Our Special Ale 2012 (Anchor Christmas Ale) - Anchor Brewing Company
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Ratings: 669 | Reviews: 192 | Display Reviews Only:
4.38/5 rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Picked up in late 2013, nonetheless the 2012 vintage.
Chilled stubby into a shaker pint.
Look- big, frothy tan head on the pour. Sticks around forever, minimal lace.
Smell - loads of dusty fig, toasted rye, nutmeg. Very nice. Mild leather, doesn't seem overly oxidized.
Taste- also very nice. Brown bread, light spice, and currant. Something like caraway seeds. Mild spruce. Molasses finish. Lingering nutty-aromatic spices, warm sandalwood, tasty.
Mourhfeel- medium body, medium carbonation. Nice quench, a bit acidic but keeps it feeling clean.
Overall- it's held up quite well. I don't recall it being anything too flashy back in 2012, but today it's well above average for a spiced Christmas or old ale.
Serving type: bottle
11-08-2013 05:31:55 | More by Lawl3ss
3.36/5 rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
Appearance- Pours up two fingers' worth of head which seems, at the moment, to have pretty good retention. The head is a medium beige while the body is chocolate brown with hints of maroon and garnet which appears maroon with hints of dark amber when held up to the light. A bit of lacing with sheeting emerging from the surface.
Nose- Still smells like Christmas. Juniper is the the primary aroma at first but other evergreens take over (pine, cedar, etc.). This is followed by deep red fruits- berries, plums, and cherry. Some raisin to the point of fruitcake from the bottle after the pour. Some medicinal notes from the botanicals that are still fresh and inviting. Light caramel in the background.
Taste- Sweetness from the red fruits begins the flavor profile with woodiness barging in almost immediately afterward. There's a distinct bitterness to it that hints at both oak and coffee. The red fruits seem candied but are quickly canceled out by the wood. As I drink more, the sweetness comes out more and balances out the wood. Some prunes (not really my thing), a little bit of raisin, but mostly prunes. A bit thin (it is almost a year old, though) but still has plenty of presence. It's not an amazing beer by any stretch of the imagination but I am impressed by how well it's held up over the course of a year. Slightly medicinal on the finish. Too much prune flavor for me but it's still an above average beer. Lots of pine and cedar. No real juniper in the flavor profile.
Mouthfeel- Close to medium bodied with loads of carbonation and some syrup to the texture. Maybe a little too much carbonation.
Drinkability- Pretty easygoing. Standard price of Anchor's products. Although, I can't understand why anyone buys magnums of this. To showoff?
Overall- Is it really fair to review a beer that is 11 months old? Given how well it's held up- I would have to say yes. Above average, but short of solid. Definitely worth a try and I will have to try it fresh. Great for someone who likes Christmas anytime of year. (Or someone who really likes prune juice.)
Serving type: bottle
10-12-2013 03:58:06 | More by artoolemomo
Our Special Ale 2012 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 669 ratings.