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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

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
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Ratings: 680 | Reviews: 192 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Greywulfken
4.4/5  rDev +20.5%

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 Jaycase
3/5  rDev -17.8%

a:dark, dark brown. frothy 2 1/2 finger mocha colored head

s: spices galore (nutmeg, cinnamon, others). caramel & roasted malts

t: starts off with astringent malts and then turns into some peppery spiciness.

m: medium body, slight carbonation. slightly oily.

o: very disappointing. I drank an '11 the other day and while the spices have muted some, the body was so much fuller. The '12 is incredibly thin and the astringency coupled with the thinness is off putting. The spiced aroma is the only saving grace. I cannot recommend the '12 version and am very hesitant about next year's. Will have to taste the '13 first before committing to a sixer. Great Lakes Christmas Ale blows the '12 away imo.

Jaycase, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of RyanSBrennan
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

RyanSBrennan, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of TCJosh
2/5  rDev -45.2%

TCJosh, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.48/5  rDev +22.7%

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 nsfalam
4/5  rDev +9.6%

nsfalam, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of auggie
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

auggie, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of BucannonXC5
3.1/5  rDev -15.1%

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Regular Firestone pint glass
From: BevMo in La Mesa (San Diego, Calif.)
Price: $9.99 for a 6-pack
Misc.: 38th “Special Ale”; 20H on the back of the bottle, which apparently means it was bottled on Oct. 8, 2012

Poured a brownish black color with about a finger of khaki tan head that dissipated in just under five minutes. About no lacing and no retention.

Smelled grape juice, pine tree, grape bubble gum, juniper berries (thank you recent Sam Adams Norse Legend Sahti!), apple cider, light nutmeg, light cinnamon and some other spices that I couldn’t put my finger on.

Tasted grape soda, grape bubble gum, juniper berries, cough syrup, nutmeg and some cinnamon. Not really what I was expecting coming into this beer.

Medium body. Oily texture. Fizzy (high)-to-lively (above average) carbonation. Abrupt bitter finish.

Pretty disappointed in this beer overall. Was expecting something a bit better. Not looking forward to the other five beers in this 6-pack.

BucannonXC5, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of adamette
3.98/5  rDev +9%

Live Review. Poured from the 12 oz. bottle that I bought as part of a 6 pack from Heinen's in Mentor for $11.99 the other day into a clean, clear glass. No observed "best by" date but really, it is before Christmas so I am quite sure that it is fine.

A Nice light brown creamy head stays around for several minutes, leaving a nice lacing on the inside of the glass upon repeated sips. That sits atop a dark brown body that glows a mahogany partially translucent body in front of direct light. Very good look and I really like the quantity and quality of the head. 4.5

S Grainy sweet malt with very little hops to the smell. Warm and welcoming. 4.0

T Warmth of grainy sweet malt taste as it is far more barley malt rather than anything overly sweet. The taste succeeds as a Winter Warmer without going for the sweet malt that I find in others in this style. Challenging and interesting. 4.0

M Smooth feel as it goes down so easily. 3.5

D/O Drinkability quite good with manageable ABV and smooth, approachable feel and almost gentle tastes. Overall this is a fine Winter Warmer. I have enjoyed all of the Anchor Beers that I have tasted. 4.0

Notes: Another class addition to the lengthy series of Anchor "Our Special Ale."

adamette, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright reddish brown color, with a short dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, vanilla, spices, some coffee and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a strong burst of vanilla and minty spices followed by a hearty roasted malt character and background flavors of coffee and chocolate. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, it seems as though the spiciness has increased gradually each year for the past few years.

