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

very good
350 Reviews
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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Reviews: 350 | Ratings: 395
Photo of yzer
1.93/5  rDev -51.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Anchor Christmas Ale 2007.

I was really angry with this one, purchased late in February 2008.

This Anchor ale looked pretty and substantial: nice tan head with a dark brown color in my glass stein. I wasn't prepared for the disappointment that followed.

It was the watery body that bothered me the most followed by the overpowering perfume of cloves. A little hops bite, medicinal cloves, thin bodied and no malt that I could taste. After a week I forced myself through part of the third bottle thinking I must have missed something. Then I threw the rest out. I won't try this one again.

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Photo of Greggy
2.02/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance- A nice dark amber color.. almost black. A nice half finger head.

Smell- Liquorice, plum, odd spice..

Taste- This is the jagermeister of beer. It tastes like liquorice, and odd spice.

Mouthfeel- Low carbonation, creamy

Drinkability- Low due to the terrible taste

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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 eatdrinknbmerry
2.8/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Everything about this beer on the outside is great. Nice 1.5" head after initial pour, aromatic holiday spices (all-spice? nutmeg?) and beautiful appearance.

I took a sip, and knew this wasn't the right beer for me. It was very rich in aromatics/spices with a taste that really sustained. I'm more into the simpler brews and I guess with all the holiday beers coming out, it's something new to get acquainted with.

Nonetheless, I can definitely appreciate the craftsmanship behind Anchor's holiday ale.

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

Pours a clear deep amber brown with a creamy tan head. Aroma is moderately sweet, nutmeg, juniper berries, chocolate and dark fruit. Flavor is nutmeg, cherry, grape, juniper and molasses. Medium bodied, stickyish texture. Very dry finish. This one just has too many contrasting flavors to be enjoyable.

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Photo of Romulus141
3.13/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into the Sam Adams official glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark caramel with hints of ruby with a light brown head. The brew leaves light traces of lacing behind.

Smell: Has a spicy holiday smell, like that of cinnamon and gingerbread. There are also some hints of nutmeg in here. There is also a little bit of malt hidden in the background.

Taste: Starts with a malty sweetness, which gives way to some taste of nutmeg and gingerbread. However, the spiciness is not all that strong, and is somewhat dominated by the malts. The finish is a slight bitterness that leaves a bit of an aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: There is some light carbonation, and the body itself is light and slick. No complaints here.

Drinkability: The spiciness of the brew makes the prospect of drinking many of these difficult. I can enjoy one or two, but that would be my limit.

Overall, this brew is somewhat interesting, but not necessarily one I would reach for again.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.14/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - Deep red with a large head, tons of lacing all down the sides.

S - Rum raisins, coffee and chicory.

T - Very dark charred flavor with some brown cinnamon, coffee and a bit of carob. Aftertaste is chicory, slightly burnt.

M - A tad harsh, thick, a little oily, refreshing.

D - It's okay. For some reason it was hard to take a second draught. The flavor was fine, but it didn't have me wanting more.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.15/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11/10/07- Purchased at Beverages and More in Colma, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle, 2007 release. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Caramel brown in color with a nice full one inch head. Settles at a light rim and leaves very slim streaky lace marks.

Smell- Traditional Anchor X-mas scents. Cinnimon, nutmeg, clove and evergreen tree like scents. Smells a touch sweet from the malt.

Taste- Really not much of the pine, spruce tree aspect as I have been used to in some past vintages. This one was mostly a dash of cinnimon, clove and nutmeg. Light malt background which gives it some sweetness. A bit more hops than usual.

Mouthfeel- Fairly watery and a bit higher carbonation. Kind of a stale spice like flavor left behind.

Drinkability- Really disappointed in this years release. I thought last years was a let down, this years was not as good. Go back to the 2005 version.

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Photo of philipquarles
3.2/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle in Nov '09. Pours very dark brown with ruby tinges and a light beige head that dies quickly. A bit of lacing. Smells strongly spiced--mostly hard to place, except for cinnamon. Lots of dark malt as well. No signs of oxidation. Tastes as if it's spiced with cinnamon, juniper, and...cough syrup. This strange, artificial-fruitiness lingers behind what would otherwise be very pleasant chocolate malts. Pleasant medium body with good carbonation. Not a huge fan of this one; I think I prefer the '08 I'm drinking with it side-by-side. Along with over-the-top spice, this one has a lingering sweetness that's a bit unpleasant.

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Photo of Kadonny
3.21/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at a local restaurant poured into a pint glass.

A: A deep reddish brown color with a light brown cream colored head. A nice looking beer with minimal lacing.

