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Our Special Ale 2010 (Anchor Christmas Ale) - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Our Special Ale 2010 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 2010 (Anchor Christmas Ale)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

505 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 505
Reviews: 353
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 13.04%
Wants: 6
Gots: 59 | 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:
Beer added by: EgadBananas on 10-31-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 505 | Reviews: 353
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Photo of DrewKid4
4.85/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Black as can be with a brown with orange tinted head. Leads on to being a chocolate stout or heavy porter based off of the appearance.

S: The smell of nutmeg and cinnamon is very Christmasy and not overpowering. If there were Christmas car fresheners, this could be one.

T: Slight nutmeg and cinnamon kick up front with a smooth clove finish.

M: Very smooth. Not exactly "milky," but surprisingly well bodied without any downgrading aftertaste (crisp finish that begs for more).

D: Probably my favorite winter beer (so far), and one I will sure be stocking up on for cold nights.

Photo of rkonks
4.83/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Excellent beer, right up my alley. Exceptionally smooth, nice and dark colored. 2 finger head for 2 minutes. $10.99 for 6 at Total Wine in Tampa. Im going back tomorrow to pick up a 12 pack. It tastes like an ale, but not supper hoppy. You must try it.

Photo of ClarkPinnock
4.78/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Dark chocolate color. Nearly, but not quite, opaque. Good lacing throughout.Smell is roasted malt with a hint of vanilla.

A full mouthfeel with the perfect amount of carbonation. Chocolate, toffee, and a hint of caramel in the taste with a vanilla finish.

A filling beer but not too heavy. Enough flavor to enjoy just one of these and be content.

Photo of DaveHS
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

After last year's excellent release, I am excited to see what Anchor has come up with this year!

A-Dark molasses, with 1/4 inch of bubbly milk chocolate colored head. Leaves thin, soapy lacing.

S-Smells like my grandmother's attic. Mothballs, potpourri, earthy sweetness, and the requisite cinnamon and nutmeg.

T/M-Wonderfully complex, hard to nail down. There's a lot going on here. There's a pleasant, bready caramel malt thing going on here that I can't get enough of. The cinnamon and nutmeg are perfectly integrated. The carbonation is vibrant and chewy. Everything about this beer makes sense. It's an absolute success, and further proof that Anchor is one of the most consistent micro breweries on the West Coast.

D- I will be buying some of this for the cellar.

Photo of DmanGTR
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

Photo of atorres600
4.72/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love the smell. I smell a touch of pine. Just a little nutty which was nice as well. Not hoppy which was nice considering i have had some hoppy beer. Goes down very smooth. I will buy another 6 pack for the fridge. my favorite winter warmer of the season so far.

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.72/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ahhh. Anchor's Our Special Ale, one of the highlights of the winter season.

A - This year's incarnation is much darker than usual, pouring with an appearance that looks like a Porter, CDA or BSDA. Tan head sits upon a near-black body, depositing plentiful lace upon the glass' side.

S - A trifecta of malt, spice, and hop: big plum, carob and dark fruity notes (malt); spicy nutmeg, clove, cardamom, cinnamon (spice); sweetly herbal leafy tea impressions (hop); these are the dominant themes of the nose. It smells so delicious, so balanced, so masterfully created.

T - The balance and sublime quality of the nose is essentially transposed to the flavor. In the flavor there is an additional element of roastiness that is not readily apparent in the aroma; it works quite well (as does everry aspect of this brew.) The only thing holding me back from granting a '5' for taste is the notion that it could hypothetically be more flavorful.

M - Perfectly creamy, distinctly 'Belgian-esque' in feel.

D - I love this beer every year, but this may be the best yet.

Photo of thegodfather2701
4.69/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Very dark brown with auburn hues. It has a mocha head that dissipates slowly.

S-Very potent and complex nose. It consists of nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, and a hint of clove.

T-Dark Chocolate, hint of coffee, earthy. The dark chocolate flavor mellows to milk chocolate as it warms and also a hint of nutmeg and pine emerge.

M-Chewy, thick, and just the right amount of carbonation.

D-Very complex, refreshing, and festive making it a true session beer.

Overall, I love these beers. I look forward to them every year. I highly recommend this vintage.

Photo of billybob
4.63/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

first let me say i just loved this beer. everything from the bottle and labeling to the smell and most of all the taste that's just great. pours dark dark brown one inch tan head and a fair amount of lace. moderate aromas of spice dark fruit and roasted malt. roasted malt that's slightly bitter, spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, brown sugar, prunes all mixing and combining on your taste buds. and add that crisp sharp mouth feel and you have good beer. hope someone buy's me some for christmas.

Photo of bac0n
4.62/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I first discovered this beer in 2002 when, after a long and grueling drive home through a snowstorm one friday after work, I trudged back out to the liquor store on the next block and chatted with the guy running the place as had become my friday ritual. He introduced me to this beer, and it was love at first sip. Saturday I trudged back through the snow and got two more, and Anchor's Christmas beer has been as much a part of the Christmas experience as decorating the tree ever since.

Appearance: In a word, dark as pitch. Even holding it up to the light reveals only the slightest nod of burgundy. A nice frothy head leaves laces up the side of the glass as it pours.

Smell: Cinnamon & Ginger are at the forefront, but some sweetness & nutmeg tickle the nosehairs as well.

Taste: Tastes like a comfortable chair in a warm and cozy house when it's snowing outside and you don't have to be anywhere. The cinnamon you smelled was no illusion - it's at the forefront with that ginger right behind it, accompanied by the hints of chocolate and coffee you would expect from a dark ale. There's a sorta smoothness that shows up just before the finish that I'm trying to put a finger on. Maybe vanilla? Who knows. Finishes on a slightly hoppy and sour note. A complex beer great for those occasions when you're not in any hurry to be anywhere and sippin' is about the right speed, to be sure.

Mouthfeel: Pretty good body to this bad-boy, I would put it on par with a porter.

Drinkability: This is a sippin' beer. If it's taking any less than a half hour to get through a pint, you're drinking this way too fast. The body coupled with the complexity forces this to be drank real slow-like.

Preferred Serving Type: Served cold in a wide lipped pint glass, in a comfortable chair with loved-ones close by, preferably with glasses of their own to enjoy.

In short, Anchor's Christmas Ale will always hold a special place in my heart. So many great Christmas memories have been made with a pint of this in my hand that I can't begin to list them all. This is right at the top of the list of my very favorite beers, and perhaps no beer is as inseparable from a particular time of year as is this one.

Photo of tapman
4.62/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown/ black with deep ruby highlights. Large beige head of creamy foam.

Oh Boy! Cinnamon, ginger bread, all spice, brown sugar, licorice, and a chocolate-orange aroma like one of those, well, chocolate-oranges. A little cocoa comes out as it warms.

Some tangy hop notes with big licorice notes. Malt is slightly astringent, though tastes more like a grown-up dessert (flourless chocolate cake). Cocoa powder in the finish. There is a lactic sour tang, however.

A little dryer than previous offerings.

Fantastic beer in an always interesting style. My favorite will always be the 2006 vintage. I once gave up a seat on an airplane for a layover three hours later at the san Francisco airport so I could get fresh pints at the Anchor bar in the terminal.

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Our Special Ale 2010 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 505 ratings.