Our Special Ale 2012 (Anchor Christmas Ale) | Anchor Brewing Company

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84
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722 Ratings
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Our Special Ale 2012 (Anchor Christmas Ale)Our Special Ale 2012 (Anchor Christmas Ale)
BEER INFO

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

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by beertunes on 10-22-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
722
Reviews:
197
Avg:
3.7
pDev:
14.32%
 
 
Wants:
17
Gots:
72
For Trade:
1
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 722 |  Reviews: 197
Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of sloelco
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of nkp765
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of MattyG85
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass. 2012 Bottle.

Appearance: Pours a dark brownish black with a little ruby color. Lots of rising bubbles and a huge five finger light tan head with decent retention. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing around the glass.

Smell: A toasty malt driven aroma with a lot of Holiday spicing. Upfront is a big scent of spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice. Roasted malts with hints of chocolate, burnt caramel, toffee, nuts, yeast, and a slight hint of coffee. A moderate amount of brown sugar adds to the sweetness. Subtle hints of dark fruit including prune, raisin, and dates. Good presence of earthy hops with hints of pine and grass. Pretty solid aroma.

Taste: Like the smell hints, a nicely roasty and spicy taste with a good dose of earthy piney hops. Lots of spicing with a taste of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. Dark roasted malts with notes of burnt caramel, toffee, bitter chocolate, toast, coffee, nuts, and yeast. Light presence of brown sugar. A little bit of subtle dark raisin, prune, and date. Solid hop notes that provide some drying bitterness. Earthy pine and some grass. A good and well balanced taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very creamy, slick, and smooth.

Overall: Another good version of this Holiday ale. Nice taste of roast, spice, and hops.

 1,395 characters

Photo of wattoclone
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of DWolf
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of equinox
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This has been a personal tradition for me since many years. It is possibly due to my taste becoming more sophisticated, but I have to admit to being a tad disappointed. The mouthfeel was thin. This years version seemed to have little hop-presence. I did not get that Christmas tree pine note that has been present in prior years. It approaches a "sessionable" quality.
I still enjoyed this Ale, and I intend to purchase it again and maintain the tradition. But in the past where I've bought several six-packs, I might just buy one six-pack in the future. My feeling is that Anchor might need to acknowledge that its customers are becoming more sophisticated and "up-their-game" in the future. Perhaps offer an entirely different style as a change of pace; maybe a belgian or IPA.

 779 characters

Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.89/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle. The bottling code printed on the label is “2OH,” which is deciphered to mean October 8, 2012. (It may also be “2OM,” which would be October 13, 2012.)

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass. The color is brown with ruby tones. Two fingers of dense, cappuccino-colored head left a lacing, ring around the edge, and trails of foam along the glass.

Smell: I got a whiff of the spice the moment I popped the cap. Loads of festive cinnamon, pine, brown sugar, and ginger. Underneath is a solid foundation of toasted malts, caramel, toffee, dark fruit (I get plum and fig), and molasses. It is pretty solid — exactly what I want from an Anchor Christmas Ale — though I get the impression it is very familiar.

Taste: At first it is not as spicy as the smell led me to believe; the cinnamon, pine, and ginger are relegated to the background and hints in the aftertaste. The brown sugar, though, remains prominent. However, the spices slowly emerge as the beer warms. It is maltier than I was expecting, too; lots of toasted, and even roasted, malts. Caramel, molasses, cocoa, and burnt syrup. I also get a hint of flat Coke. A roasted aftertaste lingers after each sip.

Drinkability: Much better than the 2011 edition. The flavor lacks the punch of the aroma but it is still a good brew.

 1,324 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bottle of Anchor's Our Special Ale, a couple weeks ago for $1.99 at The Lager Mill. I wanted to get a few different Christmas beers that I haven't had before and this one caught my eye so I thought I would give it a try, so lets see how it goes. 2012 Vintage. Poured from a shorter brown bottle into a tulip.

A- I like the label on this beer it's pretty simple, but it looks nice and isn't overdone and I like the extra info about the beer. It poured a dark brown color that took on some ruby hues when held to the light with three and a half fingers worth of fluffy dark tan head that died down to a thick ring that stayed till the end and left lots of nice lacing. This was a very good looking beer, the color and head were very nice.

S- The aroma starts off with starts off with loads of spices that are pretty strong and very unique, it's got the typical Winter Warmer spices with nutmeg sticking out, but there's also a heavy ginger aroma and combined with other spices make an almost spiced perfume like aroma that's pretty unique. After that comes some brown sugar and a slight bit of dark fruits followed by the malts which impart a pretty sweet roasted aroma. I liked the aroma of this beer, it's not the best I have ever encountered but it's so unique that I just can't stop smelling it and I think it's good.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma, it starts off with this unique burnt sugar flavor followed by a good amount of roasted malts that had a medium amount of sweetness to it and imparted some roasted and grainy flavors follows by a noticeable molasses flavor. After that comes the spices which mix with the unique burnt sugar flavor to make and even more unique flavor with ginger coming through. On the finish there's a slight earthy hop flavor followed by a slightly lighter amount of medium bitterness and some roasted, slightly charred and spiced flavors in the aftertaste. This beer tasted nice, I didn't love the taste of this beer, but it wasn't bad and it was pretty different.

