Beer Revisited: Anchor Christmas Ale 2012

It is time to revisit BotW #411 — Anchor Christmas Ale 2012, brewed by the Anchor Brewing Company of San Francisco, California — one last time.

This is my last bottle of 2012. I had two, but drank the other a couple weeks ago at Bobblehead’s. It was pretty good. (Bobblehead, by the way, has himself quite a collection of aged Christmas Ale, too.)

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle. The bottling code printed on the label is “2OH,” which is deciphered to mean October 8, 2012.

Appearance: Pours a deep, ruddy mahogany color into a pint glass. Two fingers of dense, bubbly, reddish-tan foam dissipates slowly, leaving pockets of bubbly foam, a skim, and a ring around the edge. A little lacing is left on the side of the glass, too. A narrow ring of sedimentation is noticeable at the bottom of the bottle.

Smell: It smells like arboreal and spicy Pepsi. There are scents of pine, ginger, nutmeg, red cinnamon, brown sugar, caramel, syrupy dark fruit, black licorice, and toasted malt. It smells a little like flat pop, though, like one that has been poured into a glass, sat on a table for a while, and lost all its carbonation.

Taste: The mouthfeel is smooth but leans light and a little flat. The first sip starts out spicy and festive, but the toasted malt really comes on strong, especially in the aftertaste. Along with pine, perhaps a little spruce, ginger, and toasted malt are flavors of cinnamon, burnt sugar, nutmeg, a touch of dark fruit (fig and plum emerge slowly as the beer warms), and maybe a little cocoa.

Comparison to 2012 and 2013 tastings: In the flavor, the spices have moved to the forefront over the last two years. The toasted malt is still prominent. My other reviews mention molasses, which is lacking this time around. A general fruitiness does hang out, but it seems to be cherry until fig and plum eventually emerge. The flat pop aroma, texture, and taste remain as well. It is not off-putting by any means, but it is a little weird.

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