Our Special Ale 2011 (Anchor Christmas Ale) - Anchor Brewing Company
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Ratings: 659 | Reviews: 283 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by elNopalero:
4.55/5 rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
This is the 2011 vintage, as their recipe changes every year. And yet every year its absolutely fantastic. A real delight in bottle form!
This pours a burgundy brown with thin lacing. It has a wonderful and wonderfully complex aroma of clove, nutmeg, and is that spruce? Cardommon? Jasmine? All three? Coming through on the finish.
There’s a malty backbone to the spices that balances everything out when tasted. Spicing isn’t heavy or overpowering, but enough to let you know its there and keep things interesting. Spruce comes through, menthol/eucalyptus as well. It has a great finish.
Wishing I drunk this one out of my Our Special Ale commemorative pint glass so I could have inaugurated it in style!
I revisited this in December, 2012.
Must say I’m impressed with my pour—bravo! Job well done! Good show old chap!
Seriously, thought, it looked amazing. This dark ruddy-amber with the longest lasting foam cap atop. It has a wonderful aroma with juniper berries, some wintergreen menthol, and a cinnamon-nutmeg hint rounding it out.
The flavor has more juniper and some pine mingling with wintergreen resin and a hint of …allspice? Or that all-too-vague ‘holiday seasoning’, cloves, allspice, nutmeg et al. followed by unexpected but incredible eucalyptus and wintergreen flavors. Whatever the case, the beer retains great carbonation and effervescence even after a year. Always fantastic and this iteration is no exception.
Revisited July, 2013
This held up exceptionally well, as I would expect. More of the same above, although the raisin and fig notes have come to the front, with some date-caramel sweetness rounding it out. There’s a hint of menthol and eucalyptus as it finishes. Fantastic brew from a fantastic brewery.
Serving type: bottle
07-07-2013 04:31:14 | More by elNopalero
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.