Our Special Ale 2010 (Anchor Christmas Ale) - Anchor Brewing Company
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Ratings: 493 | Reviews: 353 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by DavoleBomb:
3.7/5 rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Poured into a pint glass.
3.5 A: Dark brown, black if not near light. Two fingers of frothy light tan head with below average retention, but moderate amounts of lacing.
4.5 S: The aroma is very appropriate for a beer with "Christmas" in the title. Lots of spices in the form of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamon, and gingerbread. Cake icing, spruce, candied dark fruits, resiny and herbal hops. Light toastiness and nuttiness. Quite pleasant.
3.5 T: Taste is pretty bland compared to the nose, but still good enough. Definitely a big hop component with a moderate bitterness and sticky piney and orange hop flavor. This is surprisingly dry, which is a bit shocking considering how sweet the aroma is. Some of the spices come through well (especially cinnamon, spruce, and nutmeg), but not much of the cake and candied fruit flavors. This allows for the roasty toastiness and nuts to come through more, but I'd prefer a cakey sweetness.
3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate amounts of carbonation and somewhat spritzy. Reasonably smooth, but I wish this was thick and rich and super creamy.
3.5 D: Having recently had my first St. Arnold Reserve #9, I suppose I was hoping this would be somewhat like that after the nose gave me a similar vibe. The problem is that I didn't get much of what I wanted/expected. This isn't a bad beer, but doesn't deliver on the sweetness and warmth (or even spiciness in the taste) that I associate with some of the best Christmas beers.
Serving type: bottle
12-11-2010 04:58:58 | More by DavoleBomb
More User Reviews:
3.9/5 rDev -0.5%
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 seems to read OOE. My seventh vintage of this stuff; expectations are good based on previous vintages.
Poured into a clear balloon snifter.
A - Pours a thick ruddy caramel, with one finger of fluffy tan head that recedes to a fat bubbly ring quickly. Looks much thicker and fuller than some of the previous years' vintages. Some scattered lacing on the glass. Looks pretty good.
S - Smell is much darker and richer than some of the other years' vintages also. Dark dried spice rack notes - oregano, thyme, lemongrass, basil, licorice. And then the dark fruit kicks in: raisins, figs, dates. Twiggy earthiness, and some caramel malts.
T - Taste is quite rich and complex. Dark coffee bean roast, chocolate malt, vinous dark fruits: figs, raisins, dates, creamy caramel malt, herbal spice rack notes, licorice, & some leafy earthiness.
M - Feel is creamy and frothy with some dark herbal bitterness, tart dark fruits, and some sticky caramel lingering on the palate. Medium-full bodied with good carbonation that has held up well. Feels more thick and full-bodied than some of the older vintages I've had.
Overall, I'd say this year's vintage has held up just fine, and I would be well interested to see how it improves in the years to come.
Anchor Brewing Our Special Ale 2010 ---4/5.
Serving type: bottle
12-31-2013 01:41:02 | More by mfnmbvp
3.69/5 rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Enjoyed alongside Anchor Christmas 2012 and Anchor Christmas 2011 on Black Friday 2013:
Pours a hazy dark chestnut brown. Dark mahogany, actually. The head pinnacled at about a half-inch, and then receded slowly to a sloshy beige cap. A bit of thick curly lace.
Sturdy malts with pine, clove, brown sugar sweetness, and pumpernickel. Lightly spiced, in its age, with flourishes of allspice and coriander. Still dark and almost grapey in its fruitiness. Decently roasty, but with a gentle softness of age mellowness.
A good bit of bitterness, and the spices have been dumbed down quite a bit. The pine lingers, along with clove and dark sugars. There's a well-accomplished malt base going on, and the result proves simple, but delicious. Added aging has given this a push of dark fruits; grape, dried fig, and prune, but they're all very quiet and blended. Some licorice and an added vinous note from the aging that gives it complexity.
A nice full body with light warmth. Light carbonation is enough to push this one forward and allows the flavors to evolve, specifically, the fruit flavors. This beer really held together, texturally.
2010 didn't do too badly after three years of sitting in the bottle. I probably should've cracked this one open last year, I think it would've come out supreme. Still, not a bad representation of Anchor's special seasonal.
Serving type: bottle
12-01-2013 23:32:55 | More by thecheapies
Our Special Ale 2010 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 493 ratings.