Anchor Brewing Christmas Ale, a 6.5% ABV Winter Warmer
|Appearance||Deep mahogany brown; creamy, tan head|
|Aroma||Roasted malt, dark fruits, molasses, firewood.|
|Taste||Bready, nutty, spicy, fruity.|
|Mouthfeel||Smooth and creamy; moderate carbonation.|
|Overall||‘Tis the season!|
This year marks the 42nd annual release of Anchor Brewing Company’s Our Special Ale (Anchor Christmas Ale). Each year brings a new recipe and new hand-drawn tree, capturing the holiday spirit in a pint.
Christmas Ale is a traditional “Wassail” of medieval England, when brewers used blends of spices to give the beer a distinctive flavor. While the Anchor Christmas Ale always remains a closely guarded secret, it is always brewed using malted barley, fresh whole hops, and a “top-fermenting” yeast.
This year’s brew is a deep mahogany brown with a creamy, tan head and boasts aromas of fruitcake, molasses, and fresh cut wood. The beer tastes of a roasted caramel malt, with notes of spiced chocolate and nuts and has a rich, smooth, and velvety mouthfeel.
Artist James Stitt has been creating the Christmas Ale labels since the first one in 1975. Trees symbolize the winter solstice when the earth appears born anew. A new tree is selected each year for the Anchor Christmas Ale label.
The hand-drawn “1,000 Mile Tree” or the lone pine found during westbound construction of the transcontinental railroad is on this year’s label. The illustration includes a person at the top of the tree with a mug of beer, honoring an old legend that railway passengers sometimes attempted to climb the tree.
Wanna pick this one up? Click here for Anchor’s beer finder.
Check out… this video from Anchor Brewing to learn more about Anchor Christmas Ale.