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Beer Review: Anchor Merry Christmas Happy New Year 2016 Ale

What better beer to enjoy on Christmas Day than Merry
Christmas & Happy New Year from Anchor Brewing? This is their special ale
that they create only once a year and each year it is changed in some way, this
happens with the beer and even the label that is used. They have done it 42
times thus far and the 2016 edition comes in at 5.5% ABV as a Winter Warmer.
Let’s see how this one compares.

Commercial Description:

A deliciously smooth winter warmer with notes of seasonal spices and a malty
backbone, our 2016 Christmas Ale marks the 42nd annual release of this
celebrated Anchor tradition.
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. Since ancient
times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its
seasons, appears born anew. With a heavily guarded, secret recipe, Christmas
Ale is a highly anticipated seasonal delight, complex and full in flavor with a
velvety texture and alluring, yet subtle, spiced aroma.
Our tree for 2016 is the “1,000 Mile Tree” or the lone pine found during westbound
construction of the transcontinental railroad. Discovered in 1869, it was a
lone pine amidst a vast and desolate landscape. The tree on this year’s label
was hand-drawn by Bay Area artist James Stitt, who has been creating Anchor’s
Christmas Ale labels since 1975. His charming illustration of the 1,000 Mile
Tree includes a person at the top of the tree with a mug of beer, honoring an
old legend that railway passengers sometimes attempted to climb the tree.
The 2016 Christmas Ale is a deep mahogany brown with a creamy, tan head and boasts
aromas of fruitcake, molasses, and fresh cut wood. The beer tastes of roasted
caramel malt, with notes of spiced chocolate and nuts. And it has a rich,
smooth, and velvety mouthfeel. Every year the Anchor brewers look forward to
formulating a new Christmas Ale recipe and tasting the fruits of their labors.
We are always excited to please beer fans with its ever-changing recipe and
label. Cheers from the Anchor brewers!
Brew Facts:
First Brew – 1975

First Bottling - 1975

Alc. by Volume - 6.5

Availability - Nov.-Jan.

Malt - Top Secret

Hops - Top Secret

Dry Hops -Top Secret