Our Special Ale 2007 (Anchor Christmas Ale) | Anchor Brewing Company

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Our Special Ale 2007 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 2007 (Anchor Christmas Ale)
Very Good
397 Ratings
Our Special Ale 2007 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 2007 (Anchor Christmas Ale)

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by beerluvr on 11-03-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 397 |  Reviews: 350
Reviews by MerkinMan:
Photo of MerkinMan
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It should be noted that I found this 2007 in November of 2008.

A: Rich mahogany / ruby color. Nice head even after settling down a little. Looks inviting.

S: Spicey hop aroma plus the presence of other spices, but none are immediately recognizable

T: Nice malt backbone with caramel notes, which is my favorite part of this one. Citrus-y hop flavors are nice and not at all overdone. Spices are a bit sprucey -- in a good way. As it warms, the spices come forward and a bit more spread out.

MF: Silky and rich -- a nice body like a special beer should have.

D: Many holiday beers are overdone on the spices, but not this one. I'll have another, ho ho ho.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap last night at the Pizza Plant,poured from the tap a dep dark chesnut brown with tight formed 1/2 finger tannish colored head.Pleasant aromas and not as spiced as is years past in my opinion some noticable nutmeg and ginger spice but there was a nice earthy element to the nose along with a whiff of leafy hop.Again the winter spice mixture is lighter but noticeable with some nutmeg and orange cardamom(spelling?) notes with a racey ginger flavor hitting a little harder in the middle,slightly roasted with a drying earthiness in the finish.Anchor did well again with their annual holiday season brew,well done.

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a black beer with caramel highlights and a thin tan head with arches of lace. I get a tart, lambic-like fruit character in the nose, along with some diacetyl, chocolate, faint dried fruit, and suggestions of licorice and ginger. Highly aromatic, I love the way it smells.

Taste is suprisingly hop-forward with fruity flavors blunting the bitterness. They are backed by bock-like, deep but smooth malt character which is dried out by just a touch of roast. This is not a very complex version of OSA and though it is good, is my least favorite so far.

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Photo of SIRIUS2
4.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Poured perfectly dark brown with an abundant creamy light brown head. Great retention and fantastic lacing.

S: Caramel and toffey malt smells with an interesting spicy aroma, sort of reminds me of nutmeg and black licorice.

T: Malt flavors combine with interesting spices; somewhat dry overall but there is a bit of a lingering sweetness that finishes with a hint of anise. These are complex flavors that work fairly well together for this unique brew.

M&D: Mouthfeel is rather heavy and filling. The carbonation is moderate and smooth, helping to create that creamy sensation. Although I enjoyed the brew quite a bit, personally I think one goes a long way. Probably would be great with a big holiday meal.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Nice looking beer: garnet color, thick tan head, very sticky/nice lacing. It had a rather timid aroma, fruit (I think apple) and some nondescript spice. On tasting the spice (clove, nutmeg) predominated, with some nice fruitiness. Pretty good beer to drink, although not a lot in one sitting. The spices will get to you.

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Photo of Doomcifer
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Jason
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Damn, I think I forgot about the rest of last years which probably tucked away somewhere deep in my cellar. I’m better off because I still have some 96’, 99’, 02’ & 04’. Lots of mid-sized brown bubbles show an active carbonation and a healthy head. Very dark with brownish garnet hues when put up to the light. Smells of molasses cookies and fruit cake. Very smooth with a spicy character from start to finish. A hint of char and deep caramel malt sweetness in the middle. Quick breath of alcohol and hop bitterness meld with the spicing well. Finishes spicy and a tad dry, I've had it on tap a few times this year and it seems to have more body than the bottle.

Without a doubt a must have every year, it ages very well for the most part and is a great switch up beer during the winter months.

