Our Special Ale 2011 (Anchor Christmas Ale) - Anchor Brewing Company
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Ratings: 658 | Reviews: 283 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by rundocrun:
3.68/5 rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a pint glass.
A - Has two full fingers of ultra-fine reddish-tan head. Good retention. The beer appears to be a deep brown, but proves to be an uber-dark ruby color when held to the light. Lots of good lacing down the sides of the glass. What a beauty!
S - One of the most unique-smelling beers I have ever sampled. Sweet, caramelized orange peel, a spicy herbal note reminiscent of cloves and mild pine, some faint roasted barley undertones, and a hint of sourness underlying everything else. Complex, but honestly a little muddled.
T - Mildly sweet up front with some slightly dry, astringent phenols coming in through the middle. More orange peel in the taste, which contributes to a bitter, citrusy tang on the sides of the tongue. More hop-forward through the finish with little else. Much more bland on the palate than I was hoping/expecting.
M - Thin body with good carbonation. Somewhat dry finish which leaves me wanting another sip.
Overall - If only this tasted as good as it looked. The nose was a little overburdened with too many ingredients and the flavor was disappointingly bland. This was an ok christmas ale, but I'd prefer more body and more robust flavor.
Serving type: bottle
12-01-2011 04:31:47 | More by rundocrun
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.