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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
82
good

669 Ratings
THE BROS
-
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)
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Ratings: 669 | Reviews: 192 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chadaris
chadaris

Ohio

4.45/5  rDev +22.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2012 16:45:27 | More by chadaris
Photo of brihenry
brihenry

District of Columbia

3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured in tulip. A deep dark brown to dark amber when tilted with a firm off white head that leaves lingering lace. A very faint sweet aroma with a trace of nutmeg. Toast and a cracker-like bread flavor with strong nutmeg spice. There's a slight tart sweetness following the spice, and some mild pine hop character. The body is a bit thin, there's not much a malt base to it, fairly dry at the end, with tight, but not much, carbonation.

Overall the spice and toasty dryness do make it a dark festive beer, great for this dark, wet afternoon.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2012 00:08:33 | More by brihenry
Photo of Bruv
Bruv

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev +3%

11-18-2012 00:06:10 | More by Bruv
Photo of hooliganlife
hooliganlife

Missouri

3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a seasonal favorite of mine

this years pours the similar cola black with about a half inch of creamy head

bright fresh dark fruit, light faint citrus hops on the nose.

similar bright ripe dark fruit, with an added roasted char. some light spice carries through the finish.

mild to moderate carbonation, smooth feel

good stuff, not my favorite year though

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2012 02:01:28 | More by hooliganlife
Photo of optimaul
optimaul

Texas

4.75/5  rDev +30.5%

11-17-2012 01:16:58 | More by optimaul
Photo of fehrminator
fehrminator

North Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

11-16-2012 23:17:29 | More by fehrminator
Photo of Giggy
Giggy

Michigan

3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark leather broken pour with a hint of red. Good tan head that remains.

S: Initial floral smell much like jasmine.

T: Floral element continues into the taste. Dark malts and dried fruits like prunes. Very woodsy. Mild spices.

M: Dry finish. Moderate carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2012 22:57:24 | More by Giggy
Photo of jjd315
jjd315

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

11-16-2012 17:23:19 | More by jjd315
Photo of popery
popery

California

3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is one of my favorite winter spiced beers. This year's entry is an interesting take, though not particularly strong compared to recent years, in my opinion. It pours a dark, rich brown color, sort of a reddish wood shade. Outside of direct light, it looks nearly black. Good tan head. The aroma is a pleasant mix of dark malt and restrained spicing. It's woodier than most spiced beers, though it still tends toward the normal nutmeg, coriander, cinnamon range. There's some nice cocoa and caramel flavors. It smells a bit like a spiced Christmas pastry. Taste is similar. It's not too terribly sweet. There's a very light woody sour note. More caramel is noticeable and a bit less spice. It's almost porter-ish. Light band-aid note in the finish. Mouthfeel is good. A bit sticky but pleasantly so. I mostly just wish that the flavors were stronger. I would love to try a bigger version of this beer, particularly if they could brew it without increasing the sweetness too much.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2012 08:03:02 | More by popery
Photo of Hopmarc
Hopmarc

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

11-15-2012 23:22:29 | More by Hopmarc
Photo of bsp77
bsp77

Minnesota

3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Ruby black with nice brown head that retains well.

Smell: Uh, smells like a pumpkin beer. Haven't really thought that in previous years. Still that stale Porter smell underneath.

Taste: Stale, dry chocolate Porter upfront, which is overtaken by spices that once again seem very pumpkin like. I am even getting that nutty and sweet mixture I get from pumpkin. Finishes with dry chocolate.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, with a body that is slightly thinner than I would like. But the very dry finish improves the feel a lot.

Overall: Not up to par with recent releases, but still very tasty and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2012 23:09:37 | More by bsp77
Photo of skaboom420
skaboom420

Pennsylvania

2.75/5  rDev -24.5%

11-15-2012 19:18:49 | More by skaboom420
Photo of ouits
ouits

Ohio

3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

11-15-2012 18:58:35 | More by ouits
Photo of Jaacob
Jaacob

California

3/5  rDev -17.6%

11-15-2012 17:22:01 | More by Jaacob
Photo of JJFordick
JJFordick

Illinois

3/5  rDev -17.6%

11-14-2012 21:54:25 | More by JJFordick
Photo of bark
bark

Sweden

2.95/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The colour is deep warm brown, the liquid is clear. The pale brown three finger head is compact, it sinks slowly leaving almost no lacing.

