Our Special Ale 2016 (Anchor Christmas Ale) | Anchor Brewing Company

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Our Special Ale 2016 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 2016 (Anchor Christmas Ale)
BA SCORE
3.93/5
Very Good
225 Ratings
Our Special Ale 2016 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 2016 (Anchor Christmas Ale)
BEER INFO

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

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
The 2016 Christmas Ale is a deep mahogany brown with a creamy, tan head and boasts aromas of fruitcake, molasses, and fresh cut wood. The beer tastes of a roasted caramel malt, with notes of spiced chocolate and nuts. And it has a rich, smooth, and velvety mouthfeel. Every year the Anchor brewers look forward to formulating a new Christmas Ale recipe and tasting the fruits of their labors. We are always excited to please beer fans with its ever-changing recipe and label. Cheers from the Anchor brewers!

Added by Silke_Neryn on 11-03-2016

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
78
Ratings:
225
pDev:
8.91%
 
 
Wants:
2
Gots:
59
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 225 |  Reviews: 78
Photo of dt_gbpackersfan
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of Buck_Jones
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of samEBC
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mmilyko
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of DerwinWentworth
2.75/5  rDev -30%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

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

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

Anchor Brewing Co. "Our Special Ale 2016"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle

Notes via stream of consciousness: I remember when Our Special Ale used to vary wildly from year to year, but they've smoothed that out. There's some difference, but not much. Of course if I had two or three year's worth of bottles in front of me to taste side by side I might not say that. And I guess another thing is that this is almost a year old by now, which should have softened it a bit. It's a mahogany brown in color beneath a frothy and then rocky head of light tan that holds quite well and leaves some very nice lacing behind. The aroma is bready with some dark, almost-burnt-sugar-like caramel, and spicy, and piney. There's a little bit of perhaps red berry-like fruitiness as well and that comes through in the flavor, surrounded by the previously mentioned notes, and a little bit more of a molasses/brown sugar side with a hint of chocolate. It's a little bit toasty, slightly nutty and toffee-ish, and maybe with some dark dried fruit as well - and the spices have been toned down this year and simply swirl about without ever really being too clear in what they are (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.). It has a dry, bitter finish but I'm not sure how much that has to do with the bitterness, and how much that has to do with the pine and spice. Medium-bodied and gently crisp. Nice.

 1,365 characters

Photo of Nunya
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of elNopalero
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Light notes of clove and surprisingly cocoa with juniper licorice and some pine atop a warming malt. This is a well balanced and subdued treat. Always enjoyable and this year is no exception.

 192 characters

Photo of themayorkoch
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an English pint glass, the appearance was a dark brown close to black color with a thin cap of a cream colored head. Not much lace, seemed to trickle and slide right on into the beer.
The aroma had some molasses, fruitcake, allspice, pecans, walnuts, dates, figs, brown sugar, dark bread, cocoa powder and some waffles.
The flavor seemed to lean into the maltiness sweeter than expected but still good. Spices are quaint and not showing a whole lot of strength but that was fine with me. Mild dark bready to cocoa powder aftertaste.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fair sessionability about it. Carbonation felt fine. ABV felt appropriate. Finish was somewhat malty but making a decent effort to bring in those spices.
Overall, really nice Winter Warmer that I always love coming back to year after year and always love how they change the recipe to equate to the year.

 894 characters

Photo of armock
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of reitzbrewing
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Parmesan
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Pours a muddy purple-brown color with a very thick creamy brown head that slowly dissipates, leaving several fingers of lacing on the glass.

S: Notes of dark stone fruit and molasses. Some caramel and toffee in the background with a slight note of spice and almost a little bit of smoke way in the back of the aroma. Very inviting wintery beer.

T: Sweet malt and molasses, some caramel and toffee with notes of dark stone fruit (though I get the stone fruit more in the nose than the taste). A strong spiciness at the end with a fairly strong bitterness coming from the spice.

F: Medium body and creamy carbonation.

O: Solid winter warmer, not my favorite winter warmer, the spice gets slightly strong for me but still quite tasty.

 745 characters

Photo of Kahlerbock
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of clarknova
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of pkalix
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Furley80
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of TrojanRB
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of kitschiguy
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

355ml bottle into a standard beer cup.

Tasted back-to-back with the 2015

Poured a very dark brown with an off-white head - looks pretty much identical to the 2015.

Nose is very nice but not that expressive - some brown sugar sweetness and some dried fruit.

Palate is lovely - complex with lots of malt character, some spiciness and some bitterness at the end. Very well balanced.

Mouth is good.

Overall a really lovely beer - much preferred to the 2015. Much better balanced and much more going on on the palate. Fantastic beer.

Highly recommended (if you can get it) I've got 1 bottle left - call me.

 609 characters

Photo of mynie
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The last few Our Special Ales have been solid, but this one is great. Harkens back to the ones I heard described in the late 90s, back when a midwesterner like myself could pine after a spicy malt bomb without being considered a moron.

Anyhow, pours a very dark brown with a rocky white head. Smells of candy, yuletide spice, brown barley, light chocolate, and fruit. More of a yeasty, belgian spice profile than most previous iterations of the beer, but still very distinctly American.

Tastes like a very spicy American ale, borrowing the best from good Belgian table beers and lightly hoped American ales of the past. Starts with mild black pepper and german spice chocolate, moving into a middle that's still spicy and chocolatey but also has a nice raisin and plum character, finishing warm, spicy, and with yeast nodes that are more sweet and bready.

 858 characters

Photo of GClarkage
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Duff27
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Our Special Ale 2016 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 225 ratings