Our Special Ale 2007 (Anchor Christmas Ale) - Anchor Brewing Company
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Ratings: 390 | Reviews: 348 | Display Reviews Only:
5/5 rDev +25.9%
pours a dark reddish brown with a very large head with a easy pour. light tan head settles to one finger and leaves a nice lace to the finish. aromas of dark cherries, prunes, coffee, chocolate, spices. complex taste, sweet and fruity then the coffee and chocolate come in mixing with the nutmeg and pepper. mouthfeel is medium and smooth with no bitterness. excellent winter warmer best i have had. going to look for more.
11-22-2007 18:04:06 | More by billybob
4.95/5 rDev +24.7%
Pours a a dark brown color with a thick lace . The aroma is what I would call Christmas in a bottle. There are hints of clove , ginger, cinnamon, juniper, and spruce...ahh sitting by the fire pouring a glass and looking at the tree. This is the standard by which all Christmas Ales should aspire....I'm leaving a few for Santa this year, I don't think he'll be disapointed.
12-21-2007 03:51:56 | More by pabstsmear
4.88/5 rDev +22.9%
Pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy head. Aroma is spicy, biscuity on the nose. Judging by the aroma, there's a ton of flavor in this one. Another sniff and I can confirm raisin in the nose. Taste is very nice and malty. Nothing but malt and just a tiny bit of spice at the back of the tongue. I would say that this is what a winter warmer should be, more true to the style.
You are not overwhelmed by spice with this beer. It's all malt, malt and malt. It's very much a sipping beer.
Other winter warmers tend to focus too much on spices and gimmicks. This beer just nails it for me in regards to not only style, but it's also far more tolerable than a few other winter warmers I've had.
11-10-2007 04:25:48 | More by Brad007
4.83/5 rDev +21.7%
Poured into a pint glass,This beer poured a dark cola type color, with a brown 2 finger head that left decent lacing all the way down the glass.The smell of this beer was of roasted malts and chocolate. But once you taste the beer, it has a more pine taste to it. It's like drinking a christmas tree in a bottle. Has some malt characteristics in it too. The mouthfeel is a little heavier than the average beer, but still very drinkable for more. I want it to stay cold longer so I can drink this more. This is one of my favorite winter beers yet.
12-18-2007 14:07:22 | More by KodyBrannon
4.83/5 rDev +21.7%
From a 12 oz. bottle into a stein
A - Pours a seemingly opaque brown with a garnet hue around the edges and a thick, dense tan head that leaves a sticky lacing around the mug. The head dissipates about halfway through the first sample.
S - Mixed mellow aroma of malty sweet caramel molasses and bits of roasted dark fruits. Perhaps a hint or two of nutmeg/cinnamon and a certain slight nuttiness character with a general spiciness to it.
T - The taste is similar to the smell; a rush of sweet roasted malt hits first with a slight hint of alcohol mixed with a spicy clove rush in the middle. A perfect balance of caramel, spice and carbonation with a twinge of hops washes down at the end to make this a extremely well-balanced brew.
MF - Just below full-bodied; creamy with a light blend of carbonation
D - Overall, quite a perfect blend of ingredients making this brew highly drinkable. One to pickup in the dead of winter and share in a couple of rounds with a few close friends.
Notes: Highly recommended. It's too bad this brew changes every year, however, I am really looking forward to picking up this one again the same time next year to see how it'll be. I actually picked up a magnum of this after going through the six-pack. A must-try for any beer advocate out there.
02-07-2008 01:54:38 | More by Mazeraski
4.8/5 rDev +20.9%
12 Fl. Oz. bottle (w/cool artwork)....poured into snifter. Smells of Fig Newton and clove. Appears brown at first but reveals deep, blood red-ed-ness in direct light. Generous, creamy, caramel-coloured head retreats gradually, leaving a few small patches of cobweb lace.
Light, thin, buttery mouthfeel. Begins w/dark chocolate ((almost minty)) bitterness; finishes with a touch of cherry-lambic acidity un---detected until late into 1st (of 6 this afternoon/evening). Highly quaffable, indeed.
Inaugural 2007 tasting demands yearly tradition heretoforthwith.
***subsequent years' tasting(s) may invoke memories of luminous, all-day snow while at Christmas party in Twin Lakes, WI
12-16-2007 05:34:13 | More by jjfancybeers
4.75/5 rDev +19.6%
Had this at old chicago had to squeeze my glass for 5 minutes to warm it up!
