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 atr2605
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a nice red copper color with an off white head with decent retention
S-nice hop presence mixed with a malty biscuit aroma
T-nice hop bite mixes with a sweet malt flavor and finishes dry and leaves biscuit flavor on the palate
M-medium bodied
O-decent brew, didn't blow me away but very sessionable

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with bottled on date May 14, 2013, which was coincidentally my 25th birthday. Bottleneck says Established May 13, 1988, so I guess this brewery is a day older than me. I'll take that as a sign that means I should drink this bottle *now*. My first ESB from Goose Island.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter glass.

A - Pours a nice coppery amber color with about a finger and a half of khaki head. Some nice streaks of lacing.

S - Smells of bready caramelized malts, dirty twiggy earthiness, and just a hint of pine / citric hop presence.

T - Taste is sweet, bready, and caramelized. Bitter earthy twiggy hops to keep things in check. Hint of vanilla / oak wood.

M - Smooth, creamy, crisp, bready. Lots of caramelized malt sweetness, some sugary green apple skin & hop bitterness lingering on the palate. Semi-dry finish.

Overall, a satisfying 25th anniversary beer for both Goose Island and myself. A nicely made traditional ESB with a sessionable drinkable 6.40% abv. I got this bottle as a single in a mixed six pack, but I would drink it again. Seek it out if it is available to you.

Goose Island 25th Anniversary Ale ---3.5/5

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
2.64/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Bilco for the bottle.

Appearance: Tiny white head drops to a spotty cap in short order. Some splotches of thin lacing. Moderate carbonation on the pour. A nice mostly clear copper. Looks on point.

Smell: Slightly sweet hyper bready malts. Some caramel malt sweetness coupled with caramelized malt sugar. A slight mineral backing with a mildly earthy and herbal hop profile. A touch of apple skin and flesh. Vague almost spiciness. Clean and easy.

Taste: A lot more apple than the nose indicated. Apple core and skin. Some malt sweetness pushes caramel and slightly toasted bread. Some earthy and herbal hops compliment the sweet profile. Toasted and dirty. Warming pushes a slightly metallic taste over the apple. Clean yeast finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a moderate carbonation. Clean and a bit crisp.

Overall: But the island isn't the UK.

A decent take on the style. A bit too sweet with some off flavors, but it's not bad. I'd drink it again if offered one, but I wouldn't pick it up.

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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 soju6
3.71/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear dark copper color with a decent head that fades to nice lacing.

S: Aroma of malt, fruit, a bit floral with just a it of citrus.

T: Taste follows with roasted malt, fruit and some grain. Mild bitterness and the finish is quite dry.

F: Fairly medium body, crisp and quite smooth with a grainy touch.

O: Pleasant beer for the style, but I do favor their Harvest Ale to this one.

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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 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 macrosmatic
4.14/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Weyerbacher pint glass.

A: Pours a clear brownish bronze, low visible carbonation and a finger's worth of white head.

S: Bitter hops (grapefruit rind and resin), bready brown malts, light caramel and toffee sweetness.

T: Follows the nose in notes, although more caramel flavor; but this stops short of being overwhelming and submits to the toasted toffee flavor and the bitter citrus, pine, mild tropical fruit and grassy hops. Malt sweetness and hop bitterness reach an amicable balance on the hang.

M: Medium weight to the body but it's a lighter mouthfeel than the appearance would suggest. Good carbonation sensation, and the alcohol presence is noticeable but not overwhelming.

O: This is a solid ESB, and it's disappearing from my glass pretty quickly. Recommended to try while you can find it.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.17/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Classic malt and english hop nose. Spicy, earthy, nutty and crunchy. Seems just like I like it.
Rather large head that was also loud and fizzy as pouring. Classic amber and semi-clear. Seems right on target.
Apparent bitterness, but not to excess. Nice english hop flavors and noticeable malt that rounds off the flavors quite nicely.
A tad light and a bit carbonated for my tastes.
Such an easy drinking beer. Goes down smoothly and with lots of interesting and enjoyable flavors. Well done and enjoyable 25th anniversary beer. Congrats to Goose Island.

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Photo of MistahBeah
3.31/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Clear red amber. Lots of carbonation. Filmy off-white head without much retention

Aroma is biscuity and sweet caramel malts. Slightly metallic (copper). Earthy herbal hops. Maybe some tea leaves

Taste follows the nose. Biscuity and bready. Copper shows up. Slightly bitter floral and herbal hop character. Caramel sweetness

Feels clean and slightly crisp. Medium bodied

Overall decent but I enjoyed the honker's ale better. Wouldn't go out of my way to revisit

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Got this at the Blue Dog and it was pretty good.
It had a smaller dense head over an amber ale. Lots of lacing from the long lasting head.
Light carbs were present and the beer had a slightly hazy clarity.
Aroma was mostly malts perhaps a tich of fruits. I could smell faint hops.
Taste was malty and good. Malts had a toasted taste and hints of fruits. Hops were lean and semi bitter. I noticed some diaceyl in the aftertaste which was strong.
This beer was good but had to much diaceyl.

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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 matjack85
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I found this at the Binny's store in Bloomingdale, IL. Got it as part of a build-your own six pack for $9.99, so $1.67 for a single 12oz bottle. Bottled on date of 5/5/13 on the back label.

The beer poured a mostly clear iced tea color with a 1½-finger white head that had decent retention and incredible lacing.

The aroma was weak, but what there was of it seemed like toasted malt, floral hops, and a bit of fruit.