S: A sweet malt smell with a hint of cinnamon spice. Not a lot of nose really, I was sort of disappointed.

T: Sweet malty flavor with minimal hops presence. A faint taste of spice like cinnamon with a deep fruity flavor. Very smooth with no hops bitterness and not a real strong finish. For me it needed a little more spice to make it a good winter warmer.

M: Good, no real hint of alcohol and a light body to it. Not really what I expected based on the appearance of it. To me, this was a session beer of a little above average quality.

D: Good, as I said not a lot of alcohol feel and this beer is quite sessionable.

Overall an average beer to me and actually I was a bit disappointed in it. This was my first try of the Christmas ale and I was really looking forward to it. This is not a hoppy beer and maybe that is why I was a bit disappointed, I wanted more flavor. I followed this up with a draft Anchor Steam that tasted much better to me. I should really taste this out of a bottle to see if maybe it will be better.

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Photo of gatorjim
3.21/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm in the mood for Winter Warmers so here goes my first review for posting:

Appearance: Poured a bit darker than I expected. Not Stout dark, maybe Porter dark. Nice thick caramel colored foam which leaves some lacing on the glass.

Smell: Hmm, not a very lively beer! But after careful sniffing I get cocoa, nutmeg and malt.

Taste: About like the smell, not lively but nice, subtle hints of cocoa, nutmeg with a slight burnt malt finish and alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel: Medium thick body with a nice amount of small carbonation bubbles.

Drinkability: I could drink a few of these with no problem! Not exactly what I was expecting, not as "spiced" as I might have liked a "Warmer" to be but still a nice little beer. It was a little expensive (11.49 for 6) so I probably won't get another six pack this year. Glad I tried it.

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Photo of OKCNittany
3.21/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Very dark brown body with a 1/4" tan head. Decent retention, leaving a nice lacing.

S: Big on cinnamon and nutmeg. Some clove. It's a nice aroma, but pretty much all spice with very little that resembles beer.

T: Dark roasted malt - malty and sweet - as if there's a brown ale buried under all the spices in the aroma. Unfortuantely, the spices overwhelm the malt.

M: A bit watery. Medium carbonation. The finish leaves you with a mouth full of spice.

D: Unique and interesting brew, but there's just too much spice and not enough beer qualities for my taste.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.21/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a really beautiful beer. Very dark and rich looking with a nice head. Almost a ruby color when held up to the light.

Smells sweet and maybe a little malty, but mostly sweet. It almost smells like a Belgian to me.

Hmm.. not as intense a taste as I was expecting. Not quite as malty as I was hoping although it is sweet and pretty good. Only bought one bottle and I probably should have let this age a little.

Not quite as good as I was hoping but not bad either. If I come across this again, I will grab a few bottles and cellar them.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.22/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

served in a 12 oz bottle and poured in to a tulip at Durty Nellies.

A: pours a dark murky brown with very little head and a lot of lacing

S: huge notes of spruce, cinnamon, all spice and nutmeg, some unpleasant diacetyl on the nose

T: as the nose suggests, this is a spice bomb... it tastes like chewing on a cinnamon stick, there is an astringency the goes along with the spice that is not very appetizing. Perhaps this bottle is past its prime. Some notes of diacetyl.

MF: somewhat thin, light carbonation

D: too spicy to be considered for good drinkability, needs more balance from the malts, this is my least favorite Christmas beer. again, this could be due to the 2 years of age on the bottle

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Photo of genog
3.23/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.

Pours a dark brown, almost black color with a creamy, frothy, light brown 2 inch head, with lots of sticky lacing along the side. Smell is of cinnamon and spice, with some bready malty, sweetness a little gingerbread. Taste of a spicy cinnamon bite. Lingering acidity in the mouthfeeling. This one is a serious sipper.

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Photo of brantadid
3.23/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a very dark brown into a pint glass. Some light passes through highlighting dark ruby hues. One finger off white head formed and diminished quickly leaving behind a frothy film. Some lacing.

Very sweet malty nose. Sweetness was balanced by smokey notes. Front palate was filled with sweet malty flavors. The mid palate was smokey and the beer finished bitter. The bitterness was like dark chocolate or cocoa and coffee. Very long finish.

Mouthfeel was light but rich. Fairly high carbonation.

I was a little disappointed in this years beer after loving last years. But overall still a very quaffable beverage.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.26/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled on 11-8-08

Pours a super cloudy and dark red color, with a nice off-white head that leaves slow-moving, glass-covering lacing.

