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Our Special Ale 2012 (Anchor Christmas Ale) - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Our Special Ale 2012 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 2012 (Anchor Christmas Ale)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

681 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 681
Reviews: 192
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 14
Gots: 47 | 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: beertunes on 10-22-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 681 | Reviews: 192 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a glass beer mug.

L - deep brown with a khaki color head that stayed as a layer leaving trails of lacing behind.

S - sweet dark fruits - fig, date, raisin, plum.

T - a mouthful of delicious spices and fruits, I really enjoy the taste of this beer.

F - medium bodied, nicely carbonated, it goes down smooth and easy.

O - very good example of the style, a seasonal favorite of mine year after year.

JoeyBeerBelly, Dec 01, 2012
Photo of sbanacho
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%

sbanacho, Dec 10, 2012
Photo of Cooker_stp
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%

Cooker_stp, Aug 22, 2013
Photo of TX-Badger
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%

TX-Badger, Dec 16, 2012
Photo of acp21178
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%

acp21178, Dec 03, 2012
Photo of ChopsMeister
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%

ChopsMeister, Dec 15, 2012
Photo of Heronn
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%

Heronn, Nov 25, 2012
Photo of MaddDogg84
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%

MaddDogg84, Dec 26, 2012
Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.48/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass at cellar temperature.

L – Brown color with a 3-finger frothy tan head. Fantastic retention and lacing. Clear with a good amount of bubbles.

S – Lots of malts with toasted bread, caramel, and nutty aromas along with nutmeg and cinnamon. There’s also a scent of something like evergreen. It must be some piney hops.

T – Starts off sweet with caramel and nutty malts, followed by toasted malts and spicy cinnamon and nutmeg. Bitterness builds toward the finish with piney, resinous hops.

F – Medium-bodied with good carbonation, a sticky sweet mouthfeel, and a sweet, slightly bitter, and slightly dry finish. Toasted and caramel malt flavors linger.

O – I don’t know how the other OSAs have been, so I don’t really have a frame of reference, but I don’t see why this isn’t a plus-4 rating. It has everything I look for in a winter warmer – rich and hearty malts, seasonal spices, and something different to make it stand out. In this case, that something is also very seasonal – piney hops that are reminiscent of evergreen. I think this beer is terrific and I’m looking forward to trying next year’s OSA when it comes around.

BlackBelt5112203, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of chadaris
4.45/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite beers, although this year's in not as good as the 2010. Pours close to black, with a light grey-brown head. Great balance, and not just between malt sweetness and hops, but amongst the malt, hops, and the spices. Mild hop bitterness on the finish combined with some of the spices. As another reviewer noted, would like it to be a bit "bigger", but still an excellent beer and my perennial favorite in this class.

chadaris, Nov 18, 2012
Photo of champ103
4.45/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is probably my favorite seasonal release. I Always look forward to my first six pack.

A: Pours a beautiful mahogany/ruby red color. A two finger Khaki head forms, and gently recedes. Rings of sticky lace is left behind. A looker.
S: Very reserved in the nose, but I still really enjoy it. Nutmeg with toasted malts. A light buttery aroma, quickly covered up by almonds, warm fresh backed bread. A deceivingly complex aroma emerges.
T: Like the nose, very reserved at first, but much more comes out as I work my way down. Toasted malts, baked bread , nutmeg and an almond nutty flavor. A light sweetness comes out toward the end, then a dry almost bitter coco. It is amazing how much delicate complexities emerge from this.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Very soft and velvety. So easy and enjoyable to drink. The bottle is gone in no time, and I am sure the rest of the six pack is not far behind.

Seems like the piney, almost allspice flavor is not there. Which has been a recurring theme. This release is more warm toasted and malty goodness. Again, a seasonal I look forward to every year, and for good reason. No doubt I will be getting more six packs again this year.

champ103, Nov 12, 2012
Photo of Greywulfken
4.4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had the 2010 or 2011? but didn't review it. I don't recall it being very much like this, but my memory could be faulty...

