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: 122 | Ratings: 598
Photo of Drew966
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Goose Island 25th Anniversary Ale pours a copper color with an off white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. There is a citrusy hop aroma. The flavor is citrusy hops up front with a toasted malt backbone that sneaks in toward the end. The body seems a bit on the thin side. Not bad, I like it.

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Photo of Clydesdale
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a lightly hazy copper color. The medium-sized head has a light copper tint and a somewhat frothy texture. Retention is above average, and some nice concentric rings of lacing stick to the glass.

S: A fair dose of caramel malt aroma. Light toastiness. Hop aromas are equal parts fruity, citric, and leafy, lending a vibrant note to the nose. Perhaps some faint nuttiness.

T: Nice notes of caramel sweetness and toasted malt up front. Light biscuity notes. Hop flavors are primarily fruity and leafy, with a bit of American citrus character to boot. Bitterness builds gradually to a fairly strong level. The finish is earthy and fruity, with a lingering aftertaste.

M: A bit heavier than medium body. Light chewiness. Medium carbonation. A dry aftertaste arrives after a bit of a pause.

O: This is a nice ESB from Goose Island. It's balanced and drinkable enough to be approachable, but it also offers some nice hop character for more adventurous drinkers.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a small head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a copper color with good clarity and bubbles coming up through the glass. Nice lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Biscuity, malty, fruity, and citrus.

Taste: Toasted and caramel malts, citrus hops, tea flavor, fruity, and delicious.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, chewy, medium bodied, medium carbonation, and a tea like taste to it too.

Overall: Pretty nice ESB. Classic with a tea like taste to it.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Brewed with Maris Otter malt and dry-hopped with East Kent Goldings, 6.4% ABV. Purchased a 6-pack of this for $10.99 @ BevCo.

Pours out to a clear medium amber with ruby accents, forming a tall whipped yellow head with superior retention and lacing. Carbonation is moderate, ~ 2.5 carbs or so. The aroma is wonderful...fruity English yeast, delicately floral and fruity English hops, and a nice grainy and bready malt backbone with a clean fermentation and a slight degree of toast. No fusels/DMS or other off aromas. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a pleasant grain and hop astringency in the finish. The flavor is great as well. A wonderfully balanced amalgam of the above aromas with a pleasant bitterness. This is one of the very few American brewed ESB's that I've had that provides the classic orange marmalade on toast that the very best ESB's display. Exceptionally balanced and nuanced yet exceptionally easy to drink.

A Wonderful ESB. Comparable to the very best English ESB's but with a bit more oomph. I would definitely buy this again and would highly recommend it to friends.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.69/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a deep amber/brown, clear, with moderate carbonation. Good retention; lacing stays throughout my drink.

S: Heavy on hops, mostly manifesting as pine. Maybe some sweet caramel in there.

T: Straight from the bottle, tasted like I was drinking a pine tree (which was pleasant). Poured into a glass, had flavors of chocolate, pine, bitter malt and toffee. Surprising array of flavors. I wish the finish was longer, this is quite pleasing.

M: Crisp, clean, good carbonation and refreshing despite the bitterness from the hops.

O: One of the best six packs I've picked up in a long time. Goose Island has definitely upheld their reputation of producing fine beers with this anniversary edition. I'm going to buy more.

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Photo of RonKoch
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Ever since InBev (Anheuser Busch) bought up Goose Island I've been reluctant to try their now mass produced beer. It always bugs me to see the big fish swallow u the little fishes. But this one has a taste worth laying principle aside.

Caramel sweet malt is chased down by a refreshingly hoppy bitter finish.

I loved every moment of this one.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- Pours a rather clear, deep amber hue. Looks like caramel in a glass. A medium, 1.5 finger head forms and retains a good while. The head is frothy and slightly off-white in color. Lacing is average to above.

S- Mainly a mix of caramel malts and hops bitterness. The caramel malt is semisweet to the scent. the hops smell is somewhat bitter, but very balanced.

T- Starts with a mild hops bitterness on the tongue, then moves toward a slightly balancing malt flavor profile. The malts are mostly caramel and pale in flavor, with a lightly, biscuit-like flavor. The beer's overall flavor is somewhat grainy and hoppy, yet very balanced.

M- Smooth and slick across the palate. This beer is middle of the road in carbonation, yet creamy as it goes down. This could sneak up on you from an alcohol perspective, but this is a fairly drinkable beer.

