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Our Special Ale 2003 (Anchor Christmas Ale) - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Our Special Ale 2003 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 2003 (Anchor Christmas Ale)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

195 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 195
Reviews: 178
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.79%
Wants: 0
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 11-07-2003)
View: Beers (25) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 195 | Reviews: 178 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by tfinn:
Photo of tfinn
tfinn

Oregon

4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2003 Magnum; purchased in April 2004, consumed June 2004.

deep dark brown pour with large attractive head consisting of mixed bubble sizes. nice clingy lace.

scents of coriander, nutmeg, possibly cloves and cardamom? it's like an athletic gingerbread man; he's missing the sugar. there's a hint of hop aroma in there, but with all the spices, it's tough to distinguish.

taste: wow. this is really nice. I imagine it's easy to overdo spiced beer, but this hits a good balance between the spices and the bittering hops. everything just kinda settles down in the finish, which is amazingly clean without any major component overpowering the tail.

mouthfeel has a bit of portery "slipperyness" to it, but the spices and carbonation keep it from being sticky or cloying.

the bittering hops and the choice of spices really play out nicely without one overpowering the other. I'm reminded of Traquair Jacobite, but a bit more subdued and balanced between multiple spice flavors rather than coriander alone.

drinkable? definitely. it wouldn't be unreasonable for two afficionados to finish off a magnum in an evening session, or even for a single person to nurse one over a weekend around the house. the flavors are engaging, and the clean finish encourages further sipping.

I definitely reccomend this to spiced beer enthusasts, and congratulate anchor brewing for a very enjoyable product. looking forward to next year's special ale.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2004 23:42:01 | More by tfinn
More User Reviews:
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SkinniePost

Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

04-18-2014 00:20:43 | More by SkinniePost
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buzzy

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -1.7%

01-29-2014 23:43:04 | More by buzzy
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Gonzoillini

Illinois

3/5  rDev -26.3%

01-29-2014 02:18:23 | More by Gonzoillini
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BillRoth

Maryland

4/5  rDev -1.7%

12-18-2013 02:53:59 | More by BillRoth
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TKEbeerman

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

08-11-2013 02:37:05 | More by TKEbeerman
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WOLFGANG

South Carolina

4/5  rDev -1.7%

07-08-2013 03:51:48 | More by WOLFGANG
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Slatetank

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

05-23-2013 16:43:28 | More by Slatetank
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spycow

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

03-11-2013 06:11:18 | More by spycow
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matjack85

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

02-12-2013 01:17:57 | More by matjack85
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t0rin0

California

3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

08-18-2012 14:25:37 | More by t0rin0
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rydev24

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

04-09-2012 23:23:54 | More by rydev24
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jfcaa193

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -1.7%

02-19-2012 01:27:02 | More by jfcaa193
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imperialking

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -14%

01-08-2012 21:52:12 | More by imperialking
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jophish17

Georgia

3/5  rDev -26.3%

12-24-2011 12:20:27 | More by jophish17
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brandoman63

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

11-22-2011 21:45:43 | More by brandoman63
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rab53

Washington

3.5/5  rDev -14%

11-20-2011 03:04:04 | More by rab53
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ROGUE16

Delaware

4/5  rDev -1.7%

11-17-2011 19:50:02 | More by ROGUE16
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, reviewed 11/30/2010.

Pours a clear dark brown color with reddish hues and a one finger khaki head that fades to nice swirls.

The aroma is sweet honey, caramel, winter spices, roast, and slight oxidative notes from the 7 years of age.

The flavor is great. A little sherry-like from the age, but this works pretty well. Sweet honey and caramel malt, pumpernickel bread, toast, nutmeg, allspice, and slight anise.

Medium bodied with soft carbonation, maybe just a tiny bit watery.

This is another good vintage of this beer. I’m really not sure there is a bad one.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2011 20:39:00 | More by nickd717
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.33/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

The Fifth Day of Beermas... It pours a murky black-brown topped by a minor wisp of dirty ecru foam. The nose comprises rye bread, chocolate, cedar, sourdough, light anise, tobacco, nutmeg, ginger, and brown sugar. The taste is heavy on the cocoa and nutmeg, with ginger, black pepper, walnuts, brown sugar, and figs thrown in as well. The body is a stoic medium, with a light carbonation and a chunky, oily feel. Overall, another step in the right direction, but the years put on these things have not been too kind to them at all.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2010 06:16:55 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NorCalYeti
NorCalYeti

California

3.43/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

taste- licorice, woody

color- deep chestnut

clarity- clear

smell- roasted malt, black licorice

body- medium-full, fairly firm

appearance- dark, clean, carbonation present

overall impression- solid beer for five years old

notes- smoother and sweeter than the 2002. soft bittering hops. 29th release of this beer. this review is for a 2003 vintage tasted in 2008

glassware: pint

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2009 22:18:00 | More by NorCalYeti
Photo of Floydster
Floydster

California

4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle purchased from the Stuffed Sandwich in San Gabriel for around six dollars, consumed 12/27/08 alongside the 2002 vintage, reviewed from notes, both were poured into small snifters, color is a very dark brown, big 1 1/2 inch creamy tan head that stays around for close to ten minutes, light lacing, aroma is dark chocolate, spruce, vanilla, cinnamon, caramel, licorice, and peppermint, taste had lots of spices, what you would expect from a Christmas brews, there was a fair share of bready malt and cereal in the middle, finish is full of sweet roasted malts and a holiday cake, warms up nicely with more sugary malts and spice coming to the surface, dry, spicy, sweet, and perfumey mouthfeel, medium body on the thicker side, moderate level of carbonation, could have drank a lot of this, goes down incredibly easy for its thickness and spicy presence, very smooth, nice warming feel that is perfect for winter, this is one of my favorite vintages yet, had a great black licorice and tobacco presence, I am going to grab some more of these to age even longer, looking forward to my next experience with it, recommended

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2009 04:25:08 | More by Floydster
Photo of armock
armock

New York

4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a mahogany color with a brown head that leaves lacing

S - Is of roasted malt with some spice scents

T - Follows the nose the roasted malt has some sweetness to it with some spice character

M - This beer has a nice smooth body with low carbonation to it

D - The past five years have been good to this bottle aging it nicely too bad there was only one 2003 cold have drank a lot more of it

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2009 15:21:33 | More by armock
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Magnum (50.7oz) bottle received recently as a gift.

Poured into a imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" dark brown head over the super cloudy/nearly opaque reddish brown brew. Head holds steady at half height, with plenty of slow-falling lace. Aroma is roasty grain with ample sour character. Taste is an interesting ride. Sweet nutty malt upfront, sour fruitiness in the middle, and closes with a grainy cardboard character that lingers. Mouthfeel is soft and smooth, the sour flowing along not cutting, and drinkability good, better than most winter/spiced brews. Cardboard character is but a small price to pay for all the other greatness happening here.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2008 22:06:17 | More by ppoitras
Photo of hopdog
hopdog

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I tried 5 vintages on tap at the Stuffed Sandwich ('00, '01, '02, '03 & '04). The '01 was my favorite with the '00 a close 2nd. Nice subtle, malty, caramel aromas and tastes. Molasses. Light spices. I'm glad I had the chance to compare the 4 vintages on tap.

NOTE: did a tasting on 1/15/05 that included years '87, '90, '94, '97, '98, '00, '01, '02, & '03. The '02, '01 & '94 stood out as the best of the bunch. The '94 had a nice whiskey taste to it that the others did not. I thought the older vintages held up well over the years.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2008 18:28:37 | More by hopdog
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Our Special Ale 2003 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 195 ratings.