overall
89
97
style
RATINGS: 2090   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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4.7
hopsaddict (6) - USA - AUG 16, 2007 does not count
This beer brought back fond holiday memories with its nutmeg and vanilla rich nose/taste. Its has a regal appearance in a glass -- not the darkest beer, but the dark, thick head is certainly intriguing. Much lace is left on the inside of the glass. I recommend letting it warm up some from fridge temperature as the alcohol gives a warm, cheery compliment to the flavor as you reach the end of the beer and it has warmed up some.

4.7
closey22 (2101) - Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, USA - DEC 29, 2007
A beautiful rich looking, clear brown that shimmers burgundy red when held up to the Christmas tree lights:) Has a lasting lively and thick tan head that laces the glass. Aroma is unique, it is very sprucy(how appropriate!) with a hint of roasted malt(smoky chocolate). Flavor is of toasty malt and spruce and finishes long and dry with hints of smoky roasted malt. It feels foamy/creamy but not overly so. This is the best brew they’ve made for Christmas/New Year in recent years.

4.7
jmanock (36) - - APR 8, 2014
about as perfect a beer for me as you could get. especially when aged a few years, this beer is in my top 5. what can i say? the dark fruit and spice of this is awesome. mulled wine and nutmeg aroma with a body that tastes a lot like plum, dark cherry, cinnamon and sugar. just the right bitterness to balance. this beer ages very well and the aging will mellow out the piney bitterness and let more of the dark fruit flavors come through.

4.7
iggynelix (168) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 6, 2015
This is one of my seasonal favorites and 2016’s ale is among the best in class. Pours dark mahogany but clear with a rich tan head. Molasses and ginger notes are strongest on the nose and palate. I five a hint of feral nose and there might be a slight umami flavour add well. Yummy...Santa, I need a case of this.

4.6
weepingsuds (223) - Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA - FEB 21, 2006
This blew me away. The aroma is nothing short of miraculous. I had to look twice to make sure this was a beer. My wife said it is heavy on the plum, but that may be teaberry as others have notted. The balance of holiday spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and the malt sweet overtones are nearly perfect. WOW!!!!!!!!

4.6
thebeerroom (12) - Brazoria, Texas, USA - JUL 30, 2014
Every year during the holiday season, Anchor Brewing releases their Merry Christmas/Happy New Year seasonal ale. Each year they tweek their recipe and put a different tree on the label. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

4.6
jybi (432) - FRANCE - JAN 17, 2017
Voici une belle surprise avec cette Merry Christmas 2016 Happy New Year de chez Anchor. Même si le titrage alcoolique est un peu faible (6,5% Abv) pour une bière hivernale et que celui-ci aurait gagné à être augmentée pour renforcer la puissance de la bière, celui-ci est bien utilisé pour résultat une bière harmonieuse, juste et agréable. L’étiquette présente une approche un peu différente des classiques, avec une nouvelle année sous le signe de la renaissance et du symbole de l’arbre pour le solstice d’hiver. Je vais être plus terre à terre et m’intéresser à notre breuvage qui doit être avant tout festif ! En verre, notre Anchor, présente une belle robe d’un brun profond et se pare d’une multitude de fines bulles la rendant des plus gracieuses. Une mousse beige, nappe convenablement la bière de 3 à 5 mm d’épaisseur. Le nez est très beau se portant sur la cerise, le pruneau et le café sur de jolies notes épicées de réglisse et de cannelle procurant une sensation de vin chaud. L’attaque sur le malt, le caramel et le réglisse est un peu en dedans mais prépare bien l’entrée en matière de l’amertume qui est douce sur des notes de café. L’arrière bouche s’intègre quant à elle parfaitement bien, soyeuse sur des arômes de cerise et de candi. L’ensemble est très chaleureux et parfaitement homogène. Le final laisse quant à lui s’exprimer des notes de cherry avec des belles variations autour de la réglisse. La longueur, malgré les 6,5 % Abv est très correct. En conclusion, il s’agit ici d’une très belle bière qui brille par son équilibre. Avec un peu plus de puissance et un brin de complexité en plus, je ne serai pas resté sur terre...je serai monté sur le pin!

4.5
TChrome (1481) - North Richland Hills, Texas, USA - DEC 1, 2005
Beer pours dark brown with a gourgeous, creamy, dark tan, totally retained head. Aroma is sweet malty goodness, with spices, and some kind of tree aroma I am not able to identigy, spruce maybe? The malt flavor of this beverage is one of the deepest and thourough I have had. The flavor is sweet, earthy, with cinnamon, trees in the flavor as well. The elements sound disparate, but the whole is compelling and convincing. Delicous.

4.5
gwfrankpsu (231) - McKinleyville, California, USA - DEC 24, 2006
I don’t know what other people are drinking, this is one of the best Christmas beers. Almost black color with a nice malt and nutmeg and ginger aroma. The flavor is again Nutmeg, ginger and to my mind holly. There are a few beers I look forward to each year and again this does no disappoint - thankd, Fritz.

4.5
yesyouam (1016) - Fairport, New York, USA - JAN 30, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 28, 2009 [28 Nov 2009] Anchor Our Special Ale 2009 is a very dark brown ale with a thin, dense mocha colored head that leaves sip lines all the way down the glass. It smells a little sweet, sort of like ginger bread. Other spices are present in the aroma, notably nutmeg. It’s smooth and medium bodied with a dry, astringent finish. There’s a lot of flavor going on here. The malt is a little sweet and resiny and it melds well with all of the spices. The nutmeg and cinnamon start to create an apple pie flavor, but ginger and juniper take over and provide the spicy, bitter finish. Actually, this doesn’t seem as bitter as it has in the past. It’s all about the spices. [Aroma: 9 (4.5) Appearance: 5 (4.5) Taste: 9 (4.5) Palate: 4 (4) Overall: 4.5 (18)] [28 Nov 2008] Anchor Our Special Ale 2008 is a very dark and dim red-brown ale with a thin, splotchy, mocha-colored head that leaves nice lacing. It has a coffee and orange peel aroma that’s slightly sweet like molasses and cola. It has a dry medium body with a slightly scratchy finish. It’s flavored with a burst of spices: nutmeg, licorice root, ginger and candied orange peel. It has a hint of sweetness, like Coke syrup and some nutiness. It is complex and unique. [Aroma 8/10, Appearance 4/5, Flavor 8/10, Palate 3/5, Overall 15/20] [30 Jan 2007] This beer pours a deep brown with a red-orange hue. It has a small, off-white head of big thin bubbles. Great clarity. The aroma is that of a medium malt, redwood trees, and orange peel. There are spices present in the smell as well: Clove, cinnamon, nutmeg-- maybe even coriander seed. This beer is commandingly hopped; moreso than Liberty Ale. The aftertaste is of bitter grass with a powdered cinnamon feel. This is the kind of beer that gets me excited about beer. [Aroma 10/10, Appearance 4/5, Flavor 8/10, Palate 3/5, Overall 18/20]


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