Our Special Ale 2004 (Anchor Christmas Ale) | Anchor Brewing Company

Our Special Ale 2004 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 2004 (Anchor Christmas Ale)
214 Ratings
Our Special Ale 2004 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 2004 (Anchor Christmas Ale)

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.25%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by lou91 on 11-03-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 214 |  Reviews: 193
Photo of hxdiaz
2/5  rDev -50.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Stored in bedroom closet for 12 years and never cold cellared. Heavy layer of sediment on bottom. I thought I could cellar for many many years, but I guess not as this is pretty flavorless and lifeless. There was a slight pfft when the cap popped but poured with zero head or carbonation. The initial smell was spicy and Christmas like, but this one's all around goner. Nonetheless, it must be drunk.

 400 characters

Photo of KensWorld
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I know it's past its prime but it has to be drank. Christmas in July! As expected for a 12 year old low ABV beer, it looks flat with no such carbonation. The smell is soy sauce and slight vinegar, but has a nice spice note. The taste is nothing like it looks and smells. Wow it still holds the classic Anchor taste though it has smoothed out quite a bit. I mean it's is so light tasting and extremely mellow. There is a slight sour feel to it that reminds me of a Flanders Red. Overall this was very enjoyable even though it has morphed into something totally different from when it was new. There is something mysterious about the spices that make this beer cellar so long. Worth seeking out if any exist.

 710 characters

Photo of DucksFan16
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jrob21
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of olradetbalder
2.5/5  rDev -37.8%

Photo of SkinniePost
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Gonzoillini
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of Doomcifer
4.1/5  rDev +2%

Photo of birchstick
4/5  rDev -0.5%

4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of JamLand
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of matjack85
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of Thunder
2.75/5  rDev -31.6%

Photo of yoitsarch
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of hanlonrn
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of IPAchris
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of Sean9689
3.41/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared at Alex's Birthday Bash.

A - Looks like all the other Our Special Ale's.

S - Light spice, dark fruits, figs, oak, caramel. A little more spice then previous years, which helps create a bit more complexity. Not quite as smooth with the sweetness though.

T - Similar to the nose. Spices, sweetness, dark fruits. Tastes like a spicy brown ale to me. Finish is sweet brown sugar.

M - Light body, good carbonation, dry finish.

O - I preferred the 2001 version to this beer, but still decent. I like the addition of the spice to this one but would rather have the smoothness of the 2001.

 600 characters

Photo of jfcaa193
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of DoubleJ
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Where was I when this beer was released in 2004? For starters, I couldn't drink legally. I was in my first year in college. I only had alcohol on two occasions up to that time. And perhaps most strange when I look back at it, I thought that wine would become my forte among alcoholic beverages. I never thought that I would be interested in beer, let alone re-checking my vision to see if those were indeed 2004 vintages of Our Special Ale that I picked up a few weeks ago. Christmas Day is winding down, so let's pop the crown of one of the bottles, and on to the beer:

The "pfft" sound coming out of the bottle is a good sign of things to come. Its color is very dark brown, nearly black, with definate ruby brown hues. The head forms ½ inch thick, and settles to a creamy lace which kicks up spotty lace. There's a lot to like from the aroma. There's powdered cocoa, spotted dick, a little nutmeg and ginger. All around pleasant.

I've recently had the current 2011 edition, and this tastes like a mellower, rounder version of that. Plum pudding, molasses, dry cocoa, assorted drying spice. A little bitterness builds and finished off the beer with a spruce note. It's medium bodied with low carbonation yet a moderately silky texture.

The individual pieces are very good in Our Special Ale 2004. That helps make it a heck of a beer. Now what should I do with the other, unopened bottle?

 1,395 characters

Photo of seanyfo
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2004 bottle poured into nonic pint glass

A- aggressive pour produces 4 finger mocha head sitting atop a black body with no light perception. Head retention and lacing are very good.

S- gingerbread. For our Uk ba's, it's like liquid Old Jamaica ginger cake

T- spice up front - ginger and nutmeg. Toasted malts come through with a vinous streak running throughout.

M- low carbonation and a bit thin in the body

D- overall, I'd say the flavour profile has held up well although not having the beer fresh it's hard to tell how it's aged. Nevertheless a nice presence of spice and a solid toasted malt profile with a full body/fresh carbonation this would be excellent

 668 characters

Photo of pperez38
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of brandoman63
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of rab53
4/5  rDev -0.5%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Our Special Ale 2004 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 214 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.