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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)

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

499 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 499
Reviews: 353
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 13.01%
Wants: 7
Gots: 57 | 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: EgadBananas on 10-31-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 499 | Reviews: 353 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of matty
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown colored beer with a slowly fading head.Looks like a stout.Aroma is grassy.Taste is cocoa,coffee,bitters with maybe a hint of some kind of dark fruit.Relatively smooth and goes down easy for a dark beer.It's a pretty decent offering that I most likely would recommend and buy again.

matty, Nov 22, 2010
Photo of DoktorZee
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drunk from a sub-pint glass at a beer-tasting event. Didn't see the bottle to determine best before date, but it was the 2010 edition, and it's not Xmas yet so it's bound to be fresh.

A - beautiful dark ruby color with moderate head; not much obvious carbonation and the head dissipates fairly quickly with little lacing.

S - very interesting and hard to place spices on the nose; maybe some clove?

T - this is where it really falls down for me; after some promise on the nose and visually the mixture of spices is very hard to resolve, except for an intense bitterness mid-way through the experience. Again, a big mix of spices (clove, anise?) combined with a bit of coffee and bitter dried berries dominate after the first second.

M - mouthfeel just doesn't seem right, with the bitterness lingering excessively. Definitely "light" for a beer that initially appears dark visually.

D - really not a great drinkability for me; this first bottle will definitely be my last until perhaps next year, and even then i'll be challenged.

This was an interesting beer that I'm glad tried, but overal I'm fairly dissatisfied with the final result. This one just didn't do it for me: too complex with unresvoled bitter notes that ruined it for me.

DoktorZee, Nov 22, 2010
Photo of thekoz
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this extremely dark beer (very deep brown, almost black) into a pint glass. Had a nice 1/4 inch tan head that hung around for a while.

Can smell some nutmeg, cinnamon, and other spices. You

Nice warming flavor with a good mouth feel. The spice flavor is subdued and not in your face. Very malty. The beer is slightly sweet, and not dry. I get a tad bit of alcohol flavor, which is nice for the style. Would love to cellar some of this for a year or two, and let it really develop and open up.

Small tight bubbles got perfectly with the beer.

Very drinkable, but not thin at all. Not a session beer, but a perfect winter beer.

thekoz, Nov 22, 2010
Photo of hustlesworth
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- deep dark brown with copper highlights. the rich tan head has both a wrinkly hoppy look and a raw biscuit roasted look. it's very sturdy and firm and slow to recede with heavy lace crusted to the glass.

S- smells very earthy and woodsy with a touch of brown sugary sweetness and allspice. toffee, caramel, molasses, vanilla, a toasted malt sweetness play around with some light smoke and cocoa.

T- bittersweet and woodsy and herbal with some fruity tartness on the back end. very much like herbed spiced porter. fleeting notes of smoke, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, allspice, pepper, and honey all give my brain funny ideas and it is hard to even speculate what's really in here. none of these spices, if any of them are even included in the reciape, are overbearing or anything more than extremely subtle and i like it that way. cranberry juice tartness works nicely with roasted and chocolate flavors that give way to damp wood, soil, cedar and stone. what's missing is the forward piney cypress that was used in the 2009 edition and i'm trying to figure out where the ginkgo comes in to play. were the seeds or leaves used? what the hell does ginkgo even taste like? was a small portion of the malt smoked with ginkgo wood? is that even possible? too many questions. finishes robust savory with lingering woodsy aftertaste with some herbal hop flavor.

MF- under medium carbonation and dry on the lips with some stickiness. body is soft and somewhat powdery with a creamy feel from the carbonation level.

D- nice to have a quality american winter warmer that isn't 700.5% abv, this year's offering is tasty and drinkable and the whole secret ingredients and different trees each year just adds intrigue that raises the D. if anyone knows exactly how the ginkgo was used freakin beer mail me cuz i'm dying to know.

hustlesworth, Nov 22, 2010
Photo of DPhillips1027
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark brown almost chocolate in color with moderate carbonation and a creamy tan head.

A sweet piney nose like a rainy fall day in the woods, slightly earthy.

Malty sweetness with a hint of lingering spruce. No noticeably alcohol but a little bit of warmth. Gets a little more complex as the beer warms.

Smooth and not overly carbonated silky feeling. Not a creamy as Guinness.

Could easily stay with this all evening.

