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

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693 Ratings
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Our Special Ale 2013 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 2013 (Anchor Christmas Ale)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States
anchorbrewing.com

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by notchucknorris on 11-04-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
693
Reviews:
126
Avg:
3.74
pDev:
12.57%
 
 
Wants:
10
Gots:
82
For Trade:
2
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 693 |  Reviews: 126
Photo of victory4me
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of thinwhiteduke
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of oldsailor
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Carl_R
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Radiosox
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of mmmbeerNY
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of wordemupg
4.24/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

355ml bottle poured into tulip 30/11/13

A dark brown with a deep maroon glow when held to the light, two fingers of dark tan foam hangs around for a few sips leaving a few partial rings on the way down

S anise, root beer, cola, herbal and leafy notes, dark toffee, faint coco, spruce, a pile of freshly chopped fire wood, fruit cake and winter spices I can't quite place

T more spice and some brown sugar and molasses I didn't smell, everything's still there in one form or another but the nose just has a little something over the flavor

M medium bodied, slightly foamy but manageable, spicy, herbal finish

O great nose, complex all-around, I could smash a 6er no problem and I just might right now

Another great Christmas ale from Anchor, I look forward to this one every year and I grab a magnum to age but I always seem to drink it before next years release

 870 characters

Photo of shigg85
4.24/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Lots of woodsy berry flavors in this! This is no easy-drinking winter warmer, and I like it that way! Forces you to come to terms with juniper, clove, molasses, pine, roots, twigs, and branches in the flavor! Definitely complex and unique. Would complement an apple pie or something like that.

 293 characters

Photo of Dreizhen
4.24/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Think Chimay Blue, but a little lighter and a little more caramel. Very pleasant. Very drinkable. Makes me want to eat a roast beast.

Thin head that deteriorates at a decent rate. Solid mouth feel. Dark appearance.

Malt, chocolate, dark fruits, caramel. Emphasis on the last two.

Very good seasonal ale with a lot of great pairing opportunities.

 349 characters

Photo of damndirtyape
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a Libby globe porter/stout glass. Date stamp of bottling: 3OX (2013 October 24).

Appearance: Dark brown, clear cola brown at the edges. Very thin foam across the top with persistent sheets and strands of lacing.

Smell: Christmas spice smells - nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, hint of some charred malt as well.

Taste: Lots of holiday spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, plus a hint of anise) plus a roasted malt sweetness. Finish is mildly bitter, some very mild leafy hop notes at the end.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, slick, little bit spicy on the tongue, little bit sticky on the teeth.

Overall / Drinkability: This may be one of the better Christmas Ales I've had from Anchor in regard to flavor and aroma. Lots of spicy flavors and aromas, and very very drinkable. I could easily have another bottle, but for some reason I feel I have to let this beer last the month like it's a special treat. Well, I suppose it is a treat since it only comes out once a year, isn't it? Well done!

 1,006 characters

Photo of Algar11
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of AdamTebbs
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of scottfrie
4.16/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into snifter.

A: Pours a deep cola brown with a huge, dense, and fluffy looking light brown head that took forever to fade into a thin collar that left sticky patches of lace down the glass.
S: Very inviting notes of forest spices, holiday baking spices, and fruity hops and yeast. The nose is complex and it’s hard to nail any one scent down, but I get notes of cardamom, peach, mint, wood, forest floor dirt, clove, cookie dough, brown sugar, nutmeg, and antique shop.
T: Follows the nose with complex flavors of spice rack mixed with dough and forest. Bitter citrus pith, spearmint, tropical hops, and a touch of powdery chocolate come through as well. The finish is full of green leafy spices, and the aftertaste reminds me of a dark Belgian ale except more bitter. Reminds me of mint chewing gum at times.
M: Medium body, smooth and drinkable mouthfeel with a good dose of bitterness to it. The carbonation is frothy but soft and splashy.
O: Hoppier than I remember in years past with a good dose of bitterness and complex spice flavor. Very delicious, as usual.

 1,086 characters

Photo of dbbrew
4.16/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of bsp77
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Dark brownish-ruby with creamy tan head that mostly recedes with slight lacing lines.

