overall
89
97
style
RATINGS: 2079   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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3.7
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.

3.6
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.

3.3
gary07734 (500) - Tyne & Wear, ENGLAND - JAN 1, 2010
Drank from the bottle, tasty and interesting beer, a malty sweet background with flavours of oak, whisky and fruit, banana, then a lingering malty finish. Pretty good.

3.3
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
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.

3.8
kanaclane (497) - - JAN 1, 2016
Nez: Malt fumé, chocolat, cannelle Bouche: Chocolat, fumée, fruits noirs, cannelle, épicée Rien de transcendant mais elle est vraiment très agréable.

3.4
gpekar (497) - 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 couldn’t 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.

3.3
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

3.6
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.

3.7
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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