I’ll Take Some Christmas in My Beer

One of a kind. Every year, Anchor Brewing creates a unique recipe for their Christmas Ale. Once. Then the next year—a different recipe is used to create another Christmas ale. And so on and so on. Along with the beer, each year there’s a different label, hand-painted by an artist. The brew is only available from November to January, so get it fast! Now, on to the beer

Anchor Brewing touts the brew as: A rich, dark spiced ale, Anchor’s Christmas Ale is the perfect holiday beer, and is available nationally on draught, in six packs, and magnums (1.5L).  A magnum of Christmas Ale transforms an evening into a celebration and makes a unique host gift or stocking stuffer for beer lovers. On to the ES test (hopefully you’re realizing by now, I’ll break it down into five categories):


Appearance: As you can see, this is a dark brew. Color is a very dark brownish-red. We’ll call it mahogany. The picture doesn’t lie in its representation of the tan and frothy head laying atop the brew. Lacing continued down the glass as it was emptied.

Aroma: The brew has a sweet, caramel scent with floral hints and spices. Floral mostly refers to a subtle hint of pine that makes you think “Christmas” right away. Meanwhile, you can also get a whiff of spices like clove and cinnamon.

Taste: First taste is the caramel-like flavor of the malts, along with a hint of raisin. Then, you can taste nutty undertones paired with spicy notes of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. The sweetness and warming feeling of the drink as it goes down makes you feel like it belongs in the Christmas season.

Body: Although this looks like a thick stout such as a Guinness,  it is a medium body; not as thick as it looks. It goes down smooth and is even a little creamy.

Finish: Overall, the beer is a good warmer for a cold winter night when you’re sick of eggnog and hot chocolate. It is satisfying, and encompasses the flavors of caramel, sweet malted flavor, cinnamon and nutmeg. And through it all, a slight citrus and pine taste is consistent.

This a great brew to drink after you finish dinner and you’re winding down next to the tree watching your favorite Christmas movie. While reading up on the brew, I also noticed that some people get a couple every year and save them. Then, every year or so, they compare the current year’s with the past. The Anchor Brewing Christmas Ale is worth trying. I’m even going to try it out in some chocolate doughy food (teaser?) Get the brew, light a fire (or turn on the yule log), put your feet up, and crack one open!

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