DPhillips1027, Nov 22, 2010
Photo of NorCalYeti
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

taste- licorice, cooked meats, coffee, roasted malts, raisins, brown sugar finish

color- chestnut

clarity- clear

smell- licorice, caramel, coffee, roasted malts, raisins

body- well balanced, nice clingy hoppy bite at the front of the mouth and a malt finish, medium-body and length finish

appearance- nice red color with a foamy off-white head

overall impression- i think a lightly more refined effort than last year's offering and a stellar performer that will age nicely

notes and comments- great holiday beer

glassware: pint

NorCalYeti, Nov 22, 2010
Photo of ejimhof
3.05/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pour deep dark black.

Smell: The only thing I smell is Spruce.

Taste: The only thing I taste is Spruce.

Mouthfeel: Thin tasting.

Drinkability: Every year I buy one of these hoping to like it but every year I am disappointed. Almost a drain pour for me.

ejimhof, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer is dark brown and mostly clear with a big tan head of medium bubbles, high carbonation and some lacing.

Aroma is sharp and spicy, almost peppermint but definitely mild cinnamon and something else I can't put my finger on.

There is a toffee like early note to this beer and the finish is bitter with roast and some ash. Its a medium bodied beer and the spices are mild and restricted to the midpalate of the beer. I like it, it will likely be the #1 Winter Warmer soon so I had to get some, plus these beers are a sign that its finally winter. I'll probably drink 6 - 24 of these before the thaw.

drabmuh, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of dwilson01
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from a bottle into my arrogant bastard pint glass, a nice reddish mocha colored head tops the brew about a finger thick. The dissipation is slow and even leaving thick fingers of lacing on the sides of the glass. The body itself is a dark ember color, hellish red tints show up on the edges when held up to the light.

The scents are very subtle but I get a pine and spice smell right off the bat. The malt imparts some smaller amount of roasted nut to it which balances nicely.

The flavor is just what I expected from the smell plus some added sweetness. I get the holiday spices like crazy in the mid-late taste which remind me of sitting near the fireplace sipping some spiced tea. Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice all combined into one lighten the flavor. The woody pine forest flavor comes through in the fore, fades quite a bit and then comes back in the aftertaste to linger for a while. It tastes like it would if I bit into a chuck of douglas fir tree. The late flavors that I pick up are from the malt, a sweeter molasses and maple syrup come on strong to balance the pine and spice flavors that I love so much.

The mouthfeel is great, smooth and sweet, not too thick and not too thin it's just right.

dwilson01, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of ocelot2500
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep mahogany color with a tight mocha head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Smells of sweet, roasted notes with some spices as well.

Tastes of the roasted notes rounded out by spice. Notes of molasses, brown sugar, and chocolate come through. Some vanilla comes through as well and gives an almost cookie like taste. Spices are a bit subdued, but have some cinnamon and nutmeg characteristics. Finishes a bit dry.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

ocelot2500, Nov 20, 2010
Photo of bamadog
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was excited to see this one on the shelves as I was curious to see how this year's would compare to last. Sadly, I came away a little disappointed. Review is from notes taken on 11/14/2010 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a deep, dark, cola brown; starts with a big 2 and 1/2 finger light tan head with decent retention; body is dark, but it allows a little light through with some deep ruby highlights; head fades to a full and uneven cap; fair washes, strands and spots of lacing are left behind on the sides of the glass. Off to a good start.

Smell: Smell is nice and it really smells like Christmas! Lots of spicy gingerbread-like aromas; bit of a nutty scent in the back that brings about a bit of earthy bitterness. This smells great and leads me to believe that it's going to taste as good as it smells.

Taste: Unfortunately, not nearly as good as it smells... Comes across very thin and watery; the gingerbread flavors are there, but watery and muted; slight piney hop bitterness combines with an earthy nuttiness (walnuts?); bit of a sweet malty backing.

Mouthfeel: As mentioned above, it's thin and watery in the body and not quite what I was hoping for; the carbonation is pretty light, but still offers some effervescence to an otherwise dull body; a moderately thick and sticky coating is left on the roof of the mouth.

Drinkability: Not nearly as good as the '09 offering, but decent overall. Hopefully next year the flavors will be just as robust as the nose and the body will be more worthwhile and offer some substance. Moderate ABV would certainly not slow anyone down, so it's definitely drinkable, just not exciting in any capacity.

bamadog, Nov 20, 2010
Photo of depechemode1983
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Poured out a Dark brown with reddish hues and a thick brown head. Theres a little lacing going on evenly around the glass.

Smell - Nutmeg, cinnamon and liquorice with slight nutty smell. This beer smells like Christmas day. Smells and reminds me of eggnog.

