Twentieth Anniversary Ale | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Twentieth Anniversary AleTwentieth Anniversary Ale
Very Good
38 Ratings
Twentieth Anniversary AleTwentieth Anniversary Ale

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by phisig137 on 06-23-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 38 |  Reviews: 26
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this twice in the last few months... Reviewed from 2 sets of notes!! inflatablechair and reinheitsgematt provided these.. Thanks Sam and Matt.

Foamy white head... drops leaving no real lace despite good carbonation .. very clear golden.

Nose immediately makes me think "Belgian", but the flavor not quite so much.

Phenolic... and a weird floral component that makes me think of orange blossum honey essence with something else verging on medicinal.

BSPA phenols are still pretty prevalent but a sweetness that verges on cloying pummels it readily... I kept asking what "agave" tastes like and only got the tequila reference. green apples and mild apricot.. oaky vanilla.. mildly tannic... pretty boozy...

I am still not sure what I think of this one... I was truly puzzled the first time... only slightly less the second time... I would like a bottle to cellar and see how it develops with a couple of years.

Sam says only about a case of these made it to Boise and even then, they all went to people in the biz... glad I have a couple of friends in the biz.. Thanks fellas.


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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from 2/2011 notes. Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours a medium orange amber with lively carbonation. Modest white head and nice lacing. Sweet, light fruit aroma. Sweet fruit flavor similar to apples, interesting fruit combination; a flavor I can't place must be the agave. Finish is somewhat astringent and phenolic. A very interesting ale and obviously well made, but although I liked the start and middle, the finish was bit off-putting for me. Glad I tried it.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is a very interesting beer that borders the line of beer and cider and really pushes the boudries of what can be brewed.

the pour is a nice solid amber with a nice hue of golden edges that really seem to shine. but the aroma has a massive apple not with touches of cinnamon and rich notes of spice. coming through clearly now it is amazing the amount of depth the flavor that has been put into this. juicy and sweet with a wonderful finish that was both smooth, sweet and lightly tart.

overall I am not sure what this is, but it was damn good.

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Photo of im4beer
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of ChrisPro
3.51/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle tasted on 12/30/09 purchased from the brewery in July.

Pours clear gold with bubbly white head that fades quickly like champagne or a soda. Beautiful effervescence emanating from the bottom of the glass. Aroma of apple with a little bread and only a touch of oak. Taste is a mild sweetness and tart apple, but lots of booze. This was incredibly dry like champagne with a dry oak finish and just a hint of agave at the back of the throat. Overall one of the most unique beverages I have ever tried and it simply didn't taste like beer.

If you would've served it in a tulip and gave it too me blind, i'd put money that it was champagne. In addition, the dry mouthfeel and complexity of the brew seem like a great background for a sour. I'd LOVE to see this recipe tried again and then soured. Twentififth anniversary?

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired from jayi so a big “Thank You” goes out to her. Poured from a caged & corked 500ml bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a light amber color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains a strong oak-aging essence along with caramelized malts, fruit and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of fruit, caramel and vanilla followed by the flavor of oak-aging. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and there’s a mild but complementary hops presence creating a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down dangerously easily, not too filling, very strong kick, agave nectar and oak-aging aren’t typically two things that you find together and then cellaring such a beer until it’s around 5 years-old might sound like a potential disaster but this beer is well-worth sipping on for a long time.

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Photo of Ghenna
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased last year, smaller corked and caged bottle.

Nice golden color with a tinge of amber. Minimal head, but very vigorous stream of bubbles coming off the etched hop in the bottom of my glass.

Smell is sweet, and it almost seems like its nose reminds me of hard apple cider. Pleasant apple tartness on the nose as well.

Flavor is not at all what I expected given the nose. Nice sweet flavors, lots of caramel, vanilla, a bit of spice. No real hoppiness that I can detect, though it isn't cloyingly sweet either. Mouthfeel is fairly creamy, and there is a faint alcohol warmth as you swallow. Bit of that cidery-ness in the after taste.

