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

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DavefromChicago's rating

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
DavefromChicago (201) - Illinois, USA - DEC 7, 2002
Bottled. The rating is high, but, you just can't beat Anchor for a great seasonal X-mas brew...at least U.S. brews. This deep reddish-brown version is full of roasted malt, lightly hopped and spicy. Rich and smooth with flavors and aromas of cider, bananas, raisins, honey and lotsa nutmeg. Not as assertive as last years, which I had on tap. Great beer in the spice/herb category.

marcus (10867) - Sacramento, California, USA - APR 21, 2015
2002 Bottle gifted by bhensonb. Fortunately, I have an official Anchor Our Special Ale glass for this momentous occasion. The beer pours very dark brown, nearly black with a modest light tan head and a lovely roasted malt aroma. Over the years, the spices and hops have melded with the malt to create a composite rounded flavor. It is still a pleasure to drink, but certainly not as well-defined as I assume it was when first bottled. Roasty dark fruit and a long dry malty finish.

HonusWagner (2248) - Florida, USA - DEC 21, 2014
Thanks to Jon for the share on the magnum. Plummy and all kinds of weird spices. Not really my thing but not awful.

slowrunner77 (13205) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 5, 2014
christmas tree in a bottle. pours a ruby-tinged black with a redish-off-white head. every year is different but similar. 02 was a good year. one of my favorite seasonals. orange peel, dark malt & fruit, a little spice. great silky heavier mouthfeel. good stuff."

Alengrin (5884) - BELGIUM - AUG 25, 2014
Spiced winter beer, made with different ingredients each year and available from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. The 2002 version had a beige, creamy, stable head and very dark burgundy colour, almost blackish. Strong and very inviting, elegant aroma of coffee, chocolate, cloves, cinnamon, citrussy hops and raisins, taste deep malty, lightly toasted and assertively, dryingly spicy, like a Belgian Christmas ale, dark fruits, long dry hoppy finish. Very complex and very good.

Sarlacc83 (2435) - Portland, Oregon, USA - AUG 17, 2014
Bottle shared by Douglas. Thanks! Rating 700. A: Dark mahogany, very thin head, and lacing. N: Peppercorn and cardboard. Rust and toffee. Red pepper and cedarboards. Uhh... T: Spicy and sweet. Breaking down, but not totally there, yet. M: A touch watery. Lighter body, very little carbonation. O: I like having these because I like being reminded these aren’t supposed to go for that long. (Can’t wait for the ’96.)

douglas88 (9789) - Portland, Oregon, USA - AUG 16, 2014
Bottle. 2002 vintage. Pours a very dark mahogany color with a medium beige head. A fruity nose, oxidation, tobacco, some spices. The flavor is mild oxidation, big caramel, toast, light spices, big tobacco, some leather. Had mellowed away from spice and hops to a more subtle rounder ale. Very good actually. Certainly cardboard, but the oxidation is pretty nice to my taste. I’ve had older OSAs that I didn’t like, this is quite good. 12 years old. Drank in 2014.

AndySnow (8305) - Huddinge, SWEDEN - DEC 9, 2013
How: Bottle.
Where: Shared at home.
Appearance: Deep amber colour with a small beige head.
Aroma: Hops, spices, dried fruit, raisin.
Body: Medium body and carbonation.
Flavour: Hops, malt, spices, caramel.

jredmond (8839) - New York, New York, USA - DEC 4, 2011
Bottle vintages 2000-2006 shared at Paul’s Dec 3rd tasting. The 2000 and 2001 were by far the best - very interesting how this beer has aged especially considering the low alcohol to begin with. Aroma of prune, fig, raisins, bitter coffee and molasses. Mouthfeel is thin, but not too watery with notes of dark fruits, brown sugar, molasses and some spices.

j12601 (13297) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - DEC 4, 2011
Bottle courtesy of Andy at Paul’s tasting. Pours a clear ruby tinged brown with a thin white head. Soft old spices with a bit of nutmeg coming through over old plum and prune notes. Medium bodied, sweet malt, toast. Roast and toast, a bit of bitter roast. Spices on the finish and coffee bitterness.

thirdeye11 (6162) - Dallas, Texas, USA - SEP 2, 2011
(12oz bottle thanks to bu11zeye) very dark brown, cloudy pour, ruby hints and a ring of dark tan bubbles. Nose of a bit of olive, soy, chocolate, spices, and mild oxidation. Taste of chocolate, vanilla, heavily spiced, a bit bitter, some soy. Has aged quite nicely.

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