The Bottom Line
Though the label only hints at the "spices and natural flavors" that are added to this beer, it's apparent that there's a lot more here than the basic four ingredients of beer. This is a complex beer but still very approachable and can be enjoyed by all levels of beer lovers.
- A bit bitter for a spiced beer but it works
- Full of holiday flavor but very well blended
- A beer to cellar
- Great beer to pair with rich holiday foods
Guide Review - Tasting Notes and Review of Anchor Christmas Ale
Twice I referred to fruitcake in my tasting notes for this beer starting with the nose. It is complex - malt mixing with candied fruit and dark spices like fruitcake. The head sitting on top of a dark, almost black body is brown, thick and rocky. The flavor is surprisingly bitter for a spiced beer but works with lots of malt and spices blending and balancing it. Anchor's website suggests aging this one and I'd have to agree. Despite lots of complexity, this ale seems to lack the depth to support it. Aging could build that depth and round out this beer. Overall, its a very satisfying beer. It would pair very nicely with almost any food that finds it's way to your plate during holiday feasting - chocolate, turkey, ham, dressing, and, you guessed it, fruitcake!