BEER LOGIC BEER REVIEW
“Don’t take my word for it, drink it yourself”
Chad Pilbeam, Certified Cicerone, Host of What’s on Tap Radio
ANCHOR CHRISTMAS ALE
Literally like a gift under the tree – you don’t know what is inside until you open it. The beer (along with the tree on the label) is different every year (since 1975); and even then you don’t know what’s inside because they never share anything about the recipe (top secret).
Here is what Anchor says about the 2019 beer: “Slightly darker than last year’s Christmas Ale, the 2019 edition is layered with toasted caramel and coffee flavors with subtle hints of Mexican chocolate, rounded out with herbaceous spices. Crack open a bottle for a spiced whiff of western evergreens, roasted malts, and coastal flowers. It’s a rich, round and full bodied-treat with a silky, smooth finish.”
In the spirit of the season, I seek peace, so I don’t want to fight… but then again, they aren’t reading this, you are.
I found no layers of caramel, coffee, or Mexican chocolate. The spice notes common with the style and Anchor’s typical interpretation of the beer style were also lacking. However, the aroma is spot on! When you open the bottle you are standing in a west coast forest of pine accompanied by an arrangement of wild flowers. My first, second, third, and even final impression of the beer is that it drinks more like a Cascadian Dark Ale (Black IPA) than any festive winter warming holiday spice beer I’ve ever had. It was a delight for me because I love the style, but if you don’t like hops and bitterness – ask for a sample before buying. Still a well made beer, that in my assessment, doesn’t deliver on the description, but I actually prefer this to other years batches.
Note: as the beer warmed the malt became more apparent (as is the case in almost every beer) but it was still dominated by the dry bitter components
RATING (USING CHRISTMAS GIFTS)
IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A MALTY HOLIDAY SPICE WINTER WARMER
RATING: UNDERWEAR and VACUUM CLEANER (and not a RUMBA)
All you need to do is sample this beer next to any other Christmas or holiday spice beer and you will understand. Conversely, if you sampled it with other Black IPAs, you’d find many similarities. As for the notes of toffee and Mexican chocolate, I couldn’t find it.
IF YOU DON’T LIKE HOLIDAY SPICE BEERS BUT LIKE BITTERNESS
RATING: XBOX and BEER
If you weren’t told, you’d never know it was a holiday beer. An awesome surprise if you were expecting Mexican Chocolate, cinnamon, and nutmeg and don’t like those things.