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Our Special Ale 2005 (Anchor Christmas Ale) - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Our Special Ale 2005 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 2005 (Anchor Christmas Ale)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

271 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 271
Reviews: 239
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 1
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: maxpower on 11-04-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Our Special Ale 2005 (Anchor Christmas Ale) Alström Bros
Ratings: 271 | Reviews: 239 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of marine1975
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

marine1975, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev +3.6%

THECPJ, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of pperez38
4/5  rDev +3.6%

pperez38, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +3.6%

djrn2, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of adrock7309
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired a bottle from Blue Max in Burnsville. Not much of a pop when i opened and feared it was flat but when i poured into a snifter, it created a 1 inch head of off white foam atop a dark burgandy body. Head dissapated rather quickl.

Aroma of werthers toffee and some faint hops.

Flavors present were dark caramel, some light vineous notes and a bit of gingerbread-esque spice. No much of a yeast profile.

Overall a very top notch beer that has aged very well.

adrock7309, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of Dizzy
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Dizzy, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of brandoman63
4/5  rDev +3.6%

brandoman63, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of rab53
4/5  rDev +3.6%

rab53, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of ROGUE16
4/5  rDev +3.6%

ROGUE16, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

The Seventh Day of Beermas... It pours a murky black-brown topped by a half-finger of dirty ecru foam. The nose comprises raisins, red grapes, brown sugar, maple syrup, nutmeg, and slightly musty cocoa. The taste is dominated by a somewhat odd meatloaf sorta combination of gingerbread and pumpernickel, which is backed up by raisins, figs, red grapes, and the syrup from a can of mandarin oranges. As odd as it all sounds together, it wasn't quite as bad as the previous vintages have been. The body is a hefty-ish medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a kinda thick feel. Overall, another step in the right direction, though the spices come across a tad strangely. I'm now actually looking forward to the next few years.

TMoney2591, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of pants678
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a magnum at the Daily Pint in Santa Monica, black from what I could tell. Dim bar lighting didn't help.

Smells of cinnamon and ginger, little bit of pine.

The base is a combination of raisin and spearmint, there's a citrusy edge to it as well, ginger and nutmeg spice up the coffee flavor. Pine is not nearly as persistent as in their more recent years and the alcohol sticks out, riding the plum/prune taste. At times it is simply sour and a better hop-presence would have helped.

I think this one went a little too long, it thinned out and the deep flavors can be overpowering. Needs a stronger cola-esque feel to sort things out.

pants678, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of fropones
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted 2/2010

A - Nearly black with brown at the edges and khaki head.

S - A bit autolysed, some ginger, baker's chocolate.

T - Somewhat sweet, anise/licorice, giner, and molasses.

M - Pretty thin, killed by age. Half decent carbonation.

D - Drinks well enough for a 5 year old 6% beer.

fropones, Apr 08, 2010
Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A bottle from the cellar. Uncapped and poured into my nonic Imperial pint glass. OSA appears a deep chestnut brown color , almost opaque, with about a finger of light ecru foam. Flavors and aromas consist of birch syrup, root beer, molasses, bitter cocoa powder, mocha, some coffee, raisins, medium roasted grains, dark bread, slightly sour. Body is a bit thin at this point, but the carbonation has held up very well. Not sure if this would benefit with any more time in the cellar.

ClockworkOrange, Feb 15, 2010
Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Bruery snifter glass.

Pours 1/2 finger of light tan head. Fades down to a thin layer. Leaves slightly splattered lace. Color is a dark ruby hued dark chocolate.

Aroma: Lots of spice notes, caramel, malt, molasses, chocolate, nutmeg, and even some pumpkin.

Taste: More spices, big caramel and molasses flavors. This beer has a big malty taste to it; not a lot of hops. Lots of cocoa and raspberries. Pretty solid.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and legit. Medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation. Ends slightly dry and spiced.

Overall, a pretty solid beer. It definitely help up for being over 4 years old. I am glad I got to try this one. Pretty drinkable as well.

mothman, Feb 09, 2010
Photo of pmccallum86
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark mahogany root beer color with very little head, due to the age I'm sure.

Smell is very complex, tons of aromas exude from the glass. Some spice, big malts, pumpkin and maybe a little root beer.

Taste is very complex, similar to the smell. A little watery flavor underneath topped with A LOT of meshed up flavors. Nutmeg, molasses, maple and maybe some random fruit stuff.

Mouthfeel is smooth and refreshing. Light carbonation, very pleasant.

Very solid beer, I like it.

pmccallum86, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of sweemzander
2.75/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into a stemmed glass. No bottled date, but its the '05 vintage.

(A)- Pours a thick dark brown color that is totally opaque. Produced a thick tan to brown head that dissipated quickly.

(S)- Potent burnt raisin bread & a slightly sour cherry/soy sauce; almost salty finish/ Fig-like, but in a funky way. Overly flat, sour cola like aromas. Bits of brown sugar.

(T)- Very thin; the age definitely has diminished the potency & richness of what this would be fresh. Very bread-like with roasted raisins that turn into a sour coffee thing. The taste definitely has diminished.

(M)- Good to see it still has good carbonation, but the feel of the beer just seems thin & watery at this stage.

(D)- Surprisingly kinda drinkable, but funky & watery. This much age definitely was too much, however, I am glad I was able to try it anyways. Not awful though.

sweemzander, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.03/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle split and poured into a Corsendonk Christmas Ale stemmed glass. 2005 Vintage.

Thanks to Sweemzander for sharing this beer!

A - Dark ruby amber, mostly black looking, with a low tan head. Low retention to the loose bubbles but left a big ring and a thin blanket. Bits of lacing stuck to the glass.

