquerish, specially in the aftertaste. Loads of coffee and chocolate.
Bottled (thanks Degarth!). Deep amber colour, not much head. Aroma is spices, raisins some coffee and chocolate. Flavour is mildly oxidized, caramelly, quite hoppy and mild malts & raisins.
YourDarkLord (1800) - Urbana, Illinois, USA - DEC 27, 2007
At a recent Champaign-Urbana Beer Club meeting, mamabeer and her papa provided a vertical tasting of these special ales from 2001 through 2007. Thanks Nancy and Tom. This 2002 was like a holiday fruitcake (and I love a GOOD fruitcake). Poured dark chestnut with a robust tan head. The aroma was spice, fruit, chocolate, caramel, well, as I said, a fruitcake in the best sense of the word. Same elements held in the flavor with a nice spicy finish. Nice treat.
Bier brauen (246) - Bremerton, Washington, USA - DEC 15, 2007
2007 edition. Nice aroma but thin mouthfeel and bitter taste. Not as big as the inviting seasonal aroma would promise. VikingHammer (506) - Lynnfield, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 10, 2007
Dark brown pour with an off-white head. Ginger and allspice aroma with hints of nutmeg. Spicy with a roasted finish. Medium body. RSRIZZO (1986) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - DEC 2, 2007
Had this beer on 12/3/2002. Color is a deep rich solid brown, no light comes though. Good carbonation and thin head. Taste is rich and very spicy. WOW. Starting with a medium body that goes down with a strong spicy feel. Finish is almost too much to explain, full of coriander and spicy with a nice roasted taste. This is far more flavor than they or anyone else has put into a charismas brew. beerheart (237) - Erie, Colorado, USA - SEP 7, 2007
On cask at the Gingerman in Houston in 2004. One of the best beers I’ve ever tasted. I think I would call it a porter more than an ale, because of the wonderful chocolate aromas and flavors that intermingled with the spices and citurs. Pours a deep red-brown with a nice head. Sits medium-full on the palate with gentle carbonation. Very well-seasoned, as you can imagine, sitting 2 years in a cask. Tastes of chocolate, nutmeg. Nicely malted. The chocolate really comes through with warming.