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Mission St. Anniversary Ale 2011 - Steinhaus Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Mission St. Anniversary Ale 2011Mission St. Anniversary Ale 2011

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

41 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 41
Hads: 62
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 10.69%
Wants: 2
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Steinhaus Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MrOH on 03-18-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

A blend of Firestone Walker's barleywine, imperial stout, and robust porter. No beers in this blend were barrel aged, nor is the final blend.
View: Beers (10) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 41 | Hads: 62
Photo of beermanbrian
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown color with slight amber hue. Almost no head. Heavy carbonation level gives a constant heavy stream of bubbles. Nice malty smell but no complexity. Toasty maltyness with a heavy sugar sweetness. Again not much complexity. Overall an ok beer. For the price it is worth a try but it doesn't really stand up to the big boys.

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Photo of MadeInOregon
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As others have noted, at only $2.99 a bottle at Trader Joe's this one caught my eye and just screamed at me to be put into my shopping cart. The Mission St. beers have always been enjoyable to me so I had high expectations for their "Anniversary Ale".

THE BODY is a dark brown, Pepsi color. The head...well, either that was a seriously bad pour or this beer has none. Very weird considering I don't usually have this problem when using my glassware. I swirled the beer around the glass for a few seconds and the best I could create was a very thin off-white head. There is a small amount of sediment left in the bottle.

THE SMELL is of hops, chocolate and lots of alcohol. There is a little raisin and banana in there too. The Anniversary Ale has a rich, winy aroma overall that I found quite nice.

THE TASTE is very nice with bittersweet hops and alcohol on the tongue and a deep, chocolaty aftertaste. It is a mild but sweet beer. There is a nice raisin flavor that mixes well with the roasted malt. The hops are mild and the chocolate flavors are dark. There is some yeasty, winyness to it also. Overall, I would describe this beer as tasting like a barleywine + a stout.

THE FEEL is surprisingly good. I found it to be pretty effervescent for a beer this dark. It has a sticky, wet finish.

CONCLUSION: This was the first "imperial brown ale" I've had so I have no point of reference but I can say that it tasted exactly the way I expected an "imperial brown ale" to taste. It is definitely a brown ale with all its simple, mild qualities. But it's much bigger than just that. Pretty good stuff. Well done, Steinhaus Brewing Co.!

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Photo of JamnesCameron
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

Pours a jet black with a light tan head of about two fingers, drops fairly quickly to a bare wisp of foam. Some lacing is evident.

Aromas of dark fruit, dark malt, no hop aroma. Some light caramel.

Flavors of tobacco, caramel malt, dark fruit, rum raisins, no hop flavors. Mint. Some alcohol heat. Finish is long with alcohol, rum raisins through the fade.

Mouthfeel is huge, sticky, good level of carbonation, some alcohol warmth.

Nice complexity. Big flavor. Amazing for such an inexpensive brew. Can be had at Trader Joe's for about $4.

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Photo of nycwinter
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What?!!! Only $2.99! Are you out of your mind?!!! I'm just sayin'...you don't usually get good beer these days for less than $3/12oz. And here you get 22oz for less than $3 (unless you tack on the CRV). Go get some now!

A= Little head to speak of, lest you swirl the bad boy. Dark brown body, and light tan head.

S= Dark fruits and chocolaty coffee notes on the nose. A lot stronger than I expected from a brown ale. I guess that's what makes it "Imperial".

T= Less flavor than expected, but very pleasant none-the-less. Smokey dark chocolate and coffee notes with mild sweetness in the middle. It ends on a bitter note.

M= Light-medium mouthfeel. Not much carbonation, but I don't think I would want much here.

O= Darker than expected in all areas though lighter in mouthfeel. It is very drinkable if you don't let it get too warm. In other words...take big gulps, and keep the second one in the fridge. You can afford it!

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Photo of Sorcerer
4.53/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Here it is, obtained at Trader Joes, a wonderful promise thrown into the cart without concern.

Poured into a 0.5 liter hefe glass.

Not much head, about 1/4' on a careless pour. head dissipated quickly.

Sediment in bottle surprise.

Drank a quarter cup in one draught to make room for the swished sediment.

