Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Anchor Brewing Co. Our Special Ale 2011

As told to us on the bottle, "This is the thirty-seventh '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, 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."

Brewery:  Anchor, San Francisco, CA
Style:  Ale brewed with natural flavors & with natural flavors added

Tasting Notes:
Aroma:  Pine, resin, Birch wood & subtle malt notes

Taste:  Malt forward (not overly sweet); husband described as tasting like drinking birch or root beer soda; detect pine flavors throughout but not in a harsh or bitter way.  Really unique and refreshing on the palate.

Color:  Amber stone

Thickness:  Medium to full body; half-inch caramel colored frothy head which lingers and leaves delicate lacing in the glass.  Nicely carbonated.

ABV:  5.5%; feels almost like a "session beer" where you can easily have more than one in a sitting.

Mom Factoid:  This holiday offering from Anchor was one of the top vote getters  in my, "What craft beer should go under my Christmas Tree" poll in December.  I can't believe this is the first year I remember having it.  Let me tell you, I really wish I had sought it out in previous years, as it's truly delicious.  I love the symbolism they describe on their bottle, of trees representing the winter solstice and the idea that there is a rebirth when the seasons change.  I think it's neat that a brewery puts some depth into it's beers.  Cheers!

Special Note:  I picked a Tuesday to review this beer as a shout out to my friends over at Brew England who coined the term:  'Tuesday Tasting' on their awesome craft beer blog.  It is an honor to have been asked by them to draw your attention to an upcoming event in March, called 'Cure Me I'm Irish'.  Please check out their website at http://brewengland.blogspot.com/ for further information on this worthwhile fundraising event & the breweries involved.  Thank you!

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