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Saturday, January 19, 2013

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas: 2010 Anchor Christmas Ale

With the frigid temps still getting colder (-3 low expected for Monday), it's a good time to write about this 2010 magnum that I cracked open in December. Our friend was up for NYE, and it was one put aside for sharing. I was sad to cross this off the cellar inventory, but there will be more another year.

Anchor has been releasing a new Christmas brew since 1975, way before it was in vogue. The 2010 recipe was a nice spiced brown.

General Thoughts
Look and Smell: This brown ale had a super thick off-white head. It smelled nice and spicy. Good winter spices.

Taste: It had a savory spice to it that wasn't a hint but wasn't overwhelming. I think allspice and ginger with cloves. To be honest I didn't sit there picking out the spices to try to determine the 2010 recipe. There was much socializing to do. I like Dean more than beer. With all the spice it wasn't powdery in the least. It left a dry aftertaste on my tongue. A nice departure from the sweet winter ale. It was a classic brown ale in all other respects. The maltiness was main and the consistency was thick without being too viscous. I think this brew should be the start of the winter every year. I missed out buying a 2011 and 2012, so I'll have to pick up the tradition this coming year.

A bit of history from the Anchor site:
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.

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.

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