Our Special Ale 2011 (Anchor Christmas Ale) - Anchor Brewing Company
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Ratings: 658 | Reviews: 283 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by MusicaleMike:
4.25/5 rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Anchor's Our Special Ale 2011 is just a fantastic beer. Anchor continues to switch up the recipe each year, and I continue to look forward to what they have to offer.
This year's offering is a deep, dark caramel brown that shows off some beautiful ruby highlights. The froth that tops this beer is thick and pillowy, and just wants to stick around for a long time. The clarity in the beer is great too!
The smell is similar to year's past, with notes of chocolate, spearmint, almond, cinnamon, spruce tips, caramel, and allspice. Very complex aroma, and not in the least unpleasant or medicinal. The aroma is a great mix of various spices, hops and dark roasted malts.
The taste is obviously in line with the aroma, and I get a very herbal flavor up front followed by a lingering sweetness that really balances out the overall palette well. My initial impression is that this is somewhat reminiscent of a cola or root beer. Really great flavor this year. It definitely leans more towards sweet at the end, making this a perfect pairing for some holiday treats...
It's slick on the tongue, with a medium to light body that also helps draw home the association with cola in some ways. Soft carbonation and a rounded out body.
Overall, I find this to be a pleasant winter warmer, with enough complexity to keep me interested all winter long and yet it is drinkable enough that I would reach for this on any given occasion. Definitely would be interested in trying this with a food dish, possibly some pork tenderloin with honey glazed carrots, or more obviously, with some gingerbread and ice cream. Great beer as usual! Grab this while you can and age a few bottles too. I recently had a 1995 and it was still quite good!
Serving type: bottle
11-19-2011 02:43:55 | More by MusicaleMike
More User Reviews:
3.88/5 rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
12 oz. bottle, with a more than obvious vintage date. Code on the back label appears to read JSV, but I could be wrong. This is my seventh vintage of this yearly winter seasonal from Anchor. A pine tree on this year's label.
Poured into a clear balloon snifter.
A - Pours a thin watery caramel with some mahogany brown highlights when held to the light. Under a finger of creamy tan head when given a good swirl in the glass. Some nice lacing.
S - Smell resembles the others, but there is something different about this one also. More pine and spruce this time around. Brown bread, molasses, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, earthy yeast, some buttery diacetyl, & eucalyptus.
T - Taste is of light chocolate malt roast, some cream, herbal spice rack notes, licorice, allspice, pine, apple, cinnamon, cola, and some vanilla. There is actually a lot going on here.
M - Feel is smooth and creamy. Somewhat thin and watery, but with moderate roast flavors lingering on the palate.
Overall, a unique and interesting vintage of this beer. It definitely exceeded my expectations, and is probably one of the better ones I have tried. I look forward to more.
Anchor Brewing Our Special Ale 2011 ---4/5.
Serving type: bottle
12-31-2013 03:30:54 | More by mfnmbvp
3.6/5 rDev -6.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
Enjoyed alongside Anchor Christmas 2012 and Anchor Christmas 2010 on Black Friday 2013:
Pours a warm mahogany color with a lush, but short, light tan head. Sat a tip over half an inch and receded to a thin cap with a pronounced ring. One or two strands of lace.
Clove, some pine, a bit of licorice, and brown bread maltiness. Hints of cinnamon and nutmeg and allspice, as there are notes of apple-y muting and light paperiness. Malts are a little thinner, but the roast is still powerful. Even lightly vinous, which I don't mind.
Less sweet than the '12 and its own aroma, for that matter. Soft and creamy malts with clove, nutmeg, and allspice leading the spice front. Faintly spicy with some earthy wintergreen and steeped cereal notes offering some added roast bitterness. Slightly minty, too.
A little bit boring in the mouthfeel. The body is light and a little oily. The carbonation is disappointingly low. It could really use a spike of airiness to push this in the right direction. The body suffered, too.
I remember really liking this year when it came out, but at two years old, it's suffering a bit. This one didn't pull out all the stops for me, and the feel is really what makes me shake my head.
Serving type: bottle
12-01-2013 23:31:02 | More by thecheapies
Our Special Ale 2011 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 658 ratings.