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.
BA SCORE
83
good

680 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 680
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 680 | Reviews: 192 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Scott1970
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Scott1970, Dec 09, 2012
Photo of leokbelo
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%

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.

leokbelo, Dec 09, 2012
Photo of Damian74Shensky
4.38/5  rDev +20%

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 dcollinsOX
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

dcollinsOX, Dec 09, 2012
Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%

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.

BeardedBoffin, Dec 09, 2012
Photo of sywalters
3.25/5  rDev -11%

sywalters, Dec 08, 2012
Photo of enfield249
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%

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.

enfield249, Dec 08, 2012
Photo of 6thstreetbrewpub
4/5  rDev +9.6%

6thstreetbrewpub, Dec 08, 2012
Photo of ChrisL24481
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

ChrisL24481, Dec 08, 2012
Photo of Giantspace
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Giantspace, Dec 08, 2012
Photo of OMPH
4/5  rDev +9.6%

OMPH, Dec 08, 2012
Photo of arizcards
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%

Picked up a sixer at Total Wine in early November for $11.99.

Beer poured brown with a nice off white head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose has hints of allspice and nutmeg.

Taste has a molasses malt backbone with nutmeg to lend some bittering and allspice for the Christmas cookie effect.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall this is a pretty decent rendition of this annual treat. Fun to try as always.

arizcards, Dec 08, 2012
Photo of ridgeline23
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

ridgeline23, Dec 08, 2012
Photo of rderedin
3.25/5  rDev -11%

rderedin, Dec 08, 2012
Photo of MadScientist
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%

A: A very dark brown with excellent clarity and a deep garnet hue. The persistent, medium-tan head is velvety and rocky at the same time leaving sticky lacing on the glass

S: The aroma is like spiced fruit with a fair amount of spice and pine dominating; a ginger note and cloves being the strongest smells. There is some allspice and a caramel malt a medium level. Some esters of prunes come through.

T: Malty but not sweet with the spice and citrus hops being about on par. The spice has some ginger and clove to it like in the aroma with an allspice flavor coming though towards the end. The balance is somewhat bitter and spicy. The finish is off-dry with a spice aftertaste.

M: A surprisingly medium-light body with moderately-low carbonation. There is a slight astringency from the spice addition but not unpleasant.

O: If you want to enjoy a spiced beer pick up an "Our Special Ale" The spice dominates but toes over power. I look forward to a couple of these every holiday season. Pairs wile with a fruit or pumpkin pie.

MadScientist, Dec 08, 2012
Photo of ng85
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

ng85, Dec 07, 2012
Photo of keenanite21
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

keenanite21, Dec 07, 2012
Photo of tobelerone
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

tobelerone, Dec 07, 2012
Photo of philbe311
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%

It truly isn't the holiday season until I pop my first one of these...

A - A finger plus some of crisp perfectly level slightly creamy medium khaki colored head comprised of medium sized bubbles... Impressive retention... The color is a translucent medium brown... A limited bit of micro bubbled rapid paced carbonation streaks within...

S - The aroma is fairly muted... The first distinct scents detected are holiday spice in the form of nutmeg and ginger... There are some warm bready toasted malts... Perhaps some light dark fruit notes... A layer of a caramel sweetness lies beneath the surface a bit... Very pleasant, but I wish it were a bit more pronounced...

T - The flavors mimic the nose identically... Ginger and nutmeg... Bread crust... Raisins... Some light tannin like notes as well... The sweetness is very muted... A greater than expected hop bitterness on the finish...

M - Starts medium bodied and quite smooth... Creamy and lush... The finish is a bit disappointing and turns thin and under carbonated...

D - Not my favorite Anchor holiday offering of recent years, but still a tasty brew and required right of passage to the holiday season... I will have no trouble finishing the six pack that I invested in, but will eagerly await next year's offering while dreaming of previous year incarnations...

philbe311, Dec 07, 2012
Photo of avisong
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

avisong, Dec 07, 2012
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.65/5  rDev 0%

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is very dark and smooth in appearance, with ruby highlights amidst the dark brown. No head whatsoever on this brew. Aromas of pine tassles, fig and date sweetness, bubblegum, licorice, and oak. Smells aged and rich, with some meaty qualities sprinkled throughout, as well. Flavors are rich, like port wine rich, but with a more earthy and oaky tone. Some charcoal character throughout the roasted flavors, too. Very warm and dark flavors, with the old world fruit blending with molasses to provide a solid backbone to envelope and enrich the green and woodsy spicing. Rich, slightly tangy aftertaste that has a touch of bitterness at the end of it, possibly coffee and dark chocolate. Smooth and full in mouth, with a rich, clean finish.

GarthDanielson, Dec 06, 2012
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%

Anchor Brewing Company
Our Special Ale
2012 edition

LOOK: Pours a clear dark brown color with a solid topping of off white foam leaving plenty of lace. A very good looking brew.

SMELL: Molasses, brown sugar, roast, and the signature evergreen/spruce note.

TASTE: Roasted malts upfront along with an herbal spruce flavor, along with pine and measurable bitterness. Molasses and chocolate from the malts provide a hearty base for the beer. Light spices round out the flavor with some clove and dusty cinnamon.

FEEL: Full bodied and well carbonated. Clean crisp finish with just a small lingering sappy pine note.

OVERALL: As enjoyable as some of my favorite vintages. This is a classic holiday beer.

Stinkypuss, Dec 06, 2012
Photo of circus_cat
3/5  rDev -17.8%

circus_cat, Dec 06, 2012
Photo of bbadger
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

bbadger, Dec 06, 2012
Photo of tkelley
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

12 oz bottle poured into a large tulip glass.

A -- Pours really dark with a tan head. Way darker than most warmers I've seen. Okay lacing. Thin layer of foam retained well.

N -- Cloves and hops. Also, this beer's smell reminded me of my favorite farm stand... so I guess it smells kind of like potpourri? Sure. It's kind of neat and weird, but after I took a big sip, I got the scent in the back of my nasal cavity. Im not sure that's supposed to happen.

T -- Cloves again, but with a good malt roast backup. Sweet, nut not that sweet. Not too boozy.

M -- Slightly above-average heft. Swished it around a bit in my mouth and it got bubbly and tingly.

O -- Pretty good. Different from a lot of warmers I've had in that it was a little more hop forward and relied a lot on cloves instead of ginger, orange, and nutmeg. At least to me. I liked it and would drink it again gladly.

Cheers!

tkelley, Dec 06, 2012
Our Special Ale 2012 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 680 ratings.