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Our Special Ale 2001 (Anchor Christmas Ale) - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Our Special Ale 2001 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 2001 (Anchor Christmas Ale)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

62 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 62
Reviews: 53
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 15.66%
Wants: 3
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  5.00% 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 11-12-2001)
View: Beers (23) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 62 | Reviews: 53 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by nickd717:
Photo of nickd717


4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review dated 2/4/2009.

Bottle at The Bruery, 2001 vintage. Dark amber color with an off-white head. Malty aroma with spices and dark fruits. Taste is malt, brown sugar, dark fruits, spices, and hints of Anchor Steam. Medium-full bodied. The best out of the three I tried (2001, 2002, 2008).

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2011 20:41:25 | More by nickd717
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4/5  rDev +1%

04-18-2014 00:19:54 | More by SkinniePost
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2/5  rDev -49.5%

01-29-2014 01:54:27 | More by Gonzoillini

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4/5  rDev +1%

07-08-2013 03:50:38 | More by WOLFGANG
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3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

04-30-2013 02:39:34 | More by smithj4
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4/5  rDev +1%

03-11-2013 06:10:48 | More by spycow
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4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

02-12-2013 01:14:07 | More by matjack85
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3.25/5  rDev -17.9%

02-08-2013 23:45:31 | More by Thunder
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2.75/5  rDev -30.6%

08-18-2012 14:23:56 | More by t0rin0
Photo of Sean9689


3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared at Alex's Birthday Bash.

A - Pours a brownish color, off-white head. thin collar.

S - Brown sugar, dark fruit, oak, caramel, burnt sugars. The sweetness is just right for this beer and it reminds me of a Brown Ale more then anything.

T - Similar to the nose. Brown sugars, light dark fruit, and oak.

M - Light to medium body, good carbonation, clean sweet finish.

O - Decent, nothing crazy here. Enjoyed my pour would probably wouldn't seek out again.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2012 18:01:10 | More by Sean9689
Photo of imperialking


3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

01-08-2012 21:51:50 | More by imperialking
Photo of DearthVader


4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle provided generously by amphion1065.

Poured into my Green Man Oversized Snifter

Pours an opaque brown with a small film of tan head forming atop. The head fades very quickly to a very thin crown that leaves no lacing. I pick up some ruby notes when held up to the computer screen.

Smell is of roasted molasses, toffee, plum, cherry, and something that is similar to bourbon. I can't put my finger on it though. Very interesting.

Taste is very nice. Starts with the nice roasted malts. The malts a backed by a heavy dark fruit body and molasses. I seem to pick up something different with every swig. Slight oak notes come out as well as the plum and cherry I found in the nose. Very interesting beer.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side which kind of blows my mind when I think about this thing being 10 years old. I'm amazed this low ABV beer was able to hold up and throw out so many complexities.

This is the oldest beer I've ever had. I actually don't think my palate was anywhere ready for this. I feel like there are a ton of things in this beer that I missed out on. I still enjoyed it very very much and am extremely happy I got to try it. his was definitely a treat. Thanks again, Jason.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2011 07:04:39 | More by DearthVader
Photo of TMoney2591


3.03/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

The Third Day of Beermas... It pours a murky black-brown topped by a relatively short-lived half-finger of dirty ecru foam. The nose comprises maple syrup, molasses, brown sugar, light cocoa, cinnamon, and an undercurrent of old fish. Thankfully, the other smells o'erpower the fishiness, but unfortunately not completely. The taste runs very similarly, with the cocoa and molasses taking command, though this does still does not keep that pesky fish from making itself known. The body is a lazy medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sloppy feel. Overall, things continue to improve, but there's a ways to go still.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2010 06:25:40 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of KI9A


3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark, not much head. No lacing.

S: Molasses, toffee, malt jump out.

T: Some prune/plum, maybe a little dark chocolate. Some spice, can't determine. Nutmeg?

M: Light-medium body. Lightly carbonated.

D: Easy to drink, wanted more, but the other guys we sampled with thought the same! Lvoed the chance to taste it!