2012 bottling:

A: stout porter black body with ahalf-glass of dark tan head that left laces and motes behind

S: dark and roasted malts and espresso, some fennel, some smoke

T: almost like an american black ale - I've never had a "winter warmer" before - I actually didn't even know that was a style - this had a roasted, dry bittersweet character with notes of carob and some deep, dark fruit

M: very medium bodied and moderately carbonated, smooth, crisp, nice dry roast aftertaste; creamy but with some fizz

O: Super beer - a great holiday offering, something I will try every year - but not knowing what a typical winter warmwer is supposed to be like, maybe this interpreatation will leave something to be desired among devotees of the style. I was just delighted with its porter-like presentation and flavor/feel profile. Very drinkable.

Greywulfken, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Dark Brown with a Ruby Tinge when held up to light. Head is about 2 fingers in width and there is a decent amount of lacing on the sides.

Smell - Cinnamon, Spices, Licorice, Figs and Malts. Smells reminds me of Snickerdoodle Cookies and Christmas. Very rich and vibrant smell!

Taste - Spruce, Cinnamon, Licorice, Spices and Malts. Aftertaste is surprisingly resiny too. Flavor is quite nice and warms you up very fast.

Mouthfeel - Light Bodied and Mildly carbonated. Very easy to drink as well.

Overall - Flavor is nice and rich & it's easy on the palete. This is probably one of the best Winter Warmers I've had thus far and I would check it out if you still can manage to find it.

NuclearDolphin, Feb 02, 2013
Photo of Hibernator
4.4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Our Special Ale - 2012
12 oz brown bottle
Freshness date - 2SY
Served in a Smuttynose Big Beer tulip glass

Anchor Our Special Ale is one of the most anticipated winter craft beers for me. I picked up a 6 pack last night, stored a couple for a later date and decided to review one this evening.

Pours a deep chestnut brown with excellent highlights. A fluffy, khaki colored head forms, leaving trails of sticky lacings that decorate the glassware.

The nose is inviting with whiffs of roasted malts, ginger, nutmeg and various spices.

A creamy and chewy malt backbone with distinct flavors of milk chocolate, cinnamon cookies, allspice and fresh pine. A remarkably smooth and complex winter warmer that captures all of the flavors of the season.

This seasonal should never be underestimated, a true legend in the ever growing market of seasonal beers.

Cheers!

Hibernator, Dec 14, 2012
Photo of Damian74Shensky
4.38/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been having it the last 8 years. Bought the big 50 ounce bottle poured into an over size wine glass.Pours chestnut brown with a thick foam. Smell caramel malt. Nutmeg and clove. As it moves through a surprising bitterness emerges and provides balance. Great feel, aroma, great taste. 2010 was my favorite ( my favorite beer ever!) but the 2012 is a fine worthy beer! Definitely try this beer.

Damian74Shensky, Dec 09, 2012
Photo of Lawl3ss
4.38/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked up in late 2013, nonetheless the 2012 vintage.

Chilled stubby into a shaker pint.

Look- big, frothy tan head on the pour. Sticks around forever, minimal lace.

Smell - loads of dusty fig, toasted rye, nutmeg. Very nice. Mild leather, doesn't seem overly oxidized.

Taste- also very nice. Brown bread, light spice, and currant. Something like caraway seeds. Mild spruce. Molasses finish. Lingering nutty-aromatic spices, warm sandalwood, tasty.

Mourhfeel- medium body, medium carbonation. Nice quench, a bit acidic but keeps it feeling clean.

Overall- it's held up quite well. I don't recall it being anything too flashy back in 2012, but today it's well above average for a spiced Christmas or old ale.

Lawl3ss, Nov 08, 2013
Photo of MattyG85
4.33/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass. 2012 Bottle.

Appearance: Pours a dark brownish black with a little ruby color. Lots of rising bubbles and a huge five finger light tan head with decent retention. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing around the glass.

Smell: A toasty malt driven aroma with a lot of Holiday spicing. Upfront is a big scent of spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice. Roasted malts with hints of chocolate, burnt caramel, toffee, nuts, yeast, and a slight hint of coffee. A moderate amount of brown sugar adds to the sweetness. Subtle hints of dark fruit including prune, raisin, and dates. Good presence of earthy hops with hints of pine and grass. Pretty solid aroma.

