35th Anniversary Imperial Black IPA - Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub

Not Rated.
35th Anniversary Imperial Black IPA35th Anniversary Imperial Black IPA

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BA SCORE
84
good

164 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 164
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.37%
Wants: 5
Gots: 27 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 04-28-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 164 | Reviews: 31
Photo of ONUMello
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle best by October, 2014 poured into a pint glass
A: Dark brown with a thin head
S: Toasted malts and a nice hoppiness, though rather generic
T: Like the nose. Certainly past its best-by date though didn't taste old, just not that complex. Nice mix of dark malt and hops
M: Medium-bodied, somewhat bitter, hides the alcohol well
O: A decent black IPA but nothing more; kudos to Boulder for providing us with now 36 years of alternatives to bland beer!

Photo of Uno
4.99/5  rDev +34.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's a very good beer, overall, but I'm not sure it's a black IPA (or, rather, American Black Ale). Tastes almost like an imperial stout to me (which isn't a bad thing, as far as I'm concerned).

Photo of Boto
4.04/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz bottle: this one pours a very dark brown color, yet it is clear. A small tan head that leaves some lacing. Good nose. Some pine, herbal notes, a hint of chocolate and a whiff of alcohol. The taste is good. Big malt body, with just a small underlying sweetness. A pretty fair amount of hops to balance the malts. A touch bitter. Some roasted malts, chocolate, herbal flavors. Some grains and citrus. This is good!

Photo of Jadjunk
3.57/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

"Dark black in color with a big all-around hop presence, Boulder 35 remains a well-balanced IPA with a smooth roasted malt flavor. And at 9.5% alc./vol., it's a perfect beer to share among friends while raising your glass to Colorado's vibrant craft beer scene, all started 35 years ago. Party like it's 1979!" Brewed in the style of an American Black Ale. Brewed as a one-off commemorative release to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Boulder Beer. Available in 22 oz. bottles and on limited draft.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a tulip glass. Served above 54 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy foamed head of a caramel-tan color over a very dark brown body with espresso highlights. Retention is good and lacing is light and patchy. 4

(Smell) Hop notes of pithy citrus, pine resins, and zesty grapefruit with a moderate acidity meets malt aromas of lightly roasted grains, chocolate malt, black patent and caramel syrups with a perceived low sweetness. The hop profile seems to dominate the nose with a relatively tame malt backbone to counter. 3.75

(Taste) The malt profile doesn't meet the cleanliness and accessibility of the aroma, even despite having a milder malt flavor than most black IPAs. Light black patent malt, chocolate and faint roast generate a toasty but light body with a mild sweetness. The hop flavors sweep in for the midsection, mostly pithy citrus, herbal and vegetal hop flavors, finishing moderately grainy with notes of grapefruit peel and earth. Some yeast-generated flavors of licorice and raisin add some complexity to the beer. A bit hot and grainy, especially on the finish. 3.25

(Mouthfeel) The texture is mildly chewy, lightly slick and moderately dry. Carbonation is medium, generating a medium frothiness and a mild crispness on the finish. Body is shy of medium for the style, medium+ overall. Balance is slightly grainy and bitter over sweet. Alcohol presence is medium, and there are no off characters otherwise. 3.5

(Overall) Those wary of super bitter Black IPAs may stay away from Boulder Beer's 35th Anniversary Ale. The hop profile is more noticeable and better ranged than others in the style, generating subtle citrus and grapefruit character in addition to the more common notes of herbal, peppery, spicy and earthy hops. Despite the diversity of the hop profile, the beer itself is noticeably grainy for what is in the bottle, exposed mostly by a limited depth malt profile that doesn't quite hit the mark on roastiness, depth of body nor sweetness. The resulting beer is one that falls short of the golden standard for Imperial Black Ales on account of its malt lightness and gruff booziness. While there are far worse anniversary trials and errors out there, perhaps Boulder's 35th anniversary celebration may be a birthday party-in-a-bottle worth forgetting. I'd pass on this one.

Boulder Beer's
35th Anniversary Ale Imperial Black IPA
3.57/5.00

Photo of tjsmith910
2.56/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

not at all what i expected

Photo of jucifer1818
2.31/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

WEAK.

This is a weird beer, but in retrospect, it makes sense. It was dark, but it honestly tasted like a American Barleywine (but one that was REALLY dark.

the nitro carbonation was a unique touch, but honestly, did not work.

It tasted like a hot barleywine with the consistency of baleys Irish cream, without the Benefit of sweetness /chocolate/coffee to back it up.

Could had been worse, but pass it.

This was a review of a 3 buck pour of the stuff.

2.5/5

Photo of BeerDawgs
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L - black/ dark brown with 1 finger of head and some lacing left on the glass. No clarity

S - black licorice and some dank hops. Great aroma but you need to stick your nose in deep

T - the hops have faded on this one. More of a porter. 9.5% is well hidden. Mildly sweet, and fade citrus and bitterness on the back end

F - medium bodied and medium carbonation

O - a good brew which was probably better fresh

Photo of DrDemento456
4.11/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Found this at my local House of 1,000 beers in the 20% off section. Figured what the heck at 8 bucks it can't be terrible. Into a pint glass.

