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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 rheimbro
rheimbro

Ohio

4/5  rDev +9.9%

12-09-2012 22:05:20 | More by rheimbro
Photo of Budinetz
Budinetz

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +9.9%

01-16-2013 20:05:15 | More by Budinetz
Photo of WOLFGANG
WOLFGANG

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +9.9%

07-08-2013 03:54:20 | More by WOLFGANG
Photo of MikefromDormont
MikefromDormont

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +9.9%

06-09-2013 15:10:08 | More by MikefromDormont
Photo of thecheapies
thecheapies

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anchor Christmas 2012. Soon I'll be cracking open a bottle from last year and from 2010. Right now, just this year's vintage... into a pint glass.

Very dark brown with a fluffy cap that holds the pose for awhile. Looks like a big, soppy dark seasonal ale. Excellent, because it drinks down looking almost the same and leaving some lace, too.

Nutmeg is the number one aroma this year, for sure. Cardamom, ground clove, and star anise. The licorice and evergreen aren't as pronounced in the nose this year (from what I recall from the last two years). Still that great nose for a Winter Warmer.

Sandy nutmeg and clove with some cinnamon and star anise. Weaker roast than the appearance would suggest, so the spice rack nose becomes a spice rack taste. Nice maltiness with some maple-y notes that does well to sweeten the beer enough. There is a piney-ness, like spruce or wood bark, that distinguish Anchor's Our Holiday Ale from all of the other Winter Warmers out there on the market.

The body is lighter this year, but still medium. The carbonation is on the light side. Extremely easy to drink, maybe because I enjoy it so much.

Every year, I just love this beer. It's so well-crafted and ripe with Christmas-y spices in the perfect way that I like. This year's is a bit attenuated, but I still prefer it to Great Lakes or Sly Fox. A solid 4.0.

***

Enjoyed alongside Anchor Christmas 2011 and Anchor Christmas 2010 on Black Friday 2013

2012:
Pours out a deep red-brown with darkness. The head is a bright beige color and sits longly after peaking at over an inch height. Thin, pretty lace shows up unevenly around and above the beer surface. 4

Allspice, nutmeg, clove, light pine, and hints of licorice. A mild nose with a quiet festivity to it. I recall it being a little more forward last year, but it's really hard to say. Not as particularly pine-y as past years' offerings. Good solid roast maltiness with dark breadiness and caraway and complements the spiciness nicely. Not overmatched, but balanced, in that way. 3.75

Comfortably soft and warm and tasty with a good dose of nutmeg and clove spiciness. Great flavors composed of allspice and earthiness. Doesn't fall out of the pine theme too far, with a slight evergreen and wintergreen botanical note. Slight tanginess with the idea of fruit (lightly grape-y), but mostly there is a good bready maltiness that plays on the sweet side. 3.75

Drinks soft, yet bushy, with a semi-creamy mouthfeel. Medium-light carbonation and silken body. Works pretty well. 4

2012 turns out to be drinking really well right now. One year did this beer a lot of good. Mellow, yet spicy; warm, and malty rich. A good beer right now. 4

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2012 04:05:37 | More by thecheapies
Photo of Kevin_Siqveland
Kevin_Siqveland

Virginia

4/5  rDev +9.9%

10-12-2013 21:26:09 | More by Kevin_Siqveland
Photo of oldsailor
oldsailor

Nevada

4/5  rDev +9.9%

09-28-2013 23:04:03 | More by oldsailor
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afsdan

Colorado

4/5  rDev +9.9%

04-21-2014 06:45:40 | More by afsdan
Photo of Lukass
Lukass

Ohio

4/5  rDev +9.9%

02-03-2013 22:46:37 | More by Lukass
Photo of zornbeast
zornbeast

Virginia

4/5  rDev +9.9%

12-24-2012 01:53:41 | More by zornbeast
Photo of RhodyNative
RhodyNative

California

4/5  rDev +9.9%

12-04-2012 01:55:08 | More by RhodyNative
Photo of Polasiuss
Polasiuss

Ireland

4/5  rDev +9.9%

12-31-2012 19:40:21 | More by Polasiuss
Photo of ihmurria
ihmurria

Saskatchewan (Canada)

