Our Special Ale 2013 (Anchor Christmas Ale) - Anchor Brewing Company
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Ratings: 582 | Reviews: 111 | Display Reviews Only:
3.93/5 rDev +7.1%
From the 12 fl. oz. bottle marked 801. Sampled on December 22, 2013.
I love how it looks with its dark mahogany brown pour and cream colored head even though the head fades quickly.
The aroma is very nice with dark malts, molasses, fig, egg nog (really), and a thin earthy hoppiness.
The body is about medium but also rather acidic, which is a slight letdown.
The taste has a nice boldness to it with sweet and dark caramel malts along with nutmeg and molasses. Mild bitterness but enough to give this one a little character. I am quite surprised that this is the first year I have reviewed this one.
12-22-2013 23:35:51 | More by puboflyons
3.78/5 rDev +3%
Red-black to very dark brown with a big fluffy coarse head of dried out bubbles. Lacing is plus.
Clove, star anise, wintergreen, dark bread, allspice, candied orange rind, maraschino cherry, and spearmint. Totally of the herbal/spice drop bent. Hints of dark fruit hint at figgy flavors. Pretty nice nose this year.
Lots of allspice, clove, star anise, and wintergreen with a citrusy hop this year, instead of the staple piny flavor. Orange peel, spearmint, clove, and light bubble gum are supporting characters. The malts are a little thinner than I would expect in a winter warmer, so this becomes a bit of a spice bomb. The recipe is well-integrated this year and it exhibits its own character.
Has a medium-to-wooly feel with okay heft and actively surging carbonation.
It's a really solid effort this year. I could easily polish off a six-pack.
11-24-2013 04:52:36 | More by thecheapies
4.16/5 rDev +13.4%
12oz bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a deep cola brown with a huge, dense, and fluffy looking light brown head that took forever to fade into a thin collar that left sticky patches of lace down the glass.
S: Very inviting notes of forest spices, holiday baking spices, and fruity hops and yeast. The nose is complex and it’s hard to nail any one scent down, but I get notes of cardamom, peach, mint, wood, forest floor dirt, clove, cookie dough, brown sugar, nutmeg, and antique shop.
T: Follows the nose with complex flavors of spice rack mixed with dough and forest. Bitter citrus pith, spearmint, tropical hops, and a touch of powdery chocolate come through as well. The finish is full of green leafy spices, and the aftertaste reminds me of a dark Belgian ale except more bitter. Reminds me of mint chewing gum at times.
M: Medium body, smooth and drinkable mouthfeel with a good dose of bitterness to it. The carbonation is frothy but soft and splashy.
O: Hoppier than I remember in years past with a good dose of bitterness and complex spice flavor. Very delicious, as usual.
01-25-2014 19:50:31 | More by scottfrie
District of Columbia
4/5 rDev +9%
My favorite Christmas beer. Sorry Troegs……
Served in a Port City glass.
A: Poured out extremely dark, EXCEPTIONALLY un-Christmas-like for sure, with a soft, pillowy, brown/grey/silver head that sat on top of the brew like mistletoe.
S: The signature, spice Christmas component that I've come to expect from this beer. So subtle, so awesome. A tinge of pine, Anchor's profile, and bunch of stuff that I can't even begin to describe.
T: Great stuff, as usual. To be honest, This wasn't as piney as I remember it from past years, but I know the recipe changes periodically. Dig the extremely smooth finish.
M: Beautiful beer. Low carb, low ABV overall, and slippery on the glass.
O: I look forward to this beer every year. I've noticed that this version hasn't gotten as much love as previous versions yet. Still, this is a great Christmas brew….. THE BEST!
11-22-2013 03:01:11 | More by Chaney
3.59/5 rDev -2.2%
Pours a very dark brown mahogany color with plentiful tan creaminess on top. Smells of mellow spiced fruit, toffee, molasses, pine resin, and gingerbread. Dry, spiced, somewhat gingerbread-y flavor. A little tart fruit, spruce, bitter chocolate, orange peel, and faint maple. Medium body, creamy texture, with a slickness that sticks to the tongue. Always fun to see what the next year's OSA will bring. Definitely better as it warms up.
12-09-2013 01:54:36 | More by wedge
3/5 rDev -18.3%
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.
12-29-2013 15:11:13 | More by david18
Our Special Ale 2013 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 582 ratings.