christmas tree in a bottle. pours a ruby-tinged black with a redish-off-white head. every year is different but similar. 02 was a good year. one of my favorite seasonals. orange peel, dark malt & fruit, a little spice. great silky heavier mouthfeel. good stuff.
Pour is a deep brown color with smallish tan head. Aroma notes of chocolate, cloves, vanilla and dried fruits were apparent. Flavor profile were much the same as the aroma but it had a spicyness that I found very likeable. Excellent beer.
Very dark duby with nice thick biege head. Very spicy aroma of gingerbread, licorice, gluwein, dark chocolate and cookies. Thick flavourful with obvious notes of spices. Coffe and nougat. Malty medium body. Medium bitter finish with with notes of gingerbread, walnut and spices.
virtually no aroma to this... weird... very piney and hoppy. not the nice mellow sweet hops from usual west coast beers though. no malt to speak of. some nice spice-- nutmeg and allspice and cinnamon, OK but nothing lkike FANTASTIC.
Nice big khaki wet foamy head. Body is blackened ruby. Aroma is candy-like, life fruit hard candy. Surprisingly low in malt aromas considering the color. The flavor has a sprucey smell, but lacks the harshness that''s usually associated with it. That blends with a candied lemon flavor, minus the tartness. The flavor is also candy-like but not really sweet. I had expected a higher malt profile. Very low bitterness and flavor is a bit thin underneath the spices.
Of the last seven years worth of OSA's I've had, this is not very balanced/drinkable. Most of the time the OSA's are ussualy akin to drinking the sap of a spruce tree, or to sucking on an old bag of tea leaves! The 2002 has a hint of spruce, and a inking of spice, and is just as heavy-handed as the previous years' batches.
Tasted as part of "O'Brien's Seven-Year Anchor Our Special Ale Vertical Tasting" event, 17JAN04. From a 1,5L Magnum, 4-oz sample:
Overwhelmingly spicy and unbalanced. Not nearly as balanced as the fresh `03, nor the `01 and older, IMO. Spruce and/or pine in the mix, with a kick-upside-the-head's worth of coriander, anise, and/or all-spice. Not very approachable when I had this fresh, and a year of aging isn't nearly enough, IMHO. Hide this maybe for a few more years, at the very least.
Came across a stash of 2002's recently, and grabbed a handful for both me and my cellar. ;^) Aging does this beer much-good, IMO. Poured this into a large wine glass, and this went down pretty well. Many of the harsch corners of this beer seemed to have been smoothed over with some aging. The fact that this aging was in my local mom-n'-pop liquor store's cooler, and not a true cellar, only goes to show this beer's versatility, when it comes to be aged for a few years to good effect. A worthwhile beer, that as yet still has room for future growth, me'thinks....
Deep dark red color, large foamy head. Aroma is malty with nutmeg, clove and chocolate. A medium bodied ale, fraught with spices most noticeably nutmeg. Very warming, smooth taste. Perfect combination for a winter beer. Lots of flavor. If my memory is correct this year’s version reminds me of some of the late 80’s early 90’s vintages. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter with a hint of nutmeg.