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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.

694 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 694
Reviews: 192
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 15
Gots: 53 | 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: 694 | Reviews: 192 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HumanParaquat
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%

HumanParaquat, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of MonicaC
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%

MonicaC, Jan 16, 2013
Photo of mallison245
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%

mallison245, Jan 15, 2013
Photo of doucmehu
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%

doucmehu, Nov 28, 2012
Photo of kbrown
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%

kbrown, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of ryan1788a5
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%

ryan1788a5, Feb 27, 2013
Photo of JLG193
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%

JLG193, Nov 14, 2012
Photo of Guitars_and_beer
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%

Guitars_and_beer, Dec 18, 2013
Photo of terence
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%

terence, Dec 16, 2012
Photo of Boilerfood
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%

Boilerfood, Jan 28, 2013
Photo of miodusb
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%

miodusb, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of skaboom420
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%

skaboom420, Nov 15, 2012
Photo of atomicbeer
2.93/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown, a shade darker than cola, with a tan cap that fades rather quickly. Many aromas: christmas pudding (dates, figs, raisins, clove, allspice, cinnamon, mace), licorice, black bread, and hints of pine hops. Taste and mouth are surprisingly thin and cardboardy. Dominant flavor is cocoa powder with bits of watery christmas pudding flavors (with mace leading) trying to poke through. Some molasses and pine/citrus skin on subsequent sips. The mouth is somewhat drying and a bit flat - not much carbonation. Interesting aromas and flavors but the mouth takes away the enjoyment.

atomicbeer, May 03, 2013
Photo of BumpinFuzzys
2.93/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Let me preface this review by saying that I think Anchor is one of the great breweries of the World. Steam Beer is my go-to beer of choice.

That being said, I think that for 38 years Fritz and company have been putting one over on us. That is, beer snobs have waxed poetically about a product that would be better suited for cleaning hubcaps (I'm speaking of the old school chrome variety)

Since the 70's, I've made my annual Monday-After-Thanksgiving pilgrimage to the brewery to purchase my 24 bottle case of this stuff. My beer-drinking friends and I were always convinced that the brewers threw every last bit of malt and hops they had in their warehouse into the kettle and topped it off with some spices. Quite the joke!

Now, Anchor has new owners. They seem to look at the bottom line a little differently. While the color and aroma are still there, the alcohol content and the aftertaste are less pronounced because of, I suspect, a reduction in ingredients.

Anchor Christmas Ale has always been a rite of passage. I've tried to pass this rite onto my sons. It was never about enjoyment.If you want enjoyment, hunt down some Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. It was more about persevering. Starting that case and finishing it.

So for that "Life's Lesson" , Anchor, I give you a 4.0

BumpinFuzzys, Nov 05, 2012
Photo of bark
2.95/5  rDev -19.2%
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.

bark, Nov 14, 2012
Photo of DWolf
3/5  rDev -17.8%

DWolf, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of doremite
3/5  rDev -17.8%

doremite, Jul 03, 2013
Photo of aztraz
3/5  rDev -17.8%

aztraz, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of Jaycase
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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 crownrl28
3/5  rDev -17.8%

crownrl28, Dec 04, 2012
Photo of bigbeers84
3/5  rDev -17.8%

bigbeers84, Nov 05, 2012
Photo of campfirebrew
3/5  rDev -17.8%

campfirebrew, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of mmurphy525
3/5  rDev -17.8%

mmurphy525, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of maxwelldeux
3/5  rDev -17.8%

maxwelldeux, Jun 03, 2013
Photo of mpalestino
3/5  rDev -17.8%

mpalestino, Aug 12, 2013
Our Special Ale 2012 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 694 ratings.