Friday, December 14, 2012

Food & Beer Friday :: Merry Christmas to me.

I have been waiting for so long to taste and debut this beer!  It's no secret that this brewery is one of my favorites from California, so I just had to get my hands on this beauty!

I have the worst memory, but I vaguely remember the tour guide mentioning the Anchor Christmas Ale.  Not only does the label have a cool story but so does the beer!  Anchor's website does a beautiful job of describing everything, and I would encourage you to use the link above to click over and read the story.  Basically, the "secret" to their top secret beer is that they change the Christmas tree on the label every year.  New year, new tree.  They're been brewing this tasty beverage since 1975.

As for taste and flavor, I like it!  The hops are definitely prevalent, but the subtle spices come through at the end for me.  Since the malts and hops are secret, I can't really tell you much about that.  The aroma really just reminds me of Christmas.  As I don't have quite the refined palate, I can't exactly put my finger on what the smells and flavors are.  The color is a dark brown, and you can see the thick creamy head.  I certainly get a bitter aftertaste from the hops.  I wish I got a bit more of a malty end note.  I am dying to try this beer on draft; however I don't know if kegs of it are even sold here in NC.  While the alcohol is only 5.5%, this isn't a beer I just want to down.  I let it mellow out & just sipped on it for a while.  This is a holiday brew that feels like a special treat.

Anchor recommends letting the beer age to really let the flavors mellow.  Lucky for me, D is awesome and scored these bad boys.

While I am scared stoked about the huge bottles, I am most excited that we get to compare last year's Christmas ale to this year's!  Even more lucky for me, D and his advanced palate can help me decipher the different flavors and really analyze both beers.



Have you tried previous years of the Anchor Christmas Ale??
Now that the holidays are approaching, what awesome holiday brews have you tried?!


Alex Byer said...

That's SO COOL that they do different recipes! And you've given me quite the list of beers to check out!

Terri said...

That's my favorite Christmas beer of all time. Not gonna lie, one of the things Mike used to get me to come to Cali was all the breweries we could tour, one of them being Anchor. Have a good weekend!

Unknown said...

I have NOT tried this ale yet, but you can bet I will!!! Thanks for sharing :)

Megan said...

Yeah!! Food and Beer Friday! Do you guys just drink like one bottle of beer? It's hard for me to do that... LOL

Erin said...

I can't remember if I've tried Anchor's Christmas beer, but I love Christmas beers in general! I'm drinking a Great Lakes Christmas right now. Not sure if you can get it there, but its a favorite of mine from the Midwest (Clevland, I think).

Niki {Glossy Blonde} said...

Those bottles are awesome! They're like champagne! I really want to try this - it sounds like a great beer, especially after aging! And I love that they change the label every year!

Anna said...

YUM! I just tried this for the first time a few weeks ago and looooved it!

Chandra said...

I have to look for this! I'm a sucker for a great label and packaging:) ...not to mention, a newbie to trying to discover a like for beer! Hope you are well and looking forward to the holiday.


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