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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Reviews: 121 | Ratings: 597
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.37/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottled 5/29/13.

Pours a clear copper with a foamy beige head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. A foamy curtain of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus, and spicy hop aromas. Taste is much the same with orange juice and spicy hop 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 an above average beer with a nice smell but the flavors are clashing with one another in my opinion.

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Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is slightly hazy amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface, a collar around the edge of the glass, and lots of lacing down the sides.
S: Moderate aromas of biscuit and toasted malts are present in the nose along with notes of herbal hops.
T: The taste follows the smell but seems a little more complex with hints of brown sugar and caramel sweetness, earthy and fruity yeast,and toffee along with a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has a good balance between the malts and hops and isn't too difficult to drink considering that it is an "Imperial" ESB and rather fuller in body compared to other beers in the style.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

If Extra Special is good, then more Extra Special has to be better- right? That's what the brewers at Goose Island have in mind going into the beer that is to capture the essence of their 25th year. It's the tried and true Honker's Ale, but more of it!

Caramel in color, the beer looks like dense honey as it slowly releases an ivory froth to cap the beer. Its strong retention retains its bead on the glass until the last sip, all the while speckling the glass with lace.

Malty-rich aromas are full of caramel, bread crust, pecan-type nuttiness and a decoration of fruit- apples, orange, and a tinge of earthy fig. And then there's the counter from earthy and spicy English-type hops with notes of wood, grass, and even citrus.

Substantially malty in taste, the sweetness of caramel, light toffee, nutty and woody character dominate the early palate. But a slow and deliberate fade during the middle palate leads to a transition to a lightly floral and spicy wood taste that balances the malts perfectly. And as the taste concludes, the taste trends bitter with the hop development of woody pine, fresh cut grass, mild citrus and wood spice. It's a broad and earthy bitterness also allows for an undercurrent of malt in support.

Medium bodied, the ale does carry an added weight that's odd for British Bitters. But this heartier and breadier texture remains creamy and pleasantly weighted. As the beer carries across the palate, it dries slowly and evenly and ends warm, spicy, and balanced.

There's a pleasant nature about this 25th Anniversary Ale- in that it pays homage to the roots of the brands, but it does leave the inner enthusiast in me wanting more- much, much more. When celebrating a milestone such as this- a tame beer is somewhat deflating.

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Photo of brentk56
3.79/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a brilliantly clear copper color with a modest head; decent lacing action, however

Smell: Caramel, rotting fruit and tobacco

Taste: The tobacco tones really dominate from the outset, buttressed by the caramel and stone fruit flavors underneath; earthy hops add bitterness, after the swallow, though there is a residual caramel sweetness that lingers in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Well-constructed but far from my favorite GI beer

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Photo of oberon
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on May 29 2013.Wow GI has been around for twenty five years,that's a long time.Poured into a nonic a deep clear copper/bronze with a nice lacey slightly off white head,great rich clarity ro the color.Fruitiness and caramel biscuit malts are mild but stand out most in the nose.Very English in style on the palate with big fruitiness and bready tones,the hops are subdued providing some leafiness in the finish.It's a little bigger than most of the style but it's pretty good,would like to have on the hand pump.

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Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 5/10/2013. Pours slightly hazy orange copper color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense cream colored head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, orange, grapefruit, toast, bread, floral, grass, light pine, light nuttiness, and light yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of malt and hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, toast, biscuit, orange, grapefruit, apple, brown sugar, floral, grass, light nuttiness, and light yeast earthiness. Minimal earthy floral bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, biscuit, citrus, apple, brown sugar, floral, and light nuttiness on the finish for a bit. Very nice clean and balanced taste of malt, hop, and fruity flavors; with good robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied; with a slightly creamy, smooth, and lightly crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice ESB style! All around nice balance of malt and hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Bottled On Date: 29MAY13.

Appearance: Pours a dark coppery body with a thin, whitish head and excellent clarity. Rather minimal lacing.

Smell: Lightly toasty, biscuity malts with an edge of sweetness to it. Slight nuttiness. Hops present notes of dried herb, peppery spice, dried citrus peel.

Taste: Toasted biscuits flecked with some light roastiness and a sweetness of brown sugar and toffee. Herbal, somewhat spicy, faintly citrusy, floral, soapy hops. Medium-plus bitterness. A little nuttiness, a little caramel pulls out on the back half, but the flavor is primarily the varied hop tastes. Drying, black tea with a few drops of lemon on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Just a skosh above medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Fair enough. An American-born brew that really pushes on the limits of an ESB that gives a nod to the original.

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Photo of chinchill
3.81/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, bottled on 24 april 2013, served in a snifter.

Cloudy, amber-brown with a tan head. Head has limited retention and leaves average lacing.
The appealing, malt-dominated aroma is perhaps a bit faint but has nice hints of dates and vague dark fruits.
Adequately flavorful for style, with a mix of sweet and roasted malts, some fruitiness (again, some dates), and a very mild bitterness. A touch of smoke in the aftertaste.

Exceptional feel, particularly in the markedly dry finish; Medium-light body. Good carbonation.

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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 russpowell
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had this on draft thought it was little better, but wasn't taking notes. Bottled on 29 May 13

Pours an effervescent copper with 3 fingers of sand colored head. Stellar lacing & head retention

S: Caramel, bready notes, a bit of tangerine & a little bit of pine

T: Follows the nose, plus dryness & pears up front. Caramel, a touch of dryness & woody hops as this warms along with a little pear & white grape, & a kiss of pink grapefruit. Finishes with much citrus, some dryness, a touch of pear & woody dryness

MF: Medium bodied, a bit sticky even, slight carbonation, nice balance

Super drinkability, some American slant on the style. Draft version had more malt backbone/balance

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.94/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Local Option cervoise.

