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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)

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

389 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 389
Reviews: 348
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.34%
Wants: 3
Gots: 11 | FT: 1
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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Ratings: 389 | Reviews: 348 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of blackie


4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: Pours a 1/2", deep khaki colored head atop a beautiful mahogany liquid. Good retention after a slow recession.

s: Very similar to the OSAs of years past. They claim to change the recipe yearly, but the changes must be trivial. Anyway, who cares, I love it as is. A deliciously dry, woody cedar-carob aroma dominates. Smooth toasted malts give a well checked sweetness. Spiced for sure, but it's almost indescribable...maybe cinnamon bark and ginger. Fresh green hops in the back. Very earthy.

m: very smooth medium carbonation and a very clean, medium body

t: Quite good, but finishes a little more weakly than I remember. Very similar to the aroma. Dry through and through, with the original cedar-carob flavors welcoming a more toasty barley flavor after the swallow. Woody and earthy. Finishes with a long lingering toasted cedar flavor.

d: very enjoyable, not a problem at all...always a favorite and I've collected 3 of my 5 year vertical so far

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2007 03:20:39 | More by blackie
Photo of vdragani

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Drunk cold in standard pint glass.
Dark, rich chocolate color.
Light tan head, dissipates slowly.
Smooth taste, however ends flat on the pallet.
Slight hints of chocolate with slight earthy after taste.
Very little hop taste or smell present.
Did not leave me with a full feeling afterward like some holiday beers, very drinkable throughout a long holiday gathering.

Will buy more for Christmas with the in-laws...

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2007 21:25:35 | More by vdragani
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

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

On tap last night at the Pizza Plant,poured from the tap a dep dark chesnut brown with tight formed 1/2 finger tannish colored head.Pleasant aromas and not as spiced as is years past in my opinion some noticable nutmeg and ginger spice but there was a nice earthy element to the nose along with a whiff of leafy hop.Again the winter spice mixture is lighter but noticeable with some nutmeg and orange cardamom(spelling?) notes with a racey ginger flavor hitting a little harder in the middle,slightly roasted with a drying earthiness in the finish.Anchor did well again with their annual holiday season brew,well done.

Serving type: on-tap

11-20-2007 21:05:46 | More by oberon
Photo of Manosbeeroffate


3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another offering from the beerguy at McKean&Charles (Waldoboro) Pours dark brown with a a nice medium head on it. Can't smell too much but that might be my sinuses again. Taste is a really unique flavoring of what seems like licorice, sweet malt, other spices I can't figure out what but seems to relate to christmas with a slight bitter finish. Overall a really good beer and one that is out of the ordinary. This is the first time I had this beer, never had any of the other vintages but would like to try the others sometime.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2007 01:50:02 | More by Manosbeeroffate
Photo of Drew966


3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Our Special Ale 2007 (Anchor Christmas Ale) pours a dark brown color with a tan head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. There's a hint of spruce in the aroma. There is a nice thick mouthfeel. In the flavor there's a touch of spruce, some ginger, some hops, some citrus, some cocoa powder in the finish and some various and sundry other spices that I don't recognize. Some years are better than others, but I always look forward to OSA and I always lay a few bottles down. Definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2007 00:56:53 | More by Drew966
Photo of bort11


3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a SA pint glass. A tall chunky tan head goes all the way to the rim and takes forever to settle down. Large bubbles are trapped in the foam. Color is a dark red/black with ruby highlights when held to the glass. Very active carbonation streamers can be seen racing up the inside wall of the glass. A very beautiful beer to look at.

Smell has a mild herbal hoppiness to it with a sweet malt backbone. Taste is even more herbal with hints of fig, orange rind, and even some chocolatey notes in the malt.

Mouthfeel is is medium bodied. i have always wanted to age a OSA, I will definitely lay some of these down for next year.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2007 04:04:27 | More by bort11
Photo of tavernjef


4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This years batch is made with Quercus lobata or commonly know as Valley Oak and is native to North America and fairly restricted to the areas within California's Central Valley.

