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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.
BA SCORE
83
good

665 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 665
Reviews: 118
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 9
Gots: 62 | 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:
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: 665 | Reviews: 118 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BB1313
3.69/5  rDev +0.8%
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
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
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
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
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
3.17/5  rDev -13.4%
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

Photo of Aqualung
1.18/5  rDev -67.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This is easily the worst beer I've ever tasted. I brought a bottle to a friend on Thanksgiving Day to share over a football game. Neither of us could finist a glass and we ended up pouring the bottle out. Overpowering flavor and fragrance of cloves, unpleasantly bitter and just plain undrinkable.

Photo of Carl_R
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of wordemupg
4.24/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

355ml bottle poured into tulip 30/11/13

A dark brown with a deep maroon glow when held to the light, two fingers of dark tan foam hangs around for a few sips leaving a few partial rings on the way down

S anise, root beer, cola, herbal and leafy notes, dark toffee, faint coco, spruce, a pile of freshly chopped fire wood, fruit cake and winter spices I can't quite place

T more spice and some brown sugar and molasses I didn't smell, everything's still there in one form or another but the nose just has a little something over the flavor

M medium bodied, slightly foamy but manageable, spicy, herbal finish

O great nose, complex all-around, I could smash a 6er no problem and I just might right now

Another great Christmas ale from Anchor, I look forward to this one every year and I grab a magnum to age but I always seem to drink it before next years release

Photo of lauries444
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of NYR_Rob
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of MadScientist
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: A gorgeous looking ale that is dark brown with a deep garnet hue and a persistent head of tan foam. The head pour a bout two finger tall and is made of compact bubbles.

S: A sweet malt aroma with a pomegranate fruitiness blending with a piney, citrus hops notes.

T: The flavor is similar to having the pine hops flavor, pomegranate with the addition of some deep, somewhat dark malt flavors including a touch of molasses, some dark treacle and a touch of dried fruit. The malt sweetness is slightly stronger than the moderate hops bitterness making for a balance that is slightly towards the malt. The aftertaste if of fruit and hops with a long medium finish.

M: A creamy, medium-full bodied beer with a medium level of carbonation.

O: The smell is great, it totally reminds me of the holiday season without smelling like a glass of potpourri.

Photo of Dreizhen
4.24/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Think Chimay Blue, but a little lighter and a little more caramel. Very pleasant. Very drinkable. Makes me want to eat a roast beast.

Thin head that deteriorates at a decent rate. Solid mouth feel. Dark appearance.

Malt, chocolate, dark fruits, caramel. Emphasis on the last two.

Very good seasonal ale with a lot of great pairing opportunities.

Photo of jonothehut
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Eric908
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of korguy123
3.27/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle into tulip.

A- Opaque, dark brown pour. Half finger of beige head. Lacing is minimal.

S- A touch of coffee, some cloves and cinnamon. Smells more reminiscent of a brown ale to a winter warmer. Some chocolate with a touch of cherries or strawberries.

T- Metallic taste up front, bitter chocolate and coffee with some cloves.

M- Light body, decent carbonation.

Photo of Celtics17
4.09/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Smells of a bit of roasted malt with some spices.

Taste- Very nice spice backbone, and slight ginger, and some hop bitterness. Slight chocolate notes. I liked this years version. The flavors played well with each other.

A fan of this from start to finish.

Photo of rfgetz
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of BrandonOakes
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of jborgschulte
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of ONUMello
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Dark brown color, 1/2-finger head
S: Pecan pie, brown sugar, molasses, ginger and licorice
T: Lighter & less complex than the nose, lots of baking spices with malt & ginger
M: Medium-bodied, smooth & spicy
O: Not my favorite but a great nose/mouthfeel and a pleasant flavor profile

Our Special Ale 2013 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 665 ratings.