25th Anniversary Ale | Goose Island Beer Co.

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25th Anniversary Ale25th Anniversary Ale

Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.40%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 05-06-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 122 | Ratings: 598
Photo of GuyFawkes
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a glass.

Murky brown-orange hue.

White head; decent lace.

Malt & sour citrus nose.

Medium thin mouthfeel.

Mild lemon & biscuit flavor. Pleasant & inoffensive; a touch boring.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The darker yellow/gold variety of color, good almost one full inch of head on the beer.

Aroma was esb. Biscuity at times.

Taste, full flavored country here, already impressed, goose island's normal esb is quite solid, this seems like 10% amped up from that. Keeps getting better downbottle. They really do esb well.

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Photo of raiderandbeerfan
3.46/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of the more dark golden colors when poured out. Standard size white head between 1/2 and 3/4".

Mild hopping in the aroma, grainy, noble hopped, tea leaves and biscuits, real mild all around.

Solidly bitter, stronger than your average for style, but a rather effort lacking drink. Citrus and floral notes are barely there. Caramel also mildly present, good integration and mouthfeel, carbonation right where you want it. Malty, but lacks the feeling of too much heft.

Relatively good and sessionable stuff. Reliable esb.

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Photo of seedyone
3.34/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

From bottle. Served a bit cold but flavors were substantial from the get go & fill out as it warms. Raisins, grass, lovely toasted malt & some oak are what I get. The balance swings, sways & teases between the bitter & the sweet. Well managed & enticing. Hope I don't have to wait until the 50th for another.

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Photo of KajII
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

[Suggested Glassware: Nonic Pint]

The pour was a cloudy medium chestnut brown with an average (1-2 finger) light cream colored rocky head that diminished at a normal pace, down to a medium wispy film and collar and had decent spotty lacing.

The aroma was a tad mild with a light bread malt, herbal hops and a sweet doughy yeast with notes of citrus (grapefruit), caramel, brown sugar, a light fruity ester and a mild nuttiness.

The taste was very similar to the aroma starting off with a light sweet maltiness along with a hint of caramel and a light fruity presence at first, then a light hoppiness crept in with a touch of citrus all leading up to a nice mildly bitter nutty finish. The flavor lingered on the taste buds for an average time following the swallow, with a bitter fruity nutty taste left behind.

Mouthfeel was a bit beyond light in body with a somewhat dry texture and an almost medium carbonation.

Overall this was a decent enough brew, with a nice fruity sweetness that eventually gives way to a mild nutty bitterness at the end. Making this a rather tasty and enjoyable drinking experience...


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Photo of CHickman
3.79/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours very cloudy orange copper color with a big creamy 2 finger light tan head that was full of bubbles of all sizes and went down very slowly, leaving really good lacing and rings as it went down.

Smells like caramel, malt, toffee, dark fruits and some herbs; the caramel and fruity sweetness basically control the aroma with a mix of fruits like an old apple or pear that was cut open and sitting on the counter for a few hours – despite the “bad” fruit analogy, the beer smell was good.

Tastes malty and bready up front, with caramel, tea leaf, toffee, floral hops, piney hops and then oaky notes that are earthy and spicy. The malt sweetness fades and trails off more spicy and bitter with the oak or woody notes almost leading to a brown sugar flavor. Each sip is a little different and as it warms it gets better and a little more complex.

Mouthfeel buttery and smooth, with very light carbonation, a medium to thick body and a finish that’s sweet like rum and also on the bitter side. The aftertaste is malty with toffee, but fades clean like a rye or dry hop cleansing.

Overall it was good and a lot more complicated that I thought it would be. Congratulations Goose Island on your 25th Anniversary, hopefully the new conglomerate involved won’t stop more beers like this from being made.

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Photo of shacawgo24
4.52/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Dark brown, like dark rum. Raisin colored. Murky and dense. Nice color gradation, the bottom body is cedar red. Manila colored head. 2 finger thick quick head. The head is thin, but lacing has good retention. A foamy skin thin top layer remains throughout.

S-Super caramel. Toffee. Dark berries perhaps. Can't name specific ones. Dark and golden raisins. Brown sugar. Damp, earthy, muddy aromas. Smells are potent, strong and alive.

T-Taste follows nose to a T. In addition to: bread, pecans, walnuts, pecan pie, burnt bread, dark rye, bourbon, sweet malt, gentle hops.

M-Low to medium body. Touch of thickness, more fluid. Low to medium carbonation. Decent gentle feelings. Spicy hops in there. Slight delicate burn. Astringency. Bitter metallic aftertaste. Some sours. I enjoy the range of feels here. Spritz-y. Negatives: the beer doesn't thin out, it's just too thin overall. If it had some chew it would rank higher for feel.

