Our Special Ale 2013 (Anchor Christmas Ale)
Anchor Brewing Company

Our Special Ale 2013 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 2013 (Anchor Christmas Ale)
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Winter Warmer
ABV:
5.5%
Score:
83
Avg:
3.69 | pDev: 12.47%
Reviews:
127
Ratings:
700
From:
Anchor Brewing Company
 
California, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  8
Gots
  82
SCORE
83
Good
Our Special Ale 2013 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 2013 (Anchor Christmas Ale)
Notes:
View: Beers
Reviews: 127 | Ratings: 700 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by JohnnyK:
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JohnnyK from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +8.4%

Dec 06, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber from Washington

3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark russet brown with a fine two finger tan head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of sweet bready, lightly toasted malt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice very seasonal. Flavor is a nice blend of caramel and lightly toasted malt, cinnamon, ginger, light nutmeg and allspice, a hint of pine. Finishes with an herbal bitterness and residual seasonal spices. Surprising light creaminess and medium body. A pleasant and well spiced winter ale, lying in style somewhere between a dark bitter and very light brown ale. I liked the spicing this year and it fit well with the malt body. A nice light ale for the holidays. This was one of the better tasting years for me, although I miss the pine element that is frequently.

Mar 18, 2014
Photo of Apathetiq
Apathetiq from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +8.4%

Dec 07, 2013
Photo of KevMo84
KevMo84 from California

4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

May 20, 2014
Photo of ONUMello
ONUMello from Ohio

3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Dark brown color, 1/2-finger head
S: Pecan pie, brown sugar, molasses, ginger and licorice
T: Lighter & less complex than the nose, lots of baking spices with malt & ginger
M: Medium-bodied, smooth & spicy
O: Not my favorite but a great nose/mouthfeel and a pleasant flavor profile

Nov 30, 2013
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner from Kentucky

3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

So deep brown it appears black the head rose to a thick finger of foam with a stout look but a short life.

The scent is very fruity with dark fruit aromas like plum and prune. A touch of spruce and anise round out the spicy scent of Christmas.

The anise or licorice flavor hits the front of the palate as a dried fruit holds nearer the end. The spruce or pine tree hits with a sharpness as I detect a ginger or nutmeg.

The feel is very thin, astringent and highly carbonated with a touch of booziness.

I found this to be a good ale with all the trappings of a winter warmer but the feel is simply not up to snuff.

Dec 21, 2013
Photo of mac8113
mac8113 from California

4/5  rDev +8.4%

Apr 20, 2014
Photo of wattoclone
wattoclone from California

4/5  rDev +8.4%

Dec 25, 2013
Photo of abex44
abex44 from Texas

3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Nov 19, 2013
Photo of NickPiezzo
NickPiezzo from New Jersey

2.75/5  rDev -25.5%

Aug 15, 2014
Photo of EgadBananas
EgadBananas from Louisiana

3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Nov 18, 2013
Photo of RyanAU
RyanAU from North Carolina

3/5  rDev -18.7%

Nov 10, 2013
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Beervana from Canada (BC)

3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Apr 15, 2014
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy from Wisconsin

4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
5.5% ABV

A - Dark chocolate brown with ruby highlights, the 2013 vintage of Our Special Ale is almost black looking and crowned with an off-white head that dots the snifter in lacing as it subsides.

S - Deep toasted malt pulls through the woody, pine-like aroma of Our Special Ale, introducing rich complexities of raisin and plum into the beer. Hints of ground nutmeg and ginger add a subtle spice to the beer while a swirl releases brown sugar and caramel sweetness for a lingering complexity.

T - Substantially more shallow in flavor, Our Special Ale has a somewhat thin malt base consisting of toast and hints of roast which work well with the beer's overall earthy profile, sprinkled with spice but, sweetness is strangely absent as are the fruit complexities.

M - With a medium-light body this Winter Warmer has a smooth, easier drinking flavor profile than that of some of the more robust, truly warming winter beers but, that doesn't stop it's earthiness and delicately lingering spice from completing the seasonal beer.

O - Despite the recipe changing from year to year, Anchor's Our Special Ale always seems to remain familiar; robust earthy, pine-like aromas and malty, toasted flavor with a sprinkle of holiday spice. This year has a fantastic and complex, welcoming aroma that unfortunately dies off slightly in flavor but the smooth body allows the beer to finish out nicely for a winter treat.

Dec 22, 2013
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tbryan5 from Louisiana

3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Jan 01, 2014
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brians52 from Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Nov 24, 2014
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Apr 22, 2014
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ThomasAWilson2 from Florida

4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Nov 24, 2013
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BoSean_Rodriguez from New Jersey

5/5  rDev +35.5%

Jun 30, 2014
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KAP1356 from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Dec 02, 2013
Photo of rwshelton2
rwshelton2 from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Nov 26, 2013
Photo of mdlb44
mdlb44 from California

4.75/5  rDev +28.7%

May 02, 2014
Photo of Sipchue
Sipchue from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Dec 25, 2013
Photo of Techichi
Techichi from Texas

2.75/5  rDev -25.5%

Dec 05, 2013
Photo of Jen-P
Jen-P from New York

4/5  rDev +8.4%

May 03, 2014
Our Special Ale 2013 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 700 ratings