Anchor Our Special Ale 2003

Anchor Our Special Ale 2003

Rated 3.650 by BeerPals
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Brewed by Anchor Brewing Company

San Francisco, CA, United States

Style:  Spiced Beer

5.5% Alcohol by Volume

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Our Special Ale, a dark, rich, heavily spiced ale with a recipe that changes with each passing year

ID: 9864 Last updated 17 years ago Added to database 19 years ago

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Most noted beer attributes

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Overall Rank1411
Overall Percentile97.3
Style Rank22 of 1253
Style Percentile98.2
Lowest Score3.1
Highest Score4.6
Average Score3.743
Weighted Score3.650
Standard Deviation0.427

Rating Distribution

Beer vs Style

21 Member Reviews

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  • SLOWRUNNER77 5682 reviews
    rated 4.3 13 years ago

    Aroma: 9 | Appearance: 9 | Mouthfeel: 8 | Flavor: 9 | Overall: 8

    one of the best Christmas beers ever, this is a solid beer in every way...smells, looks, and tastes great. right up there most years with old foghorn as my favorite anchor brew. try on tap if you can...it's even frsher.

  • SUDSMCDUFF 3781 reviews
    rated 3.7 14 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 9 | Mouthfeel: 6 | Flavor: 7 | Overall: 7

    had from a donated 1.5L .. . I like the smell, not overly piney, some spruce .. . has done very well for a 5 year lay down .. could have gone longer .. cool stuff .. .

  • ANTE 2674 reviews
    rated 3.4 16 years ago

    Aroma: 7 | Appearance: 6 | Mouthfeel: 7 | Flavor: 7 | Overall: 7

    Very, very dark brown, nice creamy, long-lasting biege head. Spicy, roasty and slightly soapy aroma. Flavour of cinnamon, raisin, chocolate with hints of lemon. Dry mouthfeel.

  • BITTEEINBIT 155 reviews
    rated 3.6 17 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 7 | Flavor: 6 | Overall: 7

    From notes...... The color is a deep mahogany with red ruby hues to it. A tan head meets the top of the glass and gives me a thin but persistent lace to the end. The aroma is all spice, cinnamon nutmeg, ginger and pine to name a few. The taste is a match for the aroma but a slight hint of malt and hops at the end. There is a slight bitter finish. Mouthfeel is a bit watery and thin ½ way through. It washes what flavor is there away but in the end the spice flavor does try to make a comeback. Overall a bit disappointed with the watery feel to this brew. It is good and I could enjoy a few of these but I don’t like “flavor fade.” A bit above average. If the spices could be there all the time...

  • WILLBLAKE 934 reviews
    rated 3.8 17 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 9 | Mouthfeel: 7 | Flavor: 6 | Overall: 8

    Having tried this AOSA, I wish I had tried previous years's. Beautiful dark red color and ample dark head. Herbal, spiced aroma...spent the first ten minutes just enjoying the smell before first sip...allspice and coriander, evergreen. The light maltiness allows the spice to linger; slight earthiness reinforces the seasonality. Bought a couple magnums to sock away.

  • ARACAUNA 2100 reviews
    rated 3.7 17 years ago

    Aroma: 6 | Appearance: 7 | Mouthfeel: 7 | Flavor: 10 | Overall: 7

    Blackened ruby body. It has a dense creamy head that sheets the glass instead of lacing it. It still has that almost-cloying hard candy-like quality to the aroma and flavor, but it's less overbearing this year. There's that bit of coniferous resin flavor in there along with molasses. This one's easier to drink than the 2002.

  • STOUTLOVER72 2327 reviews
    rated 4.0 17 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 8 | Flavor: 8 | Overall: 8

    I had this one after it aged for about two years. The aroma was nice with hints of hops, nutmeg and some cinammon although the nutmeg was most present. A rather sweet beer but very sublime in the mouth and silky. I think aging it a year helped it become a bit more complex and I'm sure it's better now that it was in '03.

  • FREETHEHOPS 33 reviews
    rated 3.6 17 years ago

    Aroma: 7 | Appearance: 7 | Mouthfeel: 7 | Flavor: 8 | Overall: 7

    Dark and malty, spiced up like most Christmas brews. I get a sense of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and pepper. No idea what the ABV is on it, but it was available in Alabama, so I know it's 6% or less. I wouldn't think it was much less, because it's a little bit warming. An overall good winter brew.

  • EYECHARTBREW 1451 reviews
    rated 4.2 17 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 9 | Flavor: 9 | Overall: 8

    Tasted as part of "O'Brien's Seven-Year Anchor Our Special Ale Vertical Tasting" event, 17JAN04.

    Off-the-tap, in a pint-sized sample: Dry, a little resiny, with hints of smoke, coffee, and a dash of cherry in the mix. Very mellow, especially for it being so fresh off-the-tap -- more balanced than usual. Nice warming effect in the finish -- maybe this year Anchor jacked up the alcohol a touch? One of my favorites of the lot.

    ~From a 1,5L Magnum, 4-oz sample:
    Not too different from the draught version, with only the mouthfeel showing up a bit smoother and relaxed (less carbonation?). Also seemed to highlight the minute cherry-like notes a bit more, IMO.

    ~ Off-the-tap, mulled to 140°, 4-oz sample:
    Seemingly a vastly different beer when warmed up a bit. Much more bittering in the mouthfeel, a lot drier in the finish. Aroma was nice, but the actual flavor seemed to take a hit from the semi-astringent bitterness. This may be the most authentic method for serving a Wassail like this, but it was generally speaking not very well received, IMO.

    ~ Overall:
    One of the most balanced of the youngsters of the bunch. More approachable now than the 2002 was when fresh, IMO, and one I plan on stocking up on while it's still around.

  • BEERGUY101 5022 reviews
    rated 4.1 17 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 8 | Flavor: 9 | Overall: 8

    Dark brown color. Medium white foamy head. Aroma is ginger bread and spices. Year after year, I always have trouble describing this beer. Its one of my favorites and I always look forward to it arrival, but then I got to figure out what to say about it. Each year that gets just a little harder. To be VERY simple (and probably incorrect) It’s a brown ale with spices added, the spices change subtly from year to year and every once in a while there is a real surprise (the 2000 edition with spruce tips comes to mind) this years batch highlights ginger and nutmeg(?) Its still really young and needs at least a couple of months to mature. But this year’s version is very smooth for a young beer. Its nicely balanced and very easy drinking. This one has potential of being really great. Stay tuned… Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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