Day 24: Anchor Brewing Christmas Ale
We saved the best for last, well hopefully! This may be the Christmas Ale of all Christmas ales. We love that every year the recipe is different and so is the label. From the website: “A smooth and creamy winter warmer with rich flavors of cacao, toffee and roasted nuts, and subtle hints of honey and herbal spice, this year’s brew marks the 43rd annual release of this Anchor tradition. The Ale’s recipe is different every year—as is the tree on the label—but the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life.”
Beard & Broad
Beard: Even though it’s different every year, every year this beer is amazing. Anchor actually uses some spices this year, which I feel is a bit out of the norm for them. It also tastes like they used an English Ale yeast, because I’m getting some almost fruitcake like notes in this, except good beer-like fruitcake since real fruitcake is terrible. Thankfully, this beer is normally around through January so we still have some time to grab a six pack. Complex, yet subtle and always full of flavor, this is the pinnacle of holiday beers for me.
Broad: Now this is what a Christmas Ale should taste like. I almost always forget about it because I’m so focused on Cleveland Christmas beers every year. I absolutely love the story behind the beer and the bottle. The taste is impeccable. Its so smooth, roasty and malty. It’s not too sweet. The holiday spice blend is just perfect. It’s very drinkable. I could easily drink a bunch of these tonight. It’s probably my favorite Christmas ale of my time. If you haven’t had this one yet make sure you add it to your list for next year.
Adam & Alex
Adam: Anchor is such a great brewery (we should drink them more often). I love that they swap their recipe every year and they have my favorite beer bottle ever. I get smells of cherry and honey and a malty, toffeeness in the flavors. I love this beer.
Alex: This is a great beer to end on. I agree that it’s awesome they change the recipe up every year. I can taste toffee and honey and it smells delicious. I will definitely continue to drink these. Merry Christmas!!!
Scott & Christa
Scott: Anchor Brewing’s Christmas beer is the most alcoholic tasting beer in this year’s lineup. Its got a bite that the other beers don’t have and it also has this special quality that I can’t describe either. Its a bit too strong for my liking but I can’t help but appreciate that every sip puts me in front of a fire, watching the snow fall and at this exact moment watch the Browns probably lose their 15th game this year. I highly recommend finding a few great friends and splitting a 6 pack of this and sharing some good memories.
Christa: Holy alcoholic content, Batman. Whenever Berry tells me doesn’t think I’ll like a beer, I stubbornly refuse to believe this. I powered through this, hoping for some sweet aftertaste or kick in the face of flavor. But, sadly all I taste is a strong alcoholic flavor. There is a subtle sweetness but it doesn’t make up for how tough this was to get through. I like to think (and have through out this) that I am a big man, Santa Claus if you will, and I can tackle any beer without a wince or two. But really, I am an elf through and through.
Tony & Megan
Tony: Now we’re talking! Ending the holiday beer advent calendar with a dark holiday beer is just what I wanted! (thanks Santa) Dark color, tan colored foam, or “head” I should say……smooth and creamy as it goes down. Its got those delicious dark beer flavors I love of chocolate, toffee, malts, some hops (yes I like hops now in the right circumstances), and subtle spices. Great depth of flavor, this is one of my favorites of the season. I could drink these all night!……then head to a bar, chug, get in a dance off, and come back to drink one more with my Taco Bell. Great last beer of the season! Cheers to Beard and the Broad for putting this thing together!
Megan: This is a good note to end on! It tastes like chocolate and coffee with a nutty finish. It’s got all the Christmasy spices with a dark pour but is smooth and well balanced. This one is a great finish to a wonderful experience!