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
396 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.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 396 |  Reviews: 350
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark copper/ brown-ish color with a light tan head. In the aroma, a fait roasty malt and small hints of caramel. In the taste, roasty malt and small hints of cinnamon/ nutmeg. A thin and small bitter mouthfeel, with a dry cinnamon spice in the aftertaste. Not piney this year. A nice roasty malt and a touch spicey.

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

Pours a nice dark brown colour with hints of amber shining through. Off-white head is big and foamy at first, but quickly subsides to a thin lace than leaves minimal specks of itself on the glass.

The aroma is very piney but there's no hop blast per se to be found as it's balanced nicely by some caramel malt, a hint of smokiness, some spice and maybe even a bit of licorice and molasses (?).

Flavour is more of the same, with the pine notes coming through a bit more here, which leads to a much more pronounced (and not over the top in any way) hop flavour that even provides a bit of juiciness to the flavour. Smoke is again noticeable, this time at the very finish of each sip, where it mixes wit ha bit of a harsh chocolate flavour. I also noted a bit more spice here than in the aroma, with nutmeg and cinnamon being the most dominant here. There's a lot of flavour busting through with each sip of this beer, yet somehow they manage it all very well wit ha nice balance. Well done. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with some smoothness to it.

I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It simply gets better and better with each sip. It's nice to see it readily available in this area this year. I'll definitely be picking up some more in the coming weeks. Easily and enthusiastically recommended.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, bought a sixer at Brawley's in Charlotte on the day after thanksgiving

one of my favorite nationally distributed winter seasonals - probably 2nd only to SN Celebration Ale

appearance: great looking beer poured into an imperial pint glass, dark mahogany body with garnet highlights, big creamy tan head with pretty strong lacing - quite impressive

smell: smells like christmas - dripping pine hops, cocoa malts that come off rather dry, nutmeg and cinnamon are the most dominant spices, a touch of orange citrus is also noticeable

taste: this may be the best OSA that i recall tasting - this thing is just jam packed with holiday flavor...impressive pine hops play a major role followed by a cookie-like cocoa malt presence, big cinnamon touch, nutmeg, spiced citrus, touch of cedar

mouthfeel: pretty dry, biting hops

drinkability: strong

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Photo of ksbrainard
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark, dark brown. It only reveals the fact that it isn't black when you hold it up to the light. It has a nice head that lasts a little while, and then settles down as you make your way through the glass.

Smell: I smell licorice in there, which is an interesting twist. Although I have been seeing Porter recipes lately in homebrew mags that use the stuff. I also smell dark burnt caramel, with maybe a whiff of grassy hops that I picked up midway through, but struggled to find again.

Taste: Dark malts dominate. Licorice comes through, though it is a burnt caramel with hints of chocolate that coats the tongue. The hops guide you gently away at the end of your sip. The licorice provides bitterness throughout and outlasts the hops. This is rich, dark, and complex.

Mouthfeel: This is a little thin somehow. Even though the flavor is so deep, the mouthfeel just isn't that chewy.

Drinkability: A truly enjoyable beer, to be savored in cold weather. The rich flavor makes it seem as though it contains more alcohol than it does, which is an intersting change. I could see having this with a nice roast beef au jus, or even marinating a beef roast.

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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 billybob
5/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pours a dark reddish brown with a very large head with a easy pour. light tan head settles to one finger and leaves a nice lace to the finish. aromas of dark cherries, prunes, coffee, chocolate, spices. complex taste, sweet and fruity then the coffee and chocolate come in mixing with the nutmeg and pepper. mouthfeel is medium and smooth with no bitterness. excellent winter warmer best i have had. going to look for more.

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Photo of bosco7
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful artwork of one of my favorite trees (valley oak) that makes me miss California even more.

Gorgeous burnt red beer topped with a soufflé like luscious head. Wow.

First thing that comes to mind is eggnog. Nutmeg galore, cinnamon, orange , and clove in the nose. Amazing how they get that smell in there.

The actual taste of the beer is quite roasty and the spice is more subtle. I was also expecting some sweetness as well just from the smell, but the beer is quite dry. Chocolate, nutmeg, cherry, and orange are some other flavors that I can pick out.The finish has some fruity/citrus hop flavors.

Mouthfeel is a little astringent and dry but not too harsh. Like many Anchor Christmas Ales before I don't know if I could have 2 in a sitting. Still a good beer that is a very nice treat to look forward to every year.

