It has finally arrived! Christmas is here! Well, in a few days it will be here. There is just time enough to try this great addition to your holiday beer list: Anchor Brewing Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 2014, or simply, “Our Special Ale.” This is the 40th year running that Anchor Brewing has released their “Special Ale” and the 2014 edition will not disappoint.
It poured a deep dark brown that reminded me of maple syrup. It had a medium layer of fizzy tan head. The aromas began with very rich caramel, followed by some roasted malt and some spiced fig and plum. The taste was surprisingly mild, though it quickly presented its caramely character. This was followed by the spice and raisin flavors. The malts came in like a wave washing over the middle of the drink, but the fizzy kick of the carbonation broke that up nicely. The malts carried through to the finish with a warm caramel aftertaste and a slight hint of the spices.
This was a very pleasant beer that is sure to warm you up. Though it was not tremendously dynamic, it will definitely remind me of the holidays from here on out. I cannot quite give it a 5, but as close to it as possible:
As with the holiday that came before it, please have a safe and very merry Christmas.
Eat, drink and be merry.