M- Fairly smooth, creamy, a little sticky, medium bodied with a nice slightly higher amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was nice and it worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought that was a nice beer and a slightly above average Winter Warmer, there's no confusing this beer with any other Winter Warmer the flavor and aroma were very distinctive. This beer didn't have the greatest drinkability, it went down fairly smooth, but the flavor was a little too much for me to want to have another one in a row, one is just enough for me. What I liked the most about this beer was the appearance, it was very good with nice color, great head, and good lacing. What I liked the least about this beer was the drinkability, the mouthfeel should help the drinkability, but the flavor really doesn't make me want to come back for more. I would buy this beer again for Christmas next year but I won't be getting any more of this years batch. I would recommend giving this a try, it a very unique Winter Warmer. All in all i was happy with this beer, I liked how different it was and that it just wasn't a heavily spiced brown ale, it was much more than that. Anchor made a pretty solid beer for this years Our Special Ale, and I am down to see how next years release is. I need to get around to trying more Anchor beers, their a pretty solid brewery.

 3,394 characters

Photo of TheBigLebrewski
3.99/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Weird, interesting beer. Indeed, almost every aspect of the beer surprised me! Much darker than expected, though a lightly colored head. Necco wafers (!), berried hard candy and a touch of juniper in the smell, along with some mellow but certain root beer action. Summarily, smells like a root beer Necco wafer. None-the-less, not too sweet, nor junipery in the flavor. That being said, definitely on the sweeter side, but even as a guy who shies from such, I'm enjoying this one. Actually a pretty enjoyable flavor, if not a bit confusing. Indeed, this is a good example of a beer with a heavily accented flavor that is still well-balanced in it's overall taste. Mouthfeel was a bit sparse, and aftertaste suffered in comparison to the flavor, but these weren't detriments. My only complaint is that it never really occurred to me what I was drinking. Which, come to think of it, isn't necessarily a complaint.

Off to work on this very large bottle. Happy Holidays BAs.

 972 characters

Photo of HumanParaquat
2.75/5  rDev -25.7%

Photo of ONUMello
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Pours an opaque brown with a lingering 1/2 finger head
T: Warming aromas of toasted malt, brown sugar and spice
T: Matches the nose with brown sugar, malt & a bit of toasted marshmallow towards the finish. A bit sweeter & thinner than I would like
M: Medium-bodied, this feels toasted if that makes sense, which I like, but again a bit thin in texture
O: Tasty but I would prefer a bit more structure

 441 characters

Photo of tjsdomer2
3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance: Extremely dark for a winter warmer. Basically a stout with excellent tan/white foam and lacing.

Smell: Sugar plums and nutmeg.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Tastes like coke and coffee. Really flat overall though, which ruins the flavor.

Overall: Very promising, but very disappointing.

 288 characters

Photo of Wally1912
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Grant89
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of Antnyd82
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of barnzy78
3.47/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, pours dark brown with a thin, beige head that dissipates quickly leaving minimal lacing. Spicy aroma with molasses, brown sugar, anise. Tastes are complex with dark malt, smoky, burnt caramel, molasses, brown sugar, plum, clove, allspice, faint cinnamon, faint pine, roasted chestnut perhaps; Christmasy nonetheless. Thin-to-medium body, moderate carbonation, finishes clean. Overall, good winter warmer & is actually the first time I've tried this perennial Anchor offering.

 488 characters

Photo of fitz284
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of zornbeast
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of Suds
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This year's ale is a dark brown color with a tan, large-bubbled head. The aroma is of Christmas spices and malt. It's a bit of a muted smell, but mulling spice is evident, backed by a brown malt and moderately roasty scent. The taste is pleasant...brown sugar, malt, orange peel and clove. It has a tongue numbing sensation that's somehow appropriate. Firm and full in body. This is a very enjoyable holiday ale.

 412 characters

Photo of Dyerseve
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of JLapadura
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of stakem
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Standard anchor stubby brown bottle into a tulip shaped pint glass. The brew appears a dark mahogany with a tan cap less than a finger strong. A light swirl revives less than a finger that produces some spotty lacing effect on the glass. When held to the light, the brew shows some lighter brown clarity and ruby coloration through the body.

The nose is quite pleasant with a mixture of holiday spicing. A bit of pine, anise and cinnamon work together quite well with a dark sweetness of caramel or toffee maltiness. Some dark fruity alcohol emerges as the brew warms up.

The taste is dark burnt sugary caramel/toffee and molasses. Some cinnamon flavors are quite natural almost like bark mixed with earthy nutmeg. Enough hops are present providing some herbal to pine bitterness backing that gets slightly medicinal at times. But overall it is balanced quite nicely.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is quite a nice holiday brew that is not over the top with spicing to really drive home that holiday feel. This is worth trying even if not for the holidays.

 1,097 characters

Photo of steveh
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The last in the series of OSAs of this brewing style -- so the brewery is saying. I'll miss it, it's been a nice tradition for me for almost 30 years.

A -- Clear, deep garnet with a dense, long-lasting tan head.

S -- Bold spices up front: nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, ginger, with some mild cocoa peeking through at the end.

T -- Same spice medley up front followed by roasted malt and some biscuit and breadiness back. The spices make an encore for the finish and aftertaste -- the roasted malt lending a licorice or anise character to the spices.

M -- Mouthfeel is soft and sticky with a heavy-medium body.

O -- I think I like this spiced ale better than others because the spice is balanced so well with the malts that it doesn't overpower the palate. It's also not so high in ABV to knock you around, so a couple go down very nicely on a cold December afternoon.

 867 characters

Photo of JohneHoodlum
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Our Special Ale 2012 (Anchor Christmas Ale) from Anchor Brewing Company
3.7 out of 5 based on 722 ratings.
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