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

Not Rated.
Our Special Ale 2007 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 2007 (Anchor Christmas Ale)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

349 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 349
Hads: 393
Avg: 3.97
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 5
Gots: 16 | FT: 2
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:
Beer added by: beerluvr on 11-03-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (28) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Our Special Ale 2007 (Anchor Christmas Ale) Alström Bros
Reviews: 349 | Hads: 393
Photo of fropones
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted 02/2010

A - Nearly black, brown with 1 finger khaki head.

S - Quite spiced, anise, molasses, unsweetened chocolate.

T - Semisweet chocolate, much sweeter than the '06.

M - Nice creaminess, medium bodied, decent carbonation.

D - Almost cloyingly sweet, half decent besides.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle obtained via SS09 from vasdef42. Label is stamped "701" on back. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into a Harpoon tulip, formed a 1" mocha head above the cloudy burgundy brown brew. Dense head recedes slowly, with heavy coating lace. Aroma is sweetness, with spices and tannins. Taste starts with earthy maltiness, spices in the middle, and a lightly piney but totally earthy close. Mouthfeel is soft but a bit gassy, and drinkability is alright. Seems that this one has lost a bit with age, but then again, I'm not the world's biggest spiced beer fan either.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.22/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

served in a 12 oz bottle and poured in to a tulip at Durty Nellies.

A: pours a dark murky brown with very little head and a lot of lacing

S: huge notes of spruce, cinnamon, all spice and nutmeg, some unpleasant diacetyl on the nose

T: as the nose suggests, this is a spice bomb... it tastes like chewing on a cinnamon stick, there is an astringency the goes along with the spice that is not very appetizing. Perhaps this bottle is past its prime. Some notes of diacetyl.

MF: somewhat thin, light carbonation

D: too spicy to be considered for good drinkability, needs more balance from the malts, this is my least favorite Christmas beer. again, this could be due to the 2 years of age on the bottle

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

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.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my nonic Imperial pint glass. Appears the color of strong brewed tea with two fingers of light ecru colored foam. Nose and flavors consist of spruce needles and sap, medium roasted grains, spices such as nutmeg, bittersweet chocolate, a bit fruity, nice amount of malt. Maybe a few notches better than a medium body with ample carbonation. Quite smooth and holding up nicely.

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Photo of younger35
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this bottle in the cellar for quite some time. I have a nice little vertical going but happen to have 2 of the 2007's. No idea where I picked this up at but I'm thinking Dobby's in Palatine. Drank from my Surly nonic pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a really dark brownish crimson with a super soft and ridiculously creamy light tan/off-white head. A perfect quarter inch head remains the entire beer as does a ton of thick sticky lacing.
Smell- Lightly spicy with a huge gingerbread like smell. Perhaps the most gingerbread like nose I've smelled since Highlands Christmas brew. Obviously some ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg are all pretty strong. Loads of brown sugar sneaks in as well as some lightly smoky molasses. Almost cola or Mr. Pibb like especially cold. I swear that there's some spruce used as well... Aspects remind me of Alaskans winter ale.
Taste- Wow, very interesting stuff. Starts with a big earthy hit of tobacco and leather before the smoky molasses I got in the nose sneaks in. Maybe some juniper berries? I definitely get some spruce though as it sort of lingers through the aftertaste. A underlying bitterness really accents the entire brew as this earthy root dirtiness really takes over. The finish is dry and cola like with a good portion of the taste being black licorice.
Mouthfeel- Fairly heavy feel that is thick and rich and extremely creamy. The carbonation is light and the mouthfeel is easily the best part of the brew.
Drinkability- Not the greatest brew I've had for sure but it's interesting. This is the first Our Special Ales I've had and honestly this is a real surprise. I know they are different every year and this one has really peaked my interest in the others. Okay brew I suppose but I guarantee there are other years out there that are much tastier.

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Photo of plaid75
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dusty brown hue with a two finger tan head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured Ginger and cinammon with some sweet malts.

The taste was upfront spicy and dry Sweet malts and some dark fruits appeared toward the finish.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a very nice vintage. Spicier than the 2008 despite being a year older. A nice year to age.

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Photo of hoplover82
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a crystal clear almost black color with a hint of deep maroon. And a huge brown thick and creamy head that has excellent retention and lacing all the way down the glass.

S-The aroma first is of sweet caramel and chocolate with a hint of spice, like ginger and I also get some floral notes, but not as hoppy floral notes, as like malty floral notes... I've never gotten that before. That is very nice. I suppose it's esthers from the yeast used in this wonderful beer. Also some roasted barley as well. And coffee notes too, this is a very complex aroma. Very nice.

T-The flavor is a lot like the aroma as far as the spicy notes and roasted/burned caramel goes, but adds a more interesting clean bitterness and lingering sweet caramel notes that lingers forever. Very sweet indeed. But it has just enough bitterness to keep it from being cloying. Well done imo.

M-Has a big body for the abv. And is very creamy and sticky with a full creamy carbonation. And a slight dryness in the finish. Although it does has a slight astringencyto it which really brings the score down, but if it was a little smoother, I might have given it a 5. This is 2 years old though so...