Smell is tons of spices, cinnamon, clove, and an odd minty quality. Complex, but hard to get into.

Taste is much like the smell, rather light and spicy, with no real hop character. Sweet, and slightly bitter on the finish.

Mouthfeel is just a little too thin.

Drinkability is not very good, because the flavor is odd.

Overall, maybe I don't get it. Highly rated, but I just don't like it.

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Photo of stephens101
3.26/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very deep, dark brown with a huge and frothy tan head that peaks well above the rim of my Anchor Steam pint, resembling a muffin in the pan as it almost overflows down the side of the glass. Smells of red hots, caramel, malts and soda. Tastes chocolaty and a bit creamy. There's an essence of clove involved, and maybe some spice in the background. Mouth-feel is a bit on the thin side. Doesn't seem to be a typical winter warmer, but it's ok tasty nonetheless. This particular outing very well could be a bit overrated.

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Photo of jpaltan
3.26/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Comapring this against a 2004. 2007 seems a bit darker in the body, but the head is more white than eggshell. Smell is quite spicy. maybe some cinnamon and some piney smells in there too. The smell is actually enough to turn me off a bit. I'm expecting it to be quite unbalanced and too spicy. Not really impressed with the taste either. Beer has too many spices. The hop finish does the best that it can do to try and mellow out those spices, but fails at its job. The upside of the beer is its mouthfeel which has just enough carbonation to carry the overspiced taste out. Overall, I was really expecting a great beer here, but it has just fallen short for me.

I'm hoping the 2004 will be better.

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Photo of Floydster
3.26/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle purchased from Beverage Warehouse for two dollars, split with my dad tonight

Poured into a Stone pint glass with a dark brown color and a whopping off white head that stuck around for several minutes, left nice lacing as well

Smell was pretty weak for how strong the taste was, but I could smell some chocolatey aromas with hints of dark fruit, this one had no sweetness or peppermint like a few of the years before it

Taste was full of many different things, I got some tobacco, fig, dark cherries, cocoa, black licorice, and espresso, this one lacked any spices and was just dry like Anchor porter almost, some roasted malt but it needed more, did not taste much of the chocolate that was in the aroma, just a crisp finish with coffee and prunes, got more complex as it cooled down, too dry overall

Not much carbonation, but it had a full body and a long lasting taste

Could drink more than two bottles of this because it is thick and rich, ABV is low but this stuff is practically a meal it is so heavy

Not my favorite Anchor Christmas beer in the past few years, but still better than most winter warmers out there, I think Yulesmith has just spoiled me this holiday season, I thought 2006 was great and was slightly disappointed with this one

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Photo of dteal1
3.3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours out a deep red with a finger off-white head that stayed the whole beer and left some nice lacing. smells sweet, hoppy, and spicy. I tasted spices, it was kind of toasted tasting too, pretty hoppy and a little more bitter than I care for. slight carbonation. mouthfeel was frothy. I don't see myself having too many of these at one time, but it was a decent beer.

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Photo of shivtim
3.3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Gotta try anything with the word "special" in the title, especially if it's both seasonal, annual, and from California. What a marketing gimmick!
Served in a pint glass. Dark red/brown with a nice foamy head that subsides after a bit. Nose is like a verdant Tennessee pine forest on a chilly November night. Mulled cider and "festiveness." Taste is strong clove, nutmeg, and christmas tree bark. Mouthfeel is decent. Not sure if I would drink a ton of this stuff because of its potpourri nature.

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Photo of MiScusi
3.35/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Lucky Baldwin's Delirium Cafe... Poured into a pint glass. The color was a dark molasses with a very minimal head due the bartender's pour. The smell was caramel malty mixed with a spiciness, but the taste was very heavy on the spices. I couldn't pick out exactly which ones but it felt very herbal or earthy, almost what I think chewing on a Christmas tree branch would be like. Body was fairly smooth, though pretty highly carbonated. I didn't really like the spices that were added to this. It's just not a flavor I really want to be drinking.

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Photo of cabsandking
3.35/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very dark brown almost black with a creamy, tan, finger and a half of sticky head. Aromas of cocoa and caramel malt with hints of cinnamon and cola. Dark roasted barley is dry, powdery, and charred grains. Dark fruits and vinous at times with cinnamon and nutmeg throughout. Acidic citrus, and pine notes from the middle to end isn't balancing well for me. The finish is tart, vinous fruits mixed with a lasting charry malt, dry cocoa powder flavor. This beer starts of nicely but wears off quickly and despite its sessionability I find it hard to get past more than two.

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Our Special Ale 2007 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 395 ratings.
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