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)

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BA SCORE
83
good

655 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 655
Reviews: 115
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 9
Gots: 58 | FT: 4
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: 655 | Reviews: 115 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of truesolution
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Techichi
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of kaelingirl
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of BEERMILER12
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a dark mahogany color with 2 fingers of head that slowly fades down to a nice cap that leaves decent lacing

S: The usual anchor yeast along with a good bit of spices and maltiness. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger stand out for the spices. Complex as always

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the spices and maltiness, along with a solid chocolate malt presence. Some roastiness presents itself as well. The cinnamon and nutmeg compliment the roast very nicely. Finishes with a lingering roastiness

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation

O: This seems a lot like the 2011 version in terms of spicing, with chocolate and roasted malts thrown in the mix. Very drinkable and a solid holiday brew. There's no reason not to pick some up, simply because of the fact that these brews are known to age very well and they are always very Christmas-y

Photo of KevT
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of Cleaver35
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of taylor714914
3.99/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured at Always’s Rons, this burgundy liquid smells of straight butterscotch in the middle with bready malts wrapping each side. Taste is interesting. A sweet bready malt character with the butterscotch sweetness I smelled in the nose, but a faint hint of pine, not quite hops, but Christmas tree pine-esque. Caramel and toffee along with some dark dried fruits (prune and fig) follow the spruce flavor. Mouth feel fell short, feeling a little thin. I big bold thick mouth feel could have really carried these flavors.

Overall though, a solid winter warmer.

Photo of PedalFuel
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle in 20oz tulip. Dark brown, some light passes at the edges. Fluffy tan head, great lacing, moderate retention.

Fantastic aroma, nutmeg, cinnamon, and two other spices I can't identify.

Taste is excellent, mirroring aroma and adding caramel sweetness, a bit of roasted malt, and ending in a pleasantly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is just a little bit off.... slimy/sticky quality, but otherwise light on the palate, smooth, with good body and carbonation.

A very Christmas-ey and moderately dark winter warmer.

Photo of Rope
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Appearance-
Dark brown copper, little light slips through. A burnt white foamy head.

Smell-
Spicy, sweet malt, and a sour hop. Smells like a festive addition to this Anchor Special Ale tradition.

Taste-
Tastes like a pumpkin ale... tastes essentially like a pumpkin ale with a lagery finish.

Mouthfeel-
Very thin bubbles, but gives a good flavor coating to savor.

Overall-
Always fun and interesting to try the first bottle, so taste the mystery and enjoy the tradition.

Photo of Gagnonsux
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of dmilewsk
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of pottergator
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Keith_R
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of JTomczak
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of BB1313
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours an extremely dark auburn; fluffy khaki head that fades slowly and leaves great lacing and retention. The aromas are very floral. Smells like fresh flower pedals. Lots of berries. Lots of spruce and juniper. Hints of anise and cocoa. Very earthy and woodsy. The flavors are pretty sweet. Solid malt backbone. Lots of raspberry. Some spices. There's a decent amount of cocoa and toffee. Taste very good, but it still seems almost watered down, but barely. Mouthfeel is very nice. It's on the lighter side of medium-bodied; very creamy and fluffy with active carbonation. Alcohol goes unnoticed.

This is always a great holiday beer. I always appreciate the extremely unique aroma/flavor profile. This year isn't far off from previous vintages. If you're a fan of this series, you will enjoy this.

Photo of KAP1356
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of allenson21
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of russpowell
3.74/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours an effervescent chestnut/mahogany with 2 fingers of tan head. Great lacing & head retention

S: Juniper branches & sasspirilla

T: Follows the nose, a touch of brown bread, cinnamon, brown sugar & faint leafy hops up front. Dryness & herbal notes as this warms, faint tobacco notes, Finishes with a touch of gingerbread, herbal notes & dryness

MF: Medium bodied with assertive carbonation, starts thinning out as it warms

Drinks easy, I'm always good for a sixer every year, this one seems a bit middle of the pack for winter warmers

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of ridgeline23
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of ucsbmullet
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of MAJ85
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of damndirtyape
4.23/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a Libby globe porter/stout glass. Date stamp of bottling: 3OX (2013 October 24).

Appearance: Dark brown, clear cola brown at the edges. Very thin foam across the top with persistent sheets and strands of lacing.

Smell: Christmas spice smells - nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, hint of some charred malt as well.

Taste: Lots of holiday spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, plus a hint of anise) plus a roasted malt sweetness. Finish is mildly bitter, some very mild leafy hop notes at the end.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, slick, little bit spicy on the tongue, little bit sticky on the teeth.

Overall / Drinkability: This may be one of the better Christmas Ales I've had from Anchor in regard to flavor and aroma. Lots of spicy flavors and aromas, and very very drinkable. I could easily have another bottle, but for some reason I feel I have to let this beer last the month like it's a special treat. Well, I suppose it is a treat since it only comes out once a year, isn't it? Well done!

Photo of Premo88
3.15/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz. bottle poured into nonic
(oct. 24, 2013 bottling date)

L: dark dark brown with amber highlights ... almost an old-ale purplish thing going, but more amber-red than purple; 1/4- to 1/3-inch head of thick tan foam, holds on for a bit, sticks to the glass nicely; some lacing; hard to tell if beer is clear or not, it's so dark, but it appears it might be 100% clear

S: ginger, nutmeg, bay leaves, salt ... hint of vanilla; sweetness to it

T: quite christmasy with nutmeg, ginger, clove flavors dominating; also has a pumpkin note

F: solid all around; at times i think it's a bit flat

O: the style is not for me ... i love all the spices just fine, but i'll keep them in my hot teas and lattes; the translation just doesn't work

with that said, this brew has a ton of different smell/taste notes, all fitting into that winter warmer category. loads of christmas spice that combines into a medicinal, bland prunes kind of thing for me, but i could see someone who loves old ales loving this brew

Our Special Ale 2013 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 655 ratings.