D-If it wasn't for the astringency, the score would be higher. And I'm very glad to have tried this wonderful beer. It was the last one from that year at my beer shop. Very cool.

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Photo of philipquarles
3.2/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle in Nov '09. Pours very dark brown with ruby tinges and a light beige head that dies quickly. A bit of lacing. Smells strongly spiced--mostly hard to place, except for cinnamon. Lots of dark malt as well. No signs of oxidation. Tastes as if it's spiced with cinnamon, juniper, and...cough syrup. This strange, artificial-fruitiness lingers behind what would otherwise be very pleasant chocolate malts. Pleasant medium body with good carbonation. Not a huge fan of this one; I think I prefer the '08 I'm drinking with it side-by-side. Along with over-the-top spice, this one has a lingering sweetness that's a bit unpleasant.

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Photo of Offa
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have tried this at different times, with somewhat different results. Overall, I think I like it better after it has aged about a year.

In December 2007: dark, almost black, red-brown with a big, dense light brown head that is long lasting and leaves some lacing. The aroma is nutmeg, rootbeer, and hint of anise and clove over a malty-toasty body. The taste is rather like a brown ale along with spices, toasted grain, rootbeer, and faint hints of coffee and chocolate. There is a light bitterness. It's somewhat complex and hard to pin down and is tasty and interesting, but things do not seem to have integrated very well.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Nearly black on first glance, but when held up to the light shows a beautiful ruby color. Woderful creamy head, milkshake in texture.
Smell reminds me of pipe shop. Tobacco and incense.
Very earthy in flavor with some spiciness, sweetness, and grassy hop flavor.
Mouthfeel is very creamy and fuller than I was expecting. I love the way this beer just coats the mouth.
It's a good beer, no a great beer. But for some reason I don't want another after drinking one. OSA gets better with time.

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Photo of GodOfBeer
3.81/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I guess this beer is two years old? Pours a very nice deep brown with a thick tan head, lots of carbonation.

Smells like a stout, some spiceyness, molasses, some burnt notes.

Tastes okay, caramel, molasses and some wierd dark fruitiness.

Creamy mouthfeel, very drinkable, this beer is okay, but I've had better.

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Photo of tai4ji2x
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. had this side by side with a 2008 for comparison.

dark amber brown, almost opaque. gemstone reddish brown under the light. voluminous tan head gradually fades to a thin layer, but replenishes on each sip. moderate, splotchy lace, and lots of it near the end.

smells of caramel with roasted malt note. trace of figs. very grassy hop and hint of earthiness.

taste starts with caramel, diluted molasses, and hints of dried dark fruit. a moderate, grassy hop bitterness then takes quick control, with a trace of acidity before the semi-dry finish with a hint of more caramel.

smooth at first, and ever so slightly thin, but quickly into a relqtively astringent finish. light to moderate carbonation gives additional body, and is lightly prickly at times.

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Photo of Onenote81
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cellared bottle consumed on 1/27/09.

Pours as it should, a very dark ruby, with just wisps of light coming through on the edges. Huge rocky tan head that retains great. Decent lacing. Nothing smells off on this, for sure. Definitive gingerbread, mint, cherry, and slight molasses.

I just finished the '08 version of this about an hour ago, and this one crushes it in flavor! Much better bold, spicy wallop. The gingerbread and cherry are much more bold in this beer. The mouthfeel on this one is much better too, as it goes down alot thicker than the '08. I like that.

I heard that the '08 was a step back from the '07 when consumed on time. Well, I can tell you that the '07 holds up very well to cellaring. I hope the '08 tastes like this next year...

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Photo of sacullen
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip.

A: Very dark brown. I can't see anything when held up to my kitchen light. Pours with a nice beige head that quickly dissipates to a crown and doesn't lace well (could always be my glass).

S: The sweetness and spiciness is very evident in the smell, mostly nutmeg with dark fruits. The aroma seems to be muted.

T: The sweetness comes out strongest in the taste, almost cola-like. Slightly bitter finish.

M: Medium bodied, strong carbonation.

D: Hard to say with this one. I think the only thing that keeps the drinkability low is the taste. I certainly couldn't drink this one all night.

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Photo of curasowa
3.56/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Tasted with a bottle from '08 and this one was much better. Poured the same dark red color with 1 finger of light brown head. Some nice spice in the aroma, mostly cloves and nutmeg. Also a hint of some sourness, maybe due to the aging. The spices are more subtle in this beer compare to the '08, and there is some roasted malt coming through too. The hops make themselves more known here then in the '08 as well. Has a slightly lingering bitter finish.

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Photo of robbyc1
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a vertical tasting with the 06 and 08, this will good came in last. Mostly because it seemed very closed, same great black look and a nice off white head. The nose and flavor had muted chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, no hops flavor to speak of, but dry finish like the rest. Chalkyness in the mouthfeel, just not as much flavor or drinkability as the others. I have a few more I'll keep around to see if it evolves, but it's overshadowed by the others for now.

