Mybeerbuzz .com Highlights Anchor Brewing Merry Christmas 2018

Mybeerbuzz .com Highlight Anchor Brewing Merry Christmas 2018A big thank you to Anchor Brewing for the cool gift box and early Christmas present.  My excitement for today’s beer began back in July when I brought you the first peek at the label.  Now granted July is way too early to start craving holiday beers, but this beer is honestly so special that I think it’s worth looking forward to even during summer.Mybeerbuzz .com Highlight Anchor Brewing Merry Christmas 2018

If you’re not familiar, Anchor Brewing produces a beer they call Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 2018 (aka Our Special Ale 2018) and the beer is released every November to help begin your holiday celebration.  Each year the base recipe is altered to include a secret ingredient or two, and each year they somehow manage to make the beer taste unique and different, but still very much the same.  The malt, hops and dry hopping are listed as “Secret” but each year we still try our best to figure out what they did.Mybeerbuzz .com Highlight Anchor Brewing Merry Christmas 2018

I also get excited every year to see what the label will look like and what tree will be featured on the label.  Each year artist Jim Stit hand draws the label and each year it features a different variety of tree.  For 2018, 2018 Merry Christmas & Happy New Year (aka Our Special Ale) will feature the Korean Pine Tree from the botanical gardens north of San Francisco (pinus koraiensis) and as always, the label looks great (especially with the new red border.)Mybeerbuzz .com Highlight Anchor Brewing Merry Christmas 2018

2018 is the 44th release of this beer, and I’ve been lucky enough to have tasted quite a few years…and while I didn’t get my hands on the original 1975 beer, I’ve been fortunate to be able to compare flavors all the way back into the 1980’s.

2018 Merry Christmas & Happy New Year (aka Our Special Ale) pours a rich mahogany brown with loads of complex spices in the nose.  I really liked the roasty complexity of the aroma and the earthy resinous notes as we poured.  This beer has a soft mouthfeel with some really likeable roasted malt flavors up front.  I like the dark fruit and spice flavors that work their way in after your first few sips, and the finish is clean and a bit hoppy.  As the beer warms, I started to taste a bit of chocolate, cinnamon and even roasted coffee with a really pleasant complexity and depth.  The spices linger on your tongue and overall the beer is well balanced and really drinkable (once again).Mybeerbuzz .com Highlight Anchor Brewing Merry Christmas 2018

2018 Merry Christmas & Happy New Year (aka Our Special Ale) is available starting Nov 1st in 12oz and even big 50.7oz bottles so be sure to track some down for yourself.  You should also be aware that Anchor OSA ages really nicely, so if you can, set some aside for next year…and when you do taste this beer, be sure to let us know what YOU think.

About MyBeer Buzz

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