Our Special Ale 2017 (Anchor Christmas Ale) | Anchor Brewing Company

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Our Special Ale 2017 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 2017 (Anchor Christmas Ale)
BA SCORE
3.88/5
Very Good
228 Ratings
Our Special Ale 2017 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 2017 (Anchor Christmas Ale)
BEER INFO

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

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
This is the forty-third annual "Our Special Ale" from the brewers at Anchor. It is sold only from early November to mid-January. The Ale's recipe is different every year, as the tree on the label, but with the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life. Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with it's seasons, appears born anew. Our tree for 2017 is the Santa Lucia fir. Extremely rare, it is native and limited to California's Santa Lucia Range.

Added by Silke_Neryn on 11-03-2017

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#10,661
Reviews:
82
Ratings:
228
pDev:
10.31%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
2
Gots:
50
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 228 |  Reviews: 82
Photo of krome
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of CJNAPS
4.49/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DBosco
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Half-full
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of joaopmgoncalves
3.86/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured to a Brooklyn Brewery tumbler.

A: Body is dark to bronwish with a beige head 5mm thick. Despite not being very dense, it's opaque as no light comes through.
S & T: Taste is a bit tarty, bitter and sweet. It's tarty from a somewhat acidic fruity tone of raspberries. It's sweet with a porter-like sweetness of very very mild toffee. It's very malty also and with some light bitterness incoming from the roastiness.
M: Body is low. Carbonation is overly achieved but still good. Sweetness is medium and bitterness is mild.
O: Ir sure doesn't look like a Christmas Ale, as it isn't - Winter Warmer, but was expecting it to be closer to one. Still, good enough to drink but not as sweet as expected.

 703 characters

Photo of matthewsween
3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of arizcards
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a single from TW Arrowhead on 12-17-17 for $2.99. Bottled on 10-26-17 but kept in the beer fridge since purchase.

Beer poured dark brown with a nice tan head that has some decent hang time.

Nose has hints of allspice and nutmeg.

Taste follows the nose, roasted malts sprinkled with allspice and nutmeg, and maybe a touch of ginger.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth.

Overall a pretty good rendition of an old classic.

 437 characters

Photo of KLReed
3.62/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of _Adam_
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Corson
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Bitterbill
4.19/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From 16 ounce Prowler bought at Liquor Shed bought at Liquor Shed in Casper.

Pours near black, tiniest bit of red hues. Great head of foam with good lacing.

Smells of nutmeg, almost like what you get with a pumpkin beer, bananas, cloves, roasted malt.

Taste has the nutmeg, cloves, bananas, kinda roasty, very low level of bitterness. Very tasty.

Great mouthfeel, easy drinking, excellent from this mini Growler. Bottles won't be coming so I am glad Jacob got some and put it on the Growler station.

 505 characters

Photo of Number23
3.37/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Bogdawg
4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of futiledevices
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep deep amber that looks black when not held to light. Smell is dark fruits, toasty caramel malt, banana bready yeast, nutmeg and other holiday spices, piney hops. Taste is much of the same, pronounced roasty malt and herbal hops, lightly sweet and spiced, with a lingering bitterness and more of that banana bready yeast. Not too sticky, not too thin. A nice, balanced winter ale.

 395 characters

Photo of pianoguy
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. No bottling info

Pours a solid mahogany body with a big tan head. Tiny carbonation. Great retention, good lacing .

Overall scent is not very prominent. Smells of plums with spices. Maybe a little caramel too.

Taste follows. The spices are noticeable on the finish giving it an almost boozy effect. Kind of a dry taste overall...

Nice full feel !

Overall; An interesting beer. The feel was spot on (for a winter warmer). But the spices gave the taste a dry effect that didn't work for me.

 512 characters

Photo of monkist
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

First time I tried a Winter Warmer and first time I had one from the Our Special Ale series. Had this perhaps on (hopefully) one of the last days of winter 2017/18 on February 28 and despite the minus -10+ degrees, somewhere there is spring in the air.
Our Special Ale therefore felt a little post-seasonal. Maybe it suits the days of Christmas best with its dark and malty flavour and subtle spices. It is more drinkable than a full bodied, roasted malty dark ale, it feels actually semi dry and lighter than what you would expect.
Appreciating the mastery of Anchor made me favor this beer ahead of its taste or impression, although it is alright I did not find it outstanding. Let us try it next year at its real season!

 723 characters

Photo of Quafftastic
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2017 was a very good year. Cheers!

34 characters

Photo of tankg
3.13/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Vaulmas
3.66/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kian123
4.52/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It tastes almost similar to what it smells. Except the hoppy smell, which isn't in the taste and tastes spicier than smelt! Very nice winter ale I bought at 10 dollars a 6 pack 330 ml bottles!

 192 characters

Photo of themayorkoch
4.63/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of dsa7783
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Bonds Tavern in West Orange. Pours a jet black ebony hue with moderate frothing. Assertive aroma replete with hints of chocolate and mocha. Similar overall flavor profile.

 181 characters

Photo of zstamper
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Beaconheath
4.98/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Not every beer was brewed to fit into a style category. Might the creators of this one say, "Take it for what it is"? Released in time for the Nov/Dec holidays, "Winter Warmer" is a suitable designation. But with its dark color bordering on black, its lighter mouthfeel, its noticeable whiff of sprucy hops, and its modest ABV relative to traditional British winter warmers, Anchor's 2017 "Our Special" is arguably an American Black Ale. All said, a rose smells sweet whatever we call it.

 488 characters

Photo of samEBC
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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Our Special Ale 2017 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 228 ratings