2015 Christmas Ale Highlights Anchor's Winter Releases

Anchor Brewing's winter offerings are officially on shelves and taps. Anchor's slate features the 41st edition of their annual Christmas Ale, a Winter Wheat Ale and the accompanying Anchor Christmas spirit, made from many of the same ingredients as the Christmas Ale. Here's a rundown of the winter lineup from the ubiquitous San Francisco brewery:

[jump] Christmas Ale
Available from November through mid-January, Anchor's Christmas Ale has a different recipe every year. The 41st edition of this rich, syrupy Ale has pared down the heavy spice tones that were typical of years past. While the recipe is a “secret,” cloves are prominent in this beer. It's far more balanced than previous renditions and the alcohol comes through nicely on the nose. 

I asked Brewmaster Mark Carpenter about the clove tones and the ever-so-gracious brewer crossed his arms and said “Oh yea, you think the clove is prominent?” with a huge grin, thus maintaining the dedication to a secret recipe. This is a highly drinkable winter beer and it makes me want to put on my Christmas sweater and just laugh the night away with friends. 

Winter Wheat
I can't say I've ever had a wheat ale quite like this one. The signature Anchor malt aromas come through immediately. You don't truly realize the wheat complexity until the aftertaste settles in, and at 7 percent ABV it really packs a punch. This beer is supe- fresh right now and the bubbles have that crisp tingle on your tongue when it goes down the hatch. It's a dark, nutty beer, that lends itself to fireside drinking all winter long. 

Christmas Spirit
Anchor's Christmas Spirit is a white whiskey, distilled from last year's Christmas Ale. It's made with 100 percent malted rye and is a solid warm-up when served straight. It also makes a money cocktail when paired with ginger liqueur and even a dash of the Christmas ale.  

Christmas Ale is available in six-packs, on draft and in the special gold-foiled magnum bottles. Winter Wheat comes in sixers, 22-oz. bombers and draft. Cheers! 

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