The 2006 Special Ale makes the picks

November 21st, 2006 by Andy

Every year, I eagerly await the arrival of the Anchor Brewing Company’s Christmas Ale and each year I am greeted by a new spice laden, warming brew that’s always a pleasure to drink.

This year’s brew is no exception, pouring a deep dark stout-like color with little to no head, which is tannish in color. The nose is a spicy sweet cinnamon with slight nutmeg and roasted malts, which happens to also describe the taste– burnt malts in a fashion close to the Brooklyn Brewery’s Chocolate Stout. The spices work well together imparting a sweet, yet warming feel all the way down. The finish is pleasantly malty with a slight sweetness.

This is definitely a sipping beer for a winter’s night, much unlike Anchor’s Liberty nectar. The difference in the two beer’s tastes is tremendous but the attention to detail and crisp beer tenderness is a common trait between the two ales– these brewers clearly don’t cut corners.

The 2006 is a fine showing; however, I must say that I prefer Anchor’s 2005 brew, but only by a hair. The beauty of this beer is that it ages well, so pick some up and remember to save few so that you can compare this year’s lot to next year!

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