Our Special Ale 2005 (Anchor Christmas Ale) - Anchor Brewing Company
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Ratings: 271 | Reviews: 239 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Dubblebock:
3.65/5 rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
This is my third year drinking the Anchor OSA, following stellar 2003 and 2004 vintages. The OSA is the one winter warmer that I ALWAYS make sure to include in my 'fridge come the holiday season. Christmas just wouldn't be the same without it now. The presentation is nice as usual, the broad tree on the label looking inviting and regal. It's a truly pagan beer, the neck label extolling the virtues of the winter solstice.
But, hmmm...I have to admit that this year's version is a bit off compared to the previous versions that I've sampled. There's less reliance on pine character and more emphasis on spiciness and hoppiness.
The pour is fantastic, though. Dark and dense in body, the beer tops off with a rich head of tightly compacted foam. The nose is good but not overwhelming.
The taste is unusual. Not as malty as previous versions, the 2005 OSA seems to be relying on less pine resin and more on nut and clove flavors to make it's holiday case. There's a hint of ginger there, and a strange bitterness on the back of the tongue that sort of takes away from the initial warmth in the mouth. The bitterness gets even more pronounced as the beer warms, making for a less than completely satisfying journey to the bottom of the mug.
I have to give this one middling scores for mouthfeel and drinkability. I'll probably cellar one or two and see if things even out over a period of months. As is, it's a good but not great addition to the series.
Serving type: bottle
01-08-2006 00:15:44 | More by Dubblebock
More User Reviews:
3.95/5 rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
12 oz. bottle, with a more than obvious vintage date, and a code on the label 5OU. I'm cracking open a little piece of history here today, in the spirit of the Christmas season. Anchor Brewing Co.'s Christmas ale, vintage 2005. This bottle is eight years old this year, making this the oldest beer I've ever drank. I have no idea what to expect.
Poured into a clear balloon snifter.
A - Pours a thick viscous ruddy caramel color; nearly opaque in the glass with some caramel coloring around the edges when held to the light. Conjures about a quarter finger of light brown foam. Forms a ring of bubbles around the glass. Produces a nice thick finger of mocha foam when given a good swirl. Looks excellent.
S - Smell is of sweet caramel malt, earthy tea leaves, toffee, molasses, brown sugar, dark fruits - raisins, black cherries, currants, figs, hint of faded herbal spice, vanilla, and some woody earth character.
T - Taste follows the nose: smooth creamy caramel, toffee, notes of chocolate / cocoa, earthy tea leaves, wood, twigs, some vanilla, some vinous grape / cherry / berry notes, and some raisin / fig presence.
M - Feel is smooth and creamy, but still retains a bit of crisp carbonation to it, even after all this time. Light-bodied, and slightly watery. Some dark chocolatey roast notes lingering on the palate.
Overall, I'd say this was an excellent winter warmer that has thoroughly stood the test of time well. Definitely excites me to try out the other vintages to see what they hold. Definitely worth seeking out.
Anchor Brewing Our Special Ale 2005 ---4/5.
Serving type: bottle
12-24-2013 21:27:55 | More by mfnmbvp
Our Special Ale 2005 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 271 ratings.