In this winter beer blog, we are going to get into one of the first and original christmas beer of the modern era. It is from Anchor Brewing and it is their Our Special Ale. If you read my earlier beer blog posts on their beers, you know the history of this west coast craft brewery. If you have not, please, read them to get to know Anchor Brewery. Let us get into this Christmas Ale.
It has a dark brown color with non constant light brown color head. The smell has roasted malt to toffee and nutty notes. The taste has a roasted to burn malt notes with a burn malt aftertaste. It is a kind of drinkable beer.
Here is a description from the beer bottle:
This is the fortieth annual “Our Special Ale” from the brewers at Anchor. It is sold only from early November to mid-January. The Ale’s recipe is different every year, as is the tree on the label, but the intent with which we offer it remains the same; joy and celebration of the newness of life. Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons, appears born anew.
Here is a description from their website (www.anchorbrewing.com):
This is the fortieth annual Christmas Ale from the Anchor brewers. It is sold only from early November to mid–January. The Ale’s recipe is different every year, as is the tree on the label, but the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life. Our tree for 2014 is the Giant Sequoia. It was hand-drawn by James Stitt—who has been creating Christmas Ale labels for us since 1975—to look as a “Big Tree” planted in 1975 might look today.
“The Big Tree is Nature’s forest masterpiece, and…keeps its youth far longer than any of its neighbors. Most silver firs are old in their second or third century, pines in their fourth or fifth, while the Big Tree growing beside them is still in the bloom of its youth, juvenile in every feature at the age of old pines, and cannot be said to attain anything like prime size and beauty before its fifteen hundredth year, or under favorable circumstances become old before its three thousandth.”–John Muir
We chose the Giant Sequoia for our fortieth Christmas Ale in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Act. Signed into law by President Lincoln during the Civil War, it granted the Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Big Tree Grove to the State of California “for public use, resort, and recreation.” The first such land grant in American history, it marked the beginning of the California State Parks.
Here is their website and twitter addresses:
Ending, winter and fall seasonal beers are my favorite of all the seasons. I love the spring and summer for motorcycle riding. I am finding out that the winter seasonals this year are so much better than last years. It was the same case for the fall seasonal brews. I had a hard time liking this beer every year but at end of season, it always ends in my top five. I love burn from the roasted malts. This is a great beer. It is a nice sipping brew to get you through the winter cold days. I highly recommend this beer. Go get some! Drink it! Enjoy it! Metal it! \m/
Bill DJ Weiser