Barrel-Aged Beer Advent Calendar Day #12: Anchor Barrel-Aged Christmas Ale

When people talk about spiced winter ales, they are usually thinking of Anchor Brewing’s Christmas Ale or those beers which have been inspired it. Brewed since 1975, it’s the longest running and original American winter ale. But, few people have tried the barrel-aged Christmas Ale that utilizes barrels from the brewery’s own distillery in San Francisco for aging.

This is our holiday Barrel-Aged Beer Advent calendar, counting down 24 days of December until Christmas by highlighting a different barrel-aged beer each day. See the previous 12 beers highlighted so far right here.

This years Anchor Christmas Ale has been available since November, made with a distinct but secret blend of spices and ingredients each year. One thing is for sure, Christmas Ale is a dark brown, nutty and spicy beer each year.

Anchor’s Barrel-Aged Christmas Ale is being released this coming Thursday, December 19th at their Anchor Public Taps location in SF. Bottles will be available and a very limited quantity leaking out into the market.

The 2019 Barrel Aged Christmas brew is the result of a blending of 2017 and 2018 Christmas Ales and the equally as prototypical Old Foghorn Barleywine. The mix of barrels includes brandy, red wine and Anchor’s Old Potrero Whiskey with California citrus peels. Whiskey, oak, and sumptuous wintry spice notes on a rich cocoa malt base are brightened up by the oily citrus notes.

– Appearance: Deep black walnut and espresso tones under a luscious dark head
– Aroma: Caramelized bananas and dried stone fruit with allspice, juniper, and Mexican drinking chocolate.
– Taste: Multitudes of sweet deliciousness without too much weight; whiskey, wine, and brandy barrels.
– Finish: Rich and warming with mixed spice and mild barrel char.
– 10.3% ABV, 30 IBUs

Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: