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Anniversary Strong Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anniversary Strong AleAnniversary Strong Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

74 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 74
Hads: 398
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 10.17%
Wants: 18
Gots: 90 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jakob on 05-18-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anniversary Strong Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 74 | Hads: 398
Photo of fredmugs
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

In my opinion this is just a tiny notch below the great beers of it's style (Westy, Chimay, Rochefort, and St Bernardus). Fromthe aroma to overall mouthfeel everything about this reminds reminds me of the classics.

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Photo of Jason
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

500ml brown bottle, sample from the brewery.

Epic lacing from a head that does not want to go away. Big malt-bomb of a nose, creamy with a hint of alcohol. Super smooth, lush full body. Dark sugars, toasted bread, grape skin, and figgy. Modest hopping balances. Warming and drinkable for a thick bodied brew.

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Photo of jlindros
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to rudzud for sharing, 2013 vintage.

Pours a decent creamy 1/2 finger head that fades slowly, nice lacing, super dark mahogany brown color.

Nose is meh, aged malt but candy malt turned to paper brown malt thing, sweet brown sugar and molasses, vegetal candied root thing, but some decent candy sugar and aged candied dark fruits, fig, over aged malt.

Taste brings sweet malts, candy and toffee, aged dark fruits like raisin and fig, etc. Some bitter spicy hops, earthy slight herbal. Then nutty dark fruits, brown sugar molasses, candied thing, hint of brown paper bag, little leather. Finish is sticky sweet with more dried leather, weird bitter spicy herbal earthy hops, little sweet fruit, briny hops.

Mouth is med bod, decent carb, little syrupy note. Very little booze.

Overall not bad.

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Photo of rudzud
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Shared with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a clearish chestnut hue with a one finger head that fades to leave light lacing.

S - Aromas of cardboard, sugars, malts, caramel, dark fruit.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, loads of sugar, caramel, malts, dark fruit, raisins, earthy, leather, brown sugar.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, rather sweet.

O - Overall this beer was nicely done. Really tasty strong ale.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of schmidtmattsays
2.98/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bottle 3/13/15.

Not sure if this was a poorly cellared bottle or perhaps not meant for aging but got an awful coppery/metallic/zinc finish on the taste. Not enjoyable at all. I have a bottle of my own that I'll open soon to see if it was a bad bottle or a wider issue.

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Photo of chinchill
3.66/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

20th Anniv. strong ale.

Refined and aged (I presume), this pouts with a fine orange-brown body that has excellent clarity and is topped by a good head. The aroma suggest liquer at least as much as ale. The strong ale style (such as it is) comes out clearly upon tasting.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours deep burgundy raison color with a massive soapy looking, tan colored, three finger head that sticks to the glass like cotton candy.

S - Sweet candied dark fruit, prunes, and raisons.

T - Bready, yeasty, prunes, figs, and raisons.

M - Thick medium body.

O - Enjoyable.

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Photo of ferrari29
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Beer poured into a Snifter shaped glass

A - beer pours with a very dark maple syrup brown color; appears moderately effervescent; tan colored head; head is about 1/2 finger in size; forms a nice layer of lacing around my glass

S - beer has a slight scotch nose to hit; maple syrup and molasses; light roasted malt nose; candied dark fruits; caramel; plums

T - flavor is much lighter than I anticipated; strong ale's typically have a mixed booze and caramel flavor, not this one; very complex taste; caramel, and roasted malt flavor; dark candied fruit flavor; molasses; hint of vanilla

M - very effervescent; I can feel bubbles on my tongue from front to back; unfortunately, bubbles mask a lot of the flavoring in the beer; flavor dissipates pretty quickly once I drink it

D - Overall, I find this to be a very drinkable Strong Ale; light on flavor, but packs a tiny alcohol punch, compared to most Strong Ales, without the overwhelming taste and nose buds with booze

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Photo of fatherdmj
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

I bought two of these last summer at the brewery. Drank one a while back. It was a bit strong, as the name suggests. Opened the other one just now and some age gives the beer a bit of balance. There are complaints elsewhere of over-carbonation. That may be the case. Nevertheless, the complicated flavor profile of this beer make it a can't miss. If you find one somewhere, pick one up and give it a rest for a few months before opening it. You'll be glad you did.

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Photo of foobula
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice amber color with a substantial khaki whipped-egg-like head. Nose of Belgian yeast, banana, orange, sweetness, a little booze. Taste features some yeast flavors like banana and esters. Sweetness, booze, and pepper in the mix. I'm guessing the ABV is 10%+, though it's not published anywhere. Mouthfeel is medium with the foamy head adding to the fullness. Overall it's a nice beer but I was expecting more complexity from this special NG one-off. EDIT: I agree with the previous reviewer VStarWalt who compared it to Chimay Blue. Very similar flavor profile. Also, bottle cap seal showed some bubbling, but still apparently intact.