Taste: Like the smell hints, a nicely roasty and spicy taste with a good dose of earthy piney hops. Lots of spicing with a taste of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. Dark roasted malts with notes of burnt caramel, toffee, bitter chocolate, toast, coffee, nuts, and yeast. Light presence of brown sugar. A little bit of subtle dark raisin, prune, and date. Solid hop notes that provide some drying bitterness. Earthy pine and some grass. A good and well balanced taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very creamy, slick, and smooth.

Overall: Another good version of this Holiday ale. Nice taste of roast, spice, and hops.

MattyG85, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of micromaniac129
4.33/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drink this on Christmas eve, after mass.
Pours a deep brown color with some ruby high lights. A ta;;ish tan head sits on top, dense and mousse like it coats the glass with lacing.

Aroma is piney with cinnamon nutmeg and ginger.
Taste is similar with piney notes. not really all that spice and lingers just below the pine tree.
Malty but not very balanced.
Feels almost thick on the palette and finishes semi dry and semi bitter with a very light amount of cloying,
As with pass years, very good. Ill put the remaing in my cellar for good keeping

micromaniac129, Dec 26, 2012
Photo of Chris_Cali_2o9
4.33/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams cup

A- Deep mahogany body with an 1 1/2" dark khaki head

S- Ginger, nutmeg, juniper berries, nutty malts, citrus hops

T- Follows the nose, spicey nutty malts balanced with citrusy hops that coat the tongue, and leave the sides tingling.

M- Medium bodied, good carbonation

O- Very nice brew and well balanced, never too spicey, sweet, or bitter. They roll in waves, separately. When i think of what a christmass beer should taste like, this is it.

Chris_Cali_2o9, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.33/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

come on BA people! this beer is so much better than an 84 overall. way better than last year i think, this pours a rich bred/brown with a small but easily excitable tan head. the nose is very complex, alcohol (5.5% ? no way!), brown sugar, spruce tips, caramel and amber malts, some smoke. is this an old ale? is it a belgian dubbel? i taste the candy sugar first, and some bright yeast. hard to classify this really, as there is an english and distinctly american malt vibe. the smoke is light, but reminds me of the ithaca cold front i had recently. so much going on here. more brown sugar and pine and plum notes as it warms. the feel is also right on, a little fuller in body than i remember last years being, and carbonated delicately, which is just about right. i could do a 6er of this no worries at all. also probably the best anchor beer going, dont know if these ratings will vindicate that or not, but im really enjoying this tonight. just loaded with class, this baby is elegant and proper, while being bold and daring at the same time. thats hard to get in a beer if you think about it, especially one you want to drink until your saturation point. this is phenominal, and i think its grossly underrated on here. this is the winter beer for people who dont normally like winter beers. minimal sweet, almost no spice, maybe just a slight hint of clove, or maybe its just rye malt at the end. really hard to tell. check it out before i buy it all up!

StonedTrippin, Dec 12, 2012
Photo of Ryanm1
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This might have been my first anchor Christmas on record, dispite hearing how awesome it was in years prior.

I was taken aback when I visited the Anchor Brewery in San Francsico when my tour guide told me each year Anchor Christmas is a different recipe each year along with a different local tree on the bottle each year by the same artist. I knew I had to jump at the chance when I saw this on Tap at the Penn Valley Pub.

This poured crayola black from the tap into a 20oz pint. Not much head aka lacing at all. This was an amazing brew though. Absolutely loved it. Sweet, malty, thick not excessively bitter. Great winter warmer to go along with my Chipoltle chicken cheesesteak. Worth the $6.50.

Ryanm1, Jan 04, 2013
Photo of pat_usher
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

pat_usher, Jul 16, 2014
Photo of zp6167a
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

zp6167a, Aug 30, 2014
Photo of theaceofspaeder
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

theaceofspaeder, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of jjd315
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

jjd315, Nov 16, 2012
Our Special Ale 2012 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 681 ratings.