Our Special Ale 2012 (Anchor Christmas Ale) - Anchor Brewing Company
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Ratings: 674 | Reviews: 192 | Display Reviews Only:
3.88/5 rDev +6.3%
Date code of 2OC, so bottled on October 3, 2012
A: Pours a dark ruby red color with a massive tan head that leaves some nice lacing and retains well
S: Get a bunch of spices along with the typical Anchor yeast. Get some cinnamon and nutmeg, with some other spices. Slightly woody
T: Follows the nose. Starts off with with a nice earthiness and goes into the spices. Finishes with a grainy breadiness and lingering spice notes
M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation
O: Smells like most of the other years I've had, but the taste is definitely earthier and less spiced. Enjoyable as always. Worthy of a purchase
11-19-2012 06:26:08 | More by BEERMILER12
4.45/5 rDev +21.9%
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.
11-18-2012 16:45:27 | More by chadaris
District of Columbia
3.25/5 rDev -11%
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.
11-18-2012 00:08:33 | More by brihenry
3.58/5 rDev -1.9%
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
11-17-2012 02:01:28 | More by hooliganlife
3.68/5 rDev +0.8%
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.
11-16-2012 22:57:24 | More by Giggy
3.68/5 rDev +0.8%
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.
11-16-2012 08:03:02 | More by popery
3.9/5 rDev +6.8%
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.
11-15-2012 23:09:37 | More by bsp77
2.95/5 rDev -19.2%
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.
11-14-2012 20:29:18 | More by bark
3.2/5 rDev -12.3%
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.
11-14-2012 06:10:03 | More by tony223366
Our Special Ale 2012 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 674 ratings.