Steph’s New Brew Review: Anchor Christmas Ale

Steph’s New Brew Review: Anchor Christmas Ale

Anchor Brewing Company Our Special Ale 2014 (Anchor Christmas Ale), a 5.5% ABV Winter Warmer

Appearance Dark, rich mahogany with garnet hues; fluffy beige head.
Aroma Roasted malts, caramel, dark fruits, subtle herbal notes.
Taste Roasted malts, then brown sugar and dark fruits, subtle spices at the end.
Mouthfeel Medium bodied; moderate carbonation.
Overall It isn’t the holiday season until there is Anchor Christmas Ale in the fridge!

This year marks the 40th 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.

The deep, rich color and distinct malty flavor come from a blend of roasted malts, while the whole-cone hops give a balanced bitterness and subtle piney hop aroma paired with citrus fruit and herbal spice flavors.

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 Giant Sequoia is on this year’s label.

The Giant Sequoia was chosen for the 40th annual release in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Act, which was signed into law by President Lincoln during the Civil War. This act granted the Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Big Tree Grove to the state of California “for public use, resort, and recreation.”

Wanna pick this one up? Anchor Christmas Ale is available in 6-packs, magnums and on draught, available early November to mid–January. Use Anchor’s Beer Finder to locate Christmas Ale near you.
Check out… the Anchor Christmas Ale video:

If you have a beer you think we should review, let us know!
And as always, toast our check-in on Untappd, and let us know what YOU think!

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