Anchor Chrismas Ale

As the clock strikes 11:59 on October 31, millions of stores box up their Halloween fun and pump the Christmas music up to 11 because nothing says November like freakin Santa Claus. Yeah, I hate that too, but there are one or two things that that I don’t mind showing up a bit prematurely on the shelves and one of them is all the holiday ales. I have a trepidacious relationship with Anchor Christmas Ale. Some years, it’s a soothing, warming, sit-by-the-fire experience. Other years, I feel like I’m sucking on a xmas tree… that’s been flocked. This is kind of the fun about Anchor’s holiday offering that they never brew the same annual twice. But it makes the first sip a bit of an adventure, seized by the notion that you may be about to waterboard your taste buds. But take heart! The 2010 Christmas Ale is NOT one of those. In fact, this may turn out to be one of my favorite holiday brews this year. The first sip is certainly spicy and malty with a nod to the resiny hops, but it quickly settles down into a very enjoyable, almost desert-like
experience. The roasty character melds nicely with the spice-forward notes, but this isn’t a drink-a-sixer in one sitting type beers. This is a sit-with-a-good-book-after-dinner-kids-are-in-bed type experience. Nice one, Anchor!

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