S - Very potent aroma on the pour. A bit of soy sauce mixes in with a deep malty bread nose and a dark fruit blend of raising and plum with molasses. Very funky. Not too appetizing but definitely intriguing.

T - For as potent as the aroma is, the taste is very thin. A roasted raisin bread flavor that comes and goes pretty quickly. A sharp but short burst of soy sauce is there too. Its just too plain.

M - Smooth with a dry bitter finish. Low carbonation aids in its drinkability a bit. Thin feeling too.

D - Really not bad for a 2005 bottle, but it's definitely not a beer to be aged. The aroma is potent and funky while the flavor is just lacking. Just not good this far out.

BeerFMAndy, Nov 22, 2009
Photo of BigAl723
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I purchased this from the late great Bello Vino in Ann Arbor three years ago. I figured a 75 degree September afternoon would the perfect time to crack it open.

A: Ruby red and dark. This beer is a lot darker than I thought it would be. It also had a fairly dark/tan head. Only about a half inch thick.

S: Lemons and alcohol. A little carmel seeps through as well. I think the time it has had to age lets the alcohol out big time. It smells like pure alcohol.

T: Okay, the taste helps out the smell big time. Orange, lemon zest, cocoa, and nutmeg. Spicy too, like a winter warmer should taste. Slightly malty and complex.

M: Very light in the mouth. Light carbonation also.

D: Like I mentioned earlier, I think because it sat for so long the alcohol is very pungent. It takes away from the drinkability slightly but not too much. I'm not a big fan of winter warmers so IMO it's so-so.

Overall, a decent brew. I probably could have drank this three years ago but I never did. Not sure why either.

BigAl723, Sep 03, 2009
Photo of akorsak
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle courtesy of SQNfan.

A: The ale is amply carbonated, offering up 3 plus fingers of white head that slowly dissapate, leaving nothing in the wake. The ale is a dark red color, highlighted with crimson.

S: The aroma is very pungent, heavily spiced with nutmeg and orange peel. A hint of mint clears out the nostrils. Very heady and deep, could be spiced and mulled even.

T: Initially complex, the flavor quickly drops off leaving a mildly spiced dark ale. The nutmeg and orange hit the right notes, fully strong. They are a flash in the pan, quickly disappearing with only a mild nutmeg left behind. Dark malts try to fill the void, offering chocolate and coffee. The more I sip, the fuller it becomes. The big problem is the drop-off from spice to malts, it is too drastic and sudden without a decent buffer. The finish is nutmeg and mild hops.

M: The mouthfeel is complex, spicy and malty and mildly hoppy. The nutmeg upfront and wall of spice in the finish stand out.

D: The alcohol is mild, assisting the ale. The flavor profile is strong at times, a minus that balances things out.

akorsak, Jul 03, 2009
Photo of beertunes
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip glass. Poured a bright deep amber color with a light tan head that left more sticky lacing than expected for a 3 year old. A lovely aroma that has a solid but not sweet malt foundation topped with just enough spice and hops. The taste is just wonderful. The time has let all the flavors meld together, while keeping their personalities visible. Nicely drinkable, I could have 3 or 4 of these in a row. I feel this beer is probably at or near peak. Much more time and the flavors may start to lose their independence. Highly recommended.

beertunes, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of champ103
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark ruby brown color. A two finger beige head forms and leaves some sticky lace.
S: Of rich, dark roasted malt. A dark roasted coffee flavor and chocolate. Some dark fruits. A hint of spices and peppermint. Three years has been great to this beer.
T: This has a wonderful roasted malt, chocolate and coffee flavor. A light twang of hops. Spice, peppermint, and pine flavors are very light. Very porter like IMO.
M/D A medium to full body. A light crisp snap of carbonation, and a good creaminess follows. This is easy and smooth to put away.

I had this recently at the Gingerman in Houston. They had a vertical of the 05, 07, and 08 Our Special Ale's. This is without a bought the best of the three. The spicy peppermint flavor has really taken a back seat here. Instead of being up front and center, it is a nice compliment to the other roasted malt flavors.

champ103, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of tmoneyba
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a black color with a huge frothy light brown head that lasted with excellent lacing. Good complex sweet spicy aroma. Medium body with a sticky texture. Good bittersweet spicy flavor with a medium commplex bittersweet finish of average duration.

Complex good brew.

tmoneyba, Nov 25, 2008
Photo of nick76
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was looking forward to this one and I was not disappointed. The aroma has spruce, lemon, rosemary, nutmeg, licorice, and toasted malt. The appearance is dark red brown (almost black) with a small foamy head. The flavor is as complex as the aroma. The caramel malt is mixed well with fruit, licorice, pine, spices, and a pepper like finish with a hint of coffee. A great beer.

nick76, Nov 17, 2008
Photo of jujubeast6000
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 12/19/2005 (12oz bottle):

Pours a very dark black-brown color, large head, tan in color, good lacing around the edges. Roasted aroma with malts, chocolate, flowers, slight hops. Flavor of malts, sweet, light alcohol, spices, slight bitterness, good carbonation, slightly tannic. Cellaring might do this one good.

jujubeast6000, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of gkatsoris
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Very, very black; no light shines thru. The head is beautiful. Thick, very light tan head. The head lasted for about 3 - 4 minutes.

S: Delicious. Cherries, cinnamon, allspice, clove. Fresh bread. And raisins. This smells so yummy.

D: Very malty. Lots of bread. And it finishes with spices (clove, cinnamon) and coffee. This is pretty complex comparing it to the aroma. I tasted the cherries and raisins way way after.

M: Very thick and chewy. Little carbonation. Very nice.

D: Very nice.

gkatsoris, Oct 15, 2008
Our Special Ale 2005 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 271 ratings.