Anniversary Strong Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anniversary Strong AleAnniversary Strong Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

393 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 393
Reviews: 74
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.33%
Wants: 18
Gots: 92 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 393 | Reviews: 74
Photo of kojevergas
3.52/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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!

Low B

Photo of kevanb
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle, poured into a New Glarus flute.

The beer pours a deep amber color, quite hazy with hues of copper and burgundy with a large fluffy, soapy, khaki colored head that rises about 2 fingers high, settles nicely and leaves a wonderful amount of sticky lace. The aroma is blunt, a bit boozy, but has lots of yeasty esters, rich caramel malt, banana and clove really shine, plum and fig are also noteworthy with some nice brown sugar sweetness at the finish. The flavors are right in line, big fruity belgian yeast with banana and clove, raisin, fig, stone fruit and lots of sweet brown sugar at the end that finishes warm and with a boozy kick. It's straightforward for the style, the balance is fine, nothing earth shattering and not overly complex like many of the more heralded beers from Belgium. The body is nice, a bit of zippy carbonation feels nice yet it feels fairly rich, the finish is a bit astringent and a little prickly but it does coat the mouth well.

Verdict: A very decent Belgian Strong Dark Ale from New Glarus, a style I don't often see from New Glarus. It's a bit simple, despite the style's inherent complexity, but is very easy to drink and very enjoyable at that. Definitely a good fall or winter beer.

Photo of RoamingGnome
4.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

New Glarus Anniversary Strong Ale

Poured from 500 ml bottle into CBS snifter. Served lightly chilled...

A) Dark brown with a little red tint to it. A nice fluffy finger of light tan head. Excellent retention and lacing.

S) Yeast, dark fruit, banana, caramel/brown sugar sweetness, and tingly spices that stayed in my nostrils.

T) Very close to the aroma... What's the ABV here? The alcohol is pretty well hidden, up to a little warmth on the finish. Pleasant aftertaste...

M) Medium to full bodied with pretty lively carbonation. The spice and alcohol leave a light tingle. Perhaps it could have been just a little smoother from a mouthfeel standpoint.

O) Very enjoyable beer... Glad I grabbed a few to age as well, because I think this will develop quite nicely over time.

Paired this with a little dark chocolate. I think I should of had a sandwich, because I'm definitely feeling this shit. Strong Ale is right!

Photo of bound4er
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A. Dark amber to crimson appearance with an off white to faint tan head of massive proportions. Produces an abundance of lacing the likes of which I have never seen.

S. Belgian-like nose of fruity esters, caramel malt and pitted fruits.

T. Caramel malt, raisin, brown sugar and a slight spritz of hops on a lingering, sweet finish.

M. Full bodied with nice creaminess. Low carbonation.

O. This is a really good, easy drinking 20th anniversary Belgian ale. I wish I would have bought more when I had the chance.

Photo of homebrew311
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a bottle at the brewery. The appearance is a dark reddish brown with nice clarity. Tan head is present and leaves a nice amount of lacing. Smell is fruity and malty with notes of grapes, caramel, nuts, and moderate yeast ester at the end. Taste starts sweet and malty and presents notes of grape nuts, candied fruits, and caramel. There is just enough bittereness to give this a nice balanced finish. Mouthfeel is well carbonated and smooth bodied. Overall, this is a very nice BSDA with well hidden alcohol.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.52/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Tawny mahogany in color, New Glarus' 20th Anniversary is dark but still clear, pouring with a dense pile of ivory foam that leaves crowded rings of lace encircling the tulip.

S - Belgian yeast introduces ripe dark fruit without haste, offering pleasantries of sticky Sun Maid raisins, caramelized plum, and banana with a suggestion of currents. The dark beer isn't without some malt influence though, as toffee, molasses, and brown sugar creep in on the finish.

T - Replicating the aroma, New Glarus' 20th Anniversary starts with sweet, bready malt; smooth caramel and toast flavors smeared with a dark fruit jam comprised of raisin, plum, and a finish of banana and faint clove spice.

