Our Special Ale 2009 (Anchor Christmas Ale) - Anchor Brewing Company
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Ratings: 404 | Reviews: 340 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Kinsman:
4.08/5 rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Found this one still on the shelf at the local store and decided to give it a try. At first the idea of a Christmas beer 2 months late seems kind of odd, but good beer knows no seasons. Anyway its nice to be able to find this now even though the shelves are getting flooded with the new spring seasonals.
Appearance took me back a bit at first. Perhaps life is like each years new release of "Our Special Ale", you never know what you're going to get. The body pours dark brown, almost black except for some light coming through near the stem in my glass. Head is a nice foamy tan, but faded too quickly even with a rather hard pour.
The nose is upfront with the rather obvious cinnamon and nutmeg spices. Which spices are actually used you can never be sure with but those two would be my guess. Also in there is a sweet scent which suggest the possible use of a caramel malt.
Taste is every thing you would expect from the nose and then some. A solid backbone of malt provides some sweeter notes followed quickly by the spice. Finishes with a little bitterness but nothing really out there.
Solid medium body feel with a nice warming effect from the spices. Really helps make this a "Winter Warmer"
Overall a very drinkable winter warmer. It's a shame Christmas is at the beginning of winter because this could be perfect all season long for a nice warming beer after a long day in the cold.
Serving type: bottle
02-11-2010 21:15:02 | More by Kinsman
More User Reviews:
3.9/5 rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
12 oz. bottle, with a more than obvious vintage date. Code on the back label reads 90H. My fifth vintage of this annual winter beer from Anchor.
Poured into a clear balloon snifter.
A - Pours just over a finger of thick frothy tan head. The head gets noticeably thicker with each vintage, as they get fresher. Body is an opaque chestnut with lots of caramel around the edges when held to the light.
S - Lots of raisins / dates / figs / dried fruit on this year's vintage. Twigs, spices, leaves, licorice / anise, ginger, potpourri, and some creamy chocolate malt.
T - Taste is of thick creamy caramel / butterscotch / toffee, chocolate malts, cocoa powder, cola, and some cream. Spices have fallen more into the background, unlike what the aroma would suggest. Some herbal & chocolatey bitterness on the finish. Some ginger spice noticeable.
M - Feel is smooth and creamy, with good healty carbonation. Some chocolate bitterness lingering on the palate.
Overall, probably my second favorite of the vintages I have tried, next to the 2005, which seemed to have been the best for me so far. Glad to have tried it, and I would be interested to see how it holds up in the years to come.
Anchor Brewing Our Special Ale 2009 ---4/5.
Serving type: bottle
12-28-2013 00:58:42 | More by mfnmbvp
Our Special Ale 2009 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 404 ratings.