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Our Special Ale 2011 (Anchor Christmas Ale) - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Our Special Ale 2011 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 2011 (Anchor Christmas Ale)

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

683 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 683
Reviews: 284
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 14.84%
Wants: 12
Gots: 59 | FT: 2
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: Daniellobo on 10-19-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 683 | Reviews: 284 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tfsimpkins
1/5  rDev -74%

tfsimpkins, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of Phillyz
1/5  rDev -74%

Phillyz, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of Bolivian22
1.5/5  rDev -60.9%

Bolivian22, Aug 13, 2014
Photo of JimmyW
1.8/5  rDev -53.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I'm just confused. This isn't very good at all. I can't even bring myself to take another sip so I may give a proper review. Last year's was terrible. Tasted like a bitters & soda. This one tastes different. Maybe a little nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and I don't know why this tastes so bad. Mouthfeel is fine but I just can't drink anymore.

I just don't get this one.

JimmyW, Apr 10, 2012
Photo of DWolf
2/5  rDev -47.9%

DWolf, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of Beer21
2/5  rDev -47.9%

Beer21, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of usofarsenal
2/5  rDev -47.9%

usofarsenal, Apr 07, 2012
Photo of JustinQ
2/5  rDev -47.9%

JustinQ, Jan 31, 2012
Photo of hollywood_15063
2/5  rDev -47.9%

hollywood_15063, Sep 25, 2012
Photo of Hoagie1973
2.23/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a deep garnet color with a small whitish head that dissipates quickly.

Malt base aroma with a prominent vanilla/spice sweetness.

Tastes more like a Root Beer than a beer. Malt sweetness up front with a dry finish. Not terrible or hard to finish, just not what I think of when I look for a winter warmer (or a beer in general).

Wouldn't even think about a second. Surprising from this brewery.

Hoagie1973, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of nitro0292
2.48/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This my first Anchor Christmas Ale. Pours a stout-like black with a hummus colored head that stuck around. Mahogany highlights when light penetrates. Plenty of lacing.

Smell is very unique. The nose is met with a unique blend of spices. Almost smells like bubblegum. I cannot pick out individual spices, but it smells like a mixture of nutmeg, mint, all spice, cloves and some noble or English hops. Smell is strong and unique and very "winter," but not overly appealing.

The taste is a mouthful of the spices. Not much else. Very little malt flavor. Too many spices, doesn't taste like beer and is cloying. Not sweet, not bitter. Dry finish.

Mouthfeel is light. Reminds me of a Guinness.

I may grab 1 or 2 of next year's batch since it will be a different recipe. The 2011 is not very good.

nitro0292, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of ekegren
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

ekegren, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of MichaelBurns
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

MichaelBurns, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of CopeTech
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

CopeTech, Dec 30, 2011
Photo of ONN8
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

ONN8, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of NonicPanic
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

NonicPanic, Dec 05, 2013
Photo of spamages
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

spamages, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of ejimhof
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

ejimhof, Dec 26, 2012
Photo of Brewsed
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

Brewsed, Apr 18, 2012
Photo of clydefromiceland
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

clydefromiceland, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of GFD400
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

GFD400, Sep 07, 2012
Photo of amphion1065
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle served in a Duvel tulip. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a very dark ruby, with nice clarity throughout. A two-finger tan head recedes fairly quickly, leaving minimal lacing.

I really hate to say it, but it's quite a Christmas-y aroma. A pretty clear note of resiny pine, complemented by a touch of toffee. There's quite a bit of chocolate in the nose, far more than I remember in last year's version. It's not terribly sweet, in spite of that description.

Prominent chocolate in the taste. That woody, pine element from the aroma is there, but in the palate it unfortunately just seems oddly vegetal and unappetizing. There's a pretty clear cooked vegetable taste coming through. The end result is something approximating dirt, with an oddly chalk-like taste throughout.

This could really use some more carbonation, as it stands this borders on lifeless. One of the harder-to-drink sub-5% ABV beers I've had.

A pretty serious letdown for me, especially given my love of this beer. To be honest, I'm not too excited to have five more bottles in my fridge, though I'm hopeful that this particular bottle was just an aberration and I'll find that good ol' holiday spirit on a subsequent try.

amphion1065, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of janubio
2.55/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

2011 bottle. Pours dark red-brown clour, with a big off white head that disappears soon leaving some lace.Smell is very faint, some chocolate and spices. Very soft palate taste of chocolate and spices, cardamom or clove, and maybe allspices. Not bad, but I was hoping for something better.

janubio, Jul 29, 2013
Photo of bnes09
2.6/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Dark ruby and amber color. Light tan head. Some lace patches.

Spicy, eggnog-like aroma. Burnt wood. Definitely smells like Christmas.

Roasty malt flavor, like wheat toast and coffee. Spicy, citric and floral hop bitterness. Flavor is overwhelmed with spices. Ginger, nutmeg and hints of cinnamon are way too potent and ruin the experience. Completely unbalanced.

Medium bodied. On the drier side. Coarse texture.

Not a fan. Why do so many brewers overdo the spices? Just ruins the whole beer. Spices are other additives need to be subtle for better balance and to let other qualities come through.

bnes09, Jan 23, 2012
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Our Special Ale 2011 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 683 ratings.