Poured a black cherry-tinged chestnut with 2+ fingers of brown head. Great lacing & head retention
S: Juniper, pine, sarsaparillas & cake
T: Medicinal/jagermeister type notes up front. Herbal & piney hops break through as this warms along with brown sugar, cinnamon & dryness. Finished slight dryness, spruce & gingerbread notes, with some great pine & herbal hop kick
MF: Medium bodied, slick & oily with slight over carbonation
Drank pretty easy, this year's vintage is great. I couldn't session on this all night, but I will pick up another 6-12 of these when I get a chance!
11-30-2007 20:25:09 | More by russpowell
4.75/5 rDev +19.6%
A-Very dark brown coloring, with a hint of ruby. Medium head. Leaves a nice lacing.
S-Nutmeg, peppermint, cinnamon, cloves, roasted malt, and a little chocolate. Just like Christmas.
T-Roasted malt, little hops, lots of spice. Complex. Slight chocolate finish.
M-Spice up front. Some carbonation. Very crisp.
D-Very tasty, but it might be too sweet and spicy to have more than two or three in one sitting.
A great winter warmer.
12-18-2008 19:39:08 | More by housten
4.75/5 rDev +19.6%
Darker than I expected (looks like a garnet tinted Porter), but the taste and aroma are almost exactly what I expected out of a Winter Warmer. There is no hop presence in the flavor nor aroma. Instead it's replaced, but a distinct woody, slightly pine-like, and sweet spicy aroma. The flavor is slightly bready, woody, and has hints of roasted toffee along with what seems like vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg to give a cola-like impression. Like a Samuel Smith Taddy Porter, it finishes slightly tart/acidic which seems to cut the sweet flavors nicely. It's also fairly thin making it very drinkable. In fact, with so much aroma and flavor this one tastes great at cellar temperatures.
A great ale, but I think I prefer my Winter Warmers to be just a little more bold in the alcohol and "warming" areas. Kick this up to 7 or 7.5% abv and it would be perfect in my mind. Even so, I still plan to pick up another 6 pack or two before the season is over.
12-04-2007 17:40:27 | More by AAvgerinos
4.68/5 rDev +17.9%
From a short, fat, 12 oz bottle, poured a dark, rich, chocolate color with a nice foamy head... Smell was about average, but nothing exciting for a winter warmer... heard alot about this company, so had high hopes for a seasonal tradition that has lasted more than a quarter-century... wasn't dissapointed, and was content with their offering... The taste was pretty good, but nothing to write home about... wouldn't run out to buy another $9.00 sixer, but it still didn't dissapoint... Mouthfeel was good, as the beer went down really well which contributed to a nice drinkability... more comparable to a stout than a winter warmer, but still a decent brew... Overall, this is a good sample, but there are better examples of the style out there...
12-11-2007 00:19:29 | More by dsa7783
4.68/5 rDev +17.9%
12 oz bottle with "701" stamped on it.
A: Dark dark brown with a whole hand and a half of glorious tan head that sticks all along my jar. Head retention is uber schön.
S: Smells really spicy is that yeast I smell in there? Maybe a bit clovey and hoppy freshness. Mellow fresh caramel malt too.
T: Carmally maltiness that gives way to an almost wheaty-sweet hoppiness that ends with a spicy-bitter dryness. Maybe some nutmeg in there too that leaves the mouth even dryer. You get a nice clove aftertaste as well.
M: Body isn't as full as I would like on this one, but its other aspects more than make up for this.
D: Lets go sledding with a sixer of this!
02-04-2008 02:37:38 | More by baos
4.65/5 rDev +17.1%
Actually had a bottle of 1996 last night. Getting reviewed under this label since I am not allowed to review a 1996 anymore.
A - Mahogany pour, with a 1 fingered head, and dissipates fast.
S - Figs, raisin, and soy.
T - Figs, raisin, and a buttload of spices. Mostly dominated by coriander and ginger.
M - Wow 12 years and still drinkable. Real thick, very nice.
D - So smooth, and so good.
