Our Special Ale 2012 (Anchor Christmas Ale) - Anchor Brewing Company
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Ratings: 669 | Reviews: 192 | Display Reviews Only:
4.95/5 rDev +36%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
This is one of my favorites and a real treat every year. This year’s batch is no exception.
The 2012 Our Special Ale pours a deep, intense ruby amber color. Looks amazing—and a surprise from the previous few year’s dark roast color. On the aroma I get some anise, cherry and a black licorice note as well as hints of pine and evergreen. Is it fair to say there’s some juniper tucked away in there? Whatever the case the mix of botanicals plays well on the nose.
The flavor carries more of the same, with everything balanced out by a nice sweetness. There’s hints of rootbeer and licorice root along with the warming spices. I’d consider this to be a sweet red ale with gruit-like spicing. The carbonation keeps this lighter than it at first may seem. Looking forward to seeing this one with some age on it. Utterly delicious, as I expected.
After six months the wintergreen menthol remains. However, the juniper has faded and definitely on the palate the more medicinal notes have come to the fore. A real treat—Christmas in July!
Serving type: on-tap
07-22-2013 07:31:30 | More by elNopalero
United Kingdom (England)
3.65/5 rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Purchased at a “city’super” supermarket in Taipei City, Taiwan; BB 30/10/2014, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.
A: pours a very dark brown to ebony colour, coming with very light carbonation and a creamy light tan frothy head to last.
S: longan-fruit, thick black sugar, jammy or caramelised chestnut, aromatic powdered herbs (nutmeg, licorice, cinnamon, etc.), black prunes, black dates and light fragrance from dried bamboo leaves are all mixed together; very sweet, syrupy even, although the aroma benefits from more fruity acidity as it warms up. Given a very good swirl, the piney hop fragrance emerges briefly but soon gets suppressed by the other fruity-malty elements. Unbalanced overall, and a tad too sweet for me.
T: the lightly effervescent foretaste is interestingly black prune-dominated laced by a tinge of smokiness as of the shells of dried longan-fruit, followed by lightly chewy root-herbs like nutmeg plus licorice, as well as roast malts, not at all sweet as the nose suggests; the herbal bitter-sweetness and bitter nuttiness linger in the finish, where the bitter hops also makes a belated entry.
M&O: semi-smooth on the palate, lightly-carbonated, medium-bodied, flavoursome, aromatic but not at all heavy. If only the aroma was not overwhelmed by the dark malts and syrupy sweetness, the overall enjoyment of this ale could’ve been fuller. Not bad.
Serving type: bottle
07-15-2013 18:01:33 | More by wl0307
Our Special Ale 2012 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 669 ratings.