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Photo of badbeer
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with a tan colored head that leaves decent lacing. I get some cinnamon, nutmeg, evergreen, juniper, anise, and some other spices I couldn't name. Taste starts out with fresh wintergreen flavors, followed by some hoppiness, with some sweet sugars and spice joining in as well. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Very drinkable, I'll be getting more of this years for sure. Great beer.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a large tan head. The aroma is full of caramel and chocolate, with some spices thrown in. I also get a little dose of raisins and licorice in the aroma. The flavor is similar. There is a lot of toffee malt and Christmas spices, but the spices seemed to have faded in the five years since the beer was brewed. I also get a little bit of coffee. Thin to medium, slightly watery mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had very low expectations going into this beer, given the history I've had with Anchor. But, as Harry Dunn would say, this beer totally redeemed itself. Pours dark brown with a small tan head. Aroma is mulling spices, with light chocolate and coffee hints. The taste is nice. The spice and roasted malts are all up front, which fades into cocoa and the bite of clove. A really nice beer.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tall pint glass. Purchased a year ago from a store’s cellar.

Appearance: Pours a dark brownish amber with a moderate amount of bubbles. Big two finger tan head with decent retention. Lots of creamy lacing.

Smell: A spicy, roasty, and toasty malt forward aroma with hints of chocolate, spices, and dark fruit. Roasted malt with hints of biscuit, chocolate, toasted bread, grains, cracker, and yeast. Big mix of winter spices with hints of cinnamon, clove, allspice, cardamom, and ginger. Dark fruit hints of plum, raisin, fig, and dates. Sweet brown sugar hints. Light earthy hop hints. A pretty good aroma at this age.

Taste: Like it smells, a spicy and toasty malt forward taste with good notes of chocolate, spices, and dark fruit. Roasted malt with notes of biscuit, toast, chocolate, grains, cracker, and yeast. Sharp mix of winter spices with some cinnamon, clove, ginger, cardamom, and allspice. Big presence of dark fruit with notes of raisin, fig, plum, cherry ,and dates. Sweet taste of brown sugar along with some light earthy hops. A really nice taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy and pretty smooth with a very drying finish.

Overall: A very good aged brew. The dark roast flavors have fallen off a bit but the dark fruit has really emerged.

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Photo of far333
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thirty-third year of the OSA offering. Ruddy brown colored with a full inch of dimpled foamy beige head that lingers long.

Aromas of caramely malt, plum, spruce, and clove.

Flavors that remind of the holidays and the time of year this beer is offered - fig and plum, clove and spice, spruce and pine, the faintest bit of hops. Even flavor, well-balanced among all the nuances.

Full mouthfeel, a little tingly, finishes a bit dry and talcy, leaves a tannic feel in the finish.

Pretty drinkable, tasty beer, year after year.

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Photo of kingjames1
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful, murky, mahogany, with nice, fat bubbles rising everywhere. Smells incredible: cinnamon, nutmeg, hints of chocolate, and vanilla. Taste brings out the classic spruce pine flavors, as well as more nuanced spices. This is a great beer. Yet, there's something almost anticlimatic about the finish. I don't know how to explain it. It is a dry finish for sure, and somehow sour. I guess I expect the beer to finish sweeter, given its initial impact on the palate. It also seems a tad watery at points, though the body is full, and the mouthfeel is 'creamy'. However, overall, I can't complain. This is one of the most interesting, well-crafted beers out there. A seasonal must!

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Photo of jeonseh
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - The color is a very dark brown that really looks black until one holds it up to the light and notices the red color that it has and it has a beautiful frothy and bubbly dark cream color that leaves lacing all the way down the glass.

S- I Can smell a bit of cinnamon coming off of it and molasses and some kind of fruit smell almost apple, mixed with blue berry.