Now for the beer - Deep dark deceptive brown with a slight mahogany edging. Lofty topping of light sandy brown creamy foam builds up nicely. Keeps a firm, thickly placed collar and skim present once faded. Incredible lacing all over the place in lots of snowflaked spotting and strings.

Strong ginger spiced aroma with a sllight cocoa powdering and some black licorice. Kinda has a high-ended spruce tip freshness which is somehow being derived from the oak? Or so I'm guessing. But man it's Nice.

Taste is subtle and complexingly fun to behold as its Christmas spicyness is singing noel in harmony with a firm sweet backing of roast and oatmeal. Tangy and bright, yet dark and roasty. Quite a unique balance. However I tend to get more of the spices winning out over the top then the roast. The ginger is snappy and crunchy while the rest of the tang is all cherry/sherry-like with smurfings of cocoa, molasses, and vanilla. Overall tangy and kinda quick with a long alluringly rich and nearly port-like finish with only a ghostly whisper of wood showing way late.

Quick, tangy, fairly fullish body that trails off well and has a fairly snappy yet creamy touch to its character. Again, keeping a unique balance and holding onto a fine finish that lasts for astonishing length.

Anchor does it again! This years OSA batch seems to have the reach last years didn't. A nice treat to enjoy and share for the holidays.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2007 03:36:09 | More by tavernjef
Photo of RichardWalter


3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark amber brown almost stout nitrogen like. Head has staying power. Strong taste, earthy and not too spicey. Hint of cinnamon & nutmeg. Aroma is sweet candylike. Taste is strong but not overpowering. Bottle and label are striking. Mouth feels a little dry afterward. Alcohol certainly starts the holiday feeling.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2007 03:14:02 | More by RichardWalter
Photo of MusicmanSD


4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Well, its been awhile since a review, so here it goes. Last year, I got a six pack of the 2006 stuff, and maybe its because my palate wasn't as refined as it was back then (after a few months of homebrewing at least!), I noticed alot more about the malt profile than I had with the 2006 version. Compared to last years offering, this seems much smoother and more refined, almost like it's been aged! Much less hops and spices comparibily, but very, VERY well balanced.
The beer pours dark black with a ruby hue when held up to the light, and has that stout-like brown head, which seems to fade away fairly fast for such a heavy malt beer. It smells, again, stout-like with spiced edges, but not burnt. Maybe a porter is a fairer comparison. The mouthfeel is good, nothing to write home about, but better than anything comercially. Drinkability is always the downfall of the holiday beers with the complexity. After about two, I could see a need to switch to a pilsner urquell to feel a bit less heavy ;)

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2007 07:44:19 | More by MusicmanSD
Photo of IntriqKen


3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured beautifully deep, reddish, amber with a full finger and a half of thick tan bubbles. The head melts slowly leaving behind very sticky mapping in it's wake.

Aromas are a popourie of holiday spices.... ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Somehow at the end there is a distinct 'bubblegum' aroma. Not sure where that comes from but it seems to disappear as the beer warms.

Taste is slightly warm alcohol with toasted amber malt sweetness and the blending of the same holiday spices found in the aroma with the addition of some citrus peel hops at the end. Definitely more hops than I've ever noticed in past years.

Aftertaste is a mix of spices and citrus hops...very little sweetness but it still seems smooth.

This vintage will be very interesting to see how it ages.
As it is, the hop finish may seem a little rough for a holiday brew, but it's enjoyable and slightly addictive already.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2007 03:48:49 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of Lothore


4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep mahogany color with a 1 finger mocha head which fades fairly quickly.

S- Smells sweet and full of spice. Nutmeg, cinnamon and possibly some pumpkiny tones are present.

T- Taste is suprisingly mild, coffee, nutmeg as in the nose, slightly bitter hop element.

M- Creamy smooth with a good amount of carbonation.

D- This is extremely drinkable. I think once its had a chance to lose that little hop edge after a year or two it will be an excellent session beer for christmas.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2007 01:57:06 | More by Lothore
Photo of Halcyondays


4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, 2007 edition,

A: Pours a dark brown, with a thick white head, leaving a foamy layer at the apex of the liquid, little lacing though.

S: A complex smell of malt, spruce, cherry Life Savers, bubblegum, and nutmeg, very inviting and soothing.