A - Ah wax top a slight annoyance but classy. Huh not as dark as I expected some escape able light at the base giving a slight amber hue to the darkness and head is a very creamy mocha brown. Excellent lacing is winning me over so far.
S - even though bottled 8 months ago it has a strong herbal pine bite that resolves to a grapefruit hop zest. Slight underlining roasts great me with a bit of sweet malts in the smell.
T - Actually quite exceptional the hops have taken a bit of a backseat giving me a DIPA citrus/mango experience. Roasty malts have also mended together quite well giving a bit of coffee and a very good smokey taste to the finish.
M - Very creamy and balanced it never goes beyond medium body despite it's high octane ABV.

Overall I am very impressed with this dare I say this may have been the best Black IPA I have had all year! Wax top for the win! If you see it pick it up you will not be disappointed!

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 11/15/2014. Pours crystal clear very dark brown color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, pineapple, floral, grass, pine, chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toast, and floral/roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of juicy citrus/floral hops and moderate dark/roasted malt sweetness; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, pineapple, floral, grass, pine, chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toast, and floral/roasted earthiness. Fair amount of pine/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon/orange zest, pineapple, pine, chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toast, and floral/roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, balance, and robustness of juicy citrus/floral hops and moderate dark/roasted malt sweetness; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately sticky, and slightly creamy/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice imperial black IPA. All around nice complexity, robustness, and balance of juicy citrus/floral hops and moderate dark/roasted malt sweetness; and very smooth and fairly crisp drinking for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of jwc215
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into snifter glass:

Pours very dark brown with a thin, lasting tan head. Trailing lace sticks.

The smell is of herbal notes mixed with chocolate and roast.

The taste is of chocolate and coffee. Herbal bitterness and roast are in the finish.

It hits full-bodied, though carbonation is a tad aggressive. Alcohol very well-hidden.

This is enjoyable hoppy, dark "sipper"!

Congratulations on 35 years Boulders! Thanks for the good beers!

Photo of vette2006c5r
4.21/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

35th Anniversary pours a black color with a small but lacing head. There is a nice smokey aroma, with burnt hop notes. The taste is very toasty, big roasted flavors, nice mellow burnt flavor. Good feel, good body, Overall its very very tasty, and very very drinkable.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.54/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle I brought to share at Skuter's tasting.

Enjoy by 10/3/14.

Pours a clear dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, char, and slight smoke aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa, earth, and slight herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that leans more towards stout qualities all around.

Serving type: bottle.

Photo of JMBSH
4/5  rDev +7.5%

On cask at taproom.

Photo of SebastRain
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%

Very happy with this, not crazy over hopped, just the right amount of aroma/bitterness. I really like this brewery. Have been a fan for a long time. Congratulations on the anniversary!

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Pours a dark brown color with sheets of lace. The aroma has roasted malts, maple, wood, and chocolate.

The taste is more bitter, the hops come through nice and piney, with a good punch of roasted malt. Alcohol is noticeable, but on nitro I guess it's harder to hide.

Obviously a smooth creamy feel, the body lighter than full but more than medium, like how Babe Ruth was less than a God but more than man.

Overall, this beer is strong and it's dangerous on nitro for the ease of drinking and the feel. I wish I had this in college.

Photo of bleedsblu
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Poured into a glass from an ice cold bottle. I gave it an aggressive pour and it gave me a two finger head, jet black in color. No noticeable carbonation.

I'm getting a nice fresh malt smell.

I'm getting a good mouth feel, not really thick but not thin either. Its balanced not overly bitter. There is no aftertaste and a very clean finish.

Good taste, very smooth, roasted malts and a very balanced hop presence.

I recently paid double for a beer not as good as this, my recommendation is this is a keeper, find a brewery you like and its home sweet home, good job boulder and happy 35 years.

Photo of JayQue
4/5  rDev +7.5%

I liked this one. Seems like a rich porter with some hoppiness added rater than the usual subdued roasted malt and bigger hop flavor of most Black Ales. Pours a dense dark brown color with some yellow and red light coming throuh. Big tan head with good retention and some lacing on the glass.

The aroma is rich, more like a Porter than a Black Ale. Plenty of malt, some chocolate and coffee. Grassy hops are noticeable in the aroma as well.

Taste is like a hoppy Porter. All the malty/chocoldate and coffee elements are there with some grassy and floral hops presence too.

Mouthfeel is fairly rich with a nice balace between the malt smoothness and some hoppiness.

Tasty beer, not a typical Black Ale but a good easy-sipping brew.

Photo of Mikus
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at our local craft brew gastropub... poured in a 23 oz doric pint glass. Very, very deep transluscent brown, not quite black... with a bit of lighter brown/mahogany shining through the edges in the light. About a finger of whitish head, which dissipated quickly. Very excellent looking brew. The nose was a bit light, just a bit of hoppy, citrus scent coming through. Great bitterness on the palate, a modicum of roasty, malt goodness, however, perhaps a bit overpowered by the bitter notes. Medium body, with good carbonation, a bit more on the IPA end than the black ale, darker end of things. Overall, a nice effort, perhaps a bit overpowered by the bitterness... clean, refreshing, and enjoyable. Not sure if it is quite worth the 35th anniversary moniker, but I wouldn't be disappointed if this found its way into my glass.

