overall
89
97
style
RATINGS: 2105   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 Ales 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.

Editors 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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4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
natejgood (500) - Bozeman, Montana, USA - NOV 17, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 19, 2008 Im 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.

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Dragonfly1 (500) - Colorado, USA - DEC 29, 2007
Draft- Country House. Black liquid with thick tan head. Very smooth, sweet taste- licorice, spice, chocolate. Some orange peel at the end to balance the sweetness. I enjoyed this beer- it really was a "holiday" ale- very spicy, sweet, different. Not just a dark beer labeled as a holiday ale.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Shot (500) - Westerville, Ohio, USA - JAN 17, 2014
The 2013 pours dark brown with a rocky beige head. Aromas are chocolate, caramel, cinnamon, orange peel and hops. Upfront malty flavor with dark chocolate, spice, and raisin. Slight apple and licorice finish. Creamy mouthfeel. Another great brew and year from Anchor!

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
mwelsh13 (499) - Maryland, USA - DEC 18, 2007
Deep brown, almost opaque pour. "Guiness" type head. Laces nicely around the glass. Bread like and spice aroma. Dry on the tongue, almost astringent. Nice full mouth feel with a tart aftertaste. Cinnamon/nutmeg/ginger taste. Hops bitterness more in the aftertaste than in the initial. Almost a slick taste to it. Not undesirable, just not expected. I definitely liked 2006 more. Wish I would have kept more of it. But, this was a nice beer overall.

3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Neorej80 (498) - - NOV 19, 2015
2015 edition bottle. Aroma of maple, toffee, capucino, vanilla and cinnamom and some malts. Nice dark brown colour, head vanishes fast. Flavours are a bit porterlike, but also a bit watery. Lots of cinnamom, maple and malts. Sweet, maple/toffee aftertaste. Ok for what it is.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Crispy34 (496) - Texas, USA - DEC 21, 2014
2014 draft. Aroma is spice with some darker malt. Appearance is a very dark brown with a lasting tan head. Taste is very earthy malt with the spice coming through. Palate is spicy. Overall, a solid beer. Well done. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
gpekar (496) - Florida, USA - JAN 17, 2010
Poured a very dark brown, almost mahogheny in color. There was a tall creamy light brown head that left very good lacing throughout the glass. The light passing through the edges of the glass near the base showed orange highlights. There was a nice spice aroma of nutmeg, cloves and many more that I couldnt pick out. The texture of the beer was lightly creamy. I could pick up flavors of chocolate, clove and spice cake and it was slightly dry. The finish just mellowed out from the initial taste and left little on the palate.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
mhelgason (495) - Salem, Oregon, USA - FEB 14, 2009
bottle. head was on the small side (fizzy and tan) into dark brown body. decent lacing present. aromas of licorice, ripe fruit, lt chocolate, cinnamon, touch of cloves, and some vinousness. flavor is lt bitter throughout. moderate finish duration. dry slightly sticky mouthfeel while remaining soft on the palate). Not bad at all.

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
benpickens (495) - Camarillo, California, USA - DEC 26, 2016
Pours inky black with frothy coffee colored head; tobacco and dark chocolate on the nose; spicy hoppy finish.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Scauca (490) - Lovere, ITALY - OCT 31, 2008
2007. Very strong and complex spicy nose, fresh of some herb I can’t figure out, perhaps cardamom as Ungstrup suggests, some chocolate, rhubarb, piney. Too bad has so thin a palate. Dry finish.


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