For a second there, Rock-a-Doodle was playing on the TV in front of us. It was weird, but sorta awesome. Then it was silenced in favor of some Holy Grail action. Fair enough. Anyway, this stuff pours a clear amber topped by over a finger of cream foam. The nose comprises soft toffee, flowers, and light greens. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a contingent of grass. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, this stuff is a pretty damn solid American ESB, one that kinda makes me wish that it takes the place of the usual Honkers...

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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 smakawhat
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Dark brown to copper amber body, very clear, with some slow rising thin carbonation in the middle. Head makes a fluffy light tan three fingers and settles into a one finger cap very nicely.

Good nose, but some faint cinnamon toast like qualities. Good sense of light brown sugar and borderline charring malts with the toasty sense also. Good crispness to this.

Palate comes with a full coating mouthfeel. Flavors hinted on the nose are present of toasty cinnamon and malts but a bit tuned down. Fruity ester quality not so noticeable, but a good leafy hop bitterness finishes on the swallow. Almost crackery dry with a flowery bitter hop quality and more hop pronouncement than usual ESBs. As the beer warms the sugars get more pronounced and bring the flavors more forward making it much more enjoyable to drink. Some sticky yeast and caramel also.

Overall a solid fun ESB from the Goose. Hopefully another 25 more years still in the tank.

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Photo of Billolick
3.89/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on dating: 24 APR 13

12 ounce bottle. Pours darker amber, darker tan head.

Rich malty nose, rich malty brew. Vanilla, caramel, a hint of chocolate and more malty goodness.

Full flavor malt bomb...in a good way.

Congrats G.I., here's to 25 more years

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Photo of Tone
3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, copper color. 5/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of citrus hops, sweet malt, pine, hint of alcohol, and a hint of caramel malt. Fits the style of an ESB. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of pine, citrus hops, sweet malt, caramel malt, hint of roasted malt, and a hint of alcohol. Overall, good appearance, feel, and blend.

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Photo of Gavage
3.71/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours an amber color with a 1/2" head.

Smell: caramel, fruit sweetness, and some orange tones come through to the nose.

Taste: caramel, orange, red apples, red plums, some toffee, and a mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp throughout. Short lasting aftertaste.

Overall: an easy drinking ESB. Nice flavors and can be a sessionable beer. Worthy of a try.

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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 rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a Nonic)
A- This beer pours a crystal clear slightly garnet-brown body with a thin film of sticky beige foam and a few random microbubbles working to the surface.

S- The clean slightly brassy malt hint with some stronger mineral water aromas covering in the finish.

T- The slight brassy quality leads to a bitey field greens bite in the finish. A hint of woody malt flavor comes through as the beer opens.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a gentle little fizz that grows as the beer opens.

O- This is a very light beer with odd flavors and only a hint of malt with much more bitterness.

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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 barczar
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliant amber with a foamy half inch khaki head that dissipates somewhat quickly, leaving modest lacing.

Toasted nutty malt and a bit of a fruity amber malt character form the initial aroma. Slightly sweet caramel and floral notes emerge.

Flavor reveals herbal, tea-like hops initially, which carry throughout. There's an underlying vinous character that distracts slightly from the toasted, nutty caramel malt backbone. As it warms, the vinous character becomes somewhat citrusy. The finish is a tad bitter.

Body is a touch heavy, with carbonation on the high side.

Very herbal, not overly bitter. The citrusy character is offputting.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.91/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I believe I got this from my last order from Halftime beverages. Into a pint glass.

A - Nice clear dark caramel brow with a 1/4 inch of sticky off white head.
S - Clean tea profile with moderate piney hops and a touch of biscuit goodness. Smell is strong with this one.
T - Herbal hops and biscuit malts leading, lea leaf malts are kind of subdued but balanced and somewhat dry. Overall body is clean tasting with no noticeable ABV, great imperial ESB.
M - Medium bodied. somewhat chewy but overall smooth

My verdict this is one of the better ESB's I have had lately. Would buy it again but alas its brewed only once.

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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 sweemzander
3.03/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

(A)- Pours a pale caramel colored amber. Produced some nice white froth and lacing. Decent retention.

(S)- Plenty of resin driven pine. Quite dry with subtle muddled citrus.

(T)- Similar to the smell. Mostly a caramel malt-like sweetness amidst some dry and resin-like pine.

(M)- A good carbonation level. The balance is fine, but it really ends up tasting and feeling a tad thin and bland with not alot going on, even for the style.

(O)- Not bad, but a bit underwhelming for an anniversary beer to celebrate 25years with.

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Photo of tigg924
3.02/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, moderate carbonation, gold in color, cloudy, sediment

Smell: citrus hops, caramel, and woodsy hops

Taste: citrus hops, caramel, and woodsy hops

Mouthfeel: sweetish start with a bitter with a stronger bitter aftertaste, light body, medium carbonation, dry

Overall: To me this is very much middle of the road for the style for the beers that I have had. Not bad, not overly memorable..I think I will pass in the future.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured out at the first half of the summer concert in the park in Fallon. Came across as a dark golden color, small 1/2" white head on it.

Aroma was grainy and mildly hopped, like nobles. Tea leaves, mild biscuity aromas waft, but aren't the beer's strong suit.

Taste, good bitterness, a little stronger than usual for style, but still drinks pretty effortlessly. Some nice citrusy floral notes that are perfectly minimalistic but yet present. Caramel in a small amount in the mouthfeel, great integration. Carbonation spot on. Malty, but not heavy.

Good, relatively sessionable stuff. When you want something not as hoppy, not heavy, but not aal either. Good call.

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25th Anniversary Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
3.74 out of 5 based on 597 ratings.
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