Beer Revisited: Anchor Christmas Ale 2014

Last night I cracked open the latest edition in Anchor’s Christmas Ale series. Now it’s time to uncap the vintages.

The beer tonight is Anchor Christmas Ale 2014, brewed by the Anchor Brewing Company of San Francisco, California.

I once again use my Anchor Christmas Ale 2009 pint glass and the color of the 2014 edition is a deep mahogany. A finger of tan head leaves a skim and ring around the edge. The aroma is malty and festive, but mellow. There are scents of caramel, hits of toasted malt, cinnamon, arboreal spice (perhaps pine), flat Coca-Cola (which seems to be common in these aged bottles), ginger, peppermint, and nutmeg (maybe). I can’t pin down the spice. The flavor is festively spicy. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and toasted malt are prominent. The spice really works the taste buds. There are also notes of caramel and cocoa. Dark fruit emerges slowly. This is quite a complex brew and I think it has aged well after a year.

Comparison to previous tasting: Having just read my previous review, this beer does not seem to have changed all that much. A good thing? Perhaps. This is definitely one of the spicier versions recently, and the spice is still there and very prominent. It still makes the taste buds “stand at attention.” Everything is still there and the beer is still very tasty and complex. Its arboreal character has faded, though. It may have been much more prominent last year, especially in the aroma. I have one more bottle of the 2014 edition, so we will see how it ages after another year in 2016.

Popular Posts