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2009 17:54:45 | More by KI9A
Photo of hooliganlife


4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to John for bringing this! He never lets down.

Poured near opaque black with little to no head. appears a bit thin.

light scents of dark fruits and molasses. sweet spice notes as well

flavor was very interesting. quite tart actually overall. think black currant and dark cherries with molasses and various spices.

a bit thin but for such a low ABV, pretty spot on.

this was a treat. much different than the magnum of 2000 that was tasted fall of 2008. this was a 12oz serving so for a beer that is not bottle conditioned, this ages so well!

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2009 13:24:23 | More by hooliganlife
Photo of Floydster


3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle purchased from the Stuffed Sandwich a few days ago for around seven dollars, split with my dad tonight, poured into an Anchor pint glass, color was more red than the other vintages of this Christmas beer I have had in the past, still a dark brown, surprisingly a nice one inch creamy light tan head that left a few legs, decent retention too, smell consists of cherries, rich dark fruits with lots of fig, also nutmeg, and milk chocolate, caramel, maple syrup, and oddly a hint of booze, taste is both sweet and spicy, does not taste like it is eight years old by any means, held up very nicely with a chewy and sweet aftertaste with chocolate and complex malts, like the flavor and how it all molds together, finish is a little lighter than expected though on the spice front, mouthfeel is mildly spicy, chewy, sweet, and roasty, medium bodied, more on the thinner side, moderate level of carbonation, could drink a few bottles of this, not too heavy and tastes great on a cold night, preferred around room temperature and not too cold, nice and smooth, not my favorite Anchor vintage but certainly above average, as well as being different from the others, would drink again, recommended

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2009 06:20:12 | More by Floydster
Photo of hopdog


4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | 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: on-tap

11-13-2008 18:24:21 | More by hopdog
Photo of praufs01


3/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Black with a tan head.

Aroma - Aromas of black licorice and dark fruits against an alcohol background.

Palate - Very smooth.

Flavor - Subdued molasses flavor which gave it a slight metallic aftertaste.

Final thoughts - I can't really say that I like or disliked this ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2008 19:30:26 | More by praufs01
Photo of far333


4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Murky dark chocolate colored with a full thick inch high head of brown dimpled and cratered foam that lingers very long.

Inviting aroma of plum and cocoa, with a fine spruce aroma, accented by hops.

Flavor matches the aroma closely - rich and balanced flavors of prune, plum and cocoa, piney spruce accents, and fine hop bitters in the finish.

Amazing silky mouthfeel, incredibly smooth with fine carbonation, rich and full feel.

Can't believe this is over 6 years old, what a treat. I may never drink it fresh again.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2008 01:06:34 | More by far333
Photo of lackenhauser


3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deeo brown in color with still an admirable head. Muted spicey aroma. Full malt flavor balanced against a mellow spice. This has held up very well. Mellow roasted flavor. Good solid body for only 5%. For years I thought this ran 8 to 9 percentage wise. Shows what I know. Very drinkable 6 years later.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2007 23:23:47 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of NEhophead


4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 fl oz brown bottle; served in a nonic.
Dated: 10K2.

Pours a deep, russet mahogany beneath a thin, lightly tan head with a filmy retention. No lasting lacing.

Dark, aged fruit: strong fig, raisin. Rounded holiday spices: nutmeg, brown sugar with a semi-sweet hint of molasses. A deep, port-like alcohol aroma.

Sweet, malty notes with caramel, molasses, and creamy milk chocolate. Fig, date, and raisin; all of which, are very full in flavor. Notes of orange, ginger, and nutmeg. A thick, warming port-ish alcohol character that lies in the finish and is followed by a subtle, chocolatey aftertaste.

Almost full in body; creamy and savory. Well balanced considering the dynamic flavor profile.

A remarkable ale that has gained a lot of character from the past six years. One of the best Winter Warmers that I can remember having. If you've been aging this one, it is certainly ready to drink now.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2007 04:05:07 | More by NEhophead
Photo of eberkman


3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured ever-so-slightly chilled into a Chimay chalice. Appeared a deep, opaque brown with some red highlights, producing a one-finger tan head that dissipated to a ring and a thin island of surface foam fairly quickly.