M - Somewhat of an enigma, the body of this beer leaps back and fourth between extremes. It's got a medium-full feel that's lightened first by sparkling, throat prickling carbonation that returns to smooth, round malt sweetness only to be finished out by warming alcohol and it's thinning quality. Overall, a bit over-carbonated for my liking as it disrupts the smoothness the beer's flavor begs for.

O - Taste New Glarus' 20th Anniversary blind and you might just imagine you're enjoying a subtle, malty, and yeast ester-nuanced beer imported from Belgium itself. The charming congregation of flavors has come together very nicely since it's release making it a perfect candidate for further aging!

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Jeff for this one. 500ml bottle into a Westvleteren XII chalice.

Pours a .5 finger light cream colored fine head that dissipates quickly. Beer is a clear dark mahogany. Lacing is thick, layered, and stringy with good stick. Pretty nice for the style.

Nose is prunes, brown sugar, molasses and clove. A nice spiciness but a bit muted. Decent.

Opens plum, fig, and brown sugar. Slightly boozy in the middle. More dark fruit, caramel, and molasses. Coarse. Clove and other spices. End is brown sugar and a sappy sweetness. Finishes sugary with a fig and brown sugar aftertaste. Pleasant.

Medium bodied with ample carbonation. Prickly and lively in the mouth and coarse and bubbly going down. Finishes pretty clean with a light, lingering aftertaste. Real crisp but robust at the same time.

A solid beer overall but nothing that really stands out in the style. Worth trying though.

Photo of garymuchow
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice large head covers a darker body of deep reds and rather clear liquid.
Generally sweet malt aroma with some phenols and alcohol. Large head covers some of the aroma.
There we go, in the flavor - definitely a Belgian sprinted ale. Spice, alcohol, dryness, phenols, sharpness and tingly feel. Body is light enough to make it dangerously drinkable. Carbonation is a little low which aids in that too. Some nice caramel flavors.
This is good, but not great.

Photo of Jparker37
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle poured into a snifter glass.

A - Good clarity to the ruby ale. Head holds a small, light tan cap. Streaks of lacing-o-plenty.

S - Aroma picked up during the pour, this is exciting. Great bit of smooth chocolate. Raisin quality is moderate. Big banana Esters. Hidden alcohol when poured slightly below serving temp. Picking up a citrusy tartness faintly.

T - Starts out sweet and candy-like, banana peaking in. Those clear candi sugars really are the backbone. The dark feel to the raisin red fruit malt leads into a spiciness which then precedes the moderately boozy alcohol finish.

M - On the sweet side, full bodied, medium-light carbonation.

O - Tremendous looking beer has a great head and is sticky as hell. Aroma is bursting with character and dimension. I personally get a little off put by the candi sugar after a while but it's just not quite my thing. This is a Dubbel on steroids. Spiciness gives even more dimension to the flavor. Great full bodied brew that I would recommend for anyone to sip on through the course of a cool Wisconsin night.

Photo of martyl1000
4.72/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a burnt orange amber, w/ two fingers of gradient khaki head that goes nowhere, even w/ time. The aroma is somewhat tame, though instantly identifiable for the style. No, I take that back, as it warms, you get a decent hit of clove, banana taffy, and vanilla.

Definitely beats two of Unibroue's BSDA's (Maudite, Trois Pistoles) which are quite good but overwrought in one way or another, either too sweet or too rich. (I do love La Terrible, though.) The yeast-fruits in this New Glarus brew (banana, prune, fig) are perfectly attenuated by the high carbonation, keeping the whole affair light and refreshing, though the spritziness does sacrifice what might've been a creamy mouth feel.

Spicy and sweet, nutmeg, clove, banana bread, fig, and nuts. Very nice balance between stone fruits and spices.

Perhaps my favorite BSDA, along w/ La Terrible.

