Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Our Special Ale 1994 (Anchor Christmas Ale) | Anchor Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
no score
Awaiting 10 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Our Special Ale 1994 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 1994 (Anchor Christmas Ale)

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by drewbage on 10-25-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 5 | Ratings: 8
Photo of hopdog
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I tried 5 vintages on tap at the Stuffed Sandwich ('00, '01, '02, '03 & '04). The '01 was my favorite with the '00 a close 2nd. Nice subtle, malty, caramel aromas and tastes. Molasses. Light spices. I'm glad I had the chance to compare the 4 vintages on tap.

NOTE: did a tasting on 1/15/05 that included years '87, '90, '94, '97, '98, '00, '01, '02, & '03. The '02, '01 & '94 stood out as the best of the bunch. The '94 had a nice whiskey taste to it that the others did not. I thought the older vintages held up well over the years.

 535 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'll start by saying that this beer held up really well for being now 13 years old. It was in a 12 oz bottle too.

This beer, as all years of Anchor xmas beers do, had a really nice color to it. Of course, now that its this old, it was hazy but otherwise nice to look at. It had a 1/2 inch head on it that was slightly tan in color and it didn't last long.

The smell was great, I mean beers this old usually smell like chocolate or like molasses. The smell of course had some tree components to it as well as a little bit of piney hops. This was balanced nicely by the dark malts and a little of that plum flavor that everyone talks about in dark beers.

The taste was actually pretty fresh. Mildly reminiscent of this years version. It had some odd spices in there and plenty of sweetness. Now, I didn't try this beer when it came out in 94 (as I was only 10 years old) but I think that the spices and the yeast actually made the beer slightly more bitter. This combats the aging of the hops nicely. Good flavor all the way around from the time it hits your lips to when it goes down your throat.

The body was light/medium. The only negative was that it was a bit oily. Very very drinkable beer. I gotta start buying more of this stuff to age.

 1,249 characters

Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sample taste at Chicago Beer Society vertical tasting, Dec. 1. A bit of cherry and black currants in the smell, otherwise only borderline interesting. Does put in an interesting woody hop component. For an 11 year old bottle, it's held up pretty well.

 251 characters

Photo of SwillinBrew
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured it from the bottle and it had a nice dark amber/mohagony color, leaning towards a lighter porter in color.

Smelled like xmas with nutmeg/allspice and maybe a hint of clove... I cant tell. It also taste like spices mentioned above with a good solid hearty mouthfeel. This was one of the heavier xmas blends i've had and is very enjoyable. I think i'll sip some while reading a book by the fire.

 403 characters

Photo of drewbage
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 1.5L bottle in June 2003

Nine years old? While Our Special Ale has a reputation for needing a couple of years to blend and smooth out, nie years seems a bit of a stretch.

Suprisingly, there was only a small hint of oxidation with a brown sugar profile playing with cinnamon and ginger.

With no great surprise, this beer is very dry. The flavor is sweet cinnamon, ginger, caradmom. The final impression is of a rich Christmas pudding that has dried out.

 476 characters

Our Special Ale 1994 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 8 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!