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

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Our Special Ale 2013 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 2013 (Anchor Christmas Ale)

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653 Ratings
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Ratings: 653
Reviews: 114
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: 653 | Reviews: 114 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wordemupg
4.23/5  rDev +15.6%
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
3.26/5  rDev -10.9%
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
4.11/5  rDev +12.3%
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
3.91/5  rDev +6.8%
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

Photo of AnitaBrewski
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of Norseman
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of pkalix
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Extrajoker00
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

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

Photo of ChipMurray
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of ANIMOUL
3.81/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I've been 'following' Anchor's holiday offering for many years now (many = 6 yrs). While my palate (and memory) is not refined enough to notice the differences between each year's batch, I do know that I enjoy trying each edition. If nothing else, I eagerly await the anointing of the specific tree that will grace each year's label. Great fun.

My first introduction to this beer was while reading a 'beer for dummies' type book several years ago whilst I came upon a critique of Anchor's Our Special Ale. While I don't recall the specific ratings, notes, or other BS usually populating reviews, I do recall the author's phrase used to describe the beer - "tastes like a Christmas tree'. For me, that about sums up this beer... and yes, Christmas trees are delicious.

Photo of sgregory
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Billolick
3.64/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle. An annual must try favorite, going back to my earliest days of fine beer appreciation.

Pours a rich shade of dark brown, mocha head, stays well then goes to a film, thicker collar and some decent looking tongues of sticky stuff.

Chocolate, licorice, juniper on the nose.

More of the above on the palate. Meh, tastes a bit off somehow, with the chocolate note being overpowered by an off putting burnt plastic hint.

Maybe it will improve some in the bottle, but its unlikely I'll be able to witness it. These tend to be a crowd pleasing holiday favorite

Photo of PSU79
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of MikeMilanoDesign
4.5/5  rDev +23%

Photo of Yesdog
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of jrfehon33
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Our Special Ale 2013 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 653 ratings.