Photo of angrybabboon
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 9/14/13

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this rather rare beer

Appearance: Somewhere at the intersection of deep amber and reddish brown - some gold around the edges - pours with an off-white, medium head - leaves some nice streaks of lacing

Smell: Cooked and caramelized, with a big dose of Belgian yeast - caramel malts, caramel, and some darker malts - very bready - clove with a lot of banana - banana candy - dark fruits like figs

Taste: Caramelized malts and dark fruits - dark caramel and amber malts, with some straight-up caramel and malt extract - definitely bready - Belgian yeast, with a lot of clove and banana - candi sugar - some dark fruits like figs and raisins - doesn't exactly fit into a Belgian style category, but it has some charm - finishes with some booze

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nice carbonation, smooth, nice to sip

Overall: Isn't fruit the traditional 20th anniversary gift?

This is a good strong ale. But it's not exceptional. Definitely not as exceptional as many of the beers in New Glarus' lineup. Worth a try, simply because New Glarus is so good.

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear dark copper. Small wispy white head. Starts off clumpy and fluffy, but drops quickly. Some spotty lacing. Moderate to light carbonation.

Smell: Belgian yeast. A ton of banana and sweet caramel malt. Some candi sugar sweetness. Some alcohol and spicy esters. Caramel and some toffee. Peppery with some hints of dark fruit. Raisin, but sparingly. A hint of citrus from the hops. Slightly tropical at times.

Taste: Caramel malt with some cooked and caramelized sweetness. Slightly bready with a strong clean candi sugar. Soft yeasty spice with some clove. A touch of ripe banana and mango. Remarkably clean. Some grassy elements as well. Damp and earthy in small amounts. A touch of underlying funk. Light toasted element as well. Distinctly bready.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a slight light leaning. Carbonation is average. Relatively clean and smooth.

Overall: I can accept demigod tier.

A solid american-style quad. Nice balance of alcohol and sweetness. New Gladys really can't fail.

Photo of Bowers-Brew
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice dark brown color with little head. Dark red almost purple accents.

S - Very sweet smell with caramel malt notes

T - Complex is a good way to describe it. Starts out with a cherry or apple taste and finishes with caramel, malt, hops, and alcohol.

M - Very fizzy up front, but clean and smooth finish.

O - Complex and unique taste profile. It's not an every day beer, but a nice beer to sip slowly on a cool Saturday night. Cheers to the success that New Glarus Brewery very much deserves and Cheers to Dan and Deb for making it 30 years.

Photo of Sunn
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great, great take on the style. In my opinion, this is Wisconsin's answer to St. Bernardus ABT 12. And in my opinion, it's better. Every beer I've had from New Glarus has been clean, crisp, and refreshing. No matter what the style is. This beer is no exception. Dark cherries are the most prevalent flavor I pulled out of this beer, and the carbonation is absolutely perfect and really allows the flavors to pop out after every sip.

I have no idea what the ABV is for this beer is, but judging by the style I'm guessing it's quite high. I experienced absolutely NO alcohol presence in the beer whatsoever, which is what puts this above St. Bernardus for me. Also, to anyone who's lucky enough to get their hands on this beer, let it warm up before you slug it down. Normally I prefer a beer cold, no matter what the style is, but this one really shines once it's been sitting in a glass for a bit.

New Glarus is a spectacular brewery. This is a great, great beer that shouldn't be missed by anyone who's a fan of the Belgian style. Awesome stuff.

Photo of TheSSG
3.42/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice, soapy, off-white head that laces nicely. Floral hop aroma behind sweet, slightly toasted malt. Deep, burnt umber color. A medium bitterness with toasted malt behind the sweetness. Lingering bitterness over lightly toasted malt. The sweetness has a nice banana-like aspect to it.

Not bad, but not really a favorite style of mine. I feel silly rating this because I'm just not a fan of this style.

Edit: I will agree with a previous reviewer that this gets much nicer as it warms.

