Tuesday, November 8, 2011


How many times can I recycle the same hackneyed title? Every year, I hope! Can you believe it’s ANCHOR CHRISTMAS time again, folks? It’s a bellwether for colder weather, heavier beers, and loads of possibly unearned presents for my son, who gets to celebrate Hanukah and Xmas – the lucky little half-Jew, half-goy. Oh, I know it’s truly called ANCHOR BREWING “OUR SPECIAL ALE 2011”, but you and me – we know it as Anchor Christmas. So that’s what we call it. Anyway, the 2011 is here and I did the same thing I’ve done for two decades now: I bought some. Some years it’s amazing, some years it’s mediocre. One report I read this year said it was fantastic. Let’s find out for ourselves.

This beer, even in its off-years, really is the holiday beer standard as far as I’m concerned. It more or less was the United States “microbrewery movement”’s first Xmas ale, and defines the high-spice, high-malt style. This particular one is exceptional in its amount of flavor. Not a watery nor subtle beer this time by any means, which has not always been the case. It’s heavy-up on the malts and the cinnamon, and quite sweet – significantly more than in previous years. Bready, doughy and still very nutmeg/cinnamon-forward, it’s what I expected from Anchor and maybe even a little better this time. You probably oughta buy a bottle and see what you think, right? 7.5/10.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Already? Damn. In taking inventory of my fridge recently, I noticed that I still have a bottle of 2010 Anchor, so it looks like I'll get to do a "vertical" this year (yeah, yeah, it's not technically a vertical, but still).