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Judge's Review: 88 Rating - Anchor Christmas Ale - 2019 by Anchor Brewing Co.

November, 2019
Judges Rating: 
20 / 24
6 / 6
35 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

Anchor Christmas Ale - 2019 by Anchor Brewing Co. is a spiced beer and is being evaluated as a Winter Seasonal Beer (category 30C from the 2015 BJCP Beer Style Guidelines). Winter Seasonal Beers are spiced beers that are suggestive of Christmas or the winter season (such as mulling spices or holiday desserts). This is the 45th edition of this holiday staple. Each year the secretive recipe varies and a different tree is depicted on the label (this year is the Western Arborvitae).

Anchor Christmas pours dark brown in color, is clear, and holds a small off-white head. The aroma is of moderate chocolate malt with a light pine among other lighter spices. The flavor mimics the aroma with prominent chocolate malt with just a hint of sweetness and a light piney and spicy character.  The beer finishes moderately bitter and dry with a lingering chocolate and nondescript spice that is reminiscent of a cola.

This is a well-balanced spiced beer where malt is the predominant flavor and the spices complement without being overwhelming. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!