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19th Anniversary Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
19th Anniversary Ale19th Anniversary Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

364 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 364
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.08%
Wants: 8
Gots: 24 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

19th Anniversary Ale isn’t just a wood-aged ale. It’s a compass – a reminder of where we’ve been and where we’re going. Brewed with pure birch syrup and aged on birch wood, this beer embraces reverential tradition and revolutionary innovation.

(Beer added by: Jason on 04-29-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of 19th Anniversary Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 364 | Reviews: 65 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jewellrunner
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

jewellrunner, Jun 16, 2013
Photo of Halcyondays
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Halcyondays, Jun 16, 2013
Photo of rabiddawg
4/5  rDev +9%

rabiddawg, Jun 15, 2013
Photo of 2dogbrew
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

2dogbrew, Jun 15, 2013
Photo of thecheapies
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark goldenrod color. Like honeyed amber. Some chill haze. Thick 3/4" cap of bright suds. No escaping carbonation from below to support the head, but it's proving its worth in retention.

Sappy sweet birch, floral hops, herbal aromas, slight woodsiness, cereal grains, candied orange, vanilla cream soda, and mild soapiness. Quite the interesting array of aromas. Smells a little waxy, like a scented candle, but overall, it's good. Almost has a touch of butterscotch.

Flavors totally follow the nose, but with an added hop flavor and bitter firmness. Sweet, too, but not cloying. Birch chips cut in with some wood-sucking dryness. Actually, it's rather woody now. Still has a touch of herbal qualities that push it into birch beer territory, but the vanilla notes overpower any semblance of botanicals used/implied. Citrus notes are mostly orange-y, but there's some pithy grapefruit and tropicalia (pineapple??) in the mix. Malty, not grainy. Ale yeast waxes English. Slight earthiness, and maybe a bit of pie crust in the malts. Hops are strangely bitter with pine notes; creates good balance with the sweetness. The strength builds because you feel it, not because you taste it.

Where's this 10%+ ABV? Uncannily smooth. The body is dense and wooly with roundedness. Not much stick, either, except in the back of the mouth. Coating, I should say. Medium carbonation. The feel doesn't falter. Just different for an amber strong ale.

They're always making woody Anniversary beers. This one is no exception.

thecheapies, Jun 15, 2013
Photo of imperialking
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

imperialking, Jun 14, 2013
Photo of RedneckBeerz
4/5  rDev +9%

RedneckBeerz, Jun 14, 2013
Photo of gtank
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

gtank, Jun 14, 2013
Photo of djre4orm
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

djre4orm, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of Simpleman77
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Simpleman77, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

22 ounce (650 ml) bottle in a pilsner glass. Bottled on date of April 22nd, 2013.
A - deep golden full of small fizzy bubble with a two finger head that recedes to a tight lacing and 1/2 finger lingering head.
S - smells woody with a sharp alcoholic bite that make its vaguely whiskey like in an overpowering way.
T - alcohol zap is immediate and strong. Woody resinous sweet taste underlies the heavy booze bite. Hops are blown away by the booze.
M - moderate body with ample carbonation that intesifies the alcoholic feel.
O - closer to a weak whiskey than a strong beer. Some may like it but it was not what I was looking for from Great Divide.
Is there a wood aged malt liquor category?
Great Divide has been one of my favorites when I can get it but this one is not the usual.

Maybe significant aging would even this out but I doubt it as it looks too filtered.

Beer4Baltimore, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of JSchock7
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

JSchock7, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +9%

oline73, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of Elana
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Elana, Jun 11, 2013
Photo of Apathetiq
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Apathetiq, Jun 11, 2013
Photo of jmccraney
3/5  rDev -18.3%

jmccraney, Jun 10, 2013
Photo of aflies
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

aflies, Jun 10, 2013
Photo of Devinph
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Devinph, Jun 10, 2013
Photo of litheum94
3/5  rDev -18.3%

litheum94, Jun 10, 2013
Photo of wvsabbath
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type -22oz bottle

Appearance - Golden amber/ yellow with a 1/4 foamy head, nice lacing.

Smell - Woody/birchy aroma, some hops, nothing to strong or strong.

Taste - Sweet malts, birch and oak. Hops are piney and sweet, added sugars, some Plenty of booze in each sip. Slight herbal, spice note in the finish. Nothing much more to add.

Mouthfeel - Birch, malts, sugars and booze nails the tongue. Palate gets more sugars, booze and added sugars, along with spices. Aftertaste is sweet, birchy and alcohol influenced.

