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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.
BA SCORE
86
very good

676 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 676
Reviews: 284
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 14.84%
Wants: 12
Gots: 58 | FT: 1
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: 676 | Reviews: 284 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mfnmbvp
3.88/5  rDev +1%
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.

mfnmbvp, Dec 31, 2013
Photo of Prager62
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Prager62, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of einman
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

einman, Dec 24, 2013
Photo of NonicPanic
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

NonicPanic, Dec 05, 2013
Photo of thecheapies
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
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:

2011:
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.

thecheapies, Dec 01, 2013
Photo of V3XX069
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

V3XX069, Nov 29, 2013
Photo of klimoja
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

klimoja, Nov 17, 2013
Photo of Doomcifer
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Doomcifer, Nov 15, 2013
Photo of whatname
4/5  rDev +4.2%

whatname, Nov 06, 2013
Photo of PhatAtUT
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

PhatAtUT, Nov 01, 2013
Photo of BodiesLexus
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

BodiesLexus, Oct 27, 2013
Photo of Sonofalime
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Sonofalime, Oct 20, 2013
Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +4.2%

jaydoc, Oct 20, 2013
Photo of Jame515
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Jame515, Sep 26, 2013
Photo of jme015
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

jme015, Sep 11, 2013
Photo of Brewer1980
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Brewer1980, Sep 09, 2013
Photo of JTomczak
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

JTomczak, Aug 04, 2013
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 pathman
4/5  rDev +4.2%

pathman, Jul 14, 2013
Photo of EastBay_Nick
4/5  rDev +4.2%

EastBay_Nick, Jul 13, 2013
Photo of civicm87
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

civicm87, Jul 10, 2013
Photo of WOLFGANG
4/5  rDev +4.2%

WOLFGANG, Jul 08, 2013
Photo of elNopalero
4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
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!

Update:
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.

elNopalero, Jul 07, 2013
Photo of JamLand
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

JamLand, Jul 01, 2013
Photo of drbenderdo
4/5  rDev +4.2%

drbenderdo, Jun 30, 2013
Our Special Ale 2011 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 676 ratings.