Our Special Ale 2000 (Anchor Christmas Ale) | Anchor Brewing Company

BA SCORE
86
very good
45 Ratings
Our Special Ale 2000 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 2000 (Anchor Christmas Ale)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States
anchorbrewing.com

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 12-04-2000

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
45
Reviews:
35
Avg:
3.89
pDev:
14.65%
 
 
Wants:
5
Gots:
3
For Trade:
0
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Ratings: 45 |  Reviews: 35
Photo of Gonzoillini
1.75/5  rDev -55%

Photo of t0rin0
2.5/5  rDev -35.7%

Photo of palma
2.87/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Sampled 5-19-2005.
Dark brown almost black body. Basically no head develops.
Aroma consists of cinnamon, nutmeg, grapes, plums, licorice, and cloves.
Sharp sour/acidic flavor up front. Not very enticing. Then an immediate coffee flavor. Reminds me of day-old instant coffee.
It was a struggle to finish the 12 ounces.
I have a feeling this will probably be one of the last decent reviews you'll see for the 2000 vintage. It's on its last leg.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.95/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

The Second Day of Beermas... It pours a murky burnt sienna topped by a minor half-finger of dirty ecru foam. The nose comprises caramel, buttery biscuits, tobacco, cedar, light dark chocolate, and a touch of roasted malts. The taste shows its age with a swampy muddling of chocolate, light coffee, musty greens, and light char. I'm thinking oxidation has done a small number on this here brew. The body is a lazy medium, with a light carbonation and a smoothly gloopy feel. Overall, it looks as though Father Time has smacked this brew around a bit over the past decade.

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Photo of jophish17
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to drabmuh for sharing this bottle. Served in a SAVOR wine glass.

Pours a dark cola color with a whispy light tan head and not much in the way of lacing. A few bubbles on top and a half-collar. Not bad for a brew this old. The nose brings a bit of pine and light wintry spices. Some dark malt there as well. Flavor has a touch of malt and spice, but is fairly tame. The mouthfeel is slightly-watery, which pulls back from the flavors. A great beer to try, though past its prime at this point.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark, murky brown, topped with a thin collar of tan head. A couple amoebas of lace cling to the glass here and there. The head drops out entirely about halfway through.

The aroma is mildly spiced, much of what I expect from Anchor's special ale has dropped out or at least receded. An odd wet wool smell seems to have entered the mix. Molasses and roasted malt is most prominent. Perhaps that, plus some oxidization, gives it that vaguely metallic woolly scent. Once it warms more of the spiced roastiness takes over, but I can't shake that wet dog smell from my brain.

The flavor is gentle and diminished. Seems a little feeble. The carbonation has gotten very soft on this one. I could compare it to cask ale. Lighter bodied than what I expect from this beer. Molasses, paper, brandy, carob, nutmeg, wood and very light pine needle. Light fruitiness, with a touch of dry sourness in the end. Finishes dry and a bit weak.

I think this one's getting a little past its prime. The aroma in particular gets unpleasant once I identified the smell, making it somewhat hard to finish.

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Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.56/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sample taste at Chicago Beer Society vertical tasting, Dec. 1, 2005. That makes this sample six years old. A nice, darker color than the 2001 Brown in color, with maltiness that tends to the Pale Ale category. Has the complimenting fruitiness of an English pale ale.

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an almost black brew with an off white cap of foam.
The aroma is a bit plain as it is one sided and all i can smell are some sweet malt and a touch of spice.
The flavor is pretty rich and it has a strange bitterness to the malt background of sweet dark caramel malt and roasted malt. The spice seems to be the main bittering agent in this one and it changes the balance of the flavor a little too much.
The body has a velvety feel to it as the low carbonation and the residual sugar contribute to a very nice smoothness.
Very drinkable in the winter time, especially december.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Muddy, ruddy, dark chocolate brown with orangish brown accents. The small, dark gold cap is thick, hearty and creamy, but enters the atmosphere more quickly than I had hoped. I see no lace at present; perhaps it'll make an appearance when more of the glass is available. Ultimately there's a thick cap and a short collar.

I've tasted the various OSAs far enough apart that aroma and flavor memories are sketchy at best. This nose smells a little better than the others for some reason. It certainly has plenty of power, a characteristic that I noted (with pleasure) when I cracked the cap. I can appreciate roasted malt, cocoa powder and indeterminate spice. Even though it's almost 5 years old, this one doesn't smell as stale as the '98 and '99, if memory serves.

I do believe that the '00 is spicier than previous iterations, but that isn't to say that it's better. No matter how many variations on this theme I drink, something about this recipe fails to grab me. The flavor profile consists of powdered dark chocolate, creme de cocoa (mild ethanol note), pine boughs and spices that were added with too heavy a hand.

Pine needles and spices last the longest, although the finish can't be said to be lingering. While the mouthfeel isn't bad, it's a little too thin for a Christmas Ale/Winter Warmer, at least as I think of those styles. Perky carbonation helps to provide some measure of mouth interest.

The 26th Christmas Ale (so sayeth the cap) isn't a whole lot different than the 24th, the 25th or the 29th. It does seem to have a greater spice load, although the mists of time may be obscuring things more than a little. Unless Anchor Brewing decides to break the mold and do something drastically different, the OSAs, at least as far as I'm concerned, will continue to be drinkable, but rather underwhelming.

 1,831 characters

Photo of beerceller99
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2000 bottling from the cellar.
Mahogany hue with a decent tan head. Strong smell of burnt caramel, orange peel, cloves. Medium bodied with light carbonation. A slight oxidized smell does not detract. Earthy, woody, lightly toasted malt taste with spice flavors that echo the smell.
A smooth, subtle malt beverage here.

