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Our Special Ale 2007 (Anchor Christmas Ale) - Anchor Brewing Company

Our Special Ale 2007 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 2007 (Anchor Christmas Ale)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

388 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 388
Reviews: 348
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.34%


Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: MMAJYK on 11-03-2007)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 388 | Reviews: 348 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of billybob
billybob

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2007 18:04:06 | More by billybob
Photo of pabstsmear
pabstsmear

New Hampshire

4.95/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2007 03:51:56 | More by pabstsmear
Photo of Brad007
Brad007

Vermont

4.88/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2007 04:25:48 | More by Brad007
Photo of KodyBrannon
KodyBrannon

Texas

4.83/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2007 14:07:22 | More by KodyBrannon
Photo of Mazeraski
Mazeraski

New York

4.83/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2008 01:54:38 | More by Mazeraski
Photo of jjfancybeers
jjfancybeers

Illinois

4.8/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2007 05:34:13 | More by jjfancybeers
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.75/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2007 20:25:09 | More by russpowell
Photo of AAvgerinos
AAvgerinos

California

4.75/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2007 17:40:27 | More by AAvgerinos
Photo of housten
housten

Arizona

4.75/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2008 19:39:08 | More by housten
Photo of dsa7783
dsa7783

New Jersey

4.68/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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...

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2007 00:19:29 | More by dsa7783
Photo of baos
baos

Indiana

4.68/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2008 02:37:38 | More by baos
Photo of MisterClean
MisterClean

California

4.65/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2008 18:35:54 | More by MisterClean
Photo of jkdrummer
jkdrummer

Washington

4.63/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2007 14:21:15 | More by jkdrummer
Photo of malty
malty

Michigan

4.63/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. There’s 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!

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2007 20:46:59 | More by malty
Photo of BlindPig
BlindPig

Pennsylvania

4.55/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2007 00:32:23 | More by BlindPig
Photo of Hibernator
Hibernator

Massachusetts

4.55/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2007 23:45:57 | More by Hibernator
Photo of hero27
hero27

Minnesota

4.55/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2008 03:53:40 | More by hero27
Photo of jeffjfindley
jeffjfindley

California

4.53/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2007 07:45:43 | More by jeffjfindley
Photo of GPHarris
GPHarris

Alabama

4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - poured a three-fingers thick creamy tan head into a snifter. the head was long-lasting and left sticky sides throughout. the body was dark brown with reddish-purple highlights.
s - hints of licorice, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon with a slight hop presence.
t - the aforementioned spices, licorice and dark fruits.
m - creamy and slick.
d - wonderful beer as usual.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2007 16:46:39 | More by GPHarris
Photo of JDK
JDK

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a very dark mahogany which produced a 1 finger tan head that was very thick and creamy.
I personally liked everything about this beer.
Medium lacing that clung nicely to the sides.
Medium carbonation on the mouthfeel, just the right amount.
Very light fragrance of raisons, chocolate malts and some spice that carried over into the taste as well.
This is the best winter brew I've tried so far and one that I will be looking forward to drinking as the winter nights get colder

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2007 21:42:38 | More by JDK
Photo of PBRstreetgang
PBRstreetgang

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2007 07:48:51 | More by PBRstreetgang
Photo of SaCkErZ9
SaCkErZ9

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dispensed from a 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass. Dark chocolate color with dark ruby highlights. Mocha colored head of pretty good size. Lacing is as thick as can be: I can barely see through the sticky lace as it clings to the side of the glass.

Aroma is very festive. Ginger, or gingerbread, seems to be one of the most dominant aromas. Some cinnamon. Creamy caramel malts. Almost burnt toast. Very nice.

More gingerbread in the flavor. Spicy ginger as well. Pumpkin bread and even some allspice. This is really tasty.

What a wonderful Xmas beer. This has to be up there as far as flavor and onverall experience. I have had the last three years but for some reason, this year really sticks out. I will have to research my other reviews, but I really like this one. Creamy mouthfeel. Perfect carbonation. A sheer delight. A highly quaffable beverage.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2007 21:38:43 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost opaque. Tan head. Very perfume like nose. Very full. Flavor is smooth with a nice earthy edge. Mild and beautifully bitter tones. Smooth feel on liquid and carbonation. Very nice drinker. Smooth, great character, and easy to drink. What more could you ask for?

Serving type: on-tap

01-01-2008 13:05:45 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of Phocion
Phocion

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2008 00:55:06 | More by Phocion
Photo of Greenfloyd
Greenfloyd

California

4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tastes like Christmas in a bottle….Christmas of 2007 that is…..

Poured into a snifter with an espresso like appearance, a light brown head topped off this impressive looking beer. Smelled like warm gingerbread cake with hints of candied orange peel. It’s what you’re kitchen should smell like, at least once in December, preferably on one of it’s coldest days. The same gingerbread found in the nose, translates well into the taste as it mixes wonderfully with holiday spices, finishing with a subtle bitter orange and hoppy trail. The rich, velvety mouth feel was definitely substantial, but that’s ok. This beer was made for sipping. The holiday spicing and subtle sweetness of this ale makes it a great pairing with a holiday ham. Aged white cheddar or Port-Salut cheeses make a great accompaniment. Enjoy…..

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2008 05:30:13 | More by Greenfloyd
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Our Special Ale 2007 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 388 ratings.