T- The first taste that hits the tongue is a complex mix of spices that is kinda nice, a bit of cinnamon, honey, and blueberry. The flavor then mellows out from this into more of a coffee flavor that has hints of honey in it and can still taste the fruit staying with in it. The after taste that I find lingering in my mouth is a mix of blueberry, coffee and honey as well. Definitely agree that blueberry is the dominant flavor in this one and in a way the beer reminds me of blueberry waffles with some syrup poured on it. I think that this goes well with the alcohol in the brew to help give it that winter warmer quality.

MF - very smooth and easy to go down. A rather creamy beer with a light amount of carbonation. Like the feeling of this in my mouth a lot!

D- Overall, i think this is pretty nice especially since I'm not a big fan of spiced, winter warmer beers. This one keeps everything under control and mixed well together without worrying about getting an overly sweet feeling left in the mouth.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has a clear but dense brown body with strands of microbubbles streaming to the surface. There is a sticky light tan head that last for most of the beer and stays creamy.

S- The smell is pretty clean with a soft caramel note and a light pot caramel hint. When the beer is much warmer there are notes of creamy wheat and strong banana smells followed by a faint smoky hint to the caramel malt.

T- This beer has a dark roasted malt flavor that is smooth and has a soft bitterness to it. There is a light pot caramel flavor to the malt and a note of brown malt aswell. When the beer really warms there is a taste of banana that comes through and a tartness to the finish. The bitterness also lingers a bit more and it is from black malt more than from hops.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slight slippery note and no real alcohol heat at all.

D- This beer has some nice roasted malt notes and some nice bitterness but there isn't much depth or a really fresh flavor in the malt.

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Photo of LXIXME
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of jbphoto88
2.86/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz 2007 batch.
Pours a dark brown, the color of beer bottles or rootbeer. A nice creamy head that fades quickly back into the beer.

Smells like rose petals and slight christmas spices. Not very exciting.

Taste is not great. There is a floral flavor that is unpleasing and just one step above wet cardboard. There is some redeeming malts and spices but this beer is very young and not ready for consumption yet.

I bought a 6 pack and will cellar this one. Check for an updated review next year.

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Photo of CamuMahubah
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Figured this was an ale so in she went into a goblet. Gorgeous mahogany color with light brown bubbles.

Nice fruit cake aroma complete with a hint of rum!

Superb sweet raisins and plums with a yogurty sourness near the end. The hops become evident in the aftertaste as your palate is rinsed with their essence. Nice!

Not to heavy but has a commanding prescence, reminded me a bit of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale without as much alcohol burn.

Delicous! Wish I would have bought more than a six-pack! Drove sixty miles to get this most elegant ale, will have to make that trip again just so I can get some for the cellar!

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Photo of SetarconeX
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No way around it. This is good beer. Not just good, this is great beer.

Almost impossible to see through, black with a hint of red. Smells like it's made from pure malt, lightly toasted. Tastes dark, thick and smooth. Malt piled atop malt, with a bit of roasting. There is nothing light about this beer at all.

Just how I like them. Buy as much as you can.

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Photo of lnashsig
2.27/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Many thanks to DING for the chance to taste this one- the first in a vertical that he kindly sent me last week. As I write this, I think about how ironic it is to be posting a review within a site that treated him very poorly and unfairly. Sorry Ding, this is where I review for now until I figure out something better or get off my ass and make a blog or something. Here we go:

Poured into brooklyn tulip from bottle. Pours a very thick and terrifically dark red/brown color. I noted the viscosity of this pour as it came out of the bottle. Great looking beer, and I'm ashamed to say that this may be the first time to ever have this one. Smell- so complex. I get port wine, chocolate dark fruits, some oxidation, and a weird beef jerky funky aroma. There is some sort of salty aroma. Some of this may sound bad, but its very complex and interesting. I'm thinking the port wine aroma is the dominant one. Taste- utterly bizarre. I get a watery backbone, some of that port/cognac flavor I detected on the aroma, but then it gets bizarre and a little unpleasant. That metallic/oxidized flavor hits me, as does the smoky/salty/beef like flavor. This is an interesting example of what happens to some beers over time (one would assume, because I have not had it fresh yet), but its a cautionary tale. I'll report back the next time I try another vintage for comparison notes.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured beautifully deep, reddish, amber with a full finger and a half of thick tan bubbles. The head melts slowly leaving behind very sticky mapping in it's wake.

