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

BA SCORE
84
good
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
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 722 |  Reviews: 197
Photo of micromaniac129
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drink this on Christmas eve, after mass.
Pours a deep brown color with some ruby high lights. A ta;;ish tan head sits on top, dense and mousse like it coats the glass with lacing.

Aroma is piney with cinnamon nutmeg and ginger.
Taste is similar with piney notes. not really all that spice and lingers just below the pine tree.
Malty but not very balanced.
Feels almost thick on the palette and finishes semi dry and semi bitter with a very light amount of cloying,
As with pass years, very good. Ill put the remaing in my cellar for good keeping

 546 characters

Photo of KevMo84
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of JohneHoodlum
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of dheldman
2/5  rDev -45.9%

Photo of DOCRW
3.47/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Rollzroyce21
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of unclekeith
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of mrcraft
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of matjack85
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at Trader Joe's because they allow you to buy just one bottle at a time there if you want. Come back for more later if you like it. $2.37 for a 12oz squatty brown bottle with no freshness date on it, but these Christmas ales usually hold up for years, so that is no concern. They change the tree on the label and the recipe of the beer each year to keep it interesting. This year's tree is the Norfolk Island pine for those who are curious.

The beer poured a dark burgundy color, almost wine looking except for the 1-finger creamy tan head on top. The head lasted a little over a minute before settling to a thin rim. Not much lacing, but what there was clung nicely to the glass.

Not as spicy smelling as most of the other Christmas ales. What I am getting is some chocolate, vanilla, and caramel aroma, but very faint smelling overall.

I think for the first time in years (or maybe for the first time ever) the brewers at Anchor Steam decided to brew a Christmas ale without any of the traditional Christmas spices. I can't detect any cinnamon or nutmeg this year. Instead, what I get is a bit of chocolate, some toffee sweetness, plums, and a bit of black licorice anise in the finish. It's not bad but it lacks oomph. There's just not a lot of anything that grabs your attention.

Medium body with medium carbonation.

It will be interesting to see if this one improves with age, but as of now I don't find it one of the better Christmas ales.

.

 1,471 characters

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is one of the few beers that I buy every year so I was pretty excited when this was out on the store shelves a few weeks back. Like so many others on here, I was a bit disappointed in this, as it did not seem as full or spicy as others in years past. It was unmemorable and went down easily, and even though I don't regret getting this, it was not as good as other Winter Warmers that I've enjoyed.

The pour to this was darker and less red than I remembered it being in years past, with some head and nearly no lacing to be seen. Just a bit of carbonation too but this still had the feeling of flat root beer. Some booze, caramel, and earthy spice in the nose but all of them fell flat when I tasted this. A molasses-like stickiness was here but not in body as the aftertaste felt like tree roots. Only a hint of raisin and other dark fruits without the accompanying spice and sourness. I actually had to pace myself during my review of this, as it was the fastest that I'd ever downed this beer. That's how weak it was.

Even the alcohol could have been upped by a bit, to compensate for the lack of bite and depth to this. While it's not a drain pour, buying six of these might not be a good idea. I do appreciate the subtle changes in this beer from year to year but this time around, it just didn't click. Maybe the Mayans were right about the end of the World after all...

 1,384 characters

Photo of JohnK17
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of denver10
2.53/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours brown with an amber hue to it, a dirty white head. Aroma is spicy and bready maybe a touch of some spruce there, but not much. Flavor started off with a wall of spices, it transitioned into a sweet, dark bread middle, and then closed with some of the spruce tips offering some slight bitterness in the finish. A medium body. Overall, not a fan of this one. The spices hit way too hard and I just couldn’t get beyond them even when the flavor transitioned elsewhere.

 473 characters

Photo of agreenman19
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of Onenote81
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of Doomcifer
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of bsp77
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Ruby black with nice brown head that retains well.

Smell: Uh, smells like a pumpkin beer. Haven't really thought that in previous years. Still that stale Porter smell underneath.

Taste: Stale, dry chocolate Porter upfront, which is overtaken by spices that once again seem very pumpkin like. I am even getting that nutty and sweet mixture I get from pumpkin. Finishes with dry chocolate.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, with a body that is slightly thinner than I would like. But the very dry finish improves the feel a lot.

Overall: Not up to par with recent releases, but still very tasty and easy to drink.

 676 characters

Photo of Beerlover
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of brez8791
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of Greywulfken
4.38/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had the 2010 or 2011? but didn't review it. I don't recall it being very much like this, but my memory could be faulty...

2012 bottling:

A: stout porter black body with ahalf-glass of dark tan head that left laces and motes behind

S: dark and roasted malts and espresso, some fennel, some smoke

T: almost like an american black ale - I've never had a "winter warmer" before - I actually didn't even know that was a style - this had a roasted, dry bittersweet character with notes of carob and some deep, dark fruit

M: very medium bodied and moderately carbonated, smooth, crisp, nice dry roast aftertaste; creamy but with some fizz

O: Super beer - a great holiday offering, something I will try every year - but not knowing what a typical winter warmwer is supposed to be like, maybe this interpreatation will leave something to be desired among devotees of the style. I was just delighted with its porter-like presentation and flavor/feel profile. Very drinkable.

 970 characters

Photo of ryan1788a5
2.75/5  rDev -25.7%

Photo of _morandi_
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of gregcordle
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of pisano
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of twenty5
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of UltimateLivewire
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

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