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 GPHarris
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - poured a three-fingers thick creamy tan head into a snifter. the head was long-lasting and left sticky sides throughout. the body was dark brown with reddish-purple highlights.
s - hints of licorice, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon with a slight hop presence.
t - the aforementioned spices, licorice and dark fruits.
m - creamy and slick.
d - wonderful beer as usual.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For the first time since I've been "into"beer, somehow, I actually skipped Anchor Our Special Ale last year...no..way!!! I love this stuff, but I let a winter go by, without tasting it! So, for some kind of penance, I grabbed this years quick as I could (and maybe I'll hunt blue Max for last years....)...and here we go.

I'm pouring this into a dimpled Summit Winter Ale mug, for old times sake, thinking of when I bought it at the old brewery, and when it was my tip jar at the Guthrie, and when that was my favorite winter brew....ah, memories...I'm getting all nostalgic up in here...

Dark mahogany brown color...huge head, toasted tan...
Arousing, and loud aromatics, full of spice...and I haven't gotten anywhere near it...soft, warm, earthy, roasty, redolent with cinnamon and maple and who knows what else...sweet, and gorgeous...I love it...love...it...

Tasting it:...floods the mouth with warmth and deliciousness, cinnamon seems the largest element in the spice component here, but there's more, some other spice that cuts the heat a touch, but I can't identify it...a better tongue than mine, can, perhaps, but ...I delivers a warm, lovely, utterly beautiful flavor I can't otherwise describe...lile cinnamon toast bread dipped in a Tom & Jerry
mix...I like it, though...I really,really like it.

Full-bodied, full-flavored, and long on the tongue and in the memory. Not dazzling or deep, but just this side of delicious.
You can drink, this, and it will please you, it will warm you and you will enjoy being alive. That makes me say "hooray!"

These guys know how to do it! Keep it coming, Anchor, and I'll keep 'em drinking!

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Photo of YonderWanderer
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice dark ruby color, almost brown. A thin layer of foam forms, and there's little lacing on the glass.

S: Holiday spices - hints of cinammon, nutmeg, and a few other spices. Very appealing.

T: Delicious. This is a very well-balanced winter warmer. There's some nice hints of nutmeg with a bit of cinammon. Lots of biscuit and caramel/toffee malt this one. A bit of warmth from the alcohol, and a tiny hop bite blend wonderfully.

M: Nicely carbonated, with a crisp finish.

D: This is a great winter warmer, and may become my standard for this winter. I'm really enjoying this one.

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Photo of zornbeast
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first Anchor Special Ale, and a real treat. Smelled of slight holiday spices. Smooth and satisfying on the way down with a great lasting aftertaste. Very Drinkable and could see having several over thanksgiving dinner. I would highly recommend and try to buy agian but at a lesser price than 12.99 a six-pack.

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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 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 KarlHungus
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a clear dark mahogany color. The head is massive, billowy, rocky, creamy, and light tan. The aroma is of ginger, and nutmeg with a hint of cinnamon, and a nice malt backbone. The taste is of like the aroma, but with a little less malt. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, I like this years version a lot more than I liked previous year. It seems to be more spicy and less malty. I look forward to cellaring this and trying it over the years.

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

I sampled some of this today at the Anchor Steam event at Sportsmans. I was so impressed i had to buy a sixer (9.36) and try some out.

Brew poured a deep mahogany brown with a fine light brown head. Nose is very malty with hints of Christmas spices. Taste is of toasted buscuity malts, molasses, spices, and a generous dry hop finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very smooth going down. Drinkabilty is very good. This was a very enjoyable brew that I believe is the best version yet!

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Photo of Rzzzzz
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really should have waited until my cold subsided but patience is not one of my strong points. Had to find out if it was as good as last year's issue, which IMO was their best to date. This one's very similar: pours black with a nice head; aroma of holiday spices, raisins and ripe bananas; smoothe on the palate; very well balanced flavors (caramel, holiday spices, hint of vanilla), nothing overpowers anything else. Now to find some on tap...