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Photo of VStarWalt
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I bought this at the brewery where they sold them in pint bottles with a limit of two per customer. I would compare it very favorably to Chimay Blue label. I had a bottle Chimay around and drank that a few nights later. Then rotated back to the second bottle of New Glarus a few nights after that. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is russet brown with a thick, billowing off-white head. the aroma brings typical New Glarus sweetness, with some molasses, malt, candied fruits, yeast, sugars. It's not as sweet as I feared, and is actually quite tasty. Complex and well balanced. Easy drinking and smooth. I split this beer with a friend and we both had no problem finishing our pours. Well crafted. I'd have this again.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: brownish with reddish hues. fairly good clarity for the darkness of the beer. a finger or so of a white head that leaves a layer on the top and a sticky lacing on the sides.

Smell: Fruit first, plums and black cherries, dark candi sugar. and belgian yeast.

Taste: opens up with lots of fruit. plums and black cherries. middle is full of amber candi sugar and belgian yeast. the end comes full circle and leaves with lots of fruit.

Mouthfeel: this one is full of opposites. at times its creamy and juicy but then it ends dry. its sweet but the sweetness is never lingering. just a slight tinge of alcohol warmth. nice and heavy overall.

Overall: a wonderfully brewed beer. In the few new glarus beers ive had i have found very fruity and terrific yeast strains. pushes the limits of the style but stays easy within.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In celebration of New Glarus 20th Anniversary- a seriously strong ale emerges. Influenced by Belgian Trappist and their Grand Cru, but with roots squarely grounded in America- this commemorative ale is bold, juicy, spicy, decadent and tangy all at once.

The pour erupts with a billowing ivory column of foam. Easily reaching the rim of the glass, the beer slowly separates from its creamy froth and reveals a garnet-brown beer beneath that glimmers with tawny highlights through its haze.

Bold candy-type aromas pull forth and give the ale a scent of hard candy, shortbread and brown sugar. A back-note of chocolate, molasses and black jellybean gives the beer a not-so one-dimensional malt character. As dark fruit and peppercorn spice round out the beer's scent, a tangy sensation of merlot keeps the complex aromas coming.

The beer's flavor opens with that confectioner's malty sweetness of hard candy. But a creamier and more lush taste offers the brown sugar, shortbread and light molasses to suggest coffee cake or rum cake. As the estery taste of blackberry, figs and plum offer a dark and tangy fruit flavor just ahead of the balance of spice. Strong peppercorn, aniseed, light clove and dried orange peels round out the beer's spicy and vinous red wine finish.

Creamy, semi-dense and fuller in texture than expected, the sweetness and dissolved carbonation outlasts the middle and allows for a malty-dry finish with vinous acidity, spicy warmth and rum-like booze.

This 20th Anniversary Belgian-style Dark Strong Ale is a serious contender for the style. But where all the pieces and parts fall into place nicely, the drier and more expressive versions of Belgian have been largely replaced by the creamy denseness of stronger American ale.

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Photo of guityler83
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: A long sustaining three finger tall head was formed when poured into a snifter glass. The foam, an off white color, first had very fine bubbles then as it fell got soapy looking and left behind stepped lacing. The beer is a dark tobacco brown color that shines a purple hue when held to the light and appears crystal clear.

S: Spicy phenolic yeast esters leap from the glass even when poured from the bottle. Dark brown sugar and molasses like aromas, not the overly sweet phenolics I don't care for in some lighter Belgian beers. A clean almost lager like character impression after the foam has gone away. Overall impression is very herbal and earthy.

T: Very low bitterness, almost no hop flavors detected. Balance is on the malt side and comes off moderately sweet. Flavors coming through first are clove, molasses, dark candy sugar, spice and earthyness (dirt?). The middle is where the gets sharp with a carbonic bite and follows with more spicey and dark brown sugar flavors. The after taste is slightly reminiscent of tobacco.

M: Dry finish with a moderate body and carbonation on the high side. The palate is left with a very dry sensation from the dark sugars. A tad bit of alcohol warming, maybe good since it goes down so smooth.

O: I'm no expert on the style, but this had a lot going on and I really liked it. The sweet phenolics I usually don't like are kept in check and there is a nice earthy flavor followed by a lager like drinkability. If you can still find one grab it.

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Photo of tempest
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Got a bottle from a friend. Thanks to Mike. The beer poured brown with ruby highlights and thick white lacing. The aroma has a sweet doughy caramel character with touches of spice that reminds me of St. Bernardus 12. The body is a medium weight, not dry, but not heavy. And there's a peppery, bitter finish, which again reminds me of SB12, but when it's really fresh. There are mild dark fruits in the flavor, a bit of plum and berry, but they're backed by though slightly chewy (again, not thick) dark, toasted barley. Overall this is an excellent take on a strong, dark Belgian. I feel like it benefits, compared to native Belgians, from a shorter travel. It's hard find a big Belgian this fresh and sharp tasting. Pick up a bottle.

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Photo of mverity
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle courtesy of dmbforever (a great trader). Shared at Proof for HH. Deep amber brown in color with a really good amount of tan head that holds up well. Head faded into a medium-thin collar and good swirls of head. Aroma is earthy floral, some light brown sugar, vanilla. Great medium body and highly carbonated. Taste has fig and brown sugar throughout. Light bitterness in the middle. Sweet fig up front. Very interesting, a bit odd, but extremely enjoyable.

