Our Special Ale 2005 (Anchor Christmas Ale) - Anchor Brewing Company
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Ratings: 271 | Reviews: 239 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by tfinn:
3.8/5 rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
pours a deep almost opaque brownish black, which gives dark purple/plum tinges when held up to the light. thick head with lots of lace.
smell is spices: nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, with a sweet baked brown-bread aroma, a little vanilla... and this just poured out of a cold bottle. I expect even more as it warms up.
taste, unfortunately, doesn't seem to match up to the smell. it is spicy with a little black pepper and quite a bit of brown / roasted malt, but the sweetness in the nose doesn't come out in the flavor.
mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I expected, and with this much spice, I want a big body. the finish is a spicy astringency, like those last few bits of nutmeg you always end up chewing after having an egg nog or the dregs of the holiday punch from the company party. I would've liked a sweeter tail to balance the spice.
from what I remember, last year's offering was a little more substantial, although I have a magnum of last year's that I will be busting out with the neighbor here over the next couple months. it's quite possible that a few months will let the spices die down, and I'll be keeping the sixer I bought of this in my basement over the next few months to see what happens.
drinkability is alright, but not fantastic, and I don't savor this as much as traquair jacobite, for instance.
Serving type: bottle
11-24-2005 04:21:31 | More by tfinn
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.