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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Anchor Brewing Co. "Our Special Ale" 2009

Anchor Our Special AleAnchor Holiday Ale 2009:

Eleven months I wait for this brew to hit the shelves. As soon as the pumpkin ales have all shown their fall finery in liquor stores around town I begin to peek around for the first winter brews. Anchor Brewing offers one of the most solid and stalwart lines of brews and the "Our Special Ale" stands out among these. Every year the recipe is different (and so is the tree pictured on the label) so it's a holiday surprise every time. Last year's vintage was just ever so slightly less lustrous than previous years in my eyes because it was a little heavy on the evergreen and light on the toasty bitterness...

Problem solved! 2009 Anchor still has a bit of that herbal, forresty, nature-magic lurking deep down in its soul. This latest brew, however, has something else in its aroma -- a semi-sweet cocoa, perhaps, or vanilla, or oak -- something that mellows the bitterness just enough without removing the dry and toasty malt base.

Anchor 2009 has a body and flavor and dryness that is part ale, part porter. It's as dark as pitch with a luminous head (Quite beautiful). Happy Holidays are here again!

Like other holiday brews: Reminds you of the winter season by way of an evergreen presence in the finish and a bit of chocolate or something (drat their secret recipe!) in the aroma.

Unlike other holiday brews: More of a pagan solstice thing than a traditional Christmas mulled-spice thing.

Anchor Holiday Ale 2009:

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

Total Score: 3.94 Flags

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