1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

605 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 605
Reviews: 112
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 8
Gots: 45 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 605 | Reviews: 112 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Filabee
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

Filabee, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of Pretendbeard
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

Pretendbeard, Oct 07, 2014
Photo of constantine_272
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.

constantine_272, Feb 03, 2014
Photo of seymourcox
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.

seymourcox, Jan 03, 2014
Photo of Georgiabeer
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!

Georgiabeer, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of Spattastic
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.

Spattastic, Dec 10, 2013
Photo of dacrza1
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...

dacrza1, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of sunofneurot
3/5  rDev -18%

sunofneurot, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of Segelstrom
3/5  rDev -18%

Segelstrom, Dec 19, 2013
Photo of Sazz9
3/5  rDev -18%

Sazz9, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of david18
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.

david18, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of billhelm
3/5  rDev -18%

billhelm, Mar 25, 2014
Photo of kristougher
3/5  rDev -18%

kristougher, Jul 16, 2014
Photo of GaBengal
3/5  rDev -18%

GaBengal, Jan 09, 2014
Photo of mattmarka1
3/5  rDev -18%

mattmarka1, Jan 13, 2014
Photo of RyanAU
3/5  rDev -18%

RyanAU, Nov 10, 2013
Photo of plato
3/5  rDev -18%

plato, Dec 30, 2013
Photo of erlenmeyer
3/5  rDev -18%

erlenmeyer, Dec 24, 2013
Photo of Rons35
3/5  rDev -18%

Rons35, Dec 25, 2013
Photo of Kaveman
3/5  rDev -18%

Kaveman, Jan 06, 2014
Photo of Jmbbabson
3/5  rDev -18%

Jmbbabson, Jul 01, 2014
Photo of CraftBeerGuild
3/5  rDev -18%

CraftBeerGuild, Dec 30, 2013
Photo of lockewoodfin
3/5  rDev -18%

lockewoodfin, Dec 08, 2013
Our Special Ale 2013 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 605 ratings.