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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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

569 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 569
Reviews: 111
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 13.11%
Wants: 8
Gots: 33 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: notchucknorris on 11-04-2013)
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Ratings: 569 | Reviews: 111 | Display Reviews Only:
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BoSean_Rodriguez

New Jersey

5/5  rDev +36.6%

06-30-2014 14:47:49 | More by BoSean_Rodriguez
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wrightst

Maryland

5/5  rDev +36.6%

06-02-2014 01:23:38 | More by wrightst
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Mullinger1980

Ohio

5/5  rDev +36.6%

11-22-2013 20:45:26 | More by Mullinger1980
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero

Texas

4.81/5  rDev +31.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2013 08:11:46 | More by elNopalero
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Motozappa

Connecticut

4.75/5  rDev +29.8%

03-07-2014 04:24:03 | More by Motozappa
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mdlb44

California

4.75/5  rDev +29.8%

05-02-2014 03:05:43 | More by mdlb44
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jmbranum

Oklahoma

4.75/5  rDev +29.8%

11-17-2013 01:28:33 | More by jmbranum
Photo of rheimbro
rheimbro

Ohio

4.75/5  rDev +29.8%

12-27-2013 17:17:09 | More by rheimbro
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

4.65/5  rDev +27%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2014 16:11:03 | More by woodychandler
Photo of klimoja
klimoja

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2013 18:28:37 | More by klimoja
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Doomcifer

Rhode Island

4.5/5  rDev +23%

11-15-2013 03:42:45 | More by Doomcifer
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Mtooman

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +23%

12-12-2013 04:28:55 | More by Mtooman
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zp6167a

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +23%

02-28-2014 03:20:34 | More by zp6167a
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RevMikeT

New York

4.5/5  rDev +23%

01-16-2014 17:23:10 | More by RevMikeT
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FriedSlug

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +23%

11-15-2013 00:43:58 | More by FriedSlug
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MikeMilanoDesign

California

4.5/5  rDev +23%

11-28-2013 05:33:40 | More by MikeMilanoDesign
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foghornleghorn22

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +23%

01-14-2014 04:35:22 | More by foghornleghorn22
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tedho21

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +23%

01-02-2014 17:45:02 | More by tedho21
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Nutwood

Kentucky

4.5/5  rDev +23%

01-08-2014 16:57:37 | More by Nutwood
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BigMikie

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +23%

12-29-2013 04:16:27 | More by BigMikie
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jwps214

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +23%

11-13-2013 04:00:15 | More by jwps214
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tnflyguy

Tennessee

4.5/5  rDev +23%

01-07-2014 23:55:29 | More by tnflyguy
Photo of Extrajoker00
Extrajoker00

Ohio

4.46/5  rDev +21.9%
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

P-packaging:
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

T-taste:
dark fruit, spice slight yeast and hops 4.5

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

D-drinkability:
very good holiday offering, ordered extra to keep a stock 3.75

O-overall:
much anticipated and didn't disappoint, so glad i ordered some extra 4.5
-J

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2013 02:19:45 | More by Extrajoker00
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

4.44/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brown with some ruby highlights around the edges. A large rocky tan head forms with excellent retention. Spiderweb looking lace is left behind. I always love the wat this looks in my OSA Tumbler.
S: Toasted malts, baked bread, light chocolate aromas. Then the spices. Gingerbread, light anise, peppery cloves. Finishes with more toasty malty aromas. Excellent.
T: Like the nose a big old malty profile up front. Toasted malts, baked bread, and chocolate. Then the spices. Gingerbread cookies. Cloves, pepper spice. All with perfect balance. The spices are not out of wack at all. Finishes with a light bitter bakers chocolate.
M/D: A medium body with moderate carbonation. Ultra smooth. So easy to drink. I can take long gulps of this. I will be getting many more six packs.

Still one of my favorite Winter Warmers every year. So many other spiced winter releases have the spices so unbalanced with everything else. Here the spices are a great compliment to the rest of the malty base. I love it.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2013 21:40:58 | More by champ103
Photo of Hoptometrist
Hoptometrist

Ohio

4.28/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from the bottle into a becker glass

A- Poured a very dark brown with off-white frothy head that left cascading lace.

S- Big gingerbread, molasses, nutmeg, toffee, and caramel. Really great aroma with lots of spices and malty sweetness.

T- Big gingerbread, sticky toffee, caramel. molasses, nutmeg, some light tea and chamomile notes, finishes with a slightly citrusy hoppiness and mild bitterness.

M- Medium mouthfeel, very smooth and creamy, finishes dry, and soft carbonation.

O- This is a really great winter warmer with nice spice and malt character. It is very balanced, very easy to drink, and tastes like the season.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2013 05:09:18 | More by Hoptometrist
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Our Special Ale 2013 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 569 ratings.