O-Very sessionable. Quality. Goose Island has mastered the English Bitter & ESB styles with ease. 25th Anniversary is another notch in the belt. I do wish the taste was more adventurous and pronounced, like the smell is. A memorable beer regardless, that could be a year round effort if Goose wanted. I would buy again. Cheers to 25 years Goose Island.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.59/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Mix a six pick up. 12/15

Pours dark amber, deep copper bronze. Heavy foam settles but rings thick. Bready nose, hints of pine. Little sweet. Taste is a layered malt with an immediate hop bitter that punches through. Rinds, grapefruits contribute. Finishes sweet. Fast close. Hop aftertaste. Like a hoppier Honkers ale.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Goose Island's 25th Anniversary Ale is brewed in the style of an Extra Special Bitter. Released in May 2013 as a one-off release, this beer was available in 6 packs and limited draft.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass. Served north of 54º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours an earthy copper-white head of a crispy froth consistency over a moderately hazy copper-orange body. Carbonation is limited and relaxed in appearance. Retention is average at best and lacing is light and speckled. 3.25

(Smell) Aromas of biscuity grain and sweet bready malts with a slight note of buttery toffee and a delicate pinch of chocolate. Hops are limited to mild earthy and herbal varieties with a slight bitterness to balance. The yeast and water profile has impacted the aroma the most with a mild fruity body and a hard water profile reminiscent of the style. Potency is medium-high. 3.75

(Taste) Bready, fluffy malt up front with hints of raisins, figs and a mild toffee sweetness. Hop presence is very mildly bitter earthy and herbaceous hops, a bit faded in presence. This is a bit fuller-flavored than my average ESB with some potential Europe-wide influences, as if the beer has qualities of both German and Belgian ales despite its classification as the English ESB. Drinkable and unique, perhaps a bit dated and or grossly impacted by yeast. Finishes with a biscuity bread malt and a side of light grain alcohol. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is very slick and smooth. Carbonation is mild, adds a touch of crispness and a pinch of froth but leaves the texture largely untouched. Body is medium+ for the style, medium+ overall. Alcohol presence is light/medium. Balance is excellent, with both sweet and bitter aspects coming through with neither overburdening the next. Finishes with a moderate dryness. Great mild carbonation and texture makes this telling as an ESB. 4

(Overall) I'd place 25th Anniversary a notch above Goose Island's year-round releases and seasonals, but certainly don't find it remarkable as a silver anniversary release. I am glad that they went with a more quaffable and lesser-brewed style stateside. A good deal more flavorful than their other English styled beers, there is a good deal of yeast and malt character that brings a lot of subtleties to the table. Wish I had had it fresher to see how the hop profile impacts, if at all. I wouldn't mind trying this again, but you only turn 25 once! 3.5

Goose Island Beer Co.'s
25th Anniversary Ale

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.96/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

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

S: The aroma contains earthy hops, caramelized malts, nuts and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out a mild caramel and citrus sweetness that is quickly extinguished and followed by breadiness from a hearty malt character. The hops presence is strong but not over-powering and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly bready.

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

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a nice flavorful beer to pound down for a long time.

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Photo of Ricochet
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Started very cluody and brown with a little lace and a bit of a head that faded. Smelled sweet and yet more like a brown. Was pretty foamy in the mouth and bitter on the tounge. The taste was more like a brown rather than a ESB.

Gave a full review but lost it. It was really tasty, but was more of a brown. The bitter was offset by sweet making a nice balance.

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Photo of Hammer35
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Opaque reddish/copper color with a pale head that doesn't stick around long and minimal lacing. Not much carbonation to be seen either.

Smell: Malty and sweet with a hint of fruit.

Taste: Similar to the aroma, but the flavor seems thin to me. Bitter finish that is a palate cleanser though.

Mouthfeel: Thin and almost watery. Very lightly carbonated.

Overall: Far from the worst beer I've ever had but there's nothing that makes this stand out to me. There's nothing particularly offensive about this, but nothing memorable either.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A decent ESB. Pours a beautiful tawny amber with a respectable off-white head that has good retention. Malt forward aroma has some barrel and caramel tones. The flavour is sweeter than I expected, but ends with a decent bitterness after the caramelized malt body. Some roasted malt and barrel elements also linger in the finish.

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Photo of jsprain1
4.11/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Copper colored. 1.5 finger white head. Decent retention and lacing.
S- Sweet malt, and citrus. Specifically candied orange. There is just a hint of cookie to it also.
T- More of the same here. A simple but tasty profile of sweet bread, cookie, and orange. I rather much like the hop profile in use here.
M- Medium-full body. Carbonation is a bit too aggressive for me in this style.
O- A good ale. Worthy of an anniversary ale. Not the best I've had from Goose Island, but a quality beer nonetheless.