Flavor impression immediate peaty scotch malt comes on strong. Alcohol is not diguised. Hops to the third row seating, with big heads of malt, smoke, and alcohol hiding the stage.

Served with a sun dried tomato quesedilla appetizer after a hard day of work.

A strong drink.


This is a great style of beer. A friend brew something similar, but not as strong at the Los Gatos Brewery. Distant bitter chocolate and burnt coffee in the mix from a porter.

Remark that the label says this is a blend. A strange thing to drink.

8.5% ABV!

Very good.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is a dark brown color with some light amber/reddish notes to it and a finger of khaki colored head.

S: Smells of chocolate and cocoa powder right away. A mild roasted aroma from the imperial stout and porter, and nice molasses, toffee, and caramel undertones.

T: Sweet chocolate with a touch of bittersweet cocoa/chocolate. Dark roasted malts with just a hint of coffee. Sweet molasses, toffee, and caramel is sort of the backbone of the beer, though.

M: Medium in body with a smooth, medium carbonation.

O: Man, this was solid. I really liked this, especially for only $3 for a bomber.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brewed by Firestone Walker for Trader Joe's. $2.99 for a bomber.

Pours a deep almost opaque dark brown with a 1 inch tan head that fades to a tiny cap. No real lacing on the glass. Smells of sweet malts, brown sugar, dark fruits, with some nutty notes - perhaps hazelnut. Very porter and barleywine like notes in the nose. Tastes of roasted caramel malt, brown sugar, dark fruits, with a nutty finish after each sip. There is a definite alcohol burn in the throat with each drink. There is a very slight bitterness on the back of the tongue. Good carbonation. Smooth and creamy with a medium body. Overall, a very good beer for a ridiculously great price. I am sure I will be buying more of these for the cellar. I can seeing this beer only getting better with age.

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Photo of Chaney
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark, dark brown, with a slight off-white head that stayed creamy throughout the session.

S: Malty for sure, but with an overwhelming hazelnut quality that slaps the nose hard. Brown sugar... check!

T: Sweet, with a substantial amount of brown sugar. I got a bit of plastic on the aftertaste of the first few sips... but then it subsided.

M: Nice and thick, but also syrupy and cloying. The booze was fairly well hidden in the candy madness, and the carbonation was low.

O: If they would just cut back on the sugar content a bit, I believe some of this would allow some of the nuttiness to shine through. Overall, this was a pretty good offering.

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Photo of celldog
4.62/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great brew for $3. When you drink it it fills your mouth with wonderful fruit and porter flavors. The hokie fan is out to lunch to rate this beer where he did - but what do you expect for a Hokie fan. I am a fan of intense flavorful beers and this did not disappoint. I will definately buy 5 or 6 more and reward myself every few weeks with a 2011 bomber. If you live near a Trader Joe's do yourself a favor and pick up a few of these. If you are a Bud Light fan- beware, you can't handle this sophisticated brew.

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Photo of vtfan77
2.82/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Dark, murky brown with a touch of garnet. The head is small but it has good retention and sticks around for a while.

S- Rich caramel and toffee with a hint of cocoa powder. There's also an earthy, mineral note (from the hops?) that adds a nice complexity.

T- Starts out very sweet, perhaps too sweet; it's almost a bit artificial-tasting. It's big on the caramel and sweet bread notes, flavors which dominate to the point of being cloying. An earthy bitterness comes through at times but clashes with the sweetness rather than complementing it. Alcohol is evident throughout.

M- Fairly thick and syrupy with a low level of carbonation. Appropriate for a beer of its strength.

Well, it's not terrible, but it's not great either. The flavor is a major flaw; it's too sweet and the flavors don't meld well. I was encouraged by the aroma, but the taste simply fell flat. I can't really complain because it was only 2.99 for the bomber; however, I won't be getting it again, even at that price. I think that's rather telling.

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Photo of NHalda
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

First off, I'm a big fan of the Mission St. beers. Always grab them when I can't decide on anything else at Trader Joe's (as an employee and head of the beer section at my store I get a few quite a few chances here and there to purchase). Always consistent and their beers are made by Firestone Walker. This beer of course following the trend of Firestone blends. It is "40% high alc ESB, 20% IRS, and 40% robust porter with cascade hops."