Nice balance here between malt and hops. It's really not very bitter at all. Toasty breaded malt combines with herbal hops and a bit of orange peel. Not sweet, not bitter, but it is dry.

Smooth and creamy with medium body and low carbonation.

Very drinkable, but no "wow" factor.

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Photo of scotorum
4.28/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Harpoon tumbler.

a: Deep clear amber formed an inch thick tan head which dissipated to surface foam and some lacing.

s: Light malt.

t: A malty ESB delight. Malt balanced by hops just enough without overwhelming the dominant caramel maltiness,

m: Medium and smooth. Substantial.

o: Though perhaps a tad sweeter than other ESBs, this is one of the best I've had, reminiscent of some of the best of the many pints I've tipped in the UK in my travels there over the years. I'll be looking for more of this.

On reviewing the GI beer list, I see four or five other ESBs, including "Harvest Ale" and several which were probably issued only once. I'll be on the lookout for Harvest.

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Photo of ikenney87
3.69/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Still plenty of six packs left in ND. $6.99 a piece.

I've enjoyed plenty of these over the spring and summer. What I like most about it is its "english-ness". I've never been to england, but I can imagine myself drinking room temp pints of this beer at a rustic rural english country pub all day long. It's a great ale showcasing plenty of spicy, earthy, herbal hops with just enough sweet, nutty, dark caramel malts to make it interesting. If you want a lesson on english hop aroma and taste, this is your beer. I also like the bittersweet cocoa powder notes that the malts provide.

Overall a great bitter that pairs well with a Sherlock Holmes book or movie.

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Photo of TastyAdventure
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A - nice full 2 finger frothy head. Clear copper body.

S - smells like a delicious, moderately hopped session ale.

T - Fresh hops, distinguish themselves through mild weed and stronger grapefruit flavors. Definitely a main contributor to the taste but not overpowering. Hops lay on top of a solid malt base that has a good sweetness that tastes almost caramel like. Some fruitiness come through, i want to say pear? no, something i cant put my finger on.

M - nice.

Overall: If i imagine myself in the old times going into a popular brewpub in England, or maybe the US northeast, sitting down and ordering the house session ale (ignore ABV) , this would be it. The perfect, tasty drink for a long night of good times. Well done, the best ESB I've had. Make this more than an Anniversary Ale!

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Photo of schoolboy
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Goose Island has put out a nice ESB for their 25th anniversary. They should keep this one in the line up for good.

I opened it and didn't know what style it was supposed to b e but the appearance and smell made it fairly obvious (the taste is the final answer). As an ESB, this has a beautiful appearance. A pretty dark golden color with crazy amounts of lacing in the glass. Very nice. The aroma is OK, about what you expect. The taste is similarly right what you expect for the style.

The aftertaste is a near perfect mouthful of bitterness that slowly fades off the tongue.

This is a good recipe and they should continue to make this nice ESB.

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Photo of Zraly
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Copper in color, much like a slightly worn penny. Off-white head that is fluffy and accentuates the clarity and color. Beautiful lacing. Very striking in appearance; one of the nicer beers I've poured in some time. Smell of grains and earthy hops.

The key word for this beer is balance and thus, I'd have to say this falls very true to style. Not too malty and not too bitter. A hint of fruit and lots of grain pulls through a smooth hop bitterness. Husky at first, but very mellow in the finish. A touch of brown sugar finds its way to the forefront here and there. Medium-bodied. Small hints of alcohol, which are a bit off the map for style, but in no way impedes the general drinkability.

A good ESB that would go well with most pub grub. I can even see it working with with a nice strip steak served with carmelized onions.

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

People are being ridiculously harsh to this awesome beer.

Served in a DFH ultra ultra cool glass.

A: Poured pretty much clear as a bell, gold in color, and with a nice frothy white head that stained the glass on the way down.

S: Didn't smell like an ESB. More like a hoppy pils or something. Pretty fruity actually, with some spice in there as well.

T: First thing I noticed was a bitter, slightly boozy burn on the back of the throat as the brew went down. Lots of citrus in here actually, considering the style.

M: Carbonation was fine and lacing ridiculous.

O: Much, much, much better than anticipated.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Sampling right now on 8/9/13. Chilled down to 36 degrees in my beer cooler. Pours a dark golden/brown in color with almost a 2-finger off white head that leaves LOTS of lacing with each sip. The aroma is of hops and grains. The taste is about the same with a hint of caramel but leaves a slight bitter finish that stays around for a while. Overall it wasn't too bad but glad I just bought a single bottle with a "make your own 6-pack".

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Photo of 57md
3.79/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a striking copper with two fingers of off-white head. The head retains for a good period and leaves some nice lacing in its wake. The nose is modestly hoppy. The taste is light for a top-tier ESB, but still possesses a solid caramel malt flavor. There is a pleasant hop bitterness on the finish.

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Photo of larryarms847
3/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a rusty dark golden yellow with a half finger of off-white foam.

Bready, caramel, toast, rather bland.

Flavor identical to aroma, slight caramel note, but aside from that just straight bready and toast like malt flavor with a slightly herbal/tea note.

Light-bodied, low carbonation, bitter.

Overall, not good.

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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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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 VanBeer
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I liked the beer. Its so seldom I get them anymore that its hard to rate because my baseline is diminished. It's not Fullers, but its a pretty good style representation. The body is there and the taste is good. It doesn't overwhelm even at 6.4% ABV

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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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