Smell: Faintly sweet spices of allspice, clove and ginger. Nice chocolate and caramel undertones with a mild roastiness.

Taste: Bittersweet roasted malts with light notes of chocolate and caramel. The spices counterbalance the Porter-like base nicely, and include gingerbread, allspice, clove. A hint of a sour finish.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, somewhat dry finish.

Overall: Much better than last year, but not as good as 07 and 09, which remain my favorites.

 637 characters

Photo of ExaltedNecrosis
4.11/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into tulip glass.

A - Pours a dark brown with a reddish tint. One and a half fingers of light brown head.

S - Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, caramel, and toast are all apparent in the aroma. A bit of sweetness along with the spice.

T - I get a lot of the holiday spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, with pine / spruce, caramel, toasted malt, earthiness, and a hint of chocolate. I can definitely see how this is a Christmas ale. Great amount of complexity yet it remains balanced between sweetness and spices.

M - Thin-to-moderate body with moderate carbonation. It feels a bit sticky at times, but is not as thick as I would have hoped. Nice earthy aftertaste.

O - I was pleasantly surprised at this one, not knowing what to expect as this is my first one. Has a great complexity and range of flavors with the spices, sweetness, and earthy tree notes. I will be looking forward to future vintages of this.

 922 characters

Photo of GMB
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A standard pour of Anchor's "Our Special Ale, 2013" yields a dark brown body that lets through just enough light to reveal ruby highlights when held up to strong light. The pour also yields a respectable tan head that falls slowly and leaves behind some sticky froth atop the brew. Carbonation is gentle. I expect a gentle mouthfeel.

The nose comprises a mix of familiar roasted aromas and seasonal spices. Molasses, raisins, and nutmeg, and a splash of port wine are easily appreciable.

The taste follows the nose before moving well beyond it. Molasses, prunes, raisins, and nutmeg are out front. Bitter spices dominate the middle. I pick up, in addition to nutmeg, touches of cinnamon, clove, and allspice. Roasted nuts appear on the back end. Port wine's sweet and alcoholic flavors develop during the hang. Hoppy flavors aren't clearly palpable, but I suspect that some of the spice flavors owe themselves to well-balanced hopping. A warm mixture of raisins molasses-coated toasted almonds seasoned with holiday spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove), enjoyed while sipping sweet port. Yes, that's what this beer tastes like.

"Our Special Ale, 2013" is an outstanding winter warmer. The flavors are clear and delicious. The profile is complex and layered. This may be the best warmer I've had to date.

 1,308 characters

Photo of Celtics17
4.09/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Smells of a bit of roasted malt with some spices.

Taste- Very nice spice backbone, and slight ginger, and some hop bitterness. Slight chocolate notes. I liked this years version. The flavors played well with each other.

A fan of this from start to finish.

 258 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

 1,449 characters

Photo of HardyA
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%

Photo of Tilley4
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Spices have mellowed out over the course of the last year.. Very nice holiday ale... Hints of spruce and cinnamon and nutmeg and all things Christmas... Really nice edition of this offering from Anchor...

 207 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.06/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz (kyle) Singler

A winter staple - I could never pick one vintage apart from the rest as they always seem to taste identical to me. It's always been very pine forward - like you were ingesting a liquefied version of your x-mess tree. Gingerbread, spruce, a touch of cinnamon. I always have room for 1 or 2 of these suckers a year.

 334 characters

Photo of GameOfBeers
4.04/5  rDev +8%

Photo of notchucknorris
4.04/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep brown color with ruby hues when held to light. A tightly laced sand colored foam head stays at about half a finger.

S: Has a great blend of baking spices mixed with some bready malt and some dark fruit notes. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, banana bread, cola, light chocolate. Digging it.

T: Bready with some spices poking through. Some molasses, dark bread, cinnamon and a rich nuttiness throughout. Mouthfeel is a touch thin, but this is really good. I'm liking this a lot more than last year's.

 512 characters

Photo of udrick
4.04/5  rDev +8%

Our Special Ale 2013 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
3.74 out of 5 based on 693 ratings.
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