4/5  rDev +9.9%

03-04-2013 21:10:34 | More by ihmurria
Photo of ttengea
ttengea

Ohio

4/5  rDev +9.9%

12-16-2012 17:26:10 | More by ttengea
Photo of paulleft
paulleft

Ohio

4/5  rDev +9.9%

12-12-2012 00:01:29 | More by paulleft
Photo of Giantspace
Giantspace

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +9.9%

12-08-2012 15:22:59 | More by Giantspace
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi

Georgia

4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Comes out of the tap a luscious sable with a thick, fine-bubbled and persistent tan head. Roast malt aroma has a strong woody overtone with a hint of cloves. Flavor has a roast malt core with firm spicy notes, cloves, a little cinnamon, horehound, a hint or more of caramel, a hint of licorice, a bit of a varnishy note. Smooth, firm mouthfeel has plenty of fizz. Once again, a good holiday brew from Anchor.

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2012 20:13:44 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of Beermaine
Beermaine

Maine

4/5  rDev +9.9%

12-26-2012 02:23:19 | More by Beermaine
Photo of Andy_Luft
Andy_Luft

United Kingdom (England)

4/5  rDev +9.9%

02-23-2014 17:14:14 | More by Andy_Luft
Photo of brheuer
brheuer

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +9.9%

03-24-2013 21:15:02 | More by brheuer
Photo of Jeffwildcat
Jeffwildcat

Arizona

3.99/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown. Foam head sticks till the end. Christmas spicy notes like plums and brown sugar. Nutty notes and roasted carmem malts. Nice carbination. Light to.medium body . This one was certainly different compared to the 2011 version. A solid good beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2013 04:52:29 | More by Jeffwildcat
Photo of mnrider
mnrider

Connecticut

3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. Brown Bottle.

A: Pours a smooth dark brown with a tan two finger head. This turns to
a slick thin layer withing a few seconds. Leaves a little watery lacing.

S: Sweet malts and some toasted notes. Filled with various spices. Nutmeg
is significantly strong. Other holiday spices including cinnamon.

T/M: Not unlike the smell it is filled with the tastes of the holidays. Candy,
nutmeg...Roasted malts with a slight hop presence. Smooth throughout
with a spicy finish.

O: The pros to this Winter Warmer is the holiday spices and the smoothness.
The spices can be a bit much, which makes this brew a sipper for me. Definitely
different and worth a try if you can get it before it goes away.

Cheers!!

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2012 21:24:00 | More by mnrider
Photo of wordemupg
wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml bottle poured into tulip 30/11/12

A dark brown liquid and you can nearly see the other side of the glass under the foam, a thumbs width of dark tan head sits for a few sips leaving no lace

S root beer, Christmas cake, cinnamon, nutmeg, anise and a little coco mix with some hazelnut and toffee, just a little earthy wood notes as it warms

T slightly more anise notes and coco with a little ginger, the flavor mimics the smell fairly well other then that, the nutty and earthy notes come out a little more as it warms

M medium bodied and any more bubbles it would be a little airy but it stops short, nice spiced finish lingers faintly for a while

O I like it and it's good beer but from memory the last few versions have been world class, I'm still pleased and look forward to the rest of the 6er but I'm not completely blown away

I think I was looking for big piney or spruce notes and its not really there this year, please don't get me wrong this is a very nice brew but perhaps I'm just trying to re-live old memories

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2012 06:32:11 | More by wordemupg
Photo of adamette
adamette

Ohio

3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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."

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2012 02:55:47 | More by adamette
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

3.96/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Review from 1/2013 notes. Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a dark mahogany brown with a fine quarter finger of tan head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of sweet bock malt, light pine, cinnamon and nutmeg. Flavor follows, with sweet malt, holiday spicing heavy on cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg, thins out out to a lighter, slightly tart and piney character. Lingering flavor of woody pine. Medium bodied with a mild creaminess. This year's version leans more toward piney spicing, but there is a nice background flavor leaning towards gingerbread that balances out the other spicy flavors. Lighter finish than I remember from last year, but as usual, interesting and very winter holiday oriented. A great annual tradition.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2014 01:58:02 | More by LiquidAmber
Our Special Ale 2012 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 669 ratings.