Continuing the stream of vintage beers, I pop open the oldest Anchor OSA I have in my stash, 1998. Pours black as a very dark porter or stout, bright and still with firm carbonation, opaque sediment on the bottle bottom. Head doesn't last long. Nose is odd and distinctive, unlike any other spiced beer, with no malt but some elusive stone fruit and pepper. Flavour is almost bone dry, dark yet still light on the palate, with a tannic, puckering effect of old spice and wet wood. Lower alcohol and thirst-inducing qualities of the dry spiciness/tannins make this a fast drink. Dominant spice flavor is dull/old black pepper with hints of nutmeg or cinnamon. Finish leaves this drinker wanting something more, like iced tea or hot tea.
Proof that it's probably a waste of time to sit on Anchor OSA for "aging." Between lighter alcohol and freshness of spices, this is a beer to be drunk young and fresh.
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