Taste - Roasted coffee malts with just a bit of hops in there to balance it out. Taste similar to what it smells like. Some nutty flavors some caramel and Christmas spices. Im sensing a raw honey presence but just slightly. It ends with a roasted coffee finish.

Mouthfeel - A bit lighter bodied that I would have wanted. Its not all that bad though.

Drinkability - Would only be able to enjoy a few of these. I could see the flavors becoming a litte overwhelming. Lots of spices going on.

depechemode1983, Nov 20, 2010
Photo of Star80
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a deep mahogany color, with an inch or so tan head. Beautiful bottle! I guess that effects appearance somehow, right? Anyway, the smell is rich yet not overpowering, some vinous qualities as well as some dark ripe fruits, some faint spice, is that allspice? Perhaps some nutmeg or ginger in there, it is quite complex and difficult to isolate, this beer has always been a bit "mysterious" to me. Could also be some lemon zest in the aroma too. Bottle says natural flavoring added, not sure what exactly that means, I hate the idea of flavoring rather than whole ingredients being used, but I trust Anchor knows what they are doing. Taste is rich and malty, yet not too sweet, with the odd flavor I totally cannot identify in the middle there, which is not great yet not bad, I think it is ginger actually, but like I said there is so much going. Nice clean hops cleans the palate, and if I aged this beer I bet I wouldn't get that, yet I do feel the flavors might need to "meld" a little longer. Would be interesting do one tasting in six months, another in a year etc. I think I might do that! A Christmas in July sort of thing....mouthfeel is full and rich. I think this Ale has a porter base but I could be wrong. I do find these go down very smoothly despite all those flavors which are happening. Taste is similar to what I remember it about five years ago or so, and I will be very excited about letting this beer cellar awhile.

Star80, Nov 20, 2010
Photo of emagana
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

this will be my first christmas bottle from anchor.
poured a Dark brown with a one and a half finger of tanish foam. foam lingered for about a minute.
Aromas of damp wood. some nut meg in the back. also some mint.
Wow now that i tasted it i can see why this one is special. I get ginger bread. some medicinal tones that are pleasing to the tongue.
great body and smoooth. highly drinkable. i sure enjoyed this one.

emagana, Nov 20, 2010
Photo of bohemiandonut
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh bottle Nov. 19th, 2010.

Almost a shame to drink it this fresh, but 2009 was great at birth so this might be as well.

Ahhh... That incomparable Anchor Christmas aroma! Pure Lupulins! Utterly beatific appearance with an immovable head. Treesap black and tan cream ceiling.

I am so happy to revisit this beer! It is amazing! Smells like snow and rum (spiced), with the faintest hint of cedar, nutmeg, pine, and earth. I am not just fucking around when I say it smells like snow.

Tastes of brighter fruit than it likely will when aged, but it's still damn smooth. Roasted malts come through in the finish, rounding out the spice (undefinable) with chocolate and coffee.

When I drink this beer I am instantly transported to my grandparents' home in Michigan. I plan to obtain a case of this as soon as possible. Anchor's best annual offering, and by far the greatest Christmas annual of all time. Brrrrang.

bohemiandonut, Nov 20, 2010
Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It's time for the annual tradition of tasting Anchor's Christmas Ale. I love the beer this time of year.

The 2010 version pours a dark brown with some lighter hues around the edges. A nice centimeter of tan foam swirled above. The nose offers sweet caramel and toffee. The mouthfeel is a little lighter than I would have liked for this brew.

Malty flavors, almost chocolate-like, on the palate. Caramel and toffee abound. Spices build toward the end with a dash of clove and cardamom. As the beer warms cookie and molasses components emerge making it more festive. Balanced, seasonable, and fun. I will enjoy the six pack.

BeardedBoffin, Nov 20, 2010
Photo of Morey
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This fresh sample pours almost black in color. However, when held up to a light this beer reveals it's beautiful red hues and wonderful clarity. Great lacing leaving rings around the glass. Easy on the eyes to say the least.

Smells is a bit more mild than in years past, but the classic molasses and dark brown sugar notes still come through. I'm also getting a Black Mission Fig type of fruitiness.

Ahhhh...the taste. Rich, fruity, slightly sweet, a hint of burnt sugar. I find this beer hard to describe. It's so unique and complex. There isn't any other beer like it.

Medium body with medium to soft carbonation. The dark appearance may scare some non-craft drinkers off, but this would actually be a good beer to have them try. Tis' the season, and it sure beats Bud Light Lime.

I could easily drink a few of these.

Morey's Bottom Line: A must every holiday season. This and Great Lakes Christmas Ale remind me of Christmas the most. I like alot of other winter ales too, but this one is special (hence the name).

