Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Anchor Our Special Ale Christmas 2010

Here is what the Brewer says:
The brewers of Anchor Steam® Beer are proud to announce the release of our thirty-sixth annual Christmas Ale. Every year since 1975 the brewers at Anchor have brewed a distinctive and unique Christmas Ale, which is available from early November to mid-January. The Ale's recipe is different every year—as is the tree on the label—but the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life. Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons, appears born anew. Our tree for 2010 is the Ginkgo biloba tree. Each year our Christmas Ale gets a unique label and a unique recipe for the Ale itself. Although our recipes must remain a secret, many enthusiasts save a few bottles from year to year—stored in a cool dark place—to taste later and compare with other vintages. Properly refrigerated, the beer remains intriguing and drinkable for years, with different nuances slowly emerging as the flavor mellows slightly.

My Thoughts: This beer pours very dark, almost a brownish black with a tan colored head.  The smell is malty with hints of caramel and toffee.There is also a dark fruit presence under the malt.   The beer starts off by being sweet and roasty.  Both Brown sugar and dark malt come out out play as well in what is a very complex tasting brew. I still get that background flavor of a dark fruit as well.  The beer gets better as you let it warm up a bit too. As it warmed the finish of eat sip added a little more bitterness to it which left a good flavor.  The body isn't near as thick as it looks, it is on the lower medium side of things with average carbonation that comes alive mid drink.  Drinkability for me is good, not outstanding.  I don't see myself sitting back and putting 2-3 of these away in a row like I would some others.  This beer is all about enjoying and sipping as it warms up and warms you up on a cold winter night and having one on a cold night like tonight is perfect!  (I have one left and I plan on aging it until next year to see what it does to the flavor!)

Serving Type: 12oz bottle

My Rating: Overall 83.75/100
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | drink: 4

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