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Photo of Murchmac
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a more serious dark mahogany than most years.

Left with a finger high head of foam, which doesnt matriculate down the rest of the festive spirit.

This beer smells more jingle bell rock to me than the other holiday beers available. Spicy, minty, holly, jolly christmasy.

After having a cough drop, saltine, and a glass of water this beer tastes like the people say and more of a dark roasted (caramel, sugary taste), still has that nut taste complexion to it, mint? when drinking it, you feel, smell, and taste all of this beer.

Lingering, strong aftetaste. I always like this beer and this year is no exception.

I bet this one ages well.

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Photo of Brad007
4.87/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy head. Aroma is spicy, biscuity on the nose. Judging by the aroma, there's a ton of flavor in this one. Another sniff and I can confirm raisin in the nose. Taste is very nice and malty. Nothing but malt and just a tiny bit of spice at the back of the tongue. I would say that this is what a winter warmer should be, more true to the style.

You are not overwhelmed by spice with this beer. It's all malt, malt and malt. It's very much a sipping beer.

Other winter warmers tend to focus too much on spices and gimmicks. This beer just nails it for me in regards to not only style, but it's also far more tolerable than a few other winter warmers I've had.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle, served in a pint glass.

A - deep brown/red color with a beige head that settled to a light layer.

S - spiced brew aroma.

T - very good tasting brew, malt, spices, and a touch of hops.

M - light/medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - this is one heck of a drinkable beer, I could drink this all night.

Final Note: Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

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Photo of cerveza5150
4.46/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Winter warmers...who doesn't love em?? This ale is just great. Anchor puts out a tasty dark ale every year, and every year it seems to get better. The malt is biscuity, but so much more complex than a standard malty ale. I think they've kicked up the hops a bit this year, which only adds to the scrumptiousness. I could go thru a six pack easy with this one at only 5.5% ABV. Cheers!!

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Photo of 0tt0
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours opaque with an off-white creamy head that forms a nice cap before slowly dissolving to a wispy collar. Looks like a really good porter crossed with an oatmeal stout. Nose is malt, toffee, and come tangerine from a solid dose of hops. A bit vinuous as well with a bit a licourice. Sip brings the toffee first, followed by some fruity middle that suggests a dubbel. Orange and clove seem to be present before giving way to a tingly carbonation and piney aftertaste. Roasted grain becomes more prevalent as it warms, as does its wine-like qualities. A very interesting flavor. Mouthfeel is luscious and creamy. I'm not big on Xmas beers, but it feels like a porter with some interesting notes. A worthy beer.

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Photo of timbro81
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had high hopes going into this one, unfortunately they did not hold up. To begin with it pours a beautiful dark mahogany with a nice redness on the edges of the glass. It had a quickly dissipating off-white fluffy head. The smell was very intriguing, reminded me of licorice over piney hops. The taste was a pretty dissapointing, slightly burned and more of the licorice with very little hoppiness. The mouthfeel was much lighter than expected. Definitely not much of a "winter warmer." I would agree with the gentleman before me in that this is a "session" beer but would rather settle for and Anchor Porter instead.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The 2007 label depicts the "Quercus lobata", or Valley Oak tree. I had the honor of drinking this beer from the first keg in Portland, Oregon, tonight (Bailey's Taproom); it was hand-poured by Bob Brewer of Anchor Brewing into a lovely commemorative glass, gold-rimmed and etched with the 2007 label's design.

A: Deep mahogany, tinted with ruby and clear around the edges. Too dark to tell if there's much carbonation or not, and still too conscious of my beer-geekiness to blatantly hold the glass up high and give it the thorough visual exam. Suffice to say, there's a rich and creamy half-finger of dense ivory head, trailing and lightly sticking with soapy lace.