12-14-2008 18:35:54 | More by MisterClean
4.63/5 rDev +16.6%
Wow -- what a winner. This year's Anchor Steam Christmas Ale does not disappoint. It pours a nice rocky amber head that lasts right down to the bottom of the glass. A dark reddish color and a lot of body. Wonderful roasted taste with a hint of hops. Exceptional!
11-26-2007 14:21:15 | More by jkdrummer
4.63/5 rDev +16.6%
Pours a ruddy dark mahogany with ruby edges. Fluffy cream colored/khaki head that airily stands 1". Thick, airy & globular lace that I bet could be used for mortar in a gingerbread house.
The scent right out of the gate reminds me of the candy dish my grandma always put out at Christmas; old fashioned rock candy with hints of cinnamon, black licorice, ginger and cherries. Raw fudge brownie batter with fresh, yet slightly bitter walnuts folded-in. A few swift swirls of my tulip glass provoke molasses & (Juniper?).
The first drink welcomes a juicy tart cherry flavor, though it's coasting behind a dusty cocoa driver with a sidecar full of spices; cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, ginger and possibly a dry teaspoon of powdered dark baker's chocolate. There's a bright winey element that rides above all of this earthy, malty & spicy concoction that really makes this quite an exciting and multi-dimensional experience.
Mouthfeel is on the heavier side of medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation that seems to keep all of these interesting flavors treading water instead of tumultuously colliding into one another. Theres a very nice spicy and dry finish to this exceptional ale.
Drinkability is very good. This is probably the most volatile category for this ale; some years seem to need a good rest, while others (especially this years) seem to drink perfectly at the present.
Overall a fantastically complex yet very docile vintage. I very much enjoy how it tastes right now, so I don't suppose I'll have the will power to lay many of these down for the future. The multi-layered chocolate & winey aspects really do it for me. The spices are very evident but not too prevalent as to take away from the main course. A beautiful ensemble from a fantastic brewery. Very worthy to be the official Christmas beer for 2007!
12-02-2007 20:46:59 | More by malty
4.55/5 rDev +14.6%
A- Thick dark tan head on a dark brown body.
S- Big nutmeg, cloves, cinnimon, light pepper, some other spice I can't pick out, light toffee malt, nuts, and light pine hops.
T- A nice caramel body comes through with a bunch of spice that comes in second. Clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon all help make up the spice profile. Some hops with some spice and a light pine hop all come through too. Light roasted nutty character comes through also.
M- Medium body with low/medium carbonation.
D- This is probably the best winter warmer I have had. Just a great beer and will be buying more of it before it comes off shelves.
11-30-2007 00:32:23 | More by BlindPig
4.55/5 rDev +14.6%
Anchor Our Special Ale (2007)
12 oz brown bottle
Served in an Allagash tulip glass
Pours a deep & dark brown with ruby highlights on the bottom of the glass. A marvelous tan colored forms on the top of the beer and leaves stellar trails of lacings all over the glassware.
Nice whiffs of chocolate bars and cocoa. A hint of spices and cloves in the background. A touch of pine trees as well.
The mouthfeel is incredibly smooth, creamy and right on point. Flavors of roasted dark malts, vanilla bean ice cream and milk chocolate. Spicy ginger, cinnamon, juicy orange & sugary molasses. Solid hop presence on the finish too.
I truly enjoy this beer - it's friggin great and one of my favorite seasonal offerings. This year is no exception - a classic and recommended.
11-30-2007 23:45:57 | More by Hibernator
4.55/5 rDev +14.6%
12 oz bottle.
Christmas in July? aw hell, who cares what time of the year I'm drinking this...
It never fails...every time I open an Anchor OSA, it reminds me of Christmas. ..and I always seem to forget how great this beer is until I pop open the top and smell that heavenly aroma.
Freshly baked gingerbread cookies, apple cider, cinnamon sticks, and reindeer jerky are blended into a liquid to make this brew (or so Santa told me).
Not much else to say..I've had the last dozen vintages and reviewed it the past 4-5 years straight. It's just one of those brews I always enjoy tremendously.
Cheers to another year Anchor Brewing!
07-01-2008 03:53:40 | More by hero27
4.53/5 rDev +14.1%
A black beauty, simmering in holiday cheer, with an antique head. Smell is absolutely outrageous, alive with molasses and nutmeg. Taste follows suit, but is a touch sour at the end. Mouthfeel is smooth and warming. Overall impression is that this is fantastic, but would be better if the ABV were kicked up a notch or two, and the spices backed off just a bit, though that would detract from the nose, which is as good as that of any beer I've ever had.