A - pours a deep brown with a short lasting head. Still a good looking beer.

S - subtle but sweet with a hint of booze

T - continues on the nose, but with more focus on the sweetness. Labeling this thing as an imperial brown was pretty damn accurate. Similarities to a dubbel minus the Belgian yeast. Slightly roasty with a touch of choc/mocha at the back end.

M - thinner than expected. Improved with warmth.

For $2.99 I will definitely pick up a few more to keep around. I have been looking forward to this beer ever since in was only mentioned as a possibility, which may be the root of my slight disappointment, but it's still the best bottle I've bought for 3 buxxx.

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Photo of wahmbush0614
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pulled the trigger on this while shopping at Trader Joe's. My theory was how bad can a 8.5 beer with a claimed Imperial Brown Ale for $3 be?

Surprised me for the depth of nose and taste. As stated the head disappears soon, but doesn't affect the beer. It has a slight drying/sweet ending that begs you to take another sip. It's a bit to sweet to have more than a bottle, but at $3 a bottle it is a steal.

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Photo of SFtaster
3.32/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle from Trader Joe's ($3/ea) into a tall chilled glass. Nice off-white head and deep, dark brown color after the pour. The aroma was light for such a dark brew, but not unpleasant.

The product listing calls this beer an 'Imperial Brown Ale' and that is an accurate description. The heavy malt profile covers any hint of alcohol - and at 8.5% ABV, that's quite an achievement. The hops hold their own against the sweet, herbal, and carmel notes that dominate this brew.

At this price, I'll buy a few more bottles to store for next year as this strong ale is likely to improve with time. A good value even when consumed now.

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Photo of benclimbs
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours very dark brown with a nice big head and a bit of lacing.

nose is all molasses, chocolate and brown sugar malts with just a hint of coffee, but smells comforting and delicious liked baking dessert.

taste...yes indeed its really sweet, but this is seriously nice stuff - like lightened baked molasses syrup with a bit of dried fruit in there, finishes with a nice hint of mocha too.

feel is really sticky, and doesn't have a pleasant finish to it.

overall this is a 3.5 - a B+ beer...but damn, for $2.99 at trader joes, its a hell of a deal!

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Photo of optimistictour
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Advertised as an Imperial Brown Ale, I was intrigued by this decently priced offering at Trader Joe's. Looking dark as mud and boasting an 8.5% abv I couldn't resist trying something random and new.

Once in the glass it's revealed to be definitely brown - not black - without any hint of red shining through. A thin lacy head appears momentarily but dissipates. Still, there's something appealing about the color.

It smells like a brown ale with slight hints of fruit and nuts and a very minimal smoky/bitterness.

The taste reflects the smell, but gets more toward specifics: cashews and apples, maybe some plum. It's slightly sweet but not cloying or sticky at all, thankfully.

Mouthfeel is solid but not impressive. This goes down smooth - non-sticky indeed - and has a nice texture flowing over the tongue, but once it's down it's quickly forgotten and there's not much body to leave an impression.

I think this is a great beer at the price - under $3 for a bomber - being dark and flavorful with a hearty abv and an attractive look and smell... it's just nothing spectacular that I would go out of my way to recommend to friends. Pick one or two up while they last.

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Photo of MrOH
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another deal from Trader Joe's, labeled as an Imperial Brown Ale.

Pours about as brown as you can get without venturing into black, thin wisp of tan head. Pretty good lacing

Roast, toast and dark fruit on the nose. Bits and pieces of chocolate and toasted bread in between notes of fig, prune, currant, and raisin.

Flavor is the nose, plus. Very vinous in character. Very much like a Baltic porter without the heavier roast character.

For all the flavor, this is not an especially heavy beer. Coats the mouth but is not cloying.

Wouldn't want to drink more than one in a sitting, but it's damn good for what it is. Good job Firestone-Walker on this beer, and good job Trader Joe's for getting that contract.

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Mission St. Anniversary Ale 2011 from Steinhaus Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.