2014 Anchor Christmas Ale

2014 Anchor Christmas Ale (20150101)

When I was out shopping for beers at BevMo with my friend, we came across a huge bottle of Anchor Christmas Ale. According to our computations, however, the purchase makes a great gift and/or novelty, but the cost per alcohol is also higher.

While I have a record of drinking the 2011 and 2012 versions of the Anchor Christmas Ale, it seems I never got the 2013 version.

20141230 Afternoon:
Yesterday I put some beer in the freezer and forgot about them. For most, if not all, this meant that the water froze and forced the air to find a way out.

Six-pack of 2014 Anchor Christmas Ale.

I moved some to the fridge section and had two of them out at room temperature (a bottle of Anchor Christmas Ale and a bottle of Alaskan Amber).

Then I had the following thought: if I pop the cap while the beer is still frozen, then I can quickly seal it (with a Christmas gift I received) and keep the gas inside the bottle after it thaws. Ignoring the already escaping air and my dad's recommendation to keep the cap on, I pop it and a bunch of beer flows out - exactly as if a regular beer had been shaken. I rushed to the sink and threw the beer sealer on, but it was such a mess that indeed it would have been better to just let some of it escape.

In any case, here are my thoughts on the Anchor 2014 Christmas Ale. There's a slight smell of nutmeg. It tastes watery with a slight taste of nutmeg and some carbonation. 5:35PM PT

2014 Anchor Christmas Ale in slush form. (20141230 Evening)

I love this nutmeg smell. I would reiterate that the beer tastes good, but that its a bit watery. 5:43PM PT

20141230 Evening:
I took out the Anchor 2014 Christmas Ale which was frozen but placed in the fridge. Unexpectedly, the ice had not entirely melted and so we sorted of ended up sharing Anchor 2014 Christmas Ale in slush form. But here's the thing, the slush was actually decent.

Note that I thought the smell was the same as the Anchor 2014 Christmas Ale I had earlier today. 10:46PM PT

Today my friends and I drank a regular bottle of Anchor 2014 Christmas Ale (one that was not previously frozen). It has a medium to low level of carbonation and it also smells good. There's a slight bit of sweetness to it which is nice. Overall, I find it tastes similar to Guinness, especially in terms of its wateriness. 8:10PM PT

2014 Anchor Christmas Ale in Anchor Brewing Pint Glass (20141230 Afternoon)

2014 Anchor Christmas Ale

Relevant Links:
Christmas Ale (Anchor Brewing)
Our Special Ale 2014 (Anchor Christmas Ale) | Anchor Brewing Company (BeerAdvocate.com)
Anchor Our Special Ale (2005 and later) (RateBeer.com)

Website Information:

2014 Anchor Christmas Ale.
New tree. New recipe. Same traditions.

This is the fortieth annual Christmas Ale from the Anchor brewers. It is sold only from early November to mid–January. The Ale's recipe is different every year, as is the tree on the label, but the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life.

Our tree for 2014 is the Giant Sequoia. It was hand-drawn by James Stitt—who has been creating Christmas Ale labels for us since 1975—to look as a "Big Tree" planted in 1975 might look today.

"The Big Tree is Nature's forest masterpiece, and…keeps its youth far longer than any of its neighbors. Most silver firs are old in their second or third century, pines in their fourth or fifth, while the Big Tree growing beside them is still in the bloom of its youth, juvenile in every feature at the age of old pines, and cannot be said to attain anything like prime size and beauty before its fifteen hundredth year, or under favorable circumstances become old before its three thousandth."–John Muir

We chose the Giant Sequoia for our fortieth Christmas Ale in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Act. Signed into law by President Lincoln during the Civil War, it granted the Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Big Tree Grove to the State of California "for public use, resort, and recreation." The first such land grant in American history, it marked the beginning of the California State Parks.

Brew Facts
First Brew: 1975
First Bottling: 1975
Alc. by Volume: Varies
Availability: Nov.-Feb.
Malt: Top Secret
Hops: Top Secret
Dry Hops: Top Secret

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