Tomorrow on FoodGPS, I give you some “special” christmas shopping ideas the and the beer and homework is from Anchor Brewing in San Francisco. It is the yearly tradition of Our Special Ale. The holiday ale with a different tree on the label and a slightly different recipe each year.
Recently, I did a vertical tasting of this beer starting with the 2008 version and going through to 2012.
Very frothy pour with an espresso head. Aroma hints that this one may have passed prime tasting time. An old ale background with a touch of sour creeping in. Very British ale tasting.
Another frothy beer. Both were stored standing up so I don’t think it was my cellaring technique. But this one had a much lighter head to it. Some minor roast notes and a little whisper of pine. That same sourness and apple cider taste is evident in this one as in 2008.
This one poured better. More Belgian-y. Good sparkle to this one in comparison to the flatter beers form ’08 and ’09. More coffee acidity here. Again the tree and pine notes are only faint and way in the background.
Dark with a brown ale backbone. Not much spice or flavor in the 2011. Even tastes a little thin. If the others did not stand up to aging then I fear for this one.
Pours dark black. Almost a Dr. Pepper type of aroma. Flavor has a burnt quality to it. Body is light and it is quite sparkly. Flavor does linger on the palate.