The smell is spicy with some clean bitter notes and a powerful sweetness. Cloves. Ginger? Paradise grains? Nutmeg? Lemon peels? Some roasted malts and quite a lot of toffee. Liquid Christmas...

The taste is quite dry and very spicy, not in a harsh way although they got some fat phenolic notes. Some toffee and caramel. The body is light, it doesn’t really measure up with the spices. The aftertaste is dry, almost astringent with Christmas spices, some butterscotch and a touch of alcohol. The finish is astringent, phenolic and not very pleasant.

The carbonation is medium strong, the mid-sized bubbles fresh. The liquid is quite dry.

Too much spices and an overall harsh feel makes this beer very unbalanced. One of the less impressive vintages of Our Special Ale I have had.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2012 20:29:18 | More by bark
Photo of JLG193
JLG193

Michigan

2.75/5  rDev -24.5%

11-14-2012 17:11:23 | More by JLG193
Photo of tony223366
tony223366

California

3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Really dark brown, no light shines through this beer at all. It's not quite black, but a very rich brown. The head has a smooth frothiness to it. Tan in color with a dynamic mix of bubble sizes. Lacing is gorgeous and follows the receding head. That being said the retention is very good, but not quite perfect.

S: This smells like... Christmas, just like last years! Not quite as much as last year though. I primarily get nutmeg and some kind of citrus, like orange zest or something. Maybe even a little ginger on the finish? There's a very light amount of burnt sugary malt aroma in there too.

T: Whoa... actually... kind of a let down! The first thing I get tastes off, but that would really surprise me coming from them. There's way more phenols than I would expect from a Christmas beer like this. Maybe a little black licorice mixed with raisins too. There is your nutmeg and ginger though, so that's fitting. That leads to a more standard chocolate malt that turns to a brown sugar grainy flavor. The finish is surprisingly dry like an unsweetened chocolate.

M: Too thin and the carbonation is only ok. There is practically no richness to this beer, which is a huge disappointment.

O: For one of my favorite categories, this is one of my least favorite that I've had in a long time. It seems all over the place without really finding it's own character. It's a bit of the "little bit of this, little bit of that" mentality that keeps it from being cohesive. Certainly not bad, but the big bottle will certainly not make it to the table this year.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2012 06:10:03 | More by tony223366
Photo of PEIhop
PEIhop

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev +3%

11-13-2012 21:48:18 | More by PEIhop
Photo of jcparish88
jcparish88

Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

11-13-2012 18:36:19 | More by jcparish88
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

4.45/5  rDev +22.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2012 23:43:52 | More by champ103
Photo of Circleo12
Circleo12

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +9.9%

11-12-2012 13:34:12 | More by Circleo12
Photo of raynmoon
raynmoon

California

3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I'd consider this one of my favorite beers. I look forward to almost as much as Celebration ale. The perfect sessionable winter warmer. Time for a overall score.

It's a sexy beer. The head says it's a stout, but when held to the light, it has a super deep ruby color to it; awesome.

Tons of ginger and cinnamon, slight breadiness. It just came out of the refrigerator, so it will take some time to really become aromatic.

That ginger and cinnamon comes through right away, then it rolls over the tongue kind of watery/ lack-in-flavor, and then finishes dry and cocoa-like.

This beer uses it's spices better than I've seen any pumpkin ale. Those tend to taste like brown sugar and weird out of place spices. This one screams Holidays. I don't know how they do it.

Overall, it could use a little bit more character and body, but still a good beer to enjoy and will always recommend.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2012 04:59:12 | More by raynmoon
Photo of volta
volta

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

11-11-2012 21:57:58 | More by volta
Photo of Piason
Piason

California

4/5  rDev +9.9%

11-11-2012 21:38:51 | More by Piason
Our Special Ale 2012 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 669 ratings.