Winter Style Beers: Anchor Christmas

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I feel a bit the fraud after reading my last couple of beer reviews. I really don’t know how to sound all professional and thorough when talking about beer so I cribbed words like “mouthfeel.” (Whatever the hell that means.) I really just like talking about stuff that I like, so my goal here to to transmit my beer going experiences over the blog. With luck, my taste lexicon will grow as I write, but from here on I will try to be more honest instead of striving to sound pompous.

The Anchor Christmas Ale is the last of the Winter beer that I’ll be talking about on the blog for the next year or so. It was poured at refrigerator temp into a standard pint. My first impression was the malt; this thing is like a beer milkshake. Prior to this, I associated malt with a lack of hops instead of its own entity. The Anchor Christmas cured me of this misconception. The hops are still detectable, but very mellow and smooth. There was none of the spikiness of the other two Winter beers, even at refrigerator temps.

There are all sorts of spice flavors and notes to this beer, it was highly reminiscent of mulled cider without the apple. It was excellent with my father-in-law’s fruitcake and I imagine it would go well with gingerbread snaps too. Sweeter cookies were a bit much for this beer. Where the Wassail’s hops balanced the more sugary sweets well, the Anchor offering just doesn’t mix well with them.

There was a metallic aftertaste in the 2 bottles that I tried that I hope is a quality issue specific to my six pack instead of an intended flavor. The metallic taste isn’t overpowering, but it is mildly unpleasant. As the beer warmed the aftertaste became more pronounced, which is unfortunate as the other desirable spice flavors also became more noticeable at these warmer temps.

This is an excellent and accessible Winter Style beer, even with the slight metallic aftertaste. When served cold and paired with some moderately sweet cookies or sweets, the aftertaste pretty much goes away and it can be recommended without reservation.

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One Comment on “Winter Style Beers: Anchor Christmas”

  1. beerdoctor Says:

    Zach, I enjoyed reading your post on Anchor’s “Our Special Ale”. Forget about the fancy beer taster terms. Your report was honest and intelligent. If you have the time, check out: http://beerdoctor.wordpress.com I have been a seeker of interesting beer for many years. Prosit! The Beer Doctor.


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