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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

678 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 678
Reviews: 284
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 14.81%
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: 678 | Reviews: 284 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of khargro2
4.75/5  rDev +23.4%

khargro2, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of MichaelBurns
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%

MichaelBurns, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of HopsHopenstein
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

HopsHopenstein, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of schnarr84
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

schnarr84, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of erlenmeyer
4/5  rDev +3.9%

erlenmeyer, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of CaptainHate
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

CaptainHate, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of sevenarts
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

sevenarts, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of mikeg67
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

mikeg67, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
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!

BlurryVisi0n, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of jeezie
4/5  rDev +3.9%

jeezie, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of ipcolling
4/5  rDev +3.9%

ipcolling, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of SATBMan
3/5  rDev -22.1%

SATBMan, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of ianjsullivan
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

ianjsullivan, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of tpauer
4/5  rDev +3.9%

tpauer, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of atr2605
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours very dark amber, almost black with a really nice fluffy tan head with great retention.
S-plums and dates with spice and a bit of a floral character. A bit of a toasted malt starts to come out as it warms
T-follows the profile of the aroma which in this case is really nice. Its a fairly soft flavor but well balanced and very drinkable
M-medium-light bodied
O-Very enjoyable beer. First seasonal brew from anchor and Im impressed, I will continue to check it out each year

atr2605, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of Cluker
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Cluker, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of schoun
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

schoun, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of Packman4IL
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Packman4IL, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of GarrettB714
4/5  rDev +3.9%

GarrettB714, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 355ml bottle with a BB of July 2013. Purchased a few weeks ago from my local beer specialist. I had the 2009 brew last year and missed out on the 2010, so time to catch up with the latest one (just as the 12 days of Xmas have ended).

Poured into a Delirium chalice. A dark coppery-red hue with good carbonation. Produces a large head of tan foam with a fine texture and good retention; this lasts for a few minutes before collapsing to a surface layer. Aroma of rich, fruity malt with notes of cinammon, spice, brown sugar, bananas, dried fruit and yeast esters.

Tastes of sweet, dark malt with a subtle spiciness and a fruity finish. Notes of spice, roasted malt, brown sugar, dried fruit, bananas and yeast. A hint of stewed hops in the background, accompanied by a warming alcoholic note. Mouthfeel is smooth and full-bodied, with light carbonation. Slightly astringent. Aftertaste of fruity malt, spice and stewed hops.

Rather nice - a quality seasonal beer. The smell reminds me of Yorkshire parkin. Quite different from the 2009 bottle that I had last year, which was a hoppy, piny affair. Smooth, rich and well-balanced, with a restrained use of spice. Highly drinkable, and well worth your while.

jazzyjeff13, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of matt062286
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep mahogany brown, fairly opaque. Thick khaki colored head that dissipates slowly. Maintains a dense, patchy head and shows above average lacing.

S - Pine tree sap, spruce, molasses, currants, prunes, cocoa.

T - Very malt forward with a lingering dry hop bitterness. Some dry woody flavors, apricot, rye bread, pine oil. Some hints of coffee and a smokey flavor in the aftertaste.

M - Medium body with minimal carbonation.

O - Was really looking forward to having this beer this year, after loving the past two years' versions. Was a bit let down this year, it is similar to previous years in a few ways but this version is a step back in my book. Still looking forward to next year though

matt062286, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally got around to having one of these this week since I had an off day from work. Sure enough, this was different from other years that I've enjoyed this, and it was a bit thinner and less full than I expected. It's part of what I like about this beer, as opposed to the other holiday seasonals out there, but it was just a bit below what I came to expect when I poured this out and gave it a go.

The pour to this was solid, with a deep crimson hue and fluffy head that didn't fail to disappoint once again this year. Not much of an aroma here but that was about the only setback that this offering had to it. Lots of sourdough and pumpernickel bread to the taste with some fig, caramel, and licorice underneath it all. There was a doughy consistency to this, even if the mouthfeel was lighter in this year's rendition. The aftertaste was that of the dark fruit and alcohol, without much body underneath. This certainly had the taste that I came to expect but the variation is here and for some reason, this is just a bit short of what I remember it being in years past.

The alcohol is nice here and can hardly be felt, even though this is still a Winter Warmer at heart. It would be a good substitute for a Wassail if there was a bit more spice here but for now, it is what it is: A holiday beer worth buying every year, if only to enjoy the subtle differences that come along with a good craft beer. This one was decent but like this winter, a bit of a letdown this time around.

JerzDevl2000, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of StJamesGate
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brown with ruby red highlights and a tight cappuccino-colored head that lumps, rims and laces. Earthy malts and nutmeg on the nose.
Brown malts, caramel, kola and apple with spice cake (EKG?) hops and maybe some anise.
Candy finish and bitter toffee linger. Light to medium, fizzy, creamy.

Toasty, and thinner than expected. Curious what the spice mix is. Maybe not their best Christmas, but very drinkable at this strength.

StJamesGate, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of Giantspace
3/5  rDev -22.1%

Giantspace, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of schoolboy
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am hoping that this will improve as it warms up. The 50 oz. bottle gave a couple nice foamy glasses for our first taste. The aroma is very malty and the taste follows to a lesser degree.

There is just enough hops to give it a little bitterness. So far the taste is not getting any better as it warms. Overall, I will avoid this xmas brew in the future.

schoolboy, Jan 06, 2012
Our Special Ale 2011 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 678 ratings.