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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

568 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 568
Reviews: 111
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 13.11%
Wants: 8
Gots: 32 | 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: 568 | Reviews: 111 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of constantine_272
constantine_272

Oregon

2.79/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A: Dark blackish brown with a brownish head that dissipates quickly.

S: chocolatey with a touch of pine. Not bad.

T: tastes like a Christmas tree covered in cinnamon and sugar. Way over aggressive on the spice. Licorice and anise that's just too herbal for me. Minor chocolate notes way covered up by the spice.

M Dry finish is fine but the spice lingers long.

O: Way over aggressive on the spice. The black licorice flavor tastes like rotted wood and mushroom. None of that belongs in my beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2014 01:27:59 | More by constantine_272
Photo of seymourcox
seymourcox

North Carolina

2.89/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I didn't open this beer with high expectations. I'm not much of a fan of the 'tastes like mulled something' class of beers, but I thought i'd give it a chance, anyway. It's actually decent. It's got a very mild smell to it that kind of reminds me of the way the furniture smells a couple of hours after my wife polishes it. The taste is a little stranger. It definitely has that 'Christmas punch' thing going on that I was worried about, but it's fairly mild. Without the spices, it would probably be a a pretty nice, light bodied, darkish red ale. If you do like that kind of 'seasonal spice', then you'd probably like this. My wife said it tasted like someone accidentally spilled cider in it.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2014 21:30:10 | More by seymourcox
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

2.91/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Okay, this looks like the Our Special Ale of old, but that's about it. I've always looked forward to this beer coming out, and in most years will drink a case or so of it with my family around the holidays. Every year was different- some years you'd get sharp, sappy spruce (my favorites were those with heavy pine notes), some years you'd get nutmeg and , some years you'd get birch or wintergreen notes, some years were more mellow, others more intense. For the last few years I've felt this beer was going downhill, and this year takes the cake. The brown ale base is there- and that's about it. No pine at all, very light spicing, and a watery finish. Tastes like a weak and not very flavorful brown- noting very special or holiday about it all. Bah Humbug! Bring the real stuff back!

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 19:33:56 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of Spattastic
Spattastic

Colorado

2.95/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Deep mahogany with a small cream colored head

S - Sweet and gingerbready, molasses/brown sugar, and nutmeg (gets stronger as the beer warms), slight cedar wood.

T - Fairly generic Christmas-style beer flavors: lots of baking spices, slight molasses sweetness, and pine trees. The finish is where this beer suffers the most being overly-spiced, and bitter. I don't think the favors are in balance here - too much spice, too little sweetness, and a bitterness (maybe resulting from the onslaught of baking spice) that seems lost.

M - Good carbonation, smooth

O - Not my favorite Christmas beer but certainly not undrinkable. I think some extra sweetness would help to balance the abundance of baking space flavors. I've never tried this before and would be interested to compare to previous/future versions.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2013 01:53:52 | More by Spattastic
Photo of dacrza1
dacrza1

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

DATE TASTED: December 25, 2013... GLASSWARE: Kisatsky Tavern pint...OCCASION: day two of an epic four-day Christmas family/friend celebration swing... APPEARANCE: dark black body fosters a tabletop of three-finger brown head that clings and cakes to the glass--clearly a beer of substance.. AROMA: immediate cinnamon, pinecone, spruce; malts are spoken for, if a bit dampened; much of the aroma bespeaks a brown ale... PALATE: medium-bodied, drinkable and consistent in its presence from first sip to swallow--a bit of soda fizz and cream...TASTE: brown, yes, and malty--a mellow, funky barnyard concoction forms in the mouth with each sip, leaving an undesirable aftertaste; trace elements of what the aroma promised; surprisingly suggests a Dickensian punch bowl--many unique leftover flavors producing an odd, alcoholic whole...OVERALL: hate to dis on a Christmas ale, much less while drinking it ON Christmas, but this beer promised big things and fell short once consumed; the last I had was 2005's offering, and I cannot recall the specifics of that brew, so maybe this batch had--what was for me and my tastes--a less-than-pleasing profile...

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2013 03:05:47 | More by dacrza1
Photo of sunofneurot
sunofneurot

New York

3/5  rDev -18%

01-25-2014 20:58:06 | More by sunofneurot
Photo of Segelstrom
Segelstrom

Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -18%

12-19-2013 15:55:20 | More by Segelstrom
Photo of Sazz9
Sazz9

Texas

3/5  rDev -18%

11-24-2013 21:19:48 | More by Sazz9
Photo of david18
david18

New York

3/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

If I'm not mistaken this beer changes every year and can range from ipa-like to the more likely christmas style. This was definitely in the latter category. It was very malty, very dark, lots of dark fruits and a bunch of other aromas and flavors that you're more likely to find on a cake recipe list. Overall it's great for the style, i just wasn't sure what I was getting. If you like Christmas/Winter beers, try it.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2013 15:11:13 | More by david18
Photo of billhelm
billhelm

Minnesota

3/5  rDev -18%

03-25-2014 16:23:22 | More by billhelm
Photo of kristougher
kristougher

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -18%

07-16-2014 13:14:55 | More by kristougher
Photo of GaBengal
GaBengal

Georgia

3/5  rDev -18%

01-09-2014 23:02:50 | More by GaBengal
Photo of mattmarka1
mattmarka1

Minnesota

3/5  rDev -18%

01-13-2014 18:29:31 | More by mattmarka1
Photo of RyanAU
RyanAU

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -18%

11-10-2013 02:32:50 | More by RyanAU
Photo of plato
plato

South Carolina

3/5  rDev -18%

12-30-2013 13:25:11 | More by plato
Photo of erlenmeyer
erlenmeyer

Maine

3/5  rDev -18%

12-24-2013 21:30:23 | More by erlenmeyer
Photo of Rons35
Rons35

Michigan

3/5  rDev -18%

12-25-2013 22:17:49 | More by Rons35
Photo of Kaveman
Kaveman

Illinois

3/5  rDev -18%

01-06-2014 02:52:16 | More by Kaveman
Photo of Jmbbabson
Jmbbabson

Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -18%

07-01-2014 15:39:11 | More by Jmbbabson
Photo of CraftBeerGuild
CraftBeerGuild

Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -18%

12-30-2013 02:19:22 | More by CraftBeerGuild
Photo of lockewoodfin
lockewoodfin

Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -18%

12-08-2013 04:02:44 | More by lockewoodfin
Photo of cbuckl14
cbuckl14

Virginia

3/5  rDev -18%

06-18-2014 22:31:02 | More by cbuckl14
Photo of Pwbres
Pwbres

New Hampshire

3/5  rDev -18%

07-18-2014 03:38:15 | More by Pwbres
Photo of NYR_Rob
NYR_Rob

Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -18%

12-01-2013 00:55:26 | More by NYR_Rob
Photo of rcjennings
rcjennings

Ohio

3/5  rDev -18%

12-07-2013 16:36:37 | More by rcjennings
Our Special Ale 2013 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 568 ratings.