Game Day Beer Review: Anchor Brewing Our Special Winter Warmer Ale
Brewed for distribution only between November and mid-January, Anchor Brewing's "Our Special Ale" has become something of a holiday tradition in my house. Now in its 37th year of production, this beer is one that I look greedily forward to every holiday season. It's one of the best domestic holiday beers, in my opinion. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a modified pilsner glass, Our Special Ale is darker than you might imagine. It's a deep amber color, with the light in the room reflecting through the crystal clear beer like a string of lights on a Christmas tree. Our Special Ale offers a full, light mocha-colored head that leaves copious amounts of lacing in its wake. On tasting you realize this is a fairly complex brew. I'm getting some upfront malts balanced by a certain hoppy dryness, but it's also full of flavor in between, as well: cinnamon, chocolate, pine, and even some faint clove.
The overall effect is wonderful, as it's all tied together. This beer is incredibly smooth, and oh-so-easy to drink. 2011 could be my favorite year yet: A