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Photo of ChimRichels
4.54/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle has been cellared since I purchased it in early 2013 - Should be about a year old at this point.

A - Body is a deep ruby, and appears to be clear and without any noticeable cloudiness. Head almost seems to be pink from the body, and is structured like whipped cream - extremely thick and rocky. It isn't going anywhere any time soon. If there was an option to rate the head, this one gets a 5. (NOTE: I just finished the beer, and there is an inch and a half of head sitting at the bottom of the glass, still stiff as a rock).

S - Rasins, figs, dark fruits, bubblegum/taffy, a bit of tartness.

T - Rich with the dark fruit flavors, as well as the bubblegum/taffy sweetness that follows from the nose. Alcohol is just barely noticeable on the finish, mostly in the feel rather than the taste.

M - I think a year in the cellar has really smoothed out the texture, this is more silky than I recall it being when it was released.

O - Really impressed by this beer, and I am regretting not having purchased more bottles to see how it would benefit from additional aging. Regardless, this is a great showing of what the Carey's are capable of.

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Photo of Strix
3.94/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy dark brown, good initial head, that leaves a ring of lace.

Smells of Belgian yeast atop apple, pear, raisin, clove.

When cold, a sharp and earthy hop presence dominates. As it warms, subtle clove, apple, malt, and yeast show. Aftertaste of a subtle dark chocolate hop note. I guess Strong Ale is a catch all, this strikes me as a Dubbel, but is danker and murkier than most. Quite interesting.

Highly carbonated, smoothes as it warms.

Congrats to 20 years!

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Photo of cbutova
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Poured into five pint glasses with some homies. Dark red to almost brown appearance with a small frothy-fizzy off-white head to about a finger high. Head retention is decent and it falls to a thick, creamy ring. Nice lace pillow at the top and a huge cloud coats most of the glass below that.

S- Not an intensely strong aroma for the style but some good Belgian yeast spice that reminds me of spiced, candied raisins. Some cherries and brown sugar feel as well.

T- Really opens up here compared to the aroma. Belgian spicy yeast is pretty strong but in a good way with clove, pink peppercorn, cherry fruit, raisin and slight apple flavors. Malts are nutty, toasty and somewhat caramel. Candi sugar is a big part of the flavor with burnt sugar, tobacco and fig hints.

MF- Foamy and slightly creamy moderately thick body with a somewhat oily feel to it. Carbonation on the medium-high side of things. Alcohol lingers with a nice warmth for some time.

A good representation of a Belgian Strong Dark brewed in the US. Strong yeast and candi sugar feel and quite strong but in a good way. This seems like it would age very nicely.

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Photo of emyers
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Founders snifter.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark brown with a voluminous frothy off-white head.

Smell: Tons of fruity yeast esters up front. Dark fruit and caramel malt are there as well, but the yeast really dominates.

Taste: Great balance here, with a strong caramel malt/dark fruit base and more Belgian yeast flavors. No alcohol presence at all. Slight bittering hop presence on the finish. Excellent.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, yet has a fairly high carbonation level which adds some texture.

Overall: Great example of the style.

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Photo of d5001986
3.54/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle poured into tulip.

Deep reddish-brown color with large, foamy, off white head.

Smell is banana, tart dark fruit, and yeast.

Taste is dark fruit, banana, yeast - there's also a slight off-putting metallic taste and some funkiness.

Feels medium bodied, high carbonation delivers a bit of a sting going down.

Overall pretty typical of the style, doesn't really stand out in my mind. Not my favorite NG offering, but still not bad.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.72/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter

A- pours a dark brown with some ruby hue, good size head with huge bubbles that reduce to a small layer floating on top, leaving a bit of lace

S- powdery belgian yeast gives just a hint of banana & phenolic aroma, lots of dark fruit; black cherries, raisan and fig, sugar candy. It actually smells like a classic Dubbel

T- phenolic yeast with some candied fruit, burnt brown sugar, light herbal bitterness on the finish with artificial-like cherry cough syrup

M- medium body and carbonation gives way to a big foamy and chewy mouthfeel that lasts throughout the whole mouthfeel, lots of warming alcohol on the finish

O- Not sure of the abc, but this one's got some heat. I enjoyed it, but it didn't quite mesh for me.

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Photo of jbaker67
3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours very dark brown with a thick tan head...excellent retention and lacing. Aroma has subtle fruit and roastiness...hints of underlying clove and allspice. Flavor has fruitiness up front and then firm roastiness...more hoppy than many dubbels ive had...faint leather and mild booze. Mouthfeel is medium/full and silky smooth with a dry roasty/fruity/hoppy finish.

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Photo of scaliasux
3.86/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark reddish-brown. Appears at least a little hazy. Tall tan head - persistent.

Smell - Not real strong. Sweet caramel malt. Raisins, toffee. A little bread.

Taste - Malty. Darker than I expected, but mainly with very rich caramel malt flavors. Toffee and molasses, raisins. A little citrus in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium. Warm.

Overall - I'm not sure I've had a beer of this style before. As I like rich malts, this is easy to like.

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Anniversary Strong Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.