Our Special Ale 2005 (Anchor Christmas Ale) - Anchor Brewing Company
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Ratings: 271 | Reviews: 239 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by swid:
3.7/5 rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
Anchor Our Special Ale 2005 pours a near-black color into my pint glass; only a scattering of deep ruby are picked up when the glass is held up to the light. Atop the nearly opaque liquid sits a 1/2", dark tan head that quickly dissipates. Low carbonation, little lacing. The smell is a mix of caramel, coffee, and assorted herbs and spices, along with a sweet presence that I can't quite pin down to any particular aroma.
The taste of this beer is also big and malty; as expected, the caramel, coffee, and chocolate flavors predominate. The initial taste is very sweet; it takes a couple seconds for the (relatively restrained) bitterness to come through. When it does, it's as a mixture of the spices and the hops. The amount of alcohol in this beer is best classified as "sneaky". The mouthfeel is very smooth and silky, with just the right level of fullness. Finishes with a very pleasant sweet/roasted/bitter aftertaste.
Overall, while each of its elements are a bit underwhelming when considered alone, Anchor has made a decent winter beer. I should have bought another bottle to hold back until summer...
Serving type: bottle
02-19-2006 22:02:46 | More by swid
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.