S: Served at a perfect temperature, loads of spice and toasted malts rise from the glass. Smells spot-on like gingerbread, a bounty of nutmeg, ginger and molasses, with a rooty anise/licorice. Nothing too sweet or 'fake' about this spicing either; it's rich but restrained all at once. Fleeting orange and an earthy/peaty finish. I could smell this for a long, long time.

T: Hard to top that nice aroma, still this has a wonderfully dark roasted caramel malt structure, draped with light citrus and sprinkled with spices. Towards the end of the glass, warming causes some intriguing tart fruitiness (pink grapefruit?) to open up and a zesty ginger begins to take shape. Only enough hops to provide some malt-balancing bittering.

M: Creamy carbonation and medium mouthfeel. Dark roasts stay sugary and linger a while in the mouth, a little tingly spice. Modest amount of malt stickiness in the finish.

D: A fine ale, warm and delicious, with a remarkably low ABV for a 'Winter Warmer'. A savory sipper and certainly one easy to have seconds (or thirds) of. Anchor has a winner with this year's version; I'll be sure to get more in bottles and (I hope) more at the Taproom. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year indeed...

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Photo of sfoley333
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 2007 edition Merry Christmas & Happy New Year poured a dark brown bordering on black in color with a thick tan head. The smell of nutmeg with clove pine aroma. Taste slight burnt malt bitterness with pine that has a spiced nutmeg and coffee flavor. Mouthfeel is bright with bubbly carbonation on the tongue helps keep the body from getting to heavy. This beer is a great drinker for a cold winters day, I been drinking Anchor's winter warmer now since 1994 and think the do one of the best winter warmers every year. Still this syle is not a style that you can drink a six pac in one sitting, the strong herbal taste and burnt flavors makes it quite filling after a couple.

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

Poured a very dark ruby color with a thick dark brown head, one of the thickest and darkest in memory. Good retention and excellent lacing.

Some wintergreen and gingerbread aromas, very warm and inviting.

Nice wintergreen with some cinnamon and spices and a hint of caramel. I didn't detect much bitterness in the aftertaste.

A nice thick body, but no too thick. Medium carbonation, just about the right amount.

Overall a very smooth and drinkable brew from Anchor. When pouring it, judging from appearance I thought this might be a little on the heavy side for the beer I wanted to consume at that moment. But from the very first sip my fears vanished. This is a very smooth and drinkable beer, perfect for winter get togethers or just downing a couple on your own while watching the winter stars.

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

The pour was a dark caramel color with ruby highlights and a thin off white head which doesn't last long. The aroma is sweet maltiness with hints of peppermint or wintergreen. The taste is awesome. A wonderful bitterness with a definite wintergreen taste. Hints of caramel and roasted malts as well. Man this beer is good. The mouthfeel is medium body with medium carbonation. The overall drinkability is great. The wintergreen taste is awesome. I reall enjoy it a lot.

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

A- Dark brown, transparent when held to light with ruby hues. Brown/dark tan head. Thick and fluffy. Looks like orange microbubbles from the front of the glass. Very clingy, sticky lace clings to glass like a spiderweb all the way down.

S- Sourwood, Molasses, Malty, Wintergreen like a Christmas Tree.

T- Pepper, spice, caramelized sugar, alcohol strong finish with campfire tones

M- Very thick and creamy. Chewy and full. This is a full beer and a "near meal" for a lower ABV beer. Nice!

D- Again, filling and thick. Nice and smooth though so it would be a good session beer sitting in front of the fire with your buddies or family sharing good memories. Like this beer!!

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Photo of beerluvr
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A welcomed and unexpected find in my local beer store after a loooong abscence in my part of NJ!

Pours with a large and foamy head, settling into rocky peaks in the glass atop deep dark reddish-brown liquid. Brown sugar, spruce/light piney-ness with a light malty base comprises the unique nose. Smooth mouthfeel with notes of malt, spice box, mild astringency and then a good hoppy finish with a bit of roastiness as well. Finishes long and complex...a classic Xmas ale if ever there was one! Worth seeking out.

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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