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Photo of TCMike
4.19/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours, a copper/caramel color. Produced a 2 finger, off-white, head. Little lacing.

Aroma is of caramel, malts, some light citrus hops.

Taste is similar...malt forward, smooth, medium body, but a tinge hoppier than expected, (not IPA hoppy). Medium body.

Very good, and balanced. Easy drinking.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thought this a very solid beer and quite true to the style, if perhaps a tad hoppier. That being said, the types of hops used seemed not out of place, and there was a nice balance with some firm malt that turns biscuity on the finish, and a bit of copper as well. Except for the slightly amped up hops, this seems quite traditional to me otherwise and well made. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle, bottled on date of 25 APR 13. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a slightly hazy copper color with about an inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both decent. The brew smells like toasted malt, toffee, and candied oranges. The taste is similar to the aroma, but there's the addition of some herbal hop flavor. I know this brew isn't exactly fresh, but it's still tasty. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick with moderate carbonation. I think it's a good ESB. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark mahogany brown color with a full finger of off-white head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that covered the entire top of the beer in wispy clouds.

Aroma: Notes of malt and sugar dominate the aroma, with hints of orange peel and coriander.

Taste: Malty up front with some caramel highlights, finished by some nicely balanced hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium with some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 6.4% there is just the slightest hint of alcohol on the palate, but not much.

Overall: I really liked this beer, finding it to be very tasty. A solid offering from Goose Island.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.82/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle

A- Pours a clear dark copper color with an off-white head with great retention and lacing.

S- The aroma is toasted malts, sweet caramel, and some hops. Smells good!

T- The taste like the aroma is extremely balanced with an equal amount of sweet malt and hops. Very tasty!

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a great smooth quality.

O- Overall, this was an enjoyable beer that I'm glad I tried. Happy 25th Goose Island. Cheers!

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Photo of dpodratsky3
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into SA perfect pint glass

A: Slight chill haze, golden amber with hints of ruby, nice color, decent clarity, mediocre white head that fades to just around the edges

S: Very heavy on the crystal malt, smells like a sweet glass of syrupy toffee, I'm not crazy about sweet beers but I don't mind the aroma, as long as the taste isn't as strong, we shall see...

T: Not quite the balance I like in ESB's, while its not cloying, it is on the sweeter side, bitterness is there just not too strong, hops blend perfectly with the crystal malt, giving a nice herbal, floral english note, however, like I said, could use a bit more IBU's or a little less sweetness

M: Easy to drink with a dry mouthfeel, not puckering, but enough to easily makeup for the sweetness which is much needed

O: Overall, this beer is very good. I did mark it down a bit on taste and smell for being a tad sweet. However, this is only style wise. On pure enjoyment I really like this beer. That is why I gave it such a high overall. It is somehow greater than the sum of its parts if you aren't sitting there with a microscope. Go drink one!

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.52/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This comes off as a decent esb. Kind of one-dimensional really with a nice enough bitter tone, but no real defining character that really sets it apart from other beers in its style class. The carbonation is a bit high too. I feel like I want this to be smooth as if it were coming off a cask.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.82/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, darker orange amber colored with a large off white head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: nice pine hope mixed with a substantial malt presence, caramel

T: British hops, earthy and robust, middle is sweet malt, good balance between malt and hops

M: medium to full with lower carbonation

O: good English style bitter

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Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Slightly hazy, orange-amber, with a half-finger of golden head.

S: Hops aromas dominate -- Grapefruit, other citrus, and floral. There is a little toasty grain as well, but I had to pay attention to detect it. I hope this isn't one of those beers that's over-hopped to cover over a second-rate product.

T: The malt is more bready than sweet, and quickly is taken over by tart, fruity flavors. The hops dominates from the middle to the end, first citrusy, then perfumy, and finally soapy. And yet, it isn't overpowering in a bad way.

M: A little thin, with moderate carbonation. Finish has a faint touch of dryness.

O: A sessionable bitter in the English style, heavier on the nose than in the mouth. Not outstanding, but decent enough to have another, especially with a beef stew or fish & chips.

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Photo of arizcards
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a single from Total Wine in mid-August for $1.49. Bottled on 5-29-13.

Beer poured amber with a decent white head that is leaving some lacing behind.

Nose is dominated by citrus.

Taste is well balanced between caramel malts and citrus hops.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and decently carbonated.

Overall this is a very likable brew...definitely worth a shot.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.59/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Amber colored with a 1/2-finger head
S: Fairly balanced, malt/biscuit lead with pine/citrus hops underneath
T: Mostly matches the smell, nothing bad but nothing notable
M: Medium-bodied, crisp
O: A decent brew, no flaws & worth a try but nothing memorable, especially for a special anniversary brew from a notable brewery

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25th Anniversary Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
3.74 out of 5 based on 598 ratings.
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