TheManiacalOne, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of palma
2.6/5  rDev -28.8%

Not very good this year. Taste is pine, citrus, twigs, roots and dirt. A poor job trying to make this beer "earthy" in any way. Pricky soapy hops. Juniper flavor only worsens it. Thin. Astringent throughout and gets even more astringent at the end. Some malt complexity saves this beer. If you could look past the astringency, its drinkable.

palma, Dec 19, 2012
Photo of milkbone_underwear
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

milkbone_underwear, Dec 19, 2012
Photo of yoitsarch
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

yoitsarch, Dec 19, 2012
Photo of russpowell
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%

Batch 20 K pours chestnut with 4 fingers of caramel colored head. Amazing lacing & head retention

S: Sasparilla & juniper notes

T: Ligt juniper & pine notes, faint figgyness up front, along with slight leafy hopness. Some astringency & juniper as this warms, slight smokey notes that become a bit too much, plus dryness & stale jagermeister lurking in the background. Finishes slightly bitter & leafy wth horehound cough drops & pine needles

MF: Light, medium bodied with slight carbonation, balance is alright, starts to become watery as this warms, bummer

Hits above its abv weight, however, no one of the better versions. Interesting at times, but doesn't quite hold together

russpowell, Dec 19, 2012
Photo of curasowa
3.05/5  rDev -16.4%

Appearance: Dark red color with a huge, tan head that fades slowly with thick chunks of lace.

Aroma: Grainy malt with some nutmeg and molasses and faint hints of grapefruit.

Taste: Starts off pretty thin with some astringent, grainy malt before becoming very festive with lots of spiced notes. The spices carry on right through the finish, where some hints of peppery bitterness show up. The finish is otherwise fast and clean.

The Rest: Quite a difference between this and the '07 I had along side of it. Granted, five years makes a big difference, but the '07 has a much fuller body with less spice. The '12 is pretty bleh and I don't see it getting better with age - the body just isn't there. The '12 to me is just a mediocre winter warmer.

curasowa, Dec 19, 2012
Photo of Lare453
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Lare453, Dec 18, 2012
Photo of DanWrath
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

DanWrath, Dec 18, 2012
Photo of TheBronze
3/5  rDev -17.8%

TheBronze, Dec 18, 2012
Photo of LouDogg114
3.25/5  rDev -11%

LouDogg114, Dec 18, 2012
Photo of biboergosum
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%

A 20oz pint at the Underground in YEGDT.

This beer appears a clear, very dark ruby amber hue, with two fingers of dense foamy chocolate milk head, which leaves some pleasant Swiss cheese walls of lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells very much like those semi-hard caramel toffee candies universally available in convenience and drug stores, with some mild clove and nutmeg spicing, citrus cream, and soft pine resin. The taste is more musty caramel candy, a slight oily nuttiness, muddled nutmeg, ginger, and cloves, tame orange citrus flesh notes, and fresh-hewn pine tree trunk. Maybe that last one is just the tap handle sitting right in front of me, but I did saw off the base of a real fir tree not that long ago.

The carbonation is quite sedate, providing lowkey support, the body a strong medium weight, smooth, a little slick, and a bit creamy. It finishes off-dry, the caramel gaining a bread pudding character, the spices on the wane, and the bitterness of the citrus and pine coalescing into an aura of, well, Christmases past, present, and hopefully future.

A tasty enough offering, once again from Anchor for the holiday season, and of the holiday season. Maybe a tad sweet, but my palate is well-accomodating of that at the present time.

biboergosum, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of JohnFatAss
2.6/5  rDev -28.8%

I really enjoyed this last year, but something does not seem right with this year's edition.

I love the bottle and label Anchor uses for this beer.
And it sure looks nice when poured in a glass.

After that, the experience is bit of a let down.

Christmas spices are what dominate the smell. I am guessing cinnamon and nutmeg. I am not very good at identifying the spices used, but the spice presence is strong in the smell.

The taste is malty and of dark fruit like raisins. And like the smell, spices are strongly present but hard to identify. I would say Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and maybe vanilla?

It is not terrible. It is actually an interesting beer to drink, I will give it that much.
All the different spices they throw in just don't work well together. Or maybe it is a little over spiced.
Overall, it is bit of a let down

JohnFatAss, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of slyons16
4.75/5  rDev +30.1%

slyons16, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of Ik_hou_van_bier
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

Ik_hou_van_bier, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of Falien02
4.75/5  rDev +30.1%

Falien02, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of JulianBaughman
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

JulianBaughman, Dec 17, 2012
Our Special Ale 2012 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 680 ratings.