1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

669 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 669
Reviews: 192
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 13
Gots: 44 | 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)
View: Beers (24) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 669 | Reviews: 192 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hollywood_15063


1.75/5  rDev -51.9%

12-12-2012 22:34:32 | More by hollywood_15063
Photo of StonedTrippin


4.33/5  rDev +19%
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!

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2012 00:30:59 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of paulleft


4/5  rDev +9.9%

12-12-2012 00:01:29 | More by paulleft
Photo of marct


4/5  rDev +9.9%

12-11-2012 05:22:32 | More by marct
Photo of oriolesfan4


3.75/5  rDev +3%

12-11-2012 01:47:05 | More by oriolesfan4
Photo of dllman25

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

12-10-2012 22:22:03 | More by dllman25
Photo of agreenman19


3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

12-10-2012 20:16:05 | More by agreenman19
Photo of hosehead83


4.23/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a "stubby" 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Dark brown/black in color, with ruby highlights, and a sturdy, tan head of foam.
Aroma-Spruce, chocolate notes
Taste-Subtle cinnamon and nutmeg,spruce tips, pine needles, chocolate, earthy hop notes. Big character and complexity in an arguably sessionable brew clocking in at a "mere' 5.5ABV. Finishes dry, and upon warming a bit, rather choclatey. A bit of a step down from previous years but still one of my Christmas-time favorites, equally at home with a holiday meal or a plate of cookies.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2012 17:47:10 | More by hosehead83
Photo of PSU79


4/5  rDev +9.9%

12-10-2012 17:31:26 | More by PSU79
Photo of sendbeer


4/5  rDev +9.9%

12-10-2012 14:42:07 | More by sendbeer
Photo of sbanacho


4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

12-10-2012 04:32:40 | More by sbanacho
Photo of EvilAsh


3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

12-10-2012 00:57:48 | More by EvilAsh
Photo of scottfrie


3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into block 15 snifter.

A: Pours a very deep maroon with a couple fingers of light brown head. Head slowly faded into a faint color leaving spotty lace down the glass.
S: Spruce tips, cinnamon and ginger come to mind with hints of clove, nutmeg, faint citrus, caramel, and dark fruits.
T: Follows the nose with pine, spruce, clove, caramel, ginger, cardamom, cocoa, orange zest, and brown sugar. I get hints of mint and allspice in the finish and ginger and spruce in the aftertaste.
M: Medium-full body, sweet but not cloying, soft and fluffy carbonation. Mouthfeel is sweet, definitely a dessert type beer.
O: Will likely age as well as the others. Flavors are bright and sweet. A little time some of the sweetness should die down. Drinks very good as is though. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2012 00:17:11 | More by scottfrie
Photo of rheimbro


4/5  rDev +9.9%

12-09-2012 22:05:20 | More by rheimbro
Photo of Scott1970


3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

12-09-2012 21:09:38 | More by Scott1970
Photo of leokbelo


3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark cherry wood into a pint glass.
2 inch creamy head fades into a1/2 inch lacing.
Gingerbread on the nose with hints of nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar and figs.
Alive with carbonation on the palate, with a subtle tone of roasted coffee. Light bitterness kept at bay by the malts.
Very well balanced.
Highly drinkable.
Would recommend.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 17:16:02 | More by leokbelo
Photo of Damian74Shensky

South Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +20.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 02:39:28 | More by Damian74Shensky
Photo of dcollinsOX

New York

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

12-09-2012 00:25:12 | More by dcollinsOX
Photo of BeardedBoffin

New Mexico

3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another holiday tradition---Anchor's annual Christmas Ale. This year's version pours the usual deep chestnut brown with a thick pillowy cap of foam which decayed into a pock-marked surface and plenty of lacing. Spices from the aroma open the senses for the caramel malt. Ginger, nutmeg, clove, and perhaps some allspice form the blend. These scrub the palate and leave it open for caramel malt to lay down with a sheet of slightly bitter chocolate. As it moves through a surprising bitterness emerges and provides balance. Plenty drinkable. Middle of the road for this series.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 00:25:08 | More by BeardedBoffin
Photo of sywalters


3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

12-08-2012 23:38:21 | More by sywalters
Photo of enfield249


3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a very clear brown, with a ever so slight reddish tint. No head to speak of, but an off-white ring of foam.

S - Sweet, with dark fruits, cookies, brown sugar.

T - Very tangy sweet up front, with some of the roast flavors in the middle. Leaves me with a sweet taste in my mouth

M - Cloying, but not out of the range for this style.

O - Not the best showing of the OSA, but very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2012 18:56:11 | More by enfield249
Photo of 6thstreetbrewpub

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +9.9%

12-08-2012 16:21:19 | More by 6thstreetbrewpub
Photo of ChrisL24481

New Hampshire

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

12-08-2012 15:35:10 | More by ChrisL24481
Photo of Giantspace


4/5  rDev +9.9%

12-08-2012 15:22:59 | More by Giantspace
Photo of OMPH


4/5  rDev +9.9%

12-08-2012 01:31:14 | More by OMPH
Our Special Ale 2012 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 669 ratings.