T: Taste consists primatily of that sweet malt and spruce flavour, with spice (cinnamon and nutmeg), and molasses.

M: Mouthfeel is a little weak and watery, would like a little more heft, even though it is 5.5%, I won't fault them that much.

D: Another good tasty OSA is present here in the 2007. This is much more like the 2005 than the 2006, though both are great beers. This is good stuff, Anchor consistently puts out one of the best Winter Warmers on the market today.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2007 01:33:19 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of ablaze

Alberta (Canada)

4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep cola brown, almost black. Tan head that sticks around for a very long time with great lacing.

Scent is maaaallllty with a nutmeg edge, maybe a hint of spruce.

Thick, good carbonation, and quite dry. Huge grainy malt, roasted and bitter. Very nutty and earthy, like pecans. Spices chime in nicely and don't overpower the other elements, along with sour dark fruits, a hint of coffee and chocolate notes.

So delightful...the head and lacing are quite impressive. I got the last visible case in my store, and I hope there's more next month. Cozy snowy days, here I come (and the label is quite appealing too).

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2007 00:10:01 | More by ablaze
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Anchor- Christmas Ale 2007

A- Dark ruby red with a thick sticky head. Messy lacing down the glass.
S- Ginger, cinnamon, and pink bubble gum?!
T- Ginger up front with a touch of cinnamon, clove, and caramel. I definitely detect pink bubblegum and juicyfruit gum flavors?!
M- Sweet and slighty dry and floral.

Overall- This was tasty but damn it it didn't taste like bubblegum. Weird. I gotta taste this 2007 on tap to compare!

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2007 22:30:49 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

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

Pours a crisp dark amber almost brown with a thin off-white head that diminishes to a ring. Aroma is dominated by pine with spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon present as well. Taste is more of the same, decent balance between caramel malts and pine hops. The beer is light bodied and low in carbonation. This one makes for a very enjoyable winter brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2007 02:01:58 | More by atsprings
Photo of hwwty4


4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Chimay chalice. Pours a nice dark brown with ruby tones when the light hits it, with a nice 2 inch creamy tan head. Nose is of nutmeg and cinnamon. Reminds me of a lighter version what egg nog smells like. Tastes like Christmas, nutmeg and cinnamon with carmaly malts that come out at the end of the beer. Great taste. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with that coats you mouth in a nicy oily feel. I would have no problem bellying up to the holiday table and drinking a sixer of this in a night.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2007 21:14:04 | More by hwwty4
Photo of warmstorage


4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle from six pack that was $8.99 at BevMo in Natomas, Sacramento area. (Notably, 750ml foil capped champagne magnums/gift bottles were also available for around $13.)

Appearance:deep reddish brown, medium reddish beige head that is dense and leaves significant lacing. Head sticks around.

Aroma: Spices dominate, also a deep earthiness. Malt sweetness. Could be a little more pronounced for the style.

Taste: Big spices, sweet tanginess. Nutmeg? Cinnamon? Allspice? A little clove? Perhaps even a tiny hint of cumin? There is such an intense spiciness, and a perfume-like spice character, that it's difficult to figure out what might be in there. Deep maltiness, minimal hoppiness but enough to keep it from being sickly sweet.

Mouth: Fairly high carbonation but still a thick mouth, finishes long with carbonation and warm spices.

Overall: As usual for Anchor OSA, this is a very nice spiced xmas ale, and something I'll buy and drink more of. That said, it feels a little, I don't know... one-dimensional compared to past years versions. Seems like it could do with a little more alcohol warmth, and perhaps fewer spices, so it felt a little more direct. I mean, complexity is good, but confusion is less good.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2007 21:09:30 | More by warmstorage
Photo of jeffjfindley


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


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 feloniousmonk


4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For the first time since I've been "into"beer, somehow, I actually skipped Anchor Our Special Ale last year...no..way!!! I love this stuff, but I let a winter go by, without tasting it! So, for some kind of penance, I grabbed this years quick as I could (and maybe I'll hunt blue Max for last years....)...and here we go.

