Anchor Our Special Ale (All vintages through 1998)

Anchor Our Special Ale (All vintages through 1998)

Rated 3.222 by BeerPals

Brewed by Anchor Brewing Company

San Francisco, CA, United States

Style:  Spiced Beer

5.5% Alcohol by Volume

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ID: 169 Last updated 2 years ago Added to database 22 years ago

Key Stats








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Most noted beer attributes

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Overall Rank18136
Overall Percentile65
Style Rank361 of 1253
Style Percentile71.2
Lowest Score3.0
Highest Score3.7
Average Score3.333
Weighted Score3.222
Standard Deviation0.258

Rating Distribution

Beer vs Style

6 Member Reviews

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  • ZYTHUM 289 reviews
    rated 3.1 14 years ago

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

    2/4/09, OSA 96, 12oz bottle with beerguy101. pours a dark brown with a very thin head. a bit flat, just a little carbonation. the spices come out nicely as it warmed. nose is sweet, and lots of spice. some oxidation, tho not much for a 12 year old beer. nutmeg, orange, coriander?, sweet malts and a light oxidation. some other spices i cant put my finger on. mouthfeel is full. past its prime, but it held up well. wonder what a little wax would have done for this.

  • BEERGUY101 5022 reviews
    rated 3.0 14 years ago

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

    Special Ale 1996 Sampled on 2/4/2009. This spiced ale pours a dark brown color from a 12oz bottle. Very minimal white foamy head, with is kind of to be expected with a 12 year old beer. Aroma is spices and caramel malts, somewhat sweet. A medium bodied ale. The malts are caramel and sweet and slightly oxidized although not as bad as one would have expected. The hops are earthy. There is a touch of carbonation left. The oxidation becomes more evident as the beer warms. The spices are nutmeg, orange peel and allspice. I am sure there were others, but they may be gone by now. This is way better than I expected it would be, it was over the hill but still very drinkable. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet with some oxidation. Thanks for sharing this one Ron

  • CLASH 2576 reviews
    rated 3.3 16 years ago

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

    Vertical from 1996-2004. These 1998 and earlier are getting past thier prime. A dark brown appearance with little head. The spice has died and a yeasty funky flavor has taken over. Some chocolate and caramel flavors. In this year 2006 Id say stay out of the 1990s vintages.

  • ORVALPLEASE 351 reviews
    rated 3.5 17 years ago

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

    1996 Edition (that I socked away from a 6-pack) Deep rich color that poured out looking like motor oil - not much head left. Aroma still had strong spice notes present - nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves; hardly any trace of malt or hops in the nose. The spices also came to the fore in the flavor and were joined by a piney flavor that seemed like it belonged. Finish ended up on a sweet note, almost like the taste of bubble gum. Very interesting - I can hold back a bottle a year for this experience somewhere down the line.

  • EYECHARTBREW 1451 reviews
    rated 3.7 17 years ago

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

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

    ~ 1997 Batch, from a 1,5L Magnum, 4-oz sample:
    Very sherry/wine-like in presentation. Subtle but noticeable oxidation notes, that weren't as off-putting as would normally be the case, IMO. Black and Red Licorice notes (that is to say, anise and sugary, at the same time), along with the curious taste sensation (mint?) in the finish.
    As expected, the most complex of the flight of seven OSA's, and probably not for everybody. In fact, some of the folks at the tasting said this was damn-near unfinishable (due to the sherry-n'-oxidation notes). I wouldn't go that far, but can easily see how samples much older than this might not be worth investing truly big bucks in.

    ~ 1998 Batch, from a 1,5L Magnum, 4-oz sample:
    Chocolate-covered cherries? That was my first impression of this vintage. Quite thick and vicious, that seemingly oozed down the throat more than anything else. Nuetral and a bit subdued in the finish, and perhaps a touch sweet, that tended to almost hide the slight oxidation that had set into this beer.
    Enjoyable, but not for everybody. There seemed to be a significant turn-about in this beer's aging cycle, between the late-90's wineyness, and the Y2K-and-beyond more-traditional ale-like characteristics. In other words, if you prefer your beers dry and ale-like, don't let this beer sit around longer than 3-4 years?..

  • E 2218 reviews
    rated 3.4 18 years ago

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

    Interesting, the 1987 - 1990 poured an amber color with a very small off white head, while the 94 - 98 were dark brownish red color with a small tan head. The earlier years were more butterscotch and caramel, very sweet aroma. The years from 94 - 98 were more roasty, oak, whiskey, chocolate and spices. Taste was spicy, all years were, dried fruits and light citrus as well. Drinkable, though I'd prefer this at 3 years max.

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