Our Special Ale 1983 (Anchor Christmas Ale) - Anchor Brewing Company
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Ratings: 2 | Reviews: 1 | Display Reviews Only:
4.13/5 rDev +1.5%
The label indicates that this year's tree is Abies cephalonica, also known as the Greek Fir, or Meyer's Dwarf Pine.
Pours a lovely, deep, full, very clear blood red, with small solid floaties here and there (just a little suspended yeast, although the majority stayed in the bottle). A surprisingly firm head rises up from this 23 and 1/2 year old bottle, and it settles down into a nice cap, with some soft lacing down the sides.
Aroma is wonderful and complex. Notes of black currant and tawny port give way to a light, sweet candied yam and/or turnip aroma, not at all out of place. It is a decidedly sweet aroma, vinous, with a hint of grappa in the finish.
Taste is that of dusty books, and, believe it or not, a kiss of dried pine needle, overlaid with a slightly sweet/sour glazing, like the spiced syrup that you'd pour over a baking ham. All the sugar, none of the meat, with the candied yam aroma coming back again in the finish on the palate. I am instantly taken back to Thanksgiving dinners past. The essence, overall, is that of standing in an old, rarely occupied forest cabin, the great outdoors echoing outside the solid, wooden walls. This tastes like it should, an excellent beer, almost lost to the sands of time.
Mouthfeel is a bit low, surely dimished by 23 years in the bottle -- but there's still a nice snap below. The only issue is that a beer of this strength (that is to say, not of great strength) doesn't have the malt background to make up for a lack in bubbles. I've seen some barleywines and old ales come through this deficiency with heads raised high, but this '83 OSA stumbles a bit, showing up a little thin.
Drinkability is low, if only because the palate exercise the one bottle provides is more than enough to tire out the most ambitious beer drinker. Drinkability here has to factor in the mental workout, not just palate fatigue. One is enough.
All in all, a wonderful beer, and I'm glad I have more for the future -- perhaps for the 30th anniversary, or the 40th, or the 50th! I've sipped away at this on July 4th, and nothing could be more appropriate...an offering from a distinctly American brewery, inventive, inspiring, and enduring, much like the country it was founded within.
07-04-2007 23:39:56 | More by ithacabaron
Our Special Ale 1983 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
- out of 100 based on 2 ratings.