Our Special Ale 2008 (Anchor Christmas Ale) | Anchor Brewing Company

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Our Special Ale 2008 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 2008 (Anchor Christmas Ale)
Very Good
461 Ratings
Our Special Ale 2008 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 2008 (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 t0rin0 on 10-23-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 461 |  Reviews: 400
Photo of AndrewMichael
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of csiewert
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Stoffel
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of scottfrie
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Magnum into snifter. Consumed on Christmas 2011.

A: Pours a very dark ruddy brown with a very thick dark tan head that faded into a long lasting fuzzy film.
S: Scents of clove, cardamom, raisins, ‘tree’, caramel and tangerines.
T: Follows the nose with the usual OSA flavors. I get a hint of chocolate as well. Not as much pine, spruce etc as some of the other years, although it’s not as caramely and sweet either.
M: Medium body, slick chewy mouthfeel with low but bubbly carbonation.
O: Not the best of the years that I’ve had. This beer is still pretty sweet too. A decent drink, no hurry to open it if you have it.

 631 characters

Photo of weisserj
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed Christmas night (12/25/2011). 3 year vintage.

Pours dark brown, almost black, into Chimay chalice. 2 finger off-white (beige?) head that does not last too long but instead descends into a small halo of foam. Shocking how little aromas I am able to detect but I’m getting a tiny amount of pine and maybe a bit of cinnamon or nutmeg? Again, it’s very hard to tell and perhaps I’m a bit congested from allergies but it seems extremely mild even when I put a nostril right up to the bottle. Taste is milder than I was expecting after reading all about the Anchor Christmas beers through the years (this is the 34th edition). Malts are in the front and a bit of piney aftertaste in the back. Goes down extremely smooth with no bitter or biting aftertaste. The cinnamon is present but thankfully not overdone-just right. Not boozy-tasting in the slightest but this truly is a winter warmer and can get you feeling very nice after just a few sips. I drank the first half fresh out of the fridge and let the second half mellow a bit in the glass to see if I could get more smells or flavors to stick out. A bit more aroma emerges and now it kind of reminds me of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout.

Is this a go-to ale? Well, not really since it’s now 2011 and the 2008 vintage is probably almost all consumed by now. I like it quite a bit and would definitely pick up another bottle if the opportunity arose.

I had found and purchased two bottles and even though I really like it I’m sticking to my plans to gift the second one to a friend. After all, it is the season of giving!

 1,593 characters

Photo of korguy123
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2008 vintage opened 12/17/2011

A- Super dark brown/black pour with three fingers of light tan head. Slowly the soapy mass deflates leaving a thin ring and bunches of lacing.

S- Nutmeg and ginger, cinnamon with a slight buttery presence. Black coffee and figs with slight rum soaked raisin.

T- Brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and raisins. Slight cardboard tastes.

M- Light to medium bodied, light carbonation, sticky on the lips.

O- Not bad. Definitely Christmas in a bottle.

 478 characters

Photo of trojankeg
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of taitlifto
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of LSUPT
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of PhatAtUT
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of pperez38
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of rab53
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Amyliz4
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of jmdrpi
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of waiting4lunch
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of ROGUE16
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of fmccormi
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of AlexM
5/5  rDev +29.5%

Photo of bpfrush
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of nickd717
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle at The Bruery, 2008 vintage, vertical with 2001 and 2002 vintages. Review dated 2/4/2009.

Dark amber color with an off-white head. Aroma of roasted malt, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon. Flavor is the same, malty with spices, not quite as mellow as the oldies but good. Medium-full body.

 300 characters

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

The 2008-2009 release has a pleasant aroma, with notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, light cloves, and pine.

These flavors continue into the beer, though nutmeg and pine dominate the palate, along with a sugary current reminiscent of the candied fruits that often accompany Christmas stockings: specifically banana and mango. Hops are kept to a modest level, mostly providing a stabilizing effect to keep the sugars from becoming overwhelming.

Overall, quite a delicious beer; especially considering I'm not overly fond of beers that have added "natural flavors" and "spices," as per the label.

 589 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2008 vintage which makes this approximately 2.5 years old at this time.

Pours a semi-clear crimson red color with a 2 inch light beige head that settles to a small cap. There is a complex lattice work of lacing on the glass on the drink down. The smell on this beer is very complex. Overall, it smells like an arts and crafts store around Christmas time. There is an earthy smell, with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice. Very much like mulling spices used to make apple cider. Absolutely fantastic. Unfortunately the taste is not as great as the smell. The same tastes as present as what I get from the aroma but in a watered down way. Almost as if a bag of mulling spices was left to steep in a generic ale. Carbonation levels are somewhat low which could be a factor due to the age of this beer. The mouthfeel is slightly flat and watery but it's not too far gone to be unenjoyable. Overall, this is a good beer still with perhaps slight signs of aging. I really liked the 2009 version of this beer and I know that each year the recipe changes. I bet the 2008 version fresh was pretty awesome. I have one more of these in my cellar so I am curious as to how further aging will affect this beer.

 1,207 characters

Our Special Ale 2008 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 461 ratings