overall
95
99
style
RATINGS: 432   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.64/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
This is the thirtieth special ale from the brewers at Anchor. It is available from early November to mid January. The ale's recipe is different every year, but the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life. In ancient times, trees symbolized the winter solstice, when the earth with its seasons appears born anew.

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4
AgentAle (1760) - Alberta, CANADA - NOV 30, 2013
Aroma: pleasant christmas spices like nutmeg and cinnamen Taste: Rich malt flavors with great hop balance, spicey tastes throughout Appearance: Very dark clear amber body with thin white head with somewhat less retention

3.2
charlotte (5394) - rødovre, DENMARK - NOV 27, 2013
Bottle.Dark reddish colour with no head.Aroma is sweet and spicey with flavor of Christmas spices and raisin,prun and sweet Warming alc.Mild with hint of Wood and sweet caramel.

4
BrewMstr (194) - Pleasant View, Utah, USA - NOV 24, 2013
2013 version. Dark, spiced, and distinctive. Fruit undertones, but muted. Slightly bitter though without significant hop presence. Good Christmas season ale whatever the occasion!

3.8
bhensonb (15336) - Woodland, California, USA - AUG 12, 2013
Thanks to bu11zeye for this bottle. Pours ruddy very dark brown with a tan head that never made it. Aroma is smoky, rosemary, prune. Med body or nearly. Flavor is aged, wood, with what I’d call dried rosemary twig. Pretty woody. Suspect many aromatics have departed. Drinks well. Not excessively oxidized. Still has a touch of herb tang.

3.7
marcus (10326) - Sacramento, California, USA - AUG 12, 2013
Bottle shared by bhensonb. Pours dark brown with no head and a smoky nutty dark fruit aroma. There is a slightly fruity dark malt flavor that has dried out over time, with a bit of rosemary in the finish.

3.4
shigadeyo (3749) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - AUG 1, 2013

2004 Vintage

6/06/2010: Anchor Our Special Ale 2004... Aroma: Molasses, dark brown sugar, fruit cake, caramel, hint of ginger; brandy-like alcohol. Appearance: True mahogany color; opaque; scant beige bubbles on the surface; fine carbonation bubbles. Flavor: Dark, aged fruit cake; mild spice (clove, allspice, nutmeg; ginger); molasses; a tinge of oxidation in the middle; earthiness; chocolate and roasty coffee notes in the finish; bread crust, fig/date chutney, and roasted barley in the aftertaste. Palate: Medium-body; thin texture; mostly smooth. Overall: It still amazes me how well this beer can stand up to time despite it’s low alcohol and hop content; however, it is starting to fade a bit at this point; the finishing flavors and aftertaste save this beer for me...

12 fl. oz. bottle (4NJ) from IrishBoy via trade. Thanks Richard! Rating #423 for this beer.

4.2
Nordcore (1532) - Lyngen alps, NORWAY - JAN 1, 2013
Bottle 33 cl. Label Merry Christmas 2011. Black with a large lightbrown head. Aroma of nice christmas spices(carnation), gløgg, chocolate, grapes and plumb. Nice sweet taste with a soft spices end, best christmasbeer i have had, waiting 1 year was worth it.

4.3
sthlm (790) - Blank, Alabama, USA - JAN 30, 2012
[Bottle] This is a really, really solid beer. Perfect balance between spices and underlying malt, with vinous notes, and just mild oxidation. Good mouthfeel, smooth, and a long finish. Wow, I appear to be in the minority in how much I enjoyed this, but I thought that this was one of the best spiced beers that I have ever had. Much better than the ’05, which I tried immediately after this.

3.3
arminjewell (9688) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - DEC 18, 2011
Pour is dark reddish brown with thin off white head, aroma has notes of lots of pine and spruce notes, touch of caramel, dark fruit and molasses that are very mellow, touch of minty in there as well. Taste is a mix of molasses, dark fruit, hints of cinnamon spice, lots of pine and spruce with a mint touch, the combination is a bit weird but this one is rounded out a bit better.

3.4
cubs (10640) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - DEC 10, 2011
Bottle @ Bull & Bush Christmas tasting. Brown appearance with a light brown head. Minty, ginger, fairly carbonated aroma. Somewhat oxidized, dull toffee, minty spicy flavor. Not all that bad- well at least in comparison to the older vintages.


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