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Our Special Ale 2013 (Anchor Christmas Ale) - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Our Special Ale 2013 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 2013 (Anchor Christmas Ale)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

671 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 671
Reviews: 119
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 8
Gots: 67 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: notchucknorris on 11-04-2013

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 671 | Reviews: 119
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4.82/5  rDev +31.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This pours a wonderfully dark amber-malty red hue with a cap of creamy cocoa-colored foam. Seriously, the beer looks amazing.

The aroma has a light medicinal, gruit-like aroma, with some juniper and pine notes standing out.

Flavorwise there’s a bitter intensity which complements the herbaceous mix. Some juniper, pine and a resiny yet drying finish round it out. Love, love, love this beer.

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4.64/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

As Winter begins to come to a welcome close here at Chez Woody, CAN Spring be far behind? I have fallen horribly behind in terms of my beer consumption and review and as such, I am not buying or trading until the backlog is sufficiently reduced.

From the bottle: "This is the thirty-ninth '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, as is the tree on the label, 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, appear born anew."; "Merry Christmas Happy New Year"; "Abies concolor var. Lowiana".

The cap directed me to "Use Opener", so I employed one along with a quarter to avoid bending such a beautiful cap. I love using a heavy-handed pour, much to my Old Lady's consternation, but unless directed otherwise, that is how I roll. The pseudo-cascade began almost immediately and the resulting two-plus fingers of dense, light-brown head looked like I was making a root beer float. Ha ha. The nose smelled of anise, licorice, tar, dried dark fruits, pine tips and dark chocolate. Mmmm. Color was a deep, dark-brown with ruby highlights (SRM = > 27, < 34) and NE-quality clarity. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste was like anise biscotti! Yummy. Biscuit malt worked well with whatever spices and other adjuncts they may have added. It was much like the Christmas cookies that my late maternal grandmother used to bake. Lacing began to form in the glass as I drank and I was happy to see it. Finish was dry, especially thanks to the presence of all of the spices. A really lovely beer and one worth buying on an annual basis.

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4.51/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This is a seasonal favorite of mine. The bottle label is a thing of beauty and is a gift to the drinker who can't help reminisce of Christmas's past, 39 years to be exact. Jim Stitt is getting up there in age but still producing great designs annually for Anchor. The bottle IS part of the experience. I poured this into a pint glass with a side pour and minimal head. The look is brown with a purple hue. The smell is vanilla, prunes and licorice. The sip, pause, and there it is again-welcome back to to last year and the year before and the year before that...back into Christmases past where the warmth of home soothes, and family is close, where all is peaceful and calm as the new fallen snow.

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look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

*slightly new reviewing style

reviewed: 12/09/13
previous quick rating of 4.25 on 11/29/2013

Our Special Ale 2013 by Anchor
poured from a bottle into My Ragtime Ricks Mug

Short tapered bottle, oval tan label, pine tree, red "Merry Christmas, Happy New Year" 3.75

A-appearance :
Brown to almost black, 1 finger hearty tan head, good lacing 4.25

S- smell:
dark fruit, roasted malts, grains, spice 4.5

dark fruit, spice slight yeast and hops 4.5

M-mouthfeel :
initial bite gives way to deep complex flavor, finishes smooth 4.25

very good holiday offering, ordered extra to keep a stock 3.75

much anticipated and didn't disappoint, so glad i ordered some extra 4.5

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Our Special Ale 2013 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 671 ratings.