overall
95
99
style
RATINGS: 352   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.65/5   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
vector (163) - Dallas, Texas, USA - DEC 5, 2003
Deep dark brown with fine, creamy, tan head. Flavor of sweet spices, cinnamon, clove, malts. No sourness. Almost tasted a bit like CocaCola to me.

4
tsarman (794) - Northern, New Jersey, USA - DEC 5, 2003
Good job Anchor. I had this on tap recently. A nice spice to it with some cinnamon notes. Hearty, and delicious. Easy to drink overall. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

4
jazz88 (2684) - San Francisco, California, USA - DEC 4, 2003
Bottle. Dark brown color with a creamy brown head. A strong spicy aroma with cinnamon, ginger, candy, and nutmeg. There could be a fusion of pumpkin pie and a gingerbread house in here. The body is nice with a slight grainy feel. Strong malts in the flavor with a spicy aftertaste. Bravo.

3.5
SDbruboy (1863) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 2, 2003
UPDATED: DEC 3, 2003 Deep brown color with a large tan head that lingered well and left good lacing. Aroma is perhaps the most unique among beers I've had. Heavily spiced with nutmeg, allspice, cumin and others, reminiscent of mince pie. Bitter and malty with a lingering hop and herb finish. Medium body with mild carbonation. Well done for it's type I guess, but not my favorite of the style.

4.5
GreatStelle (363) - Chico, California, USA - DEC 2, 2003
A nice deep dark brown color with a small tan head. Roasted malt is very flavorful. Love the sweet finish. Everything is well balanced. A top winter beer on the market.

3.2
Ernest (7918) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - DEC 2, 2003
Head is initially average sized, frothy, light brown, mostly diminishing. Body is dark brown. Aroma is lightly malty (cookie, dark chocolate), lightly yeasty (dough), with strong notes of allspice, nutmeg, pine needles, and clove. Flavor is moderately sweet, moderately acidic, moderately bitter. Finish is lightly sweet, moderately acidic, heavily bitter. Medium body, velvety texture, lively carbonation, lightly astringent. Spice bitterness is punishing, as with the 2002, so again I'm not a big fan, and perhaps even a little skeptical about whether the recipe really changes from year to year.

3.8
PorterPounder (8402) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - DEC 1, 2003
Hard to get a read on this one. Deep dark - coffee-like pour with a thin mocha colored tight head with a little bit of lacing. Aroma has elements of cinamon candy, raspberry filled donuts and Christmas spices. Flavor has some hop bitterness, spices, and toffee. Stays strong to the finish. I liked the 2001 a little bit better. But - you gotta love a beer that has a picture of a pinecone drawn by Meriweather Lewis of Lewis & Clark fame.

4.1
haddon90 (1634) - Newport Beach, California, USA - DEC 1, 2003
Deep black pour with a lasting, lacing tan head. Spicy aroma. Sweet to the smell. Light minty, and smells like a christmas tree! A dry taste, with a little big of nutmeg, and other spices that can't come to my tongue. Smooth feeling. Little better than the 2002 vintage. A definite must for the holidays! Bought this 6-pack at Whole Foods in Vienna, VA.

3.4
ante (3373) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - DEC 1, 2003
Very, very dark brown, nice creamy, long-lasting biege head. Spicy, roasty and slightly soapy aroma. Flavour of cinnamon, raisin, chocolate with hints of lemon. Dry mouthfeel.

3.4
fiulijn (21537) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 1, 2003
Tawny color; creamy, beige head. Strong aroma: malt, roasted malt, caramel, phenol, liquorice, raisins... Dry mouthfeel, with some of the same components, but lighter and not surprising as the aroma; ending with a coffee note as well.


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A tick is a star rating
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