I'm pouring this into a dimpled Summit Winter Ale mug, for old times sake, thinking of when I bought it at the old brewery, and when it was my tip jar at the Guthrie, and when that was my favorite winter brew....ah, memories...I'm getting all nostalgic up in here...

Dark mahogany brown color...huge head, toasted tan...
Arousing, and loud aromatics, full of spice...and I haven't gotten anywhere near it...soft, warm, earthy, roasty, redolent with cinnamon and maple and who knows what else...sweet, and gorgeous...I love it...love...it...

Tasting it:...floods the mouth with warmth and deliciousness, cinnamon seems the largest element in the spice component here, but there's more, some other spice that cuts the heat a touch, but I can't identify it...a better tongue than mine, can, perhaps, but ...I delivers a warm, lovely, utterly beautiful flavor I can't otherwise describe...lile cinnamon toast bread dipped in a Tom & Jerry
mix...I like it, though...I really,really like it.

Full-bodied, full-flavored, and long on the tongue and in the memory. Not dazzling or deep, but just this side of delicious.
You can drink, this, and it will please you, it will warm you and you will enjoy being alive. That makes me say "hooray!"

These guys know how to do it! Keep it coming, Anchor, and I'll keep 'em drinking!

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2007 10:49:17 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of YonderWanderer


4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice dark ruby color, almost brown. A thin layer of foam forms, and there's little lacing on the glass.

S: Holiday spices - hints of cinammon, nutmeg, and a few other spices. Very appealing.

T: Delicious. This is a very well-balanced winter warmer. There's some nice hints of nutmeg with a bit of cinammon. Lots of biscuit and caramel/toffee malt this one. A bit of warmth from the alcohol, and a tiny hop bite blend wonderfully.

M: Nicely carbonated, with a crisp finish.

D: This is a great winter warmer, and may become my standard for this winter. I'm really enjoying this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2007 02:47:28 | More by YonderWanderer
Photo of zornbeast


4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first Anchor Special Ale, and a real treat. Smelled of slight holiday spices. Smooth and satisfying on the way down with a great lasting aftertaste. Very Drinkable and could see having several over thanksgiving dinner. I would highly recommend and try to buy agian but at a lesser price than 12.99 a six-pack.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2007 02:33:16 | More by zornbeast
Photo of eatdrinknbmerry


2.7/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Everything about this beer on the outside is great. Nice 1.5" head after initial pour, aromatic holiday spices (all-spice? nutmeg?) and beautiful appearance.

I took a sip, and knew this wasn't the right beer for me. It was very rich in aromatics/spices with a taste that really sustained. I'm more into the simpler brews and I guess with all the holiday beers coming out, it's something new to get acquainted with.

Nonetheless, I can definitely appreciate the craftsmanship behind Anchor's holiday ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2007 00:30:31 | More by eatdrinknbmerry
Photo of GClarkage


3.13/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11/10/07- Purchased at Beverages and More in Colma, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle, 2007 release. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Caramel brown in color with a nice full one inch head. Settles at a light rim and leaves very slim streaky lace marks.

Smell- Traditional Anchor X-mas scents. Cinnimon, nutmeg, clove and evergreen tree like scents. Smells a touch sweet from the malt.

Taste- Really not much of the pine, spruce tree aspect as I have been used to in some past vintages. This one was mostly a dash of cinnimon, clove and nutmeg. Light malt background which gives it some sweetness. A bit more hops than usual.

Mouthfeel- Fairly watery and a bit higher carbonation. Kind of a stale spice like flavor left behind.

Drinkability- Really disappointed in this years release. I thought last years was a let down, this years was not as good. Go back to the 2005 version.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2007 02:35:17 | More by GClarkage
Photo of KarlHungus


4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a clear dark mahogany color. The head is massive, billowy, rocky, creamy, and light tan. The aroma is of ginger, and nutmeg with a hint of cinnamon, and a nice malt backbone. The taste is of like the aroma, but with a little less malt. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, I like this years version a lot more than I liked previous year. It seems to be more spicy and less malty. I look forward to cellaring this and trying it over the years.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2007 03:52:46 | More by KarlHungus
Our Special Ale 2007 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 389 ratings.