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Our Special Ale 2004 (Anchor Christmas Ale) - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Our Special Ale 2004 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 2004 (Anchor Christmas Ale)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

209 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 209
Reviews: 191
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.64%
Wants: 1
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  5.25% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: lou91 on 11-03-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 209 | Reviews: 191 | Display Reviews Only:
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4/5  rDev -1%

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2.75/5  rDev -31.9%

Thunder, Feb 08, 2013
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4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

yoitsarch, Jan 05, 2013
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4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

hanlonrn, Jul 10, 2012
Photo of IPAchris
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%

IPAchris, Jul 06, 2012
Photo of Sean9689
3.43/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared at Alex's Birthday Bash.

A - Looks like all the other Our Special Ale's.

S - Light spice, dark fruits, figs, oak, caramel. A little more spice then previous years, which helps create a bit more complexity. Not quite as smooth with the sweetness though.

T - Similar to the nose. Spices, sweetness, dark fruits. Tastes like a spicy brown ale to me. Finish is sweet brown sugar.

M - Light body, good carbonation, dry finish.

O - I preferred the 2001 version to this beer, but still decent. I like the addition of the spice to this one but would rather have the smoothness of the 2001.

Sean9689, Jun 27, 2012
Photo of jfcaa193
4/5  rDev -1%

jfcaa193, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

imperialking, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of DoubleJ
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Where was I when this beer was released in 2004? For starters, I couldn't drink legally. I was in my first year in college. I only had alcohol on two occasions up to that time. And perhaps most strange when I look back at it, I thought that wine would become my forte among alcoholic beverages. I never thought that I would be interested in beer, let alone re-checking my vision to see if those were indeed 2004 vintages of Our Special Ale that I picked up a few weeks ago. Christmas Day is winding down, so let's pop the crown of one of the bottles, and on to the beer:

The "pfft" sound coming out of the bottle is a good sign of things to come. Its color is very dark brown, nearly black, with definate ruby brown hues. The head forms ½ inch thick, and settles to a creamy lace which kicks up spotty lace. There's a lot to like from the aroma. There's powdered cocoa, spotted dick, a little nutmeg and ginger. All around pleasant.

I've recently had the current 2011 edition, and this tastes like a mellower, rounder version of that. Plum pudding, molasses, dry cocoa, assorted drying spice. A little bitterness builds and finished off the beer with a spruce note. It's medium bodied with low carbonation yet a moderately silky texture.

The individual pieces are very good in Our Special Ale 2004. That helps make it a heck of a beer. Now what should I do with the other, unopened bottle?

DoubleJ, Dec 26, 2011
Photo of seanyfo
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2004 bottle poured into nonic pint glass

A- aggressive pour produces 4 finger mocha head sitting atop a black body with no light perception. Head retention and lacing are very good.

S- gingerbread. For our Uk ba's, it's like liquid Old Jamaica ginger cake

T- spice up front - ginger and nutmeg. Toasted malts come through with a vinous streak running throughout.

M- low carbonation and a bit thin in the body

D- overall, I'd say the flavour profile has held up well although not having the beer fresh it's hard to tell how it's aged. Nevertheless a nice presence of spice and a solid toasted malt profile with a full body/fresh carbonation this would be excellent

seanyfo, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of pperez38
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

pperez38, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of brandoman63
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

brandoman63, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of rab53
4/5  rDev -1%

rab53, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of ROGUE16
4/5  rDev -1%

ROGUE16, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of oline73
3.4/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a large bottle into a 4 oz. tasting glass at Max's Christmas in July event.

Appearance: Pours a murky brown with a some red coming through when the light hits. There is a layer of light tan head that leaves a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Malty with notes of caramel and brown sugar and some mild spice.

Taste: Very malty with lots of molasses and brown sugar flavor but not too sweet overall. Some holiday spices with a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with very mild carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: Perhaps a bit past its prime. The spice has faded, mostly malt. I'm glad I got to try this.

oline73, Jul 15, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
3.2/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Half Acre shaker pint glass.

Big thanks to whartontallboy for helping me finish my vertical!

The Sixth Day of Beermas... It pours a murkily opaque black-brown topped by a healthy tan foam. Best-looking offering thus far. The nose comprises light mint, chocolate, cardboard (corrugated, o' course), nutmeg, brown sugar, light molasses, ginger, and stale Rice Krispies. The taste comprises fishy cocoa, fig, light green apple, ginger, nutmeg, and some more o' that cardboard. The body is a Stimpy medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a grainy feel. Overall, another step in the right direction, but there's still a good amount of ground to be made yet.

TMoney2591, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of Vdubb86
3.05/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a pint glass

Thanks to TMoney2591 for this beermas gift.

This beer pours a deep dark brown with mahogany shades and a nice beige foam. The smell is of brown sugar, caramel, butterscotch and a little bit of older oxidized whiskey. The taste is a bit like old cold coffee with a tint of whiskey in it. It's not really all that good and I'm sure that is due to the fact that it is past it's prime. This starts out ok and fades to a dryer acidic mouth feel that is pretty nasty on the palate. It's not that pleasant to drink, I'm happy this was a split bottle.

Vdubb86, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of MPLS
3.33/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nabbed a few random "Christmas beers" of older vintages a while back and this one seemed to be calling me before I went to bed. This bottle has 5 years on it and honestly have not tried any of the other vintages of this beer.

A: Pours a dark cocoa with a head that almost edges out of the 12 oz snifter glass. Carbonation still in tact just from visual inspection. Some rainy day lacing, nice ring atop the glass, opaque color.

S: Raisin, caramel, cardboard, but mostly a lot of spicy juicy fruit/warped citrus.

T: Mellow natured beer @5.25 ABV this may be pushing the boundaries of cellaring for this one. Up front the beer has cocoa + juicy fruit that is followed by some spiced cinnamon cardboard. There is something about the finish of this beer that doesn't sit well with my palate.

M: Medium-bodies and it certainly can't be the alcohol level that makes it spicey, Lower carbonation, more so from extended aging.

D: Above average offering here. A great looking beer that has some promise in the nose, but the finisih didn't quite seal the deal for me. Alcohol is masked completely and a mellow beer with a spicy earthy juicy fruit element to it.

MPLS, Dec 15, 2009
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Our Special Ale 2004 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 209 ratings.