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Photo of blackie
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: Pours a 1/2", deep khaki colored head atop a beautiful mahogany liquid. Good retention after a slow recession.

s: Very similar to the OSAs of years past. They claim to change the recipe yearly, but the changes must be trivial. Anyway, who cares, I love it as is. A deliciously dry, woody cedar-carob aroma dominates. Smooth toasted malts give a well checked sweetness. Spiced for sure, but it's almost indescribable...maybe cinnamon bark and ginger. Fresh green hops in the back. Very earthy.

m: very smooth medium carbonation and a very clean, medium body

t: Quite good, but finishes a little more weakly than I remember. Very similar to the aroma. Dry through and through, with the original cedar-carob flavors welcoming a more toasty barley flavor after the swallow. Woody and earthy. Finishes with a long lingering toasted cedar flavor.

d: very enjoyable, not a problem at all...always a favorite and I've collected 3 of my 5 year vertical so far

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Photo of vdragani
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Drunk cold in standard pint glass.
Dark, rich chocolate color.
Light tan head, dissipates slowly.
Smooth taste, however ends flat on the pallet.
Slight hints of chocolate with slight earthy after taste.
Very little hop taste or smell present.
Did not leave me with a full feeling afterward like some holiday beers, very drinkable throughout a long holiday gathering.

Will buy more for Christmas with the in-laws...

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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 Manosbeeroffate
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another offering from the beerguy at McKean&Charles (Waldoboro) Pours dark brown with a a nice medium head on it. Can't smell too much but that might be my sinuses again. Taste is a really unique flavoring of what seems like licorice, sweet malt, other spices I can't figure out what but seems to relate to christmas with a slight bitter finish. Overall a really good beer and one that is out of the ordinary. This is the first time I had this beer, never had any of the other vintages but would like to try the others sometime.

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Photo of Drew966
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Our Special Ale 2007 (Anchor Christmas Ale) pours a dark brown color with a tan head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. There's a hint of spruce in the aroma. There is a nice thick mouthfeel. In the flavor there's a touch of spruce, some ginger, some hops, some citrus, some cocoa powder in the finish and some various and sundry other spices that I don't recognize. Some years are better than others, but I always look forward to OSA and I always lay a few bottles down. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of bort11
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a SA pint glass. A tall chunky tan head goes all the way to the rim and takes forever to settle down. Large bubbles are trapped in the foam. Color is a dark red/black with ruby highlights when held to the glass. Very active carbonation streamers can be seen racing up the inside wall of the glass. A very beautiful beer to look at.

Smell has a mild herbal hoppiness to it with a sweet malt backbone. Taste is even more herbal with hints of fig, orange rind, and even some chocolatey notes in the malt.

Mouthfeel is is medium bodied. i have always wanted to age a OSA, I will definitely lay some of these down for next year.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This years batch is made with Quercus lobata or commonly know as Valley Oak and is native to North America and fairly restricted to the areas within California's Central Valley.

Now for the beer - Deep dark deceptive brown with a slight mahogany edging. Lofty topping of light sandy brown creamy foam builds up nicely. Keeps a firm, thickly placed collar and skim present once faded. Incredible lacing all over the place in lots of snowflaked spotting and strings.

Strong ginger spiced aroma with a sllight cocoa powdering and some black licorice. Kinda has a high-ended spruce tip freshness which is somehow being derived from the oak? Or so I'm guessing. But man it's Nice.

Taste is subtle and complexingly fun to behold as its Christmas spicyness is singing noel in harmony with a firm sweet backing of roast and oatmeal. Tangy and bright, yet dark and roasty. Quite a unique balance. However I tend to get more of the spices winning out over the top then the roast. The ginger is snappy and crunchy while the rest of the tang is all cherry/sherry-like with smurfings of cocoa, molasses, and vanilla. Overall tangy and kinda quick with a long alluringly rich and nearly port-like finish with only a ghostly whisper of wood showing way late.

Quick, tangy, fairly fullish body that trails off well and has a fairly snappy yet creamy touch to its character. Again, keeping a unique balance and holding onto a fine finish that lasts for astonishing length.

Anchor does it again! This years OSA batch seems to have the reach last years didn't. A nice treat to enjoy and share for the holidays.

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

Pours dark amber brown almost stout nitrogen like. Head has staying power. Strong taste, earthy and not too spicey. Hint of cinnamon & nutmeg. Aroma is sweet candylike. Taste is strong but not overpowering. Bottle and label are striking. Mouth feels a little dry afterward. Alcohol certainly starts the holiday feeling.

