Our Special Ale 2012 (Anchor Christmas Ale) - Anchor Brewing Company
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Ratings: 648 | Reviews: 193 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Onenote81:
More User Reviews:
3.96/5 rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Review from 1/2013 notes. Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a dark mahogany brown with a fine quarter finger of tan head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of sweet bock malt, light pine, cinnamon and nutmeg. Flavor follows, with sweet malt, holiday spicing heavy on cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg, thins out out to a lighter, slightly tart and piney character. Lingering flavor of woody pine. Medium bodied with a mild creaminess. This year's version leans more toward piney spicing, but there is a nice background flavor leaning towards gingerbread that balances out the other spicy flavors. Lighter finish than I remember from last year, but as usual, interesting and very winter holiday oriented. A great annual tradition.
Serving type: bottle
03-28-2014 01:58:02 | More by LiquidAmber
3.8/5 rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Aged for a year.
Dark brown ruby color with a thick caramel head with great retention and leaving some laces.
Delicious aroma with notes of prunes, mint leaves, chocolate and caramel malt, molasses, nutmeg and tangerines.
Flavor of chocolate malt, pepper, dark fruits, earth, lemon, herbal and citrus hops and Port Wine. Hints of smoke, ginger, cinnamon, oregano and licorice. Dry aftertaste with medium bitterness.
Light, though smooth body with low carbonation of tiny bubbles.
Original flavor and aroma, this would be a great Winter Warmer if it had more body and higher alcohol content. Damn! Another annual slavering beer.
Serving type: bottle
01-23-2014 00:02:56 | More by FLima
3.21/5 rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25
Draft at Beer Exchange.
Pours muddy brown with minimal head. Aroma is chocolate, burnt hay. Taste is spicy - clove, coriander, grape must. Too spicy for my personal tastes.
The "bouquet" of spices was not my favorite combination and ultimately led to me ditching the bottle altogether. Too much flavor going on for and not enough balance.
Serving type: on-tap
01-17-2014 16:09:21 | More by jdb288
United Kingdom (Scotland)
3.45/5 rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5
355ml Bottle from Utobeer, London (£3.50):
Dark brown colour and opaque with a thumb sized, beige brown head on top that holds very well at about the same height.
Sweet malts and caramel with a helping pine as well as some further subtle hops. There is also a warming combination of spices to put you in the Christmas mood. The finish is a very sweet one with some fruits too.
Dark & sweet with plenty of malts and caramel coming through along side more than its fair share of spices. There is a few darker fruits in the mix as well and the hops from the nose make an appearance with maple too.
Spicy & warming, almost boozy feel to this one and the body is medium with carbonation about the same. The finish is again sweet and overall the beer is incredibly smooth on the palate.
Warming and spicy but with plenty of hops coming through as well, although they are quite subtle and not anything in your face. Very sweet and malty with a very smooth mouthfeel, pretty good in the cold weather.
Serving type: bottle
01-11-2014 17:49:54 | More by flyingpig
3.74/5 rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
As I consider Anchor's "Our Special Ale" the godfather of American Winter Warmers, its the same irrational love and hate I have with this beer as I do that family member that I miss throughout the year, but once they're with me I see all of their warts.
True to form, the ale pours a deep "bark" brown color with tawny and russet brown low-lights about its edges. As the ale builds a tarnish brown but light and fluffy head, it recedes into a dense and fluid blanket within a minute or so. Its lace is scattered and random as artistic patterns emerge on the glass.
Charred toast, campfire wood and dry cocoa pangs on the olfactory senses with a spicy twinge of burnt caramel, molasses and ground coffee. Its earthy scent is tangy with elements of chicory, pine needles, roasted grapes, and pine cones as the first drink draws near.
Its flavor starts of quite robust with the taste of burnt sugars- molasses, toffee and honey leading the way. Its charred edges side with burnt toast, smoldering embers and root-like spices: chicory, fennel, aniseed and licorice all fade into the taste of red grapes, grape skin and grape seed. Couple that with common allspice, nutmeg, snappy ginger and cinnamon, and the ale sings a Christmasy tone. Somewhat tangy in its dry taste, its obvious that its charred astringency is as prevalent in taste as it is in mouthfeel- its tannin-rich character makes it seem like dry, oak-aged merlot in its finish.
With a year on this ale, it seems that the wine-like and spicy elements of the beer are joined with savory, almost-salty flavors that are common in more melanoidin-rich lagers and ales. There's a certain hard-to-describe "meatiness" to the beer that makes it even more memorable.
Its medium-light body, the beer is given a lift with its abundance of carbonation that creamies things up considerably. But once the carbonation wisps away, it leaves behind the spicy tannin from spices and grain char to clean the palate with spices that close powdery and malty-dry.
What's incredibly about the beer is how robust, woody and toasted that the beer starts out, but then how if finishes so dry and drinkable. It almost makes me want to ignore the powerful astringent properties that leave the palate unsettled. Just like that uncle that irritated you all weekend but you'll miss the heck out of him til next year.
Serving type: bottle
01-02-2014 17:27:36 | More by BEERchitect
Our Special Ale 2012 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 648 ratings.