Photo of CTaylorBrew
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into my Dogfish Head IPA glass. Thick 1 1/2” - 2” light tan head (that this glass tends to do), that took over 3 minutes to dissipate, leaving substantial lacing down the glass. Dark chocolate brown color, with a medium red hue.
Sweet dark malts right away on the nose
Sweet malt taste first, followed by hop bitterness with multiple layers rounding it out; nice complexity. Alcohol is present but not displeasing, well hidden at 9.5 %.
Good mouthfeel, with a slight creaminess and medium to medium low carbonation.
I liked this beer quite a bit, and think it offers a good representation of the style.

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a snifter

Appearance – The beer was serve on nitro and so it had deep brown nearly black color with a nice cascading of bubbles leading to one finger head of a brownish colored foam floating atop the surface of the brew. The head fades very slowly leaving a decent level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is quite heavy of chocolate and a roasted malt smell as well as a good showing of some hops of a more herbal and vegetal nature. Along with these aromas comes some smells of pine and a bit of a sweeter caramel and a licorice smell, producing an overall sweet and somewhat inviting smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a rather strong chocolate and roasted malt taste along with a decent showing of some hop flavors of an earthy and floral nature. As the taste advances, a grassy hop flavor as well as a little bit of a brown sugar and caramel flavor come to the tongue. As this occurs, there is also a pine flavor that later develops on the tongue along with a touch of both citrus sweet tangerine and bitter grapefruit. For a 9.5 % abv brew alcohol is hidden throughout with just a hint of it peeking through at the end. With a little bit of anise, licorice, and more roasty taste that come at the end, one is left with a moderately roasty, sweet, and nicely blended hoppy taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – Being on nitro, the beer is t on the creamier and thicker side in feel. For the darker flavors of the brew the feel is great, and really accentuates all the roasty and cocoa flavors nicely and all while still having the oomph to support the nice hop flavor blend.

Overall – Not really too strong on the hops on this one, but definitely a smooth and nice drinking brew. Certainly enjoyable and well worth a try if you get a chance.

Photo of mactrail
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Vast veils of lacing in the tulip glass. PIney and funky with a little fruit and lots of that scratchy hop in the back of the throat.

Lots of aromatic hop flavors with a moderately bitter aftertaste. A hint of licorice along with a sour tang. Tangerine peels. Roasted malt with a little sweetness of dried mango. Long bitter aftertaste.

A big pleasant mouthfeel. The sweet undertone is quite friendly. Charred malt and sweet saxophone. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Grapevine Liquor in Denver.

Photo of chinchill
2.91/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

On tap at the Barrel Republic.

Appearance: Dark, clear red-brown with a very large, creamy tan head that leaves a coat of lacing.

Aroma: Surprisingly vegetative (squash) aspect.

Flavor: better than the aroma suggests, and hoppy, but still not real good.

Feel: Medium+ body with medium-high but soft carbonation. Smooth.

O: Poor beer or quality control issue?

Photo of thedoubler55
3.31/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: Super black in color, no transparency at all, a nice finger of tan head at the top that leaves a tiny bit of lacing around the glass as you drink it.

S: Some chocolate and earthyness right off the bat, with a hint of alcohol and roasted malts on the tail end.

T: The malts and chocolate are right up front, some earthyness and the hops give it a nice kick and spice to the beer.

M: Watery, not to much carbonation, and slight stickyness.

O: Not a terrible beer, but not one that I will have again, just not very well balanced and not to much great taste, easy drinker.

Photo of russpowell
3.81/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked this at Goebels in Wichita...

Pours a crimson hued mahogany with a thumb of tan head. Insane lacing & head retention

S: Roastyness. dark fruit, but fades quickly

T: Roastyness, some figgyness, & booze up front, a little charred grain & baker's chocolate up front. Slight raisin & dark chocolate notes, some roastyness, some coffee notes as well once warm, also a little bit of carob & coffee. Finishes roasty with a little bit of charred grain & carob & boozeyness

MF: Medium bodied, fairly vigorous carbonation; carbonation smooths out as this warms . Warming with nice balance

I like this, a good take on the style, drank easy

Photo of CaptainKev
3.13/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

For a milestone, 35th anniversary offering, I was expecting to experience an interesting beer to showcase the longevity of the brewery. The beer was just okay & I won't be buying another. Though, I would drink another if offered by someone.

I drank this beer in their tap room located in the Denver International Airport.

Nice dark color with off-white to tan head. Dark ruby to brown highlights at the edges when held up to the light.

Hops were not very apparent on the nose, almost absent, in fact. The roasted malts did come through.

Flavours are much the same as the nose, with the dark malts dominating but with a balancing bitterness. Finish is somewhat dry, but the roastiness lingers for some time.

I promptly ordered the Cold Hop next...a much better beer and a better candidate to celebrate a 35th anniversary occasion.

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35th Anniversary Imperial Black IPA from Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
84 out of 100 based on 164 ratings.