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Photo of wl0307
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Happy New Year! I tasted the luscious 2006 vintage last night before the final countdown, and this bottle should come as suitable for a toast on this first day of the new year~~ BB Oct. 09, served cool in a large tulip-shaped wine glass.

A: almost identical with the 2006 vintage, deep dark brown in colour with dim mahogany glows against light; the creamy dark tan head retains well, on top of very fine and constant carbonation.
S: luscious longan-fruits and flowery scent dominate the nose, showing a predominant fruity presence of US hops, on top of light traces of treacles, honey, dark malts, black date jam, and faint hints of raisins and cinnamon. Overall, compared with the 2006 vintage, the aroma is explicitly hoppy here, in lack of the more complex elements endowed by spices and colourful maltiness. Integrated, but at the expense of a better complexity, if I may.
T: aromatic and complex - sour-sweet fat black prunes, delicious dried longan-fruits, and a distinct fruitiness of lychee-fruit-shell are backed by flowery hops, lightly smoked & chocolatey dark malts, bitter cinnamon spice, and a lightly sour tinge of prunes in the luscious aftertaste. The finish continues with the aromatic main flavour, but also goes deep on the herbal bitterness and feels semi-dry on the palate.
M&D: the recipe is quite similar to the previous vintages that I've tried, but the spice input seems to be much lighter and the hoppyness comes fuller IMO. Overall, this vintage is still young, refreshing on the palate, while in comparison with the 2006 vintage it's lighter-bodied, lighter in taste and more bitter in the aftertaste due to the hop performance. All in all, still a very enjoyable winter warmer this is!

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Photo of jpaltan
3.26/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Comapring this against a 2004. 2007 seems a bit darker in the body, but the head is more white than eggshell. Smell is quite spicy. maybe some cinnamon and some piney smells in there too. The smell is actually enough to turn me off a bit. I'm expecting it to be quite unbalanced and too spicy. Not really impressed with the taste either. Beer has too many spices. The hop finish does the best that it can do to try and mellow out those spices, but fails at its job. The upside of the beer is its mouthfeel which has just enough carbonation to carry the overspiced taste out. Overall, I was really expecting a great beer here, but it has just fallen short for me.

I'm hoping the 2004 will be better.

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Photo of JRed
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown almost black color with cinnamon head resting on top. A sweet aroma of spices, dark fruit, and black cherries. Taste is quite intriguing, one of dark fruit, a touch of the cherries again, spices, pine notes, and molasses. Light in body makes it very easy to drink along with an amiable ABV. Soft carbonation tickles the tongue while you try to wrestle with the balance of flavors. Wet Fruit gives way to dry hops toward the finish creating an mystical forbidden fruit personality. Highly enjoyable for fall or winter warming up.

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Photo of SeanRedd
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank this outta a big ass 50 oz bottle after a year cellared. Poured brown, dark ruby with a thick dark beige head that retained for awhile. Scent is light; spice and roated malt. Dry ale, hitting a touch of cocoa, light roast, cinnamon, and a dark fruit tang. Tad of nutmeg and molasses. Blended well, a warming ale with a refreshing body and session ABV. Im looking forward to the next 38 oz.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought a bottle at Cloverleaf in Royal Oak, $1.89 and 1-yr old. The beer is dark red color, a little brown, big tan foam. The smell is spicy in a pumpkin pie way, maybe nutmeg and cinnamon, possibly pine needle, also roasted malts. The taste is strong with spices and toasty malt. A little bitter in the back end. The body could be a little thicker for my tastes, but I guess this is a classic so why mess with it for my selfish needs?

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Photo of Vixie
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance at first seems very dark, but when backed by some light, you can see it's a nice deep burgandy color. Nicely attractive. Has a nice tan head.

Smell is quite strong, the main thing it was to me was sweet malt, with a few spices mixed in.

Taste to me was nice, came across as a bit smokey. Definite coffee and chocolate notes in there. Really a nice mixing of flavors, I am drinking this on a chilly night, and the taste just seems to fit.

Mouthfeel was nice and solid, the carbonation helped make it feel good. This is not a wimpy beer, and has a lingering hops taste.

I found this to be a nice drinkable beer. This is just what it is supposed to be, a beer to enjoy during the Christmas season, and this one is easy to enjoy.

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Photo of housten
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.

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Photo of champ103
3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown with some ruby highlights around the edges. A two finger beige head forms and leaves sticky lace.
S: Roasted malt with some chocolate. Lots of spices and peppermint.
T: Again roasted malt and some spices. Peppermint and pine flavors that are still plenty strong after a year of aging.
M/D: A medium to full body, but just a bit over carbonated for my tastes. This is very easy to drink. Something I could session.

The peppermint spice flavor is toned down a bit from the 08. Though it is still really strong. I would have liked a bit more roasted flavor to come out. Still, a very nice Our Special Ale.

Edit on 12/31/09: I had another one a few days ago, and this is not aging as well as I would like. After two years, a prominent sour flavor prevails and not much else. Maybe light roasted flavors, but that is it.

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Our Special Ale 2007 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 349 ratings.