Morey, Nov 18, 2010
Photo of wordemupg
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

355ml bottle poured into tulip nov16 2010

A dark brown with a nice two finger dense mocha head that has good retention slowly falling to a thin film leaving a few patches of lace

S nutmeg, cinnamon, some dark toffee and a little bit spruce and pine almost like your walking down a path deep in the forest, its subtle but once you pick it up it's hard to ignore

T thankfully the tastes mimics the smell quite well but I get a little licorice and it's still quite earthy but the forest gets chopped down a little
Edit: a few days later and a slightly warmer bottle I can't shake a chocolate mint flavor, very nice

M not as thick as the color would lead me to believe but still quite far from thin, the bubbles give it a creamy feel that thickens it up a bit

edit: after checking I gave it the exact same 4.4 as last year, keep it up Anchor

D a 4.75 would have been dropped somewhere if I had the option and this one did go down very fast so here's a rare 5

great beer for sure, I can't remember what I gave this beer last year but but from what I recall I enjoyed that one too

wordemupg, Nov 18, 2010
Photo of Daniellobo
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rather iconic and particular Christmas ale. Medicinal, herbal but surprisingly well balanced. Quite the classic...

Presentation: 12 oz bottle. Oval label design in light yellow and green and red content around the central image of the tree used in the celebratory release. Neck label offers a narrative highlighting style and history and a description of the brew. Shows bottling code (OSQ, which stands for September 17th 2010 under Anchor coding? Time to have a clearer bottling code, not that it matters much on this release but...), and notes Alc. by Vol. (5.5%) Served in a tulip glass.

A - Dark brown pour with dark ruby edges, nice off-white head, frothy and rich, good retention and lacing. Nice looking...

S - Complex nose, not too hefty but long with a medicinal-herbal sense, spiced but unable to put the finger to it with a malty sense lingering in the back.

T - Taste almost starts replicating the nose with a rich medicinal-herbal sense, richly spiced but after all not at all overwhelming, some sweet fruit notes emerge as one goes through and are woven back with a dash of wood over malt.

M - Medium body... Medium-light. A bit surprising but the lighter sense works well with the complex flavor, quite a nice balance. Medium-soft carbonation, working well and holding up a nicely spiced creamy feel.

D - Surprisingly drinkable. The brew comes together with great dexterity, for something with such complex-difficult flavor, the mouthfeel, and easy Alc. provide a very approachable ale. Nicely done.

Notes: Very glad to revisit this one again. I missed it last year and feels slightly different from the faint memories I have from previous instances, in any case it remains iconic and quite recommendable. This year I already got a magnum to put on the table around the festivities.

Daniellobo, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: clear dark mahogany brown w/a persistent thick tan head and lacing.
S: holiday spices, dark bread, fruitcake, and a touch of a piney/medicinal mote, but not enough to overshadow the aforementioned.
T: dark caramel malt sweetness is light to medium and balanced out by the spices and smooth underlying hop bitterness. holiday spices linger without overpowering in a mostly dry finish. a touch of cocoa as well.
M: well carbonated, light to medium-bodied. roundish.
D: not too big of a beer but the style in general lends itself more to contemplative sipping.

MrMcGibblets, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of Genuine
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the beautiful stubby bottle, which resulted in a dark ruby red, mahogany in color with a very beautiful 2-3 finger fluffy dirty tan head. Quite beautiful to look at...I've never been so excited for a beer!

Smell - this...this is what totally got me going. First whiff and it was phenomenal! Lots of molasses, vanilla, brown sugar and roasted malts. Along with some cinnamin and ginger notes come across the nose...even more so when it warms up.

Taste - I didn't know what to expect with the taste...but it was very smooth...a lot of roasted malts show up, with the hops stopping in to say hi for a quick second before making an exit...just enough to balance out the malts. The flavor lingers a while after...which turns into some coffee/toffee notes that are absolutely a very nice surprise. I think I've also detected some citrus hops. Flavors come out more as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel - Medium at best, the carbonation is just perfect, not much but not too little either.

Drinkability - I could drink this all night long. This is a wonderful Christmas Beer that'll be perfect for everything this holiday season. Definitely just became one of my favorite Christmas Brews...I'll certainly be purchasing a bunch more 6'ers this season. It Truly is Christmas in a glass.

