Dec 1, 2010

2010 Anchor Our Special Ale

One of my favorite winter seasonal releases has always been Anchor Brewing’s Our Special Ale. I look forward to it each year with great expectation — mostly so I can grab as much as I can and keep some hidden way for next year’s holiday season.

This time around however, I was only able to find a couple of six-packs of the brew (most of what I saw were in magnum-sized bottles). So far, my intake of this year’s release has been heavily monitored so that I’ll be able to enjoy the rest over the next couple of years. The few that I have enjoyed thus far have been right in line with years past.

2010 Anchor Our Special Ale label artwork


The 2010 release of Our Special Ale pours a deep mahogany in color with a large tan cap that faded slowly to decent, patchy lacing.


The brew has that signature combination of spruce, herbs and spices that I look forward as the weather grows colder. There’s also a light roasted malt character in the mix.


The flavors are right in line with the nose. There’s plenty of spices (cinnamon and clove) and spruce character. The piny hops add a touch of bitterness to the brew. The crisp mouthfeel leads into a dry, lingering finish. As the beer warms in the glass, a dark fruit component (dates perhaps) makes its way into the mix, as well. A very flavorful brew.


You know the holidays are upon you after drinking this one. It’s a bit upfront in terms of the flavors, but I think after a year it will have mellowed out nicely — just as past releases have done. I can’t wait to try this brew next December.

Rating: 4/5

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