A pretty different type of beer, but not bad. Kudos to NCB for trying something different here in Northern California, where we have plenty of quality beers but there isn't a whole lot of diversity (at least not as much in 2008). I've got another bottle I may age out another 5 years and see how it changes.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Lunch for the pleasure of trying this one. Even better was watching Paul drink this from the official goblet. Glassware aficionado, he is. Mine served in a plain snifter. Quite shameful.

Pours a moderate golden color with a quarter-finger head that falls quickly without really leaving much of anything behind. The nose brings forward a peanut character. Reminds me a bit of peanut brittle, or the solid portion of separated peanut butter. A bit of fruit there as well and some mild booze.

The flavor is much the same. Some peanut character as well as grainy sweetness. There's a bit of alcohol in there as well. A bit of very milk vanilla character makes its way in toward the end. Mouthfeel is medium with pretty good carbonation. Not a bad beer, but I generally expect quite a bit more from North Coast. Glad to have been able to try this. Thanks again, Paui.

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Photo of RustyDiamond
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"67% ale brewed with agave nectar and aged in oak barrels, 33% ale brewed with agave nectar."

Opaque yellow with white 1/4" that quickly dissipates. Very surprising look.

Applejuice aroma, fungal, honeysuckle.

Touch of the sweet up front, apple & pear but not sweet. Dry and woody in the mouth, then touch of fruit again. Fragrant oak feel. Alcohol surprisingly hidden.

Never tasted anything quite like this.

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Photo of Deuane
4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ffejherb for muling a bottle of this one back from northern California.

A-Brilliant, golden kissed copper with a thin off-white head that fades to a thin ring of retention and leaves spotty lace.

S-Spicy green apple with a light touch of alcohol burn. Light honey sweetness in the background. Tequila like notes emerge with a little warming.

T-Quite mead like with spicy honey up front with underlying pear and apple notes supporting. A rather surprisingly dry finish. Very complex and highly interesting.

M-Medium bodied and very smooth. Lingering spiciness adds a light sharpness to accent the astringency in the finish.

D-Very interesting stuff. I commend NCB for taking on such a different and challenging brew for such an important anniversary beer. Very non-beer like in character, more like an Agave mead! Different, but well done, stuff for sure!

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Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, golden-orange color with a small, thin, bubbly head of white foam. It left soapy sheets of lace.

S - It smelled boozy with a strong dose of sweet, sweet caramel. Notes of toffee were present with a mild floral nose, too.

T - It tasted sweet and malty. There was a very sweet caramel and toffee flavor with a boozy alcohol presence.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a slightly sticky feel. A medium to full bodied beer with a strong alcohol warmth.

D - This was a tasty brew but too sweet to drink alot of it.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.12/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle in Portsmouth snifter. Purchased at the brewery.

A: Pours a deep apple juice golden with a finger of white head that faded into nothingness and left no lace.
S: Smells like apple cider, ambiguous spices, and alcohol vapor.
T: Strange and boozy with flavors of butterscotch, toffee, golden fruits and hops in the finish. I get some medicinal notes as well. Very strange and unique.
M: Super boozy feeling with a thin body. Slick, syrupy mouthfeel and low carbonation.
O: This was one weird tasting brew, and I’m not sure I like it. The flavors were pretty hard to pin down. Too much medicine, toffee and alcohol.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of srandycarter
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Murky light copper. Not much near white head, leaves to ring fast. Not much lace.

S - Apricot and sugar. Big time mead smell!

T - Taste exactly like mead! A little bread in there, but mostly mead.

M - Medium to light body, good carb, fair balance.

D - Weird beer. It takes all kinds!

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Photo of dalepryor
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of BeerManDan
5/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely out of this world on the color, the aroma and flavor. This will be one of my favorites this year.

When poured, the color was a medium yellow in color with nice tight white foam. The smell was heavenly. A nicely balance of fruit, spices and load of other goodies.

The taste was, again heavenly. Smooth, mild a nicely balance of fruit, spices, soft hops and malts. Also a touch of yeast and god knowns what else.