 322 characters

Photo of Weissenheimer
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pint comes with the medium-sized head that I'm coming to know well. It has that toasted, foamy, melted-marshmallowy look that says "Anchor OSA". The beer itself has a dark, brooding, not-quite-opaque ruby appearance which reminds me of Corsendonk Christmas Ale. My reaction to the smell is the same as it was when I sniffed the 2002: "Nice and spicy". It's mild and caramely.

The head lends this beer a lot of creaminess, and this leads into a strong coffee taste. I'm definitely tasting some of the molasses flavor of the 2002, but in this case it takes a back seat to the coffee. Also like the 2002, as I pay close attention to that coffee flavor I realize that it's actually halfway between coffee and raw black tea. The coffee is way too much for me, especially since it actually seems to get stronger as I drain the glass. I won't be having any more from 2000, although that reaction arises from my personal taste more than from the beer.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared with friends the other day. Beer served in a snifter of some sort. Beer is dark brown but mostly clear at the corner, thin head, beer is carbonated still but barely.

Aroma is sweet, a little oxidized but not badly.

Beer is a little papery but the flavors are strong, I don't know the ABV on this but I think there is some alcohol in the palate, the beer is good with a nice finish. I liked it.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Color is a very dark, rusty brown/black. The head was a lovely two and a half finger head with great retention. Maintains a good, thick filmy head throughout the entire beer.

Smell- Nutmeg mixed with chestnuts and roasted malts. Some tart wood notes noticed as well.

Taste- Starts out woody and tart but then hints at some coffee and deep dark roasted malts. The finish is a bit gritty with a few sweet flavors.

Mouthfeel- A little cloying as far as the tartness factor goes. Plus the oaken wood seems to stick out a bit too.

 549 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 1500 mL magnum,

A: Pours a somewhat ruddy red-brown with a considerable off-white head for how old it is. Still looking good.

S: Large amount of direct cinnamon, nutmeg, wood, smells a bit like poutpourri, but in a good way.

T: Cinnamon dominates with a nice malt play. Fairly complex, no hop character to be found.

M: Medium-bodied, a tad chalky at times. Soft carbonation, pretty smooth overall.

O: By far the oldest OSA I've ever had, so I was really happy to try this and see that it held up so well.

 516 characters

Photo of beerguy101
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown color, medium head. Spicy aroma (piney, touch of spruce??) Roasted malts, nutmeg-ish. Full flavor, very complex. Interesting taste. Need to taste again after some bottle aging. Finish is a little harsh. Aftertaste is malty, slightly burnt malts. As usual this beer mellows with age.

 293 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured dark mahogany with translucent edging.
Ambitious, thick, tan head fell rather quick leaving almost no lace.
Bitter chocolate infused coffee grounds up front in the aromatics, followed through with spruce needles, treacle, molasses, and nutmeg.
Nose finishes warm and spicey, with a shadow of roast menthol.
Medium bodied, and a bit flatish, creamyness from other vintages seems astray.
Pallet starts out with bitter chocolate- covered coffee beans,
then warming spices.
Pine bark, anise, nutmeg, continue along with some underlying lemon zest and coriander.
Finishes slow, bitter, and warm, with a tart suggestion.

 629 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2000 Vintage: Tried Aug, 03
Dark opaque brown color. Lots of protein/ particulates had settled to the bottom of the bottle. Smells of burnt caramel, molasses, bitter herbs, slightly woody and a hint of smokiness too. Tastes lightly sweet, with a hint of oxidation, but this mixes quite well with the burnt caramel notes of the beer. Not as sharply spicy tasting as when I last tried this beer about 6 months ago (or when it was young). Very good still, in fact better than when it was fresh. Quite smooth with a brown malt taste. Tastes more like molasses than anything. Overall this is not nearly as sharp and objectionable as when it was new, the sharp bitter herbal taste is now in balance with the rest of the beer.

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Photo of clvand0
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to sheepnutz for sharing his magnum of this one. Pours a very dark color with a tall brown head that has nice retention and leaves lots of lacing. The aroma is mostly comprised of a pine thing and some dark malts. The flavor is an even mix of the pine spices and the dark malts. I like this one. The body is moderate, but I figure that it was much thicker when it was fresh. The drinkability is pretty good for a spiced beer. Enjoyable.

 443 characters

Photo of pperez38
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of hopdog
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried 5 vintages on tap at the Stuffed Sandwich ('00, '01, '02, '03 & '04). The '01 was my favorite with the '00 a close 2nd. Nice subtle, malty, caramel aromas and tastes. Molasses. Light spices. I'm glad I had the chance to compare the 4 vintages on tap.

NOTE: did a tasting on 1/15/05 that included years '87, '90, '94, '97, '98, '00, '01, '02, & '03. The '02, '01 & '94 stood out as the best of the bunch. The '94 had a nice whiskey taste to it that the others did not. I thought the older vintages held up well over the years.

 535 characters

Photo of M27
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This stuff was much better than the 2002 version that I last tried. This is still a dark brown beer with a biege head and some nice aromas of spices, trees, and booze. This aged version is less tree-like in flavor and more barley-wine like. The mouthfeel seems thicker and the drinkability is definately better than the 2002 as well.

Nice stuff!

 348 characters

Photo of jaydoc
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Our Special Ale 2000 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
3.89 out of 5 based on 45 ratings.
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