This was part of the first batch of beer I bought with my workers discount from Binny's. I had heard so much about this beer but never had a chance to try it. After seeing so many people buy it, I had no choice but to buy,try, and let my viewers know what I thought.
Appearance: A rich amber copper color that truly glows. Clarity is absolutely optimal with a persistent carbonation rapidly rising to the surface. A cream white head that is quite dense and well sustained at a half fingers depth as it floats on the surface.
Aroma: Mild malt aroma with a toasted nutty smell reminiscent of dry almond husk. A dry bitterness complements this in the form of dry floral hops and some smoky notes. Caramel and dark fruit perhaps reveal themselves in combination
Taste: Earthy but flavorful. A dry toasted bread malt finish that is quite potent. I enjoy this toasted malty finish because both the sweet foretaste and the finish are complementary of each other. What starts of sweet toasted malt and nuts, ends in a bitter character that comes with any toasted flavor. Both the sweetness and bitterness are of the same toasted taste. A lagered flavor is prominent throughout. There is some fruitiness but I find it to take a background behind some smoky elements of this beer. Finally, the smoky, earthy toasted malt bitterness remains on the palate after the beer is flushed down.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy in the back of the throat. a brief spike on the tongue, but that is negligible. A prolonged dry aftertaste remains on the tongue. Goes down nicely and is extremely refreshing.
Overall Impression: Interesting and very drinkable. I haven't really tasted a steam beer before. This beer exhibited characteristics that are hard to replicate in any beer. I really enjoyed the full flavor of toast in this beer. This beer really makes me respect San Fransisco beer, and I'll certainly be trying more Anchor beer soon, perhaps Humming or their porter.