Anchor Brewing’s White Christmas: The Spirit Of Christmas Past

Each year since 1975, Anchor Brewing creates a distinctive Christmas Ale, available from early November to mid-January. A rich, dark spiced ale, the secret recipe is different every year—as is the hand-drawn tree on the label—but the intent remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life. This year that joy and celebration can be shared with spirits enthusiasts and beer fanatics alike, thanks to the launch of White Christmas, a white spirit created through the distillation of the 2012 Christmas Ale. The ultimate reflection of creative collaboration between Anchor Distilling and Anchor Brewing, White Christmas is literally “The Spirit of Christmas Past.”

“At the end of the holiday season last year, we found ourselves with remaining stock of 2012 Christmas Ale, so rather than dumping it down the drain, we decided to try distilling it,” says David King, president of Anchor Distilling. “Our distillers are extremely innovative, and we took a simple approach to try and express the Christmas Ale in a distilled spirit.  Given the low alcohol percentage of Anchor Christmas Ale, the yields when we distill it are shockingly low. It takes a lot of Christmas Ale to produce White Christmas, and as a result you end up with an incredibly smooth spirit that is distinctive and complex.”

Tasting Notes:

Appearance: Clear

Nose: Round and soft aroma with an inviting complexity. Bright holiday spices, clove, orange peel, poached apple.

Palate: Mellow on the front palate, with structure and intensity coming to life on the finish, which warms and lingers for a long time with notes of spiced apple, baking spices and dried fruit.

White Christmas is ideal for creative cocktails, such as this Manhattan with San Francisco flair by Brand Development Manager for Anchor Distilling, David Nava:

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Anchor White Manhattan

2oz White Christmas

1oz Maurin White Vermouth

.25oz Luxardo Triplum

Dash Fee Bros. Orange Bitters

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and stir with ice.

Strain and serve up with an orange twist.

Double-distilled in Anchor’s copper still to 90 proof, this limited-production spirit will only be available in California during the 2013 holiday season; its suggested retail price is $49.99. Anchor Distilling plans to release White Christmas nationally in 2014.

White Christmas joins Anchor Distilling’s other groundbreaking beer-meets-spirit innovation launched last December; HOPHEAD Vodka, distilled entirely from two types of dried hops from Washington State’s Yakima Valley.