overall
89
97
style
RATINGS: 2080   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
This is our special ale from the brewers at Anchor. It is sold only 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. Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons appears born anew.

Editor’s Note: due to the significant similarity in style and strength from year to year (despite potential differences in the exact spice blend), this beer is no longer separated by vintage.

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3.5
tgncc (3135) - Bellmore, New York, USA - NOV 17, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 25, 2009 Aroma is spicy, some nutmeg and other holiday spices. The appearance is attractive, A very dark, slightly translucent ruby/brown. The flavor is also dominated by spices, nutmeg, cloves. The finish is spicy, like nutmeg. Fairly thick mouthfeel. Not bad.

4
natejgood (517) - Bozeman, Montana, USA - NOV 17, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 19, 2008 I’m rating the 2007 Spcial Ale. It pours relatively dark with a lot of medium brown head. The head leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. It smells of holiday spices, including nutmeg, cloves and pumpkin spice. It smells like the holidays. The flavor starts with some sweet coffee, moves onto some of the holiday spices, and ends with a bit of bitterness around the sides of my mouth. The beer leaves the mouth a little dry, and the carbination is very light. This is a very good offering for a holiday beer. An update to my rating. The 2008 beer is just as splendid as the 2007.

4
Skeegle (566) - Maryland, USA - NOV 17, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 19, 2007 I really liked this beer. It was packed with flavor, too many to describe. Nutmeg and molasses are prevalent with hints of cinnamon. It was like someone took the spices out of a pumpkin pie and put them in it. Very good. Best seasonal.

2.8
JB175 (1665) - Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 16, 2007
Have had it a few times and never really got into it. Brownish pour and an interesting earthy, spiced aroma. Flavor is like an exploded spice rack with way too much earthiness. Still haven’t tried any really old ones yet.....

3.8
bdigital (658) - Ft Wayne, Indiana, USA - NOV 16, 2007
’07 Bottle: Wow, this poured much darker than I was expecting. A dark amber/brown color with a small, white/cream head. Very earthy aroma with notes of burnt coffee, nutmeg, spruce and some other stuff I can’t make out. Medium-light body with flavors of dark fruits, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and coffee. This is the first time I’ve had this brew and I find it to be quite damn delicious. I’ll definitely have to seek out some older vintages.

2.3
wetherel (1886) - Cupertino, California, USA - NOV 15, 2007
$1.99 2006 bottle from South Bay Drugs bought on 7/9/07. Pours with a 2 finger medium bubble tan head, that disappears and returns as a great 2-3mm foam over the surface. Aroma is of a mild oxidation and some malt. Flavor is bland oxidize with a very mild sourness. Certainly way past it’s prime, which makes me wonder, because this beer is collected and sold in verticals. Maybe I got a bottle that was exposed to too much heat. Hmmm. I would guess acetobacter.

3.5
theisti (4142) - Kansas, USA - NOV 15, 2007
12 oz. bottle (2007 version). Pour is a clear mahogany with a tan head. Aroma of spice and yeastiness. Hint of dried fruit and berries. Taste is a nice blended spiciness - cinnamon, cardomman, yeast, nuttiness (nutmeg) and some nice soft earthiness. Finish has a hint of bitterness and some licorice. Overall, nice, though a touch thin.

3.7
joohefner (380) - Isla Vista, California, USA - NOV 15, 2007
dark earth color with very small tan head. spicy sweet treacle aroma with a light orange peel note. smooth thin body. spicy cocoa earth flavor, like a spiced brown ale. the spice is pretty complex: sage, nutmeg, and i also pick up some yeast phenols. good very layered but its body seems awkwardly thin

3.7
badlizard (5533) - Berkeley, California, USA - NOV 13, 2007
350 ml bottle from Bevmo. Dark brown with a tan fizzy head. Sweet spicy aroma with hints of molassess. Sweet malty toffee taste with a good spiciness - nutmeg, cloves, and a hint of cinnamon. Good.

3.1
notalush (5883) - Lakewood, Colorado, USA - NOV 13, 2007
2007 bottling - wow, has it really been two years since I’ve bought OSA? - damn - well, anyway, this years batch sure ain’t as spicy as previous years - I pick up a bit of sage and nutmeg in the aroma, but that’s as spicy as she gets - this is a bit lighter in body than previous vintages, and even, one might say, thin on the palate - I pick up notes of cocoa an a leafy, vegetal quality - very light cinnamon an all-spice - a very light touch of anise - finishes kind of thin - this is one vintage that I wouldn’t hold on to - there isn’t much room for development here - nice enough for now, though.


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