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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
3.89/5
Very Good
100 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:
#10,871
Reviews:
40
Ratings:
100
pDev:
8.48%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
0
Gots:
28
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 100 |  Reviews: 40
Photo of Gajo74
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

It’s been a while since I had a brew by Anchor. This Christmas ale poured a nearly black, with hints of ruby red, color. A big sumptuous khaki foam head showed amazing retention and sticky lace.
In the nose I detect a woodsy, tree bark like spicy character suggesting nutmeg and cinnamon. Aromas of dark fruit; berries and plum. Toasted malt character, nutty, and caramel make up the malt base.
The mouthfeel is smooth, fluffy, and soft. Medium bodied with a gentle carbonation. A rich malt base adds a semblance of fullness and mild sweetness. Yet, the earthy spice character of the nutmeg and cinnamon, along with the lightly tart and plum like fruity qualities, adds balance and character. There is a mild to moderate bitterness in the finish that is dry and evocative of earthy spice and evergreen tree spice. Although the ABV is not particularly high and the alcohol is not detectable in the taste, there is a nice warming effect.
Nice example of the style.

 966 characters

Photo of j0hnc2468
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of JeffSK
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Slightly higher alcohol this year, and supposedly they tamed the spices a bit. I do think there are less of the baking spices, but more pine this year, which I've always liked in years in which it's more present- it adds a nice tannic note to balance the sweetness of the base beer. The last few years the pine has been almost absent and you got more nutmeg and mace. I hope this heralds a return to a more spruce forward Anchor Christmas.

 440 characters

Photo of DaveCash
3.69/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of B_B
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A dark reddish/brown color. Moderate light tan head with plenty of lace.
Fruit and cinnamon aroma.
Dark fruit taste, raisins. Cinnamon spice.
Nice enough. Late cinnamon burn.

 175 characters

Photo of Avatar113
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of rfgetz
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of metter98
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a two finger high light tan head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of dark fruits and berries are present in the nose along with hints of spice such as cinnamon and nutmeg. As the beer warms up, aromas of gingerbread become noticeable.
T: The taste follows the smell, having flavors of dark fruits with notes of chocolate malts and hints of cinnamon and nutmeg.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer seems to be fruitier and less spicy compared to the Christmas Ales of past years.

Serving type: bottle

 719 characters

Photo of Klister
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of KAP1356
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Wade-S
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It's a little more bitter than I would prefer for a Christmas ale, though it is really complex, could use more malt character. It's a solid beer though.

 152 characters

Photo of TheGent
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mmilyko
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of puck1225
4.37/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

First rate winter warmer! Beautiful beer with deep, dark reddish brown with a creamy beige head and great curtain lacing. Lovely smell, dark berries, cinnamon. This follows to the taste. Rich flavor, silky feel, great Christmas beer! Underrated.

 245 characters

Photo of Vader444
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into schooner glass.

The darkest brown with a lovely creamy head. Roasted malts and cinnamon with a touch of smoke and coffee on the nose. Rich dark fruits on the palate. Basically this is a porter and a very good one at that. My first of Anchor’s festive offerings and I’m really enjoying it on a chilly snowy night. Will be buying a case of this to see me through the next few weeks. Cheers!

 413 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4.37/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. Bottle
2017 Vintage

Poured into a Trilllium glass a very nice dark brown color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger plus light tan head, which leaves some very nice islands and sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with some spices, chocolate, some roastyness, kinda floral, vanilla. The taste is very nice malty, slightly spicey, roasty, with a chocolate note, florally, vanilla. Medium body, ABV is hidden very nicely with this one. Overall, a very tasty brew. I did not know that the recipe was changed every year on purpose. Still, this year's is very nice, been awhile since I've had a really good one.

 646 characters

Photo of einman
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TwiggyCZ
3.59/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of wertschy
3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of YeastEnthusiast
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of AnitaBrewski
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of kitekid
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of andrewh995
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark red brown with ruby hues in the light and a light tan head. Smells of christmas spices, roasted malts, and vanilla. Tastes of nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, light tobacco, roasted malts, molasses, and clove. Medium-light body with medium carbonation. Overall a very tasty christmas beer.

 297 characters

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Our Special Ale 2017 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 100 ratings
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