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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)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

695 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 695
Reviews: 285
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 14.88%
Wants: 12
Gots: 60 | 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:
Beer added by: Daniellobo on 10-19-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 695 | Reviews: 285 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ScreamForMe
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of NiceTaps
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. I've drank 12 bottles since Thanksgiving, the last one today.

A- pours a very dark brown with a creamy tan 2-plus finger head. Not much lacing.

S-Other reviewers cover lots of scents, I had trouble nailing it down. Roasted malt and a touch of anise are what I gather.

T-malts with a hint of chocolate and anise. There are no strong hop flavors to me.

M-Good feel for a holiday/winter brew. Cool on the lip, warm on the tounge. Just right.

O-I don't know if I nailed the flavor precisely but I offer this...It tastes good and it's another solid offering from a steady brewery. _

Photo of bennetj17
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown color, seemingly black, but you can see a deep glowing amber through it when held in the light. Medium head of tan foam rises after the pour, but quickly settles. Dominant fruit notes in the smell, with suggestions of gingerbread, licorice and other spice. The aroma is just what I expect from the OSA, and though the recipe changes each year, it always seems pretty much the same to me.

Lightly dry, cinnamon-raisin bread malt up front, with some tangy dark fruit to pair. Finishes somewhat bitter, with a touch of astringence. I feel like they were a bit heavy handed with the hops, which for this malty/spiced beer doesn't work. Two months ago I really noticed a more significant hop presence on this beer than in past years, and now the freshness has faded some but the bitterness is still there. Medium body, nice carbonation.

Not my favorite vintage, but like I said every year it's pretty much along the same lines. Although I can't give it an excellent rating, this beer is one of my favorite holiday ales nevertheless, and I still stock up on some every winter.

Photo of Nerudamann
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look – very very dark amber red, with about two fingers’ worth of dark khaki-colored foam that dissipates slowly.

Smell – spicy-smelling, probably nutmeg and something else. But not overwhelming.

Taste – bitter spiciness from the very beginning. The bite of the bitterness hits the side of the palate before you can even taste anything. The spiciness is next, and after that the whole mouth is afire of flavor from it (to be clear, not hot). Then a muskiness takes over into the finish, but even then it’s not that pungent. Spice lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel – a little low and leaning a little bit more toward the creamier side.

Overall – not a bad brew at all, worth tasting, but not terribly interesting.

Photo of JRHope
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of mikehblack
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Very dark reddish brown. Off-white head. Good apparent carbonation

S- Sweet breadiness, cinnamon, clove. A hint of oaky vanilla

T- Tastes much like the aroma. Sweet malt creaminess with nice winter spices to back it up. Leaves a gingerbread taste at the end. Good full mouthfeel.

O- This is a classic winter warmer. Wish I had reviewed past releases to compare and contrast. A wonderful seasonal that should be a staple during anyone's holiday.

Photo of pogoowner
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of DocJ87
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of SageO
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of joshrosborne
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of jpd7374
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of zonker17
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of khargro2
4.75/5  rDev +24%

Photo of MichaelBurns
2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

Photo of HopsHopenstein
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of schnarr84
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of erlenmeyer
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of CaptainHate
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of sevenarts
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours dark red with a big creamy head that leaves nice lacing behind as it subsides.

S: Cinnamon and spices with a woody, almost root beer-like aroma.

T/M: Cinnamon and spices, pretty sweet up front, gradually giving way to a mildly bitter, woody aftertaste. Nice, very creamy mouthfeel.

O: This is a very tasty winter beer where the spices are prominent but not overpowering.

Photo of mikeg67
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours brown with a long lasting tanned head and a lot of lacing. Aroma is of sourdough, some pine, grain and spices. Body is medium and crisp. Toasted, nutty, malt, some caramel, cacao and chocolate along with earthy hops and cinnamon fill the mouth. Finish is long and dry. Nice holiday brew.

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured unto an over-sized tulip glass.

Appearance: A dark amber, bubbling right from the first pour. Head rose a tan-white head pretty thick which was about an 1" from the body.

Smell: Light cinnamon and/or nutmeg. Disappears after a sniff that's why I couldn't go higher.

Taste: Pretty good taste, nutmeg, cinnamon but not overly done liike some other winter or fall beers. Presence of hops won't leave your mouth (thank you Anchor brewing) will definitely have to pick another one of these up.

Mouth: Pretty obvious the best property of this beer. Goes down heavy and smooth....textured like a hefeweisen but better.

Overall: Well finished beer. It is hard to judge i feel like the taste's is all over the place with hops, cinnamon and nutmeg. There are other things to consider, how well and almost perfectly carbonated this beer is medium-heavy and just perfect enough to say, "one more!". Cheers!

Photo of jeezie
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of ipcolling
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of SATBMan
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of ianjsullivan
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ST: 12oz poured into a snifter. Bottle lists ABV but not DBD.

A: Dark black with red tints and a off-white fluffy head. It has nice retention, and leaves nice lacing.

S: Coco, wood, nutmeg, cinnamon, dark sugar, and roasted malt.

T: Cinnamon, roasted malt, woody, nutmeg.

M: Heavy and smooth.

O: I buy this beer every year, and I am always happy. This year is very similar to 2010's version; though, I would say this year is a bit woodier. Smooth with good flavor, this Christmas ale is not as heavy alcohol wise as others and can be enjoyed in number.

2011: After a year of aging.

A: Dark brown with a red tinge, thin brown head.

S: Caramel, fig, wood, latte, cinnamon.

T: Light sweet malt hints a bit of caramel and some coffee / hot chocolate, coco, and some bitterness on the finish.

M: Medium

O: Held up well, but no large changes.

Our Special Ale 2011 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 695 ratings.