To beer lovers around the country, Christmas Season is here. It's here because Anchor has released its Christmas Ale 'Our Special Ale'. Anchor may have been one of the craft brewers to release a Christmas Ale, and has been doing so since 1975. Every year the ingredients change slightly as does the label for the beer. Each year the label contains a graphic of a different tree. It may not be the greatest Christmas Ale, but its always worth stopping down for and celebrating the season. To celebrate it's release this season I decided to not only try this seasons ale, but last seasons as well. I've been aging it since last year and figured there can't be a better time than now to open it up.
2007 Our Special Ale: Here's the link to my original post on this beer last year. Pours a rich hazy brown with a half inch taupe colored head. The nose is spicy with spruce tips, licorice and some malts. The mouth has good effervescent up front with a chewy finish. Spicy with some malty sweetness, with a bit if spruce tip taste to it. It seemed like this beer had lost a little bit of depth over time. As it warmed some more complex flavors came out like caramel, chocolate, roasted malts to round out the spruciness. Not as much as I had hoped a year later. Not sure if something happened during the aging process or not. This gets a B- from me.
2008 Our Special Ale: This one pours a little darker than the older one, almost black instead of brown. Good half inch taupe colored head. The nose is apricots, spruce tips, brown sugar. The mouth is chewy, dried apricots, caramel, licorice, sweet malts. As it warms I get notes of figs and even more roasted malts. It has some really good lacing. The 07 has the same base of flavors as this 08 but it's lost some depth of flavor. This one is very nice. This one gets a B+ from me.