There is no good reason that this beer should still be extant. And now it won't be.
Anchor's annual holiday/Christmas beers are an easy target for the novice to try aging. It's readily available, it's "special," and it's different. But the alcohol content is low, and the "special" attributes of this beer are especially volatile, so this is really not a beer to age. So why do I still have it eighteen years later? Inertia.
Beer pours with razor-thin carbonation and dismal head retention. Deep porter color. Nose is lots of black pepper with notes of licorice, blackstrap molasses, and used cinnamon sticks. Flavor is dry, spicy, but stale and a bit oxidized. Bottle has a heavy coat of sludge on the bottom, but sample is bright. Extremely tannic finish, like sucking on tea bags and cinnamon sticks.
If you learn nothing else: Don't age this beer.
RateBeer goes back to 2001 for this beer.
Glass: 2002 Anchor OSA glass, rimmed with gold leaf and an actual pint-holding shaker pint glass, as indicated by the 12 ounces shown.
12 Gauge AR-15
11 hours ago