Genuine, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of silver0rlead
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown with ruby edges and a thick and frothy cola colored head that leaves impressive lacing. The aroma is a melange of spices: ginger, cinnamon, spruce, raisins, molasses, vanilla, plums and figs, piney hops and some dark chocolate. The flavor is similar with notes of ginger and cinnamon upfront, as well as some molasses and spruce, burnt bread, dark fruits (plum, date, raisin), floral hops, chocolate, coffee and a hint of alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium, and the sharpness of the heavy carbonation limits drinkability a bit. This beer is solid year in and year out, it's probably my favorite winter warmer.

silver0rlead, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of msubulldog25
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Among my favorite annual beer traditions is the first OSA each fall, a true harbinger of the the impending Holiday Season. Picked up a 6-pack of 12 oz. bottles this afternoon and poured one to my gold-rimmed and faceted 2007 Anchor pint. Coded dating: "0OA" = Oct. 1st, 2010 for the bottling.

This year's 'Cover Tree' is the proud and stately Ginkgo biloba (also known as Maidenhair or "Living Fossil", as it is believed to be one of the oldest lineage of trees on the planet). Seeds of the tree are often used in Chinese cuisine and its extracts are commonly used pharmaceutical plant, treating circulatory issues, memory and concentration issues, vertigo and dementia. How well one will retain memories of an evening spent consuming a few pints requires further study.

A: A luxurious mahogany - dull brown at first glance, but brilliant crimson when raised to light. Steady carbonation streams aren't glass-filling but help to replenish a once two-fingered tuft of dusty khaki cream as it settles to a lumpy half-coating blanket. Blotchy lace, a jigsawed randomness.

S: Oh geez, such an alluring aroma: dark fruit (figs, dates, raisins) and spiced molasses, vanilla and a whiff of booze, piney and woodsy finish. I rarely impose my beliefs on others, but I'll say this: if you dislike this aroma...well, there's something wrong with you. Just a little more strength and endurance and this reaches 'exceptional'.

T: A vibrant 'gingerbread'/spice cake flavor, hinting at barrel-aged rum even when none is present. Grassier and a bit more herbal than I recall, a dusting of cocoa and maybe some mint. Ends with a funky little tang that's like a squeeze of grapefruit, then a muddled tea leaves and lasting ground spices - dry and rather (black) peppery.

M: A minor 'fail' here: a fairly light feel, creamy but kinda forgettable. While I appreciate the smoothness, there's less carbonated 'sparkle' than in some past renditions. A musty spice does hold true and extends the flavors many minutes.

D: As a lover of the spiced and more malty beers, I anticipate this yearly like nothing else (imbibing-wise). So wonderfully 'seasonal', so perfectly modest in strength; OSA is once again a savor-worthy, extremely enjoyable winter treat that warms carefully and rewards constantly.

msubulldog25, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of mcnabb0001
2.9/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

12 ounce bottle brewed in 2010

A - Pours a dark chocalate brown with deep ruby highlights when you hold it up to the light. Big fluffy tan head 3 inches.

S - smells like clove, blueberry, floral, licorice can also smell spices with sweet malt. As it warms you get a nice spicey burn in the nose probably from the cinnamon or nutmeg.

T - First sip is fruity followed by spice and clove. Then it tastes like potpourri pretty nasty over time..

M - Pretty carbonated and fizzy with a nice medium malt body to it

D - pretty delicious its a festive Christmas beer wouldn't want to drink these all night but one is enough to get in the spirit.

Overall little too sweet for my liking not the best winter seasonal I've tried won't buy again.

mcnabb0001, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of John_M
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today. I swear it seems this beer comes out earlier every year.

The beer pours what has now become the typical dark brown color for Anchor's X-mas ale. Head retention is good, and there is considerable sticky lacing all around. The bartender at Max's seemed to think Anchor had toned down the spice bill this year, but if so, I sure don't pick it up on the nose. As has become typical, there is a huge aroma of brown sugar, cinnamon, clove, vanilla and spruce tips. On the palate, it tastes like Anchor's X-mas spiced brown ale. I assume they tweaked the recipe somewhat from last year's version, but it certainly seems pretty similar to me. The flavor profile replicates the nose, though it's not nearly as pronounced and/or intense. The beer is at most moderately sweet, with the spice and light hoppy bitterness balancing the sweetness quite well. Mouthfeel is no more than medium bodied, with a fairly long, spice filled finish. This beer comes acrosss as a polished, well crafted beer, with a smooth, easy going flavor profile. Drinkability is pretty good, though as always, the amount of spice in this beer would make it a bit of a chore to drink a lot of. That being said, this is pretty much your typical, well made, easy to appreciate X-mas beer from Anchor. Clearly, Winter must be very, very near....

John_M, Nov 14, 2010
Our Special Ale 2010 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 499 ratings.