Aromas are a popourie of holiday spices.... ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Somehow at the end there is a distinct 'bubblegum' aroma. Not sure where that comes from but it seems to disappear as the beer warms.

Taste is slightly warm alcohol with toasted amber malt sweetness and the blending of the same holiday spices found in the aroma with the addition of some citrus peel hops at the end. Definitely more hops than I've ever noticed in past years.

Aftertaste is a mix of spices and citrus hops...very little sweetness but it still seems smooth.

This vintage will be very interesting to see how it ages.
As it is, the hop finish may seem a little rough for a holiday brew, but it's enjoyable and slightly addictive already.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Anchor- Christmas Ale 2007

A- Dark ruby red with a thick sticky head. Messy lacing down the glass.
S- Ginger, cinnamon, and pink bubble gum?!
T- Ginger up front with a touch of cinnamon, clove, and caramel. I definitely detect pink bubblegum and juicyfruit gum flavors?!
M- Sweet and slighty dry and floral.

Overall- This was tasty but damn it it didn't taste like bubblegum. Weird. I gotta taste this 2007 on tap to compare!

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Photo of Dewey0603
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark clear mahogony with a large tan foamy head. Lots of lacing make this a good looking looking brew. The smell is pungent with,as expected, Holiday scents,pine,cinnamon,ginger,nutmeg,and sweet malt. The taste is like the smell,full of holiday spices along with dark fruit,pine hops,and a sour flavor. The m/f is light with a very complex palate and all flavors mixing well. Another well done Holiday beer from one of the premiere breweries in America.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1.5L magnum. christmas eve. one man. one mission.

Pours dark black with ruby tones and decent fizzy head that is tan in color. dissipates quickly. smell has some defenite spices, clove, vanilla, dark malts, grain and a hint of black licorice. Taste follows the nose, with hints of dark fruits, raisins in particular and licorice tones with a sugary mouthfeel. leaves a bit of sugar slop on the lips (very thin) but goes down smooth and with much spice flavor. similar to the licoriciness of gouden noel, but more intense in thin flavors with a thinner mouthfeel, but still quite a thick mouthfeel for 5.5% drinkability is great and goes well with any christmas dinner. Yum. Excited to pop the other two i bought in a couple years time. yuletime that is.

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Photo of cokes
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've always been a Scrooge to this quintessential holiday offering. After neglecting it for a year or two, I picked up some 07 more or less as a comparison piece to drink along side some older vintages that are taking up space in my cellar.

It pours orange-glinting dark mahogany with a sporty and sticky beige lacing.
Nose immediately reminds me of bourbon-spiked eggnog. With a creamed sense of nutmeg, and vanilla. There's also tracers of rye-like spiciness, conifer bark, cardamom, ginger, orange rind, and molasses.
Enters the mouth with a thorough toasted graininess. Seems rye-like to me, but maybe that's incidental to my pining for a bottle of Anchor's Single Malt Old Potrero Straight Rye. The spices open up Egg Nog-esque again, with a heavy influence of nutmeg and vanilla. Caramelized ginger and carob are both notable as well. In tune with the season, holly and pine are prominent. Chocolate-orange sweetness rounds things out, as the spices carry long through the close.
Medium bodied, and possibly edging thinner, but there's a sense of heavy cream here that was absent it other vintages.
All told, this is a (finally!) festive quaff this year. Gone are the abrasive black patent acrid hues and sooty root vegetables that I've griped about in the past. For once, I'll sing carols to this instead of sneaking up at night and knocking its snowmen over. I'll likely buy more, and that will be a holiday first for me.

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Our Special Ale 2007 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 397 ratings