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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Anchor Merry Christmas

Anchor Christmas 2008Anchor "Our Special Ale" Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 2008:

Those who are close to El Presidente and are familiar with his tastes know that he, um, I wait eleven months out of the year to get my hands on Anchor's Holiday Ale. I've been sampling this special brew every year (I'm pretty sure I didn't skip any) since 1997. It is flavorful without being too extreme. It imparts a holiday feeling without tasting too much like nutmeg. Medium body with a grand bitterness that rewards the palate for all those patient months of waiting.

If you've ever doubted my judgment or impartiality, doubt no further, for this less-than-perfect score tells the tale of true loyalty to the spirit of holiday brewing. In comparison to previous Christmas offerings, the 2008 Anchor brew is just a wee bit less miraculous than its predecessors. It's still spectacular, mind you. This bitterness and body hold hands as they walk the line between ale and stout -- totally intriguing and well balanced. The only flaw I find is that perhaps a little more nutmeg or cloves or something would mellow it out just a tad and a little less piney essence would smooth it over ever so slightly.

It's still stylish and intricate and wonderful and I'll still fight anybody who talks trash on it. And I'll still make all of my friends and family have one. And I'll still attack the 2009 version as soon as I see it a year from now.

Just a little less accessible than its forebears, the 2008 vintage has had a lot to live up to. If you've never tried "Our Special Ale", go for it! Remember that the recipe is slightly different every year and you can look forward to its originality each holiday season. With a tradition dating back to 1975, this ceremonial brew is almost as old as El Presidente himself (the beer, however, is much more distinguished). I can only hope to leave a fraction of the legacy that Anchor has left. We all continue to reap the benefits of Anchor's innovative approach to brewing. Enjoy!

Anchor "Our Special Ale" Holiday:

Representation: .95
Accessibility: .90
Style: 1.0
Personal Preference: .99

Total Score: 3.84 Flags

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