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Photo of MusicmanSD
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Well, its been awhile since a review, so here it goes. Last year, I got a six pack of the 2006 stuff, and maybe its because my palate wasn't as refined as it was back then (after a few months of homebrewing at least!), I noticed alot more about the malt profile than I had with the 2006 version. Compared to last years offering, this seems much smoother and more refined, almost like it's been aged! Much less hops and spices comparibily, but very, VERY well balanced.
The beer pours dark black with a ruby hue when held up to the light, and has that stout-like brown head, which seems to fade away fairly fast for such a heavy malt beer. It smells, again, stout-like with spiced edges, but not burnt. Maybe a porter is a fairer comparison. The mouthfeel is good, nothing to write home about, but better than anything comercially. Drinkability is always the downfall of the holiday beers with the complexity. After about two, I could see a need to switch to a pilsner urquell to feel a bit less heavy ;)

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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 Lothore
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep mahogany color with a 1 finger mocha head which fades fairly quickly.

S- Smells sweet and full of spice. Nutmeg, cinnamon and possibly some pumpkiny tones are present.

T- Taste is suprisingly mild, coffee, nutmeg as in the nose, slightly bitter hop element.

M- Creamy smooth with a good amount of carbonation.

D- This is extremely drinkable. I think once its had a chance to lose that little hop edge after a year or two it will be an excellent session beer for christmas.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, 2007 edition,

A: Pours a dark brown, with a thick white head, leaving a foamy layer at the apex of the liquid, little lacing though.

S: A complex smell of malt, spruce, cherry Life Savers, bubblegum, and nutmeg, very inviting and soothing.

T: Taste consists primatily of that sweet malt and spruce flavour, with spice (cinnamon and nutmeg), and molasses.

M: Mouthfeel is a little weak and watery, would like a little more heft, even though it is 5.5%, I won't fault them that much.

D: Another good tasty OSA is present here in the 2007. This is much more like the 2005 than the 2006, though both are great beers. This is good stuff, Anchor consistently puts out one of the best Winter Warmers on the market today.

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

Pours a deep cola brown, almost black. Tan head that sticks around for a very long time with great lacing.

Scent is maaaallllty with a nutmeg edge, maybe a hint of spruce.

Thick, good carbonation, and quite dry. Huge grainy malt, roasted and bitter. Very nutty and earthy, like pecans. Spices chime in nicely and don't overpower the other elements, along with sour dark fruits, a hint of coffee and chocolate notes.

So delightful...the head and lacing are quite impressive. I got the last visible case in my store, and I hope there's more next month. Cozy snowy days, here I come (and the label is quite appealing too).

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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 atsprings
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crisp dark amber almost brown with a thin off-white head that diminishes to a ring. Aroma is dominated by pine with spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon present as well. Taste is more of the same, decent balance between caramel malts and pine hops. The beer is light bodied and low in carbonation. This one makes for a very enjoyable winter brew.

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Photo of hwwty4
4.52/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Chimay chalice. Pours a nice dark brown with ruby tones when the light hits it, with a nice 2 inch creamy tan head. Nose is of nutmeg and cinnamon. Reminds me of a lighter version what egg nog smells like. Tastes like Christmas, nutmeg and cinnamon with carmaly malts that come out at the end of the beer. Great taste. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with that coats you mouth in a nicy oily feel. I would have no problem bellying up to the holiday table and drinking a sixer of this in a night.

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Photo of warmstorage
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle from six pack that was $8.99 at BevMo in Natomas, Sacramento area. (Notably, 750ml foil capped champagne magnums/gift bottles were also available for around $13.)

Appearance:deep reddish brown, medium reddish beige head that is dense and leaves significant lacing. Head sticks around.

Aroma: Spices dominate, also a deep earthiness. Malt sweetness. Could be a little more pronounced for the style.

Taste: Big spices, sweet tanginess. Nutmeg? Cinnamon? Allspice? A little clove? Perhaps even a tiny hint of cumin? There is such an intense spiciness, and a perfume-like spice character, that it's difficult to figure out what might be in there. Deep maltiness, minimal hoppiness but enough to keep it from being sickly sweet.

Mouth: Fairly high carbonation but still a thick mouth, finishes long with carbonation and warm spices.

Overall: As usual for Anchor OSA, this is a very nice spiced xmas ale, and something I'll buy and drink more of. That said, it feels a little, I don't know... one-dimensional compared to past years versions. Seems like it could do with a little more alcohol warmth, and perhaps fewer spices, so it felt a little more direct. I mean, complexity is good, but confusion is less good.

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Photo of jeffjfindley
4.54/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A black beauty, simmering in holiday cheer, with an antique head. Smell is absolutely outrageous, alive with molasses and nutmeg. Taste follows suit, but is a touch sour at the end. Mouthfeel is smooth and warming. Overall impression is that this is fantastic, but would be better if the ABV were kicked up a notch or two, and the spices backed off just a bit, though that would detract from the nose, which is as good as that of any beer I've ever had.

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Our Special Ale 2007 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 396 ratings