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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

30 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 30
Hads: 166
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 5.99%
Wants: 4
Gots: 28 | FT: 2
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 30 | Hads: 166
Photo of jucifer1818
2.31/5  rDev -37.1%
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 (465 characters)

Photo of ThickNStout
2.43/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Green wax capped 22oz bottle from Sprayberry Bottle Shop (Marietta, GA). 7.99. Best by 10/03/14, I assume bottled 4/3/14. Served in a goblet.

Pours dark cola brown with a robust three finger beige head. Nice retention and some pretty heavy lacing. It's a shame that this is the high point.

Smells of pine, floral hops, malted barley and a vague, almost fruity yeast. To my tastes this seems off for the style.

Flavor is filled with bitter floral and earthy roasty notes. Earthy petals, bitter pine, grapefruit rind, char, cheap chocolate and roast malts with a little booze. There are indeed notes of both heavy hopping and dark malts but it remains overly bitter without striking any semblance of balance.

Chalky, medium body with abundant carbonation. Bitter floral and burnt roast finish.

My initial impression is that I'd expect more after 35 years in business. Average at best, this is heavy in only my least favorite aspects of piney and dark malts. It's not wretched or anything but I poured over half of the bomber because there are way too many things I'd rather be drinking to waste any more time here. (1,122 characters)

Photo of chinchill
2.91/5  rDev -20.7%
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? (367 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
2.98/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22 oz wax covered bottle. Pours reddish brown with a huge creamy off white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is roasted caramel and molasses malts and spicy rye with piney hops and a bit of leather.

The flavor is sweet cola malts and molasses with a lot of roast piney bitterness and a bit of spicy rye. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation and is slightly watery.

Overall, an OK black IPA. It's a bit thin and sweet. (455 characters)

Photo of CaptainKev
3.13/5  rDev -14.7%
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. (838 characters)

Photo of thedoubler55
3.31/5  rDev -9.8%
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. (577 characters)

Photo of Mikus
3.45/5  rDev -6%
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. (835 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.52/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

boulder beer has really underwhelmed me, and for a special release from the brewery that claims to have started it all 35 years ago, i expected a lot more from this special release. its not bad, but it sure is disappointing. should have been a statement piece, instead, extremely average. the beer is light for a black ipa, tan headed lighter brown liquid, fizzy. the nose is balanced pretty well, not overly hoppy, and a little boring, but the chocolate malt is nice and fresh. the flavor is where it goes south for me. it starts off bitter and roasty from the grain, just right, but instead of moving into a big time hoppy finish, it devolves into this fresh green been thing. you know when you pick a fresh green been off the vine, and eat it right there, raw, in the garden. its snappy and juicy, but also a little chalky textured and sharply vegetal. leafy and natural, but also leaves a weird acidity on the palate? this is the same exact thing, and once i identify that element, i really cant get past it. the subtle and generic hops in the finish dont do enough to win me back over. neither does the delicate carbonation that makes this drink lighter than its abv. the alcohol comes out with warmth, and the green bean thing gets exacerbated that much more. i have nothing against boulder beer, but i am frustrated that this is what they came up with for such a monumental occasion. (1,390 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.54/5  rDev -3.5%
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. (670 characters)

Photo of Jadjunk
3.57/5  rDev -2.7%
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 (2,918 characters)

Photo of ONUMello
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
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! (460 characters)

Photo of CHickman
3.61/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Boulder 35th Anniversary Imperial Black IPA-9.5% ABV (on tap at Rattle-N-Hum, NYC) pours pitch black color with brown near the edges when light hits it and a small off white head that faded and left great sticky lacing and rings clinging to the sides. Smells of piney hops, caramel, burnt grains, molasses, floral hops, herbs, cocoa power and light vanilla and oaky notes. More dark ale than IPA but nice in malty way. Tastes like it smells with piney hops and toasted chocolate malts the dominant flavor, followed by caramel, burnt grains, molasses, floral hops, herbs, cocoa power, citrus notes, light vanilla, and oaky notes. Only above average overall, it had a medium body and average carbonation, ending with smoky malt notes but only mild hop contributions. It hid the alcohol well but was just not exciting to drink. A decent beer, not a hophead special. (862 characters)

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Ratings are correct below, but I changed some marks above to make the final rating as close as possible with Beer Advocate's "revamped" system. The 3.63 overall rating is accurate.

Type: 22-oz. bottle
Glass: Stone Ruination IPA pint glass
From: Palm Springs Liquor in La Mesa (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $2.99 (on sale from $7.99)
Purchased: June 14, 2015
Consumed: June 17, 2015
Misc.: Enjoy by Oct. 3, 2014

Poured a black color with 3-to-4 fingers of khaki tan, rocky head. Settled nicely on the top after a few moments. Good amount of layered, foamy, spiderweb lacing on the sides of the glass. Very good retention. (Sight - 4.13)

Smelled roasty malts, chocolate, nuts, Cascade, caramel and toffee. Still pretty good considering it was eight months after the enjoy by date. (Smell - 3.75)

Tasted kind of close to the nose, getting smoky, roasty malts. Also Cascade, floral, chocolate, toffee and light Citra hops. Alcohol is well-hidden, but that could be the beer being eight months past due. (Taste - 3.50)

Medium-to-full body. Oily-to-creamy texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt, smoky finish. (Feel - 3.75)

Obviously I would have liked to have this fresh, but it wasn’t that bad. Would like to have some more beers from Boulder Beer. (Overall - 3.63)

3.63 | 82 | B (1,284 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

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. (536 characters)

Photo of beergoot
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Deep mahagony red and brown body with a very thick, chunky, sand-colored head; big globs of sticky foam clinging to the glass. Pine and citrus aroma infused with hints of cocoa and crème de menthe. Light chocolate and dark roasted malt flavor combined with a wild hop bitterness and edgy alcohol heat simmering beneath. Medium bodied; a bit watery in nature; dry finish.

A good if slightly off-balanced black IPA. Top marks for the looks and aroma but the taste is relatively weak on the malt character and a bit too edgy with the boozy notes and leaves a smidgeon of phenolic presence. I wouldn't turn down another beer if given the chance. (643 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
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 (642 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
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. (1,815 characters)

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.89/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a balloon glass.

Look: The body is the color of dark chocolate with a lighter brown appearing on the edges when held up to the light. An oatmeal flake colored head calms to a chunky film that leaves random lines of thick lacing.

Aroma: A good combination of chocolate and earthy, woody pine, then a touch of black licorice and subtle booziness underneath.

Taste: The malts really come out with some semi-sweet chocolate before moving into a more earthy, spicy hop finish.

Mouthfeel: A little watery and dry.

Overall: Really flavorful, and I think the malts dominate the hops. (592 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
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. (1,603 characters)

Photo of BeerDawgs
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
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 (410 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
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. (500 characters)

Photo of SebastRain
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%

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! (185 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
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! (446 characters)

Photo of JayQue
4/5  rDev +9%

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. (738 characters)

Photo of bleedsblu
4/5  rDev +9%

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. (602 characters)

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35th Anniversary Imperial Black IPA from Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
83 out of 100 based on 30 ratings.