Our Special Ale 2011 (Anchor Christmas Ale) - Anchor Brewing Company
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Ratings: 659 | Reviews: 283 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by RossCain:
3.38/5 rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
Poured from a 2011 bottle into a pint glass. I'll be comparing this a bit to the 2010 which was one of my favorites.
A: Pours a deep mahogany with hues of amber where the light meets the edges of the glass. Tops off with a foamy, mocha colored that rests in a nice pillow, forming big rings on the sides of the glass as it recedes sip by sip.
S: Familiar notes of gingerbread with touches of clove and cinnamon. Bready in the background but not as sweet as I remember the year's prior. Good, but I prefer the 2010.
T: Warm notes of spices showcasing the cinnamon and a dash of clove. The beer has the character of a crispy gingerbread cookie as it sits upon the palate. Oddly, I couldn't help but feel the beer finished with vinous quality akin to Cabernet before the flavor was washed over by lightly smokey spices.
Again, I favor the previous year's.
M: A little thin and creamy with carbonation on the lower side. Finishes dry with a smokey aftertaste that lingers on the palate. Not bad, but not as easy drinking as the 2010.
O: Anchor's 2011 Our Special Ale is still a solid winter warmer with a nice cast of spices but I found it lacking compared to last year's offering. Between the mouthfeel, the strange vinous character, and the changeup of the spice to favor more smokiness rather than sweetness makes me glad I only bought a single of this. I'd drink it again but it wouldn't be my first choice.
Serving type: bottle
12-09-2011 00:30:52 | More by RossCain
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 659 ratings.