Every year Anchor Brewing Company out of San Francisco, California puts out a Christmas Ale. They have done it every year since 1975 and each year they use a different recipe. Very cool of a brewery of their size to do something special each year. I reviewed their summer ale a few months ago, let’s see how their Christmas Ale measures up.
2010 Christmas Ale pours a deep, dark ruby color with a solid tan head. The nose is very complex and brings up feelings of the holiday season. I’m reviewing this beer a month after Christmas, and I was transported to the thoughts of Christmas trees (which still needs to make its way to the dump) and lights. The aromas are very earthy and herbal. Anchor’s beer had a bit of berry in the mix. I got a bit of mint in there, but there so much happening that I’m not sure if that is the exact smell I was getting. There is also some slight sweetness in there as well. I actually got a slight tingle on my nose when smelling this beer. No idea where that came from.
The taste doesn’t have a ton upfront but some really nice roasty flavors kick in about halfway through. The herbal flavors from the smell are in there as well. The mouthfeel is creamy and wonderful. 2010 Christmas Ale comes in 5.5% ABV so it is a beer that you could have a couple of. I really dig this beer. It is complex and tasty. I could drink this all winter long and it is an excellent example of a winter style beer. Grab this one while you can! (more…)