Overall - Well, its not bad but not very balanced. The booze is too strong and its a little to sweet, which takes away from the oaked flavors, hops and malts. More spices, hops and malts, less booze and sugars would help this out. Worth a drink since it is a anniversary beer and it is enjoyable enough.

wvsabbath, Jun 10, 2013
Photo of ThickNStout
2.25/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22oz bottle from Hop City (Atlanta, GA). 8.99. Bottled 5/14/13. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

Pours golden hued amber with a quarter finger of pale head that quickly retreats to a halo. Very few tiny pin points of "lace".

Muted aromas of sap, earth, flower petals and a kind of generic beer smell. Not too excited to move on after smelling this.

Oh. Hmm. Birch seems to be a much harsher wood than oak. Astringent bark, sweet sap (I assume that's the birch syrup?), subdued citrus peel, almost harsh pine, hot booze and black pepper. Not sure what's goin on here or what it's even tryin for.

Semi oily medium body with moderately high carbonation. Lingering "off" bittersweet wood and faint hop aftertaste.

An experiment gone wrong? If this is Great Divide's compass, as it says on the label, I'm not sure that I'm all that interested in where they're going. I didn't/couldn't/wouldn't finish the bomber. Quite a disappointment from a brewery I typically enjoy. I'd advise taking a pass on this one.

ThickNStout, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of kojevergas
2.73/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottled May 14th 2013. 10.20% ABV confirmed. 650ml brown glass bottle with uninteresting label art and foiled-over standard pry-off pressure cap acquired at Sunset Beer Co. for $7.99 and served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average; I like a lot of Great Divide's work but this seems a bit suspect.

Served cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonatio issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a dirty 1.5 finger head of beige/light khaki colour. Slightly creamy. Okay thickness. Average (~2 minute) retention; okay for the high ABV but not impressive. No bubble show. No lacing as the head recedes.

Body colour is a surprisingly light pale copper-orange. Translucent. No yeast particles are visible.

Not your typical appearance for an alleged strong ale. Looks decent, but it's not all that appealing to be honest. I remain optimistic.

Sm: Getting some birch syrup and wood - but probably only because I'm looking for it. I doubt I could identify those notes without prompting. It is distinctly syrupy though - I might've guessed maple if the label hadn't told me it was birch. Residual sugars are present. Some toffee. Muted buried citrusy hop character. Sticky and nectary. It seems strange for an alleged strong ale. The toffee and rich syrup remind me of a barleywine. Tangerine. No yeast or alcohol comes through on the aroma. Honey. Birch is certainly dominant. An aroma of moderate strength.

T: Birch syrup. Residual sugars. Caramel. Sweet citrusy hops. Hop profile is surprisingly overt. Tangerine. Syrupy; too sweet. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. Tropical fruits. Candied. I'd almost call it cloying. Not a great flavour profile by any means. Boozy. Imbalanced. Lacks complexity and subtlety. It's okay, but I'm not really liking it. Too sweet. Flavour profile is lacking; I really wish it was more balanced. Not very tasty. Lacking for the style.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Slight acidity. Overcarbonated. Doesn't suit the flavour profile all that well. Presence on the palate is poor. Too thick. Not soft. Unrefreshing.

Dr: I guess it's somewhat drinkable. There's just not much of interest here. I wouldn't get it again. A disappointment from Great Divide. Lackluster. I'll finish this bottle with some difficulty; I really wish I had help though. Doesn't hide its ABV all that well. Overpriced for the lack of quality. Quite underwhelming. Meh. A pretty mundane choice for an anniversary Ale. I expected far better.

High C-

kojevergas, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of CB2maltygoodness
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

CB2maltygoodness, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of mactrail
3.51/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Amber color in the tall Saxo tulip with a brief cap of foam. Just a few bubbles, but a sharp prickle on the tongue. Interesting woodsy smell.

Very sweet and malty. I can't say that the birch adds a whole lot, but the overall effect is a fat-bodied brew with a tangy mouthfeel. Some stray aromatics, but it's like a double bock beer. There might be a faint herbal taste. I don't taste the alcohol, but it's definitely lurking behind the syrup.

A beer that's hard to figure, but it's worth a try if you like an oddity. Quite sippable, though some creamy carbonation would have made this more rewarding. From the 22 oz bottle for $8.50 at Baron's Market in San Diego.

mactrail, Jun 09, 2013
19th Anniversary Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 364 ratings.