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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
83
good

680 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 680
Reviews: 192
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 14
Gots: 47 | 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: 680 | Reviews: 192 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mcewesr
2/5  rDev -45.2%

mcewesr, Apr 30, 2013
Photo of hopley
3/5  rDev -17.8%

hopley, Apr 14, 2013
Photo of gillagorilla
3.39/5  rDev -7.1%

12oz. bottle into a pint glass

A: Deep red if held up to the light. It has a strong head on the pour that diminishes quite rapidly.

S: Sweet, malty roast with a cherry rye.

T: Kind of like an old ale that seems like a cheap, old stale wine.

M: Crisply smooth with a few bubbles.

O: Not a fan. I couldn't finish it, but it might just not be my style.

gillagorilla, Apr 12, 2013
Photo of korene84
2/5  rDev -45.2%

korene84, Apr 04, 2013
Photo of Razorback09
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Razorback09, Mar 29, 2013
Photo of Vigilante
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Vigilante, Mar 29, 2013
Photo of dheacck11
3.61/5  rDev -1.1%

Pours a red muddy brown with dense mocha head, 1/2 finger, fading quickly.

Nose is pungent. Lots of bready, earthy, dense dark fruit. Sour cherry.

Taste is equally powerful. Lots of dark fruit: raisin, plum, cherry. Some subtle hint of spice at the end, but minimal. Mild roasty malt with some earthy components.

Feel is big and thick and full, but a little too sharp in the finish. Leaves a lingering acidity in your mouth.

A really unique beer. Happy I tried it, but will not get again. Just feels like the flavors are way to overdone and don't really marry into a balanced beer.

dheacck11, Mar 27, 2013
Photo of jondeelee
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%

Our Special Ale 2012 opens to a spicy, fruity, sweet nose that is instantly reminiscent of fruitcake and mulled wine. Nutmeg, clove, allspice, candied ginger, and pepper are immediately noticeable, as well as slight hints of coriander. The fruits are, on the one hand, dark and complex, with dates, green maraschino cherries, and figs, and on the other, bring nice orange peel, lemon zest, and pink grapefruit overtones. All of these rest atop thick brown breads, vanilla, molasses, wildflower honey, and a lovely Christmas layer of fresh pine needles. Add to this a slightly alcoholic touch, as of mulled wine or white port, and the result is a tantalizing aroma that would make for a world-class candle scent, and in a beer, is exactly the sort of aroma one would want while opening presents. The aromas do seem to be somewhat lighter than those in previous years’ editions, but here that’s a good thing, since at least one of the previous bottles smelled so strongly of pine needles as to be overwhelming.

On the tongue, the beer begins with a spicy kick, the cloves, nutmeg, candied ginger, allspice, and pepper instantly blasting away at the tastebuds, joined by molasses and thick brown breads, as well as deeply roasted pecans and pine needles. The fruits come in a somewhat distant second, the green maraschino cherries and dates primarily, with touches of raisin next, and the orange and lemon zest second. The effect is less fruitcake here than spicecake, and the spices do unfortunately rather overwhelm everything else, and are even more potent in subsequent mouthfuls. The aftertaste is similarly dominated by spice, with remnants of brown breads, molasses, and lemon zest, and lingers on the tongue for a very long time. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium to medium-high, fizzing on the tongue and burning the soft tissues.

Overall, this is good Christmas beer, it’s just unfortunate that the spices were so dominant, as they detracted from what was a very nice fruit and dark bread belly. The beer is by no means unpalatable, but it is strongly spiced enough that it would be difficult to drink too many in a row.

jondeelee, Mar 27, 2013
Photo of alelover
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

alelover, Mar 26, 2013
Photo of brheuer
4/5  rDev +9.6%

brheuer, Mar 24, 2013
Photo of Duchesse
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%

Duchesse, Mar 23, 2013
Photo of Jtyler379
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Jtyler379, Mar 18, 2013
Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

GreesyFizeek, Mar 12, 2013
Photo of JeffSuttonTX
4/5  rDev +9.6%

JeffSuttonTX, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

spycow, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of JMad
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%

The beer pours a very dark brown with a lofty soapy tan colored head. Man, the smell is amazing, it's like some type of Christmas desert. I could taste mostly cinnamon and raisin with a hint of maple syrup and nutmeg. The taste is almost as good, it's like a gingerbread-sugar cookie with a little spice. Feels medium bodied with low carbonation and a candy like finish. I really enjoyed this beer, honestly, it's one of the best beers I've had in a long time.

JMad, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of ihmurria
4/5  rDev +9.6%

ihmurria, Mar 04, 2013
Photo of shand
4/5  rDev +9.6%

This year's Our Special Ale gives off a huge spruce nose, along with cinnamon, chocolate, and the requisite spice rack. The taste is - go figure, heavy on spices. I could try to pick out all the individual spice notes, but that'd be an exercise in futility. If you've got a favorite winter spice, it's probably in here, hanging out with the vanilla and roast flavors. Mercifully, the spices don't linger too long, leaving a wholly pleasant roasted malt aftertaste with just a touch of cinnamon. Mouthfeel is spot-on, as Anchor tends to be, and the drinkability is great. Just like every year, Our Special Ale is a solid Winter Warmer. It's way past Christmas, but I'm glad I have this for the cold snap tonight.

shand, Mar 04, 2013
Photo of mmsimmons
4/5  rDev +9.6%

mmsimmons, Mar 03, 2013
Photo of Brownsfan13
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Brownsfan13, Mar 03, 2013
Photo of match1112
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

match1112, Mar 03, 2013
Photo of ryan1788a5
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%

ryan1788a5, Feb 27, 2013
Photo of Ish1
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Ish1, Feb 27, 2013
Photo of sixerofelixir
4/5  rDev +9.6%

sixerofelixir, Feb 27, 2013
Photo of capnamerica
4/5  rDev +9.6%

capnamerica, Feb 26, 2013
Our Special Ale 2012 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 680 ratings.