overall
89
97
style
RATINGS: 2110   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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3.8
MesandSim (7117) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - JUN 16, 2007
A Sim rate (bottle from Rudiger): Ridiculously complex aroma: berries, sweet spices (particularly clove-studded oranges that you have at Christmas), cranberries, plums and brandy. Almost perfumy. Fucking amazing! Very dark black cherry colour. Flavour is lacking in the complexity of the aroma with a bittersweet finish. Plum, blackcurrant and spices pop out. Great beer!

3.7
rshah16 (39) - Illinois, USA - JUN 8, 2007
pour dark brown with thick tan head. smells like gingerbread cookies. thick mouthfeel taste is ginger, malt, nutmeg, fruit. a lot of fun to drink, but i can’t imagine having more than one at a time.

3.9
cking (1175) - North Canton, Ohio, USA - JUN 1, 2007
Rated 12/11/06: Spices and fruits and malts oh my! Lovely spiced winter brew here. Aroma is rich with ginger, clove, nutmeg, and a splash of pine. Dark burgundy pour, nice tan head and moderate lacing. A touch watery on the palate but smooth and easily drinkable. Flavor resembles the hearty aroma but some nice fruit flavors come through. This is a prime standard of what a well spiced ale ought to be. A richer maltiness and this one would be hard to beat. Went really well with my Bavarian chocolate cream stick.

3.6
mgumby10 (1856) - Jupiter, Florida, USA - MAY 30, 2007
2006. Pours a murky brown, with a medium, bubbly brown head. Big aromas fill the air before I even sit down. Some nice dark fruit, cinnamon, molasses, and raisins formulate the smell. The taste is medium-bodied, lightly sweet and kind of nutty. It has a slight bitterness to it in the finish. The dark fruits give it that touch of sweetness. Big malty flavors pretty much round it out, but its kind of a mixture of nutty vs. sweet. Falls somewhere in between. Decent.

3.2
georgekappus (296) - Brookfield, Connecticut, USA - MAY 26, 2007
2006 vintage. Pours a chocolately brown with a thick caramel colored head. The flavor is of bitter coffee and mocha. Perhaps nutmeg as well? Not an overly enticing beer which is why it took 6 months to finish the six pack.

3.7
joe1510 (501) - Illinois, USA - MAY 24, 2007
12oz. Bottle 2005 $10.99 6-pack Binny’s Orland Our Special Ale poured an extremely dark mahogany that is only transparent along the edges of my pilsner glass when held to the light. A creamy 2 finger mocha head sits on top and fades a a 1 finger dense craggy head. Sticky webbed brown lacing trails down the glass. The smell makes me think of Christmas with all the smells coming from the kitchen. There are a lot of spices in the nose including nutmeg and maybe a touch of cinnamon. The others are hard to pick apart. Theres even some bing cherry and plum. Also, reminiscent of warm bread pudding. A slight roasted malt in the background but the fruits and spices take over. I think this is what a winter warmer should smell like. It has it all crammed in there. The roasted malts serve as the backbone and don’t really show themselves until a minor bitterness in the finish. The spices come through up front with the nutmeg taking the front. The dark fruit come through mid-palate and dance around on your tongue in holiday cheer. Very nicely done. The mouthfeel is the only thing holding this beer back. It’s average but if it was a little heavier in body it would be great. The mouthfeel is on the thin side and feels a little dead in my mouth. Don’t get me wrong it’s not bad just nothing to get excited about. The weaker mouthfeel actually helps the drinkability a little bit. If it were creamier it would make a better beer but it would be too filling to get high marks for drinkability. I could definately sit around and drink a couple of these on a cold winter night. I really like Our Special Ale and would recommend it to anyone to try at least once. The spices really add a nice touch. Great cold weather beer. One to share with friends and family.

3.2
krysztofar (344) - belleville, Illinois, USA - MAY 16, 2007
06 vintage consumed in may of 07. color is garnet as the pour begins when done it’s a deep brown with 1/2 inch of khaki head on the top. nose has some sweet dried fruit and spices cinnamon and clove in particular. interesting flavor starts with a tart cherry with some coco on the edges. the hops are effervescent and as they fade bring back a licorice and spice flavor that lasts. different that’s for sure.

3.6
padrefan98 (854) - (San Diego) Santee, California, USA - APR 26, 2007
12 oz bottle 2005 done as a verticle with the 2004 thanks to fordest. I thought this one was better. Less oxidation, more flavor. The freshness factor played a part here. Same earthy spicey flavor.

3.5
jerome6957 (17) - New York, New York, USA - APR 23, 2007
2006 bottle. Pours a dark ruby with a thin brown head. Very enticing aroma of spice, complex dark fruits, cola, and citrus. Flavor explosive...roasted dark malts followed by a unique spicy, earthy flavor (is that allspice? nutmeg?) and citrus. Just as you’re falling in love the body thins out and leavves you alone with a little astringency. Well balanced, but thin on the palate.

3.3
littlefelix (29) - Santa Clarita, California, USA - APR 23, 2007
2006 as well. This was a very complex beer. I enjoyed it, but cannot drink to many. Almost a barleywine in flavor, just not as strong %-wise. You can really taste the raisen/prune/veggie flavors in there. Thick and slow drinking.


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