11-15-2007 07:45:43 | More by jeffjfindley
4.5/5 rDev +13.4%
Tasted 2007 vintage 12-15-2009 in a Bruery tulip glass at about 45 degrees.
Pours a very dark brown with an extremely thick & creamy tan froth with excellent retention and good lacing. Pronounced & complex aromas of dark fruit (blackberries, blueberries, dried cranberries, black raspberries, & black cherries), chocolate, rosemary, fresh thyme, sage, pine, roasted nuts, caramel malts, a light "woodsy" character, cereal grains (Cheerios), molasses, gala apple, pear, & a light orange/citrus hops. The nose is very complex, well balanced, and very inviting! The spices are a little bit more pronounced on the palate, but not overpowering and are balanced with all of characters found on the nose...especially the chocolate and roasted nut aspect. The beer isn't necessarily bitter as it dries the palate evenly over a creamy texture. Overall a sensational beer & highly recommended.
Side note: In drinking this beer, I can see that is being able to cellar for a few more years, but it's tasting good now.
12-15-2009 20:12:47 | More by BevMoAndrew
4.5/5 rDev +13.4%
12oz bottle poured into Sam Adams glass.
What a great malt and spice aroma it presents. Strongest of the spices is a mix of cloves, allspice and nutmeg, but in the background lies much more including the nice evergreen so common with this beer.
Clear. Very dark brown with hints of red. Appealing dense foamy head with sticky and persistent retention.
Taste present in fashion similar to aroma - malt character stands out first followed by the plethora of spices too many and complex for this poor soul of limited vocabulary and olfactory training to describe. Let's just say it's a wonderful potpourri that gives and gives and gives.
The thick head adds nice density to the drink. All around moderate to heavier feel that's perfectly carbonated.
What a great drink. Of the several years I've enjoyed this beer 2007 stands out.
Tastes great with my bagel, cream cheese and braunschwieger.
01-25-2008 18:06:13 | More by garymuchow
4.5/5 rDev +13.4%
Pours a dark burnished mahogany, nearly black. Good clarity when held up to light, with a solid three finger head of frothy biege head that almost makes it look like a glass of cola. Excellent retention and thick blotchy lacing. Aromas of gingersnap cookies, cinnamon sticks and allspice jump out of the glass, with strong caramel, anise, and roast barley scents in the background. The first sip shows an immediate dark carmel sweetness, quickly joined by dark roasted coffee. Spicy anise and cinnamon begin to round out the oevrall flavor, and while only a faint herbal english hop note can be detected, the sharp ginger and mildy acrid roast barley acheive a terrific balance. The aftertaste dries quickly, leaving some roasty stout notes and diminishing allspice/ginger/cinnamon tones. The body is medium and carbonation is light; producing a velvet-cream smoothness that allows a hint of dextrin/malt residual sweetness to linger and compliment the dry roast character and rich spice accents. The finish is soft and more aromatic as it warms and opens up; the smell of this beer will no doubt trigger some olfactory memories of the holiday season.
12-29-2007 07:48:51 | More by PBRstreetgang
4.5/5 rDev +13.4%
Pours a dark, dark brown with a reddish hue. Head quickly drops down to about one rocky brown finger or so. This thing just keeps moving and if I didn't know better I'd even say it might actually be alive.
Intense spices fill the nose. Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves are what I expected, but also somewhat minty and what could even be juniper if my nose doesn't deceive me. All of this is backed by a huge malt bill; cookie-dough, bready, molasses, and a slight hint of chocolate and black licorice.
Once I taste this thing, the malts have taken charge past the spices. That is my biggest complaint in beers of this style, when the spiciness is too much and the beer itself cannot keep up -- but this one is, as usual, up to the challenge. Very bready malts with just a subtle hint of hoppiness. The cinnamon and the spruce or juniper are heavy, but they accent instead of overwhelm the malts.
Creamy and a fairly heavy body with a decent level of carbonation. Just enough to leave a fairly dry finish. Once again, Anchor makes Christmas the best holiday of the year for a beer lover.
01-08-2008 00:55:06 | More by Phocion
Our Special Ale 2007 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 390 ratings.