This has to be, as of now, one of the best strong ales, if not the best, that North Coast has ever produced. I am so happy that I visited Fort Bragg so I could purchase this very fine strong ale. I am seriously thinking about making a special trip back to Fort Bragg to buy some more. WARNING, $20.00 for 750 ml, but well worth it!

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Photo of phisig137
4.24/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The corked and cage was brought to me directly from the brewery by a couple of friends. It indicated that the beer was brewed to celebrate the 20th anniversay of North Coast, with the dates 1988-2008 on the label. The side tells me that it is an ale brewed with agave nectar, 67% of which was aged in oak, 33% not aged in oak.

A- Crystal clear 18 karat gold color pours with a 2 finger head. Decent retention falls fairly slowly, leaving absolutely nothing behind. Swirling the glass reveals an almost soda like carbonation.

S- Spicy phenolic and estery Belgian yeast strain is abundant on the nose, reminiscent of a spicy if not sweet triple. Burnt sugar and dark caramel aromas are also present in the back, along with a twinge of alcohol. Very intriguing.

F- Loads of spicy phenols hit right up front on your tongue. Quickly following behind is a wave of light fruits, mostly over ripe tart apples, poached pears, apricot, and a hint of banana. Finish is malty and the esters linger on your tongue for a long time, leaving a pleasant fruitiness behind. Mild vanilla flavor is present but works very well with the other flavors from from to back. The agave is noticeable on the mid palate to the finish, but is a well integrated background not. The yeast in this is absolutely fantastic though.... a show stopper that I wish was available from white labs.

M- Carbonation is aggressive at first, but dissipates quickly. Medium body, but coating.

D- Quite nice. Each sip begs for another, and the alcohol is very well hidden aside from the aroma. Slight warming after ~1/2 a bottle.

Overall, this beer, just like all the others from North Coast, is fantastic. Extremely well crafted, well balanced, and immensely drinkable. The bottle didn't explicitly say, but I would assume that this is a Belgian triple with Agave added.... and a damn fine one at that. Due to the agave addition, I classified this one as an American Strong. I just wish I had another bottle....

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Photo of eawolff99
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of callmemickey
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Light golden-straw body. Large fizzy head. Little retention, but spotty lacing left behind.

S: Oak earthyness. Green apple and agave rest on top of a boozy lemon citrus yeastyness. Really bizarre, but somewhat inviting.

T: Much like the nose... agave and green apple really pop out. Slightly tart, but without a real strong sour component that I would have expected. Booze is present throughout. Light yeast spicyness. Oak is present from start to finish.

M: Dry and a tad over carbonated. Tart, but as mentioned above lacking sourness or acidity. Crisp finish.

D: An interesting brew. The three of us at the tasting kicked around the idea of this beer being aged with brett/lacto and really sour'ed out. Would probably do wonders for both the taste and mouth. It certainly would accentuate the interesting and unique flavors of the agave.

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Photo of sholland119
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of PacNWDad
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of tpd975
4.67/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ratebeer Winter Gathering. Thanks markwise.

A: Pours a nice golden hue with a nice white head. Zero retention or lace.

S: Wonderful sweet malty aromas. Lots of candy malts with notes of sweet fruits and agave. Very mild woody notes with just a touch of citrus.

T: Very much like the aroma. Sweet and fruity for sure with the agave adding a wonderful flavor that just brings everything together. The wood is there but very subtle. Mild vanilla notes as well. Light citrus and orange zest on the back end gives the a touch of tart bitterness. Love this one.

M: Medium in body, smooth, like velvet in your mouth.

D: Very well done and tasty as hell. Did not know this one even existed when it was opened. After it was finished it is now one I will not soon forget. Get it if you can.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.08/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Lunch recently, this beer was a HUGE let down to everyone that tried it. A big big disappointment.

Beer is yellow and clear with a white head, decent and moderately carbonated. Head has some staying power but falls away leaving lacing on the glass. Looks good.

The aroma is sweet with a little spice and some alcohol.

Doesn't really taste like beer. Tastes almost like nothing. Shockingly thin, almost cidery in the flavor. I'm really let down by this. A lot.

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Twentieth Anniversary Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 38 ratings