Anchor Brewing Company continues their 42 year-old tradition every Christmas season by releasing their seasonal Christmas ale. While the name does not change, the recipe and illustration does. The recipe is kept secret, so maybe their fooling all of us, but from what I can tell, there is a change in recipes throughout the years. I’ve been saving one every year for the past four years. Next year, I’ll taste each year and let you know. Until then…
Appearance: Black in color, but is not opaque. When held up to the light, you can barely see through it. Head is tan.
Aroma: Sweet smells of maple, fig, and cherry in addition to the scents of bread.
Taste: SWEET. Tastes of maple and roasted malts come first, followed by a chocolate flavor. Fruity flavor of years past is there, but not as strong. Winter spices are very subtle in this one – clove, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth throughout – goes down easy.
Overall: Bought a case for my exchange, then bought a 12 pack for myself. This is a great dessert beer without going too heavy. This year’s is very balanced and has a great flavor that does remind you of Christmas.
Endless Rating: 4.3333/5 Candy Canes
Cheese: Fig goat cheese with rusted nuts, dried fruit, and crustini
Appetizer: Roasted Garlic Chicken Satay
Entree: Roasted pork loin over apples and sweet potatoes with sauteed broccolini
Dessert: Chocolate pear panettone
Cigar: Nat Sherman Timeless Dominican