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

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Our Special Ale 2013 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 2013 (Anchor Christmas Ale)
BA SCORE
3.66/5
Good
696 Ratings
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
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
126
Ratings:
696
pDev:
12.84%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
9
Gots:
83
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 696 |  Reviews: 126
Photo of BEERMILER12
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a dark mahogany color with 2 fingers of head that slowly fades down to a nice cap that leaves decent lacing

S: The usual anchor yeast along with a good bit of spices and maltiness. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger stand out for the spices. Complex as always

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the spices and maltiness, along with a solid chocolate malt presence. Some roastiness presents itself as well. The cinnamon and nutmeg compliment the roast very nicely. Finishes with a lingering roastiness

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation

O: This seems a lot like the 2011 version in terms of spicing, with chocolate and roasted malts thrown in the mix. Very drinkable and a solid holiday brew. There's no reason not to pick some up, simply because of the fact that these brews are known to age very well and they are always very Christmas-y

 860 characters

Photo of scottfrie
4.16/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

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Photo of beergoot
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark mahogany body with an exceptionally thick, rich, creamy head. Spice and fruit aromas; coriander, cinnamon, allspice; orange and lemon peel; Christmas pine. Toasted malt flavors with all kinds of residual fruity esters and a twinge of alcohol warmth; further savoring reveals some licorice and anise. Medium-light body; juicy.

Quite the mouthful of aromas and flavors. Surprisingly light bodied for a big winter ale yet jam-packed with taste bud treats. If a winter holiday fest beer is what you're in the mood for, this would be a prime candidate.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.06/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

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Photo of arizcards
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a single in mid-November for $2.99.

Beer poured dark brown with a nice tan head that dissipated quickly.

Nose is cinnamon and nutmeg.

Taste is roasted malts, coriander, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall this is a pretty decent rendition of Our Special Ale. I used to buy sixers of this but over the last couple of years find that more than one is overwhelming.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of baklo
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of xnicknj
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of leitmotif
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of warnerry
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Durge
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of Jame515
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of hilgart1
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of tbryan5
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of ShemRahBoo
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of wedge
3.61/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown mahogany color with plentiful tan creaminess on top. Smells of mellow spiced fruit, toffee, molasses, pine resin, and gingerbread. Dry, spiced, somewhat gingerbread-y flavor. A little tart fruit, spruce, bitter chocolate, orange peel, and faint maple. Medium body, creamy texture, with a slickness that sticks to the tongue. Always fun to see what the next year's OSA will bring. Definitely better as it warms up.

 437 characters

Photo of Beginner2
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of braican
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of Gmann
3.59/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour a very deep brown color with a tight beige creamy head that settled into a light cap with lacing on the glass.

The aroma is of sweet malt, quite bready. There is a candied orange sweetness with a pine or spruce earthiness. There is a very much a fruitcake aroma to this beer.

The taste is of a pumpernickel bready base. Lots of candied fruit sweetness. Orange and pineapple seem to stand out. Some scorched caramel provides some additional sweetness. Not very hoppy, perhaps a touch of pine.

Moderate to full feel with noticeable carbonation. The beer is sweet but there is enough of an earthy bitterness. A touch sticky in the finish.

The beer captures fruitcake very well but it screams for needed hoppy flavor.

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Photo of AnitaBrewski
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of ArkyVaughan
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of cbcrunch
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.31/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A 355ml bottle with a BB of Oct 2015. Picked up recently from the York Wine & Beer shop. The latest installment of Anchor's seasonal brew - I seem to recall reading that they were going to make significant changes this year. Let's see....

Poured into a Delirium chalice. A very dark reddish-brown hue with plentiful carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy beige foam that lasts for a few minutes before settling as a patchy surface layer. Slight lacing. Aroma of warm spicy notes: cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg and a touch of coriander, underpinned by fruity malt, earthy yeast and stewed leaves. A hint of harsh cardboard in the background.

Tastes of acrid spice and mildly fruity malt, with a dry, bitter finish. Notes of woody cinammon, clove, nutmeg, mild ginger, fruity malt, earthy yeast, stewed leaves and harsh cardboard. The dominant spice character is excessive and discordant. A leafy, herbal bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with decent carbonation and a satisfactory body for the style. Rather astringent, followed by an aftertaste of dry, bitter spice/herbs, stewed leaves and faint malt.

Hmmm - not Anchor's best attempt at a Christmas ale. It looks OK and the aroma is pleasantly rounded, however the flavour possesses a harsh, dry bitterness that swamps any other contributing characteristics. Body is alright. Basically, the spice addition is a little heavy-handed. I've had better Christmas brews - no need to hunt this one down.

 1,483 characters

Photo of prototypic
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Our Special Ale 2013 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 696 ratings