Friday, December 30, 2011

Anchor Brewing Company 2011 Christmas Ale

Hello beer lovers and welcome to another edition of the NorCal Beer Blog's brew review.

Tonight’s featured beer is Anchor Brewing Company 2011 Christmas Ale. Each year (for at least the last 14 or so years) I pick up some Anchor Christmas Ale. It has been a Holiday tradition and I always look forward to “tasting the tree”. I’ve had a chance to cellar some of them as well and this year tried one from 2006. It was fantastic. Anyhow, let’s move on to the 2011 batch, shall we?

From the Anchor Brewing Company website:” Each year since 1975, Anchor Brewing creates a distinctive Christmas Ale, available from early November to mid-January. A rich, dark spiced ale, our secret recipe is different every year—as is the tree on the label—but the intent 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. Our tree for 2011 is the bristlecone pine. Found high atop California's White Mountains, bristlecones are among the oldest living things on the planet. Some date back nearly 5,000 years, to the dawn of the ancient art of brewing.
Each year our Christmas Ale gets a unique label and a unique recipe. Although our recipes must remain a secret, many save a few bottles from year to year. Properly refrigerated, the beer remains intriguing and drinkable for years. Different nuances emerge as the flavor mellows slightly, much like the memories of great holiday seasons past. Celebrate the holidays with Anchor Christmas Ale, an Anchor tradition since 1975.”
Let’s get started!
Appearance: Pours a dark reddish brown with a two finger, tan and creamy head with nice lacing.
Aroma: Smells like a beer in a forest with pine, spices, dark fruit and sweets.
Taste: Dark roasted malts, a light hop bitterness, pine, dark fruit (raisin and plum), spices (ginger) and chocolate.
Overall: As in years past, Anchor Brewing Company’s 2011 Christmas Ale is a winner and perfect for winter celebrations or just sippin’ on a winter night. At 5.5% ABV I can drink this all night long. Each year this beer is different and each year it is worth picking up.


Mark Harvey

No comments:

Post a Comment