Photo of MasterSki
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep reddish brown. Big off white head. Great retention. Big pillow of foam.Thick collar.

Smell - Lots of different aromas. Cola, Belgiany, a touch of scotch ale, and even a bit of phenols that reminds me a bit of a weizenbock.

Taste - Sweet caramel. Belgian sweetness. Cola again, maybe that's some spiciness. Less complex, but at least it's cohesive.

Mouthfeel - Thick and sweet. Medium high carbonation.

Overall - While tasty, there's not a ton of interesting flavors about it.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

Photo of woosterbill
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle.

A: Deep reddish-brown body beneath two inches of fine, dense, pillowy tan head. Lovely, rocky retention and lots of delicate lacing. Gorgeous.

S: Classic Belgian aroma of spices and dark fruits, with a bit of toasted bread and even a hint of smokiness. Very complex and inviting.

T: Good balance of malt and yeast here, with raisins, dates, and pepper all playing major roles. Bubblegum, smoke, and clove as well. Spicy, slightly warming finish. Yeasty aftertaste. Good stuff.

M: Smooth medium body. Moderate, soft carbonation. Delicate and velvety.

O: This was a great beer, and definitely somewhere in between a Dubbel and a BSDA. Really sad I only ever found a single bottle of this during my WI trip, as I'd love to see how it ages.

Cheers!

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.64/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle opened on 7.23.13

A - Pours a opaque medium brown with a large khaki head with good retention.

S - Malty and sweet dark frutis.

T - Very sweet, raisins, plums, dates, figs. Like, really sweet.

D - Good carbonation with a medium body.

O - I like the direction here, just very, very sweet.

Photo of Vonerichs
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown opaque body. Tan head that's fluffy, great retention, and an abundance of lacing that sticks forever.

Aromas of caramel, nutty, and figs.

Heavy on the caramel and dark fruits- figs and dates. There's a nutty component and it's slightly boozy, leaving me to wonder what the abv is on it.

Moderate to heavy mouthfeel with high carbonation. Slightly bitter.

Overall, a pretty good strong ale with distinct belgian influence.

Photo of Florida9
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown in color. Not quite opaque, but not cloudy either. Forms a large, fluffy, light tan colored head. Excellent retention and an incredible amount of lacing.

S: Aroma is fairly mute. Clean. A bit of yeast, some dark malts, and some dark fruits.

T: Taste is similar to the aroma, but comes through much more clearly. Sweet dark malts, raisins, prunes, coriander, and (almost burnt) caramel. Mildly complex, though surprisingly thin on the finish.

M: On the heavier side of medium. Fairly heavy carbonation for the style. Mild bitterness. Moderate sweetness.

O: A good beer. Not incredibly complex, but enough so to be interesting. Malty, yet still rather drinkable.

Photo of emerge077
4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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.

Photo of drpimento
4.55/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very fine beer. Poured at a good temperature with a giant, light tan, foamy, frothy, sudsy head that settled a bit slow and some lace. Color is a clear brown with some amber highlights and lots large bubble trails. Aroma is first bananas, then malt and a little other fruit, yeast. Flavor is very smooth, similar to nose, nice balance between sweet, bitter, and tang. Body is perfect; full, round, yet enough edge to keep it satisfying and interesting at the same time. The finish is like all those qualities that taper off moderately. Don't know how strong it is, but seems like I could drink a load of it. Happily.

Photo of darkphx
5/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I personally have had every Trappist beer, and just recently got to try Westvleteren 12. One of my favorite biers is St. Bernardus Abt 12, and I will that New Glarus Anniversary Strong Ale is as good if not better then the other Belgian Strong Dark biers (quads) that I have tried.

I grabbed one this weekend and wasn't expecting much, since this was New Glarus' first time brewing a big beer like this. I was very surprised at how good it was. I am now on the hunt to grab several more of these to throw in my cellar. Hats off to New Glarus! Cheers!

Anniversary Strong Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 393 ratings.