Category: 2014 Holiday Beers

Review: Anchor Brewing Co. | Anchor Christmas Ale (‘Our Special Ale’), 2013 Vintage

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So there I was on another Saturday night—gallivanting about, loudly guffawing with leisurely shrillness. I sprawled out hazily with unabashed ambivalence, bouncing from conversation to conversation. There was food, there was drink. Our gracious host broke out an enormous bottle. I examined the specimen. The cap was popped. With constipated fervor, I jutted my glass forth for a pour. I ham-handedly pressed the glass to my blushing cheeks and dumped the beverage down my throat. I choked it down tenderly. I thought with a shred of legerdemain that the brew was reminiscent of an old-fashioned or perhaps a perhaps a Goslings paired with some generic cola—but I seemed to screech, “OMG it tastes like coke,”

like a teenybopper.

I slammed the glass down and dissociated myself from my aforementioned statement, as if the rabble muttered it amongst the din of the merry and the drunk. I slid away towards the foyer and approached my squeeze. I puffed out my chest and gasped out a few awkward lines as my eyes darted around nervously. I deflated into my beer. My legs wobbled and dissolved into the hardwood floors.

So now, I am gurgling down the fluid, breathing deep. Lemon, clove, grapefruit, and almond extract flood my mind. I babbled with contrived confidence. Witless, foreign wavelengths reverberated from the corners of my mouth. My hand grasped the banister with vigor, as in an attempt to pull the breaks on this derailing train. I raised the glass again to my mouth. Its ruby tinge glistened; the bubbles popped in my mouth, bringing new life. I stumbled and sat down next to her. My hand steadied upon the armrest I sat upon. Rigor mortis set upon my left arm with a gross, puritanical sentiment. I couldn’t dislodge myself from my position. I awkwardly looked up at her with an air of mercy. Her corpulent, sumptuous eyes left welts upon my psyche. Languidly, I drank away my nerves. There was a subtle bitterness amongst the near-cloying sweetness that seemed to linger on my tongue like bitter chocolate and caramel. It was reminiscent of her disturbingly sunny disposition. I was comforted. She engorged herself on hors d’oeurves and lamented her vices. I adored her. I, in my mind, would have caressed her every inch. She imagined miles, multitudes. I saw her a limited resource. She was my oasis.

As the glass rested in my hand, notes of dark cherry, chocolate and blood orange rose from the glass. There really was a strange pungency that was a bit reminiscent of cool summer’s stroll home as the beer began to warm. It was pleasant really. I could easily drink two or three more glasses of these, I thought. With that, I drifted into the night. If there are two things that I can say about this beer , the first would be that it’s quite complex; and two,

it didn’t get me laid that night.

*8.5 out of 10*


Review: Harpoon Brewery | Winter Warmer Ale

Oh, Harpoon.
Quick question—
Have you ever found yourself at that company holiday party—you know—
A couple of your chuckle-head pals from the office and then the rest of the miscreants are there– an assortment of various cheeses and crackers dazzle your eyes
Shit, is that Colby Jack AND pepperoni?
You bump around in close quarters. People you couldn’t care less about are screaming and cheering. You slug back a few non-alcoholic brews because that’s all the company can afford on that non-profit money. You spin around and begin to dance to the Barry Manilow Christmas hits…
Just you and him.
Together, in Yuletide bliss…
Those silver locks..
Those dulcet tones…
Oh Barry…
The record comes to a halting screech as you bump into your boss.
Disoriented, mostly from the bootleg (literally)
Beer you snuck into the Hilton

You both slowly notice your respective positions beneath the mistletoe.
“Ahem, “ You enunciate, clearly—like, you weren’t even clearing your throat, you were literally saying ‘ahem’– `
People begin to look around, and finally, at you.
“Let’s not make this weird,” you say, as you lean in, coolly, for her sterile lips.
“I’m afraid you’re making it a little weird, already.”
“Bullshit, plant me, boss.”

Yeah, that’s how I felt drinking this beer, Harpoon.

Your Winter Warmer is like opening your sister’s stocking on Christmas, by mistake, and finding a dildo.
No, no—
It’s like, you have company visiting for Christmas, and you have this weird jar sitting on the coffee table, and they’re like, “what the hell is up with this goddamn jar on this coffee table? It’s so ugly.” Then Dave realizes it’s where you keep the spent ashes from the fireplace, and it’s super-full, so he throws them out for you. Once you’ve noticed after checking on the holiday ham for the fifth time, you freak right out.
It was grandma.

Enough with this fizzy crap.
The head dissipates too quickly.


God, this is such an awkward beer.

Sure, it looks nice. I’ll give it that. It’s a brilliant red. No, it’s a comely garnet—happy now? There’s some moderate carbonation, I suppose. The beer is strangely transparent. It smells like fancy cola—like organic shit. There’s very little hops to speak of. Of course, there is some obvious cinnamon, and nutmeg is there, but not as much. It has sort of a “snickerdoodley” smell to it. The malts lend a biscuit, shortbread kind of flavor. Just as I thought; it tastes like someone dipped a snickerdoodle cookie in some coca-cola and then ate it.

Geez, why don’t we watch reruns of This Old House and slam back a few of these cold ones, already?

It’s coppery and metallic when cold. There’s a slight hint of ginger as it begins to warm. The flavor is uncomfortably thin. Nevertheless, there are strong brown sugar notes throughout, to the point of caramel. If anything, there are very light hops at the very end.

I will admit, It’s highly drinkable. While it has a rather thin mouthfeel, carbonation lightly prickles the tongue and adds to a pleasant, reinvigorating finish.
Or, shit, shit—So, you’re, like, taking ornaments out to get them ready to hang on the tree and you see you and your mom and a man you’ve never seen before on one of them, like—you know, one of those portrait ornaments or some shit; and then, you’re, like, “who’s that guy?” Her reply is all like, “that’s your dad” or something.

Or wait, yeah, It’s like a Secret Santa thing, and you give your deaf uncle a copy of Angels and Demons on tape, but, you know, he’s deaf.

…Yeah, that’s it.

*6.8 out of 10*