Anniversary Strong Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company
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Ratings: 347 | Reviews: 65 | Display Reviews Only:
3.76/5 rDev -5.5%
Thanks to jmgrub for sharing this one at Wowcoolman's tasting.
Pours a clear dark orange-brown with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, earth, caramel, and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with spice and grain flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with lots of spice and grain flavors that are interesting.
08-19-2013 20:45:28 | More by UCLABrewN84
4.06/5 rDev +2%
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.
02-28-2014 16:57:09 | More by BEERchitect
4.11/5 rDev +3.3%
This poured out as a nice deep brownish red colt with a creamy colored head on top. The smell of the beer is sweet with a dark fruitiness to it with a spicy lager-like aroma to it... Very interesting nose to say the least. The taste of the beer is sweet, malty, slightly fruity and toasted. The mouthfeel is smooth gently carbonated and very drinkable. Overall the beer is very good. Really nice.
06-15-2013 00:05:15 | More by Knapp85
4.1/5 rDev +3%
Auburn copper color, persistent sticky lace that lasts for the entire glass. Dark color but still a nice clarity to it, with tiny rising bubbles and a solid sheet of lace in the glass.
Spicy Trappist yeast aroma, sweet and nutty cake with a little dried plum or figs.
Taste also has a spicy yeast component with a little alcohol heat that will hopefully mellow nicely in time. Rich and satisfying, though best shared. Some nutmeg and dried figs, caramelized sugars. Smooth and full bodied sipper.
07-26-2013 21:10:04 | More by emerge077
4.05/5 rDev +1.8%
Bottle shared by Chris (spycow). Served in an Alchemist pint glass.
A - Big white foam settles to a solid cap, leaving behind glass-coating lace. Transparent dark nut brown body; think Brazil nut skin or a shade darker than almonds.
S - I went into this beer blind, and all the bottle said was 'strong ale'. I quickly determined it was not an 'American Strong Ale', as the aromas had a definite continental bent to them. Spicy, phenolic yeast that to me is more evocative of a weizenbock than a Belgian, with some nutty, fruity, and cake-like malt characters. Somewhere between Westvleteren 8 and Aventinus on the flavor spectrum. There's a bit of perceptible alcohol, but it's hard to evaluate with no listed ABV.
T - The taste was a little more Belgian to me, with candi sugar malts and more abbey-style spices. Notes of nutmeg and cinnamon, and perhaps a touch of clove from the yeast mingle with red fruits, nuts, cocoa, dark fruits and a bit of treacle. Alcohol isn't as apparent here.
M - Full-bodied, creamy and smooth, with a touch of lingering stickiness. Perhaps a bit drying in the finish, along with some moderate booziness.
D - Not what I was expecting initially, but grew on me, particularly as it warmed. A definite sipper, and best shared with a friend or two. Should age quite gracefully, and definitely exemplifies New Glarus' European heritage and brewing practices. One of the best American-made 'Belgium' beers in recent memory.
08-22-2013 19:05:50 | More by MasterSki
3.53/5 rDev -11.3%
Got this goodie from Duff27 in a trade. Opening it for my birthday. 500ml brown glass bottle with great home-drawn feeling label art and iconic green/gold pry-off pressure cap served into an Avery stem-snifter in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Expectations are very high given the brewery, which I adore. Reviewed live. Reviewed as a strong ale because it identifies as such in the name.
Served cold - straight from me fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: No bubble show forms as I pour.
Pours a 1.5 finger wide head of off-white colour. Decent creaminess. Nice thickness. Sticky inconsistent lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is good - about 5+ minutes.
Body colour is a semitranslucent nontransparent dark amber - somewhat dull. No yeast particles are visible.
There's no real standard for a strong ale; anything goes as far as I'm concerned. But this could be more vibrant and the head could be better. I'm looking forward to trying it, but admittedly it's not much to look at. Not unique or special, but there are no obvious flaws.
Sm: Belgian dark malts, candi sugar, licorice/anise, caramel, dark malts, chocolate malts, fennel, dark stonefruit, nutmeg, abbey malts, treacle, vague hints of fruitcake, heavy caramelized sugars, plum, and fig. Certainly Belgian in character. Quite sweet and sugary, though it's refined and never cloying.
No hop character, alcohol, or yeast is detectable.
A pleasant aroma of moderate strength. I'm looking forward to trying it.
T: Has a nice Belgian dark malt/abbey malt backbone. Plum and fig. Fruitcake. Abbey yeast. Subtle touches of licorice/fennel/anise. Candied character. Plenty of residual sugars; they're quite welcome here and the beer never comes off too sweet. Hints of lightly acidic apple and pear. Hints of rum/sugarcane. Raisin. A kiss of pepper. Maybe some sasafrass? It's quite an interesting build for a strong ale and I can see why some are figuring it for a Belgian dark ale. The soaky rum notes are particularly intriguing and suit the Belgian build nicely.
Well balanced, with some interesting complexity and subtlety, though more would be lovely. Above average depth of flavour. Average intensity and duration of flavour. Cohesive, but not quite gestalt. I dig the Belgian build.
No alcohol or hop character comes through.
Mf: Unrefreshing. Good body and thickness. A bit sticky. Complements the flavour profile well, but I wouldn't say it's custom-tailored to it. Smooth and wet, with enough coarseness to coax out some nuance from the flavour profile. Nice presence on the palate.
Not oily, harsh, astringent, boozy, hot, or wet.
Dr: A drinkable strong ale with intense Belgian leanings. It doesn't meet my sky-high expectations, but it's a very enjoyable Belgian-inspired beer and is well worth trying. I could see age doing this one well. I was hoping for a mind-blowing beer given that it's an anniversary ale form New Glarus, and it doesn't quite deliver, but it's unfair to impose expectations. I can't see anyone being truly disappointed with this one, and I'm very glad I got to try it. Thanks again for the bottle, Duff27!
11-04-2013 02:05:17 | More by kojevergas
4.11/5 rDev +3.3%
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.
02-15-2014 03:39:34 | More by tempest
District of Columbia
4/5 rDev +0.5%
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.
03-25-2014 02:23:28 | More by Huhzubendah
4.68/5 rDev +17.6%
Deep, dark chestnut hue. Big frothy beige head with great density and lacing capability. Lots of eye pleasing lace for my viewing pleasure as I drink. On the nose, I get cedar plank, slight farmyard tones, cinnamon dough balls and some fig. Pretty delicate beer, yet complex. It has subtlety but also depth. Dark fruits and slighy rum undtertones. Black cherry. Dates and figs. Low on the heat factor. Biscuity malt base. Some slight apple and pear esters. Bread pudding and raisin. The flavors seem to not cease....Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated and light-medium bodied. The beauty of this beer really is finding that perfect equilibrium of subtlety and complexity. Well done and it doesn't surprise me coming from one of my Top 3 favorite breweries of the past 15 years. Great sipping beer and nightcap.
06-28-2013 03:35:18 | More by Bighuge
Anniversary Strong Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 347 ratings.