An initial alcohol smell quickly gave way to a gorgeous candylike bouquet of nutmeg, ripe dark cherries and gingerbread. Blew me away. One of the most aromatic beers I can recall.

The taste has similar notes at the front, with some big, malty, butterscotch-and-toffee waves in the middle, but gives way to an odd, slightly metallic, slightly unpleasant astringency at the finish. I'm wondering if the bottle I received (which my brother-in-law purchased 2 weeks ago) had been cellared properly for the past 6 years. The taste is good enough and certainly complex, but a bit of a letdown after the smell.

The mouthfeel was nice, thick and creamy but slightly flatter than I would have liked. Sounds like that's to be expected, but I would have liked a little bit more carbonation bite.

In terms of drinkability, the odd finish detracts a bit. Not sessionable (the richness is a little much for more than one at a time), but certainly enjoyable to have one at a time.

I have to admit I was kind of disappointed by the drinking experience, especially given the incredible nose that presented itself at the start. But I am impressed by how well a 5.00 ABV beer has kept for such a long time.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2007 02:42:53 | More by eberkman
Photo of Vancer


4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to timtheenchanta for the vertical tasting, from 2005 to 1999 – WOW! Year 2001 of the series sent to be in BIF46.

As usual, a deep cola brown capped by a tannish head, sticky rings of laces slide all the way down the diamond encrusted crystal snifter. Nice ring of yeasties on the bottom. This one has MUCH more in the way of sheet lacing.

Citrusy malts, coriander, dark fruits and pine in the aroma. The piney hops have softened nicey over the 2 years. Smooth and delectable. Full bodied, a little trail of oil is left in the mouth for a lingering finish. A strange, but nice pop of chocolaty malts kicks in the finish.

This one is still fairly “fresh” but it’s aging and maturing nicely.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2007 23:53:05 | More by Vancer
Photo of Imstillthegman


4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally decided to give one of these a taste since I have been shipping them out and giving as gifts. I am glad I did...now I only wish I would have kept more of them for myself.

Pours a dark, murky brown that quickly gave a glimpse of a tan head but now only shows a ring. I was impressed that a head was even noticed. Lacing isn't present at all, which is expected.

Wow...this smells good. Dark cherries, dates, mulling spices, dark chocolate, faint floral hops and a wood scent. Bold and complex. Totally unexpected.

The flavor is a mish-mash of all the scents. Dark fruit and dark chocolate wrap the spices nicely. Very malty with hardly any hops flavor noticeable. Some coffee peaks out in the aftertaste. Dark roasted malt is the star here.

Smooth, creamy medium to almost full body. Very little carbonation. I am impressed how this holds up have such a low level of hops and a lower ABV. The spices do a good job in preserving this one. I have never even thought about aging these before I found these 2001 six packs, but I will from now on.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2007 16:42:13 | More by Imstillthegman
Photo of scruffwhor


4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm blown away at how this beer keeps. I was able to pick up a 6-pack of '98, 2000, '01, and '03 at my after work liqour store (Sal's Beverage Depot on St. Charles road in Elmhurst). All four vintages were great in their own special way. I was especially surprised at how the '98 held up.


Appearance- Pours a soupy brown with mahagony highlights. The head was a great two finger light chestnut hue. The head had slow dissipation to a thick film throughout the entire enjoyment of the beer being reviewed.

Smell- Lots o' toffee and sweet bread malts mixed with English hop florals.

Taste- A good, sharp mlt character hits the fron, middle and sides of the palate right off the bat. I can feel the malt flavors flow over my tongue with each sip. The malts are awesome and aged.

Mouthfeel- This brew had lots of roasted and toasted malts that were interprted in many ways. But a good impression was left and all these Anchor Brewing X-mas ales are great with grilled meats.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2006 18:12:26 | More by scruffwhor
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Our Special Ale 2001 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.