The 2017 Anchor Christmas Ale (Our Special Ale) is a Winter Warmer brewed by Anchor Brewing, and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in a shaker pint glass from a bottle.
The ale pours a clear black with highlights of ruby showing through. It’s topped by an inch-thick cap of dense, tan-colored foam that shows fine retention.
The aroma is sweet and spicy with a scent of dark fruits and nutmeg.
The palate begins with a mild bite of floral hops followed by an earthiness of wood, piney hops, roast malt, and lemon tea. The finish is warm with spices of nutmeg and cinnamon; sweet with a taste of dark fruits.
The feel is smooth with a body that’s a shade over medium with moderate carbonation. Its maltiness makes it seem fuller than reality. Finishes slightly warm from the spices and alcohol.
Presents well, its aroma is inviting, and its feel is just right. And most importantly, its palate is a delicious blend of hops, malts, and spices. If anything, its warmth might be too modest, but otherwise, the Anchor Christmas Ale wonderfully represents its style.
A Holiday Tradition
Anchor has been brewing their “Our Special Ale” every holiday season since 1975. Each year Anchor offers a new take on its recipe making it a holiday surprise. The label art always features a new illustration of a tree by Bay Area artist James Stitt. For 2017, the label art features a Santa Lucia fir, a rare tree limited to California’s central coast.
Have You Tried 2017 Anchor Christmas Ale?
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