Overall, this is among the more enjoyable bitters, mostly given to the solid hop bill. The bitterness is there, but not overpowering and not dominant. The hops and malts blend together very well, providing an enjoyable drinking experience.

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Photo of Ri0
3.89/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured 12oz bottle into snifter

A - Looks brown with hints of amber when held to the light. Cream colored 1.5 finger head holds retention well. Thick collar and large chains of lacing.

S - Nice malt, bread, wood, nut aroma. Floral hops and some grain.

T - Plenty of tasty malt, bread, with hints of wood and nuts. Floral and piney hops are in the back with some toffee sweetness. I love ESBs in the cooler weather.

M - A lighter medium body with good carbonation.

O - This is a nice ESB and fits the style quite nicely. I would say it is a bit more hoppy than most, which is okay in my book.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a hazy brownish copper with a dense slightly yellowed head. Lots of visible carbonation. Head takes a couple minutes to dissipate leaving some spots of lacing on the side of the glass.

S: Appealing aroma, craftily blended balance of hop and malt. Hops are floral and malts provide some sweetness.

T: Fairly malt forward brew with a mild kick of hop bitterness. Malt is a carmel sweetness with some characteristics of cracker and bread.

M: Medium body with ample carbonation. A touch of stickiness but mostly a clean finish. Perhaps a bit thin but that

Overall fits the style of this beer very well. Enjoyable beer with a nice balance and drinkability. Malts arent too sweet and hops have some good bitterness.

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Photo of jtierney89
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright orange glow with brilliant clarity. Half finger of off white head, pretty clingy. Toasted caramel with piney and soapy hoppiness on the nose. Faint toffee and butterscotch.

Pretty good. Thick malt body, medium bodied. Decent carbonation. Dry hearty breads up front followed by some rich toffee and caramel flavors. Whole grain flavor goes into a snappy hoppy bitter bite that balances the beer. Finishes nice and dry and balanced. Good flavors with good balance, smooth and tasty with alcohol that stays pretty well hidden. Body thins out a bit on the finish.

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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 WillWillows
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was an excellent pub bitter. I was pleased to drink this on a very hot summer day outside on a terrace in the shade. The beer had a slight smell of fresh bread upon opening. The pour was very good into a wide-mouth pint and was deeper amber, the slightly tan head rose nicely and settled back to quarter inch. Very happy with this beer. Let's hope Budweiser doesn't change this beer into something else. I would like to try this from a hand pumped pub cask. I am sure I would enjoy it. Drank 3 slowly and enjoyed. It was as good a little warmer and I could smell the hops and malt drinking it English style 55 degrees.

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Photo of deebo
3.99/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask on tap at Clybourn location.
A-Clear with an amber/copper color. Heavy white filmy head.
S-Bicuity, caramel, nice grainy malt presence.
T-Tastes like an ESB. Just like you would get on tap at a good English pub.
M-Soft tasting, low carbonation. NIce malt body.
O-Solid beer. Soft bodied and very clean tasting. That characteristic cookie grainy maltiness. A nice light hop flavor to carry through to the next drink. I haven't had this beer out of the bottle but I think this has to be the way to enjoy this brew.

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

nice clear copper color with a beautiful thick off white head that persists nicely throughout the glass.
Aroma is of deep caramel and biscuit malts with slight alcohol.
taste is decent balance of crystal malts with a nice richness of melanoidins and a thick hop taste of pine to round out the sweetness. the beer is tilted towards the bitter for sure but still comes across as balanced. my only complaint is that it seems like it is missing that English yeast component although im sure its there its just maybe a bit to clean imo.
overall it is enjoyable and a fully flavored. I like it

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Photo of chilidog
4.41/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Wow, 25th year, a nice job on this one, surprised I was. I haven't bought a Goose in awhile. Kinda lost track of them with only Honkers and 312 in my area. Saw this and wasn't sure with only 6.4% and the BA inventory is quite full, G I has been busy.

It pours a nice amber orange from a April 23rd bottle into a anniversary tulip. A full tannish head that maintained well and laced even better. Rings of happiness.

The aroma is more malts, sugars and baked breadness then hop.

Taste carries that bread like biscuit with malts, toastyness, brown sugar and a good hop bitterness as balance.

The mouth is pleased for as a ESB, it's not over bitter.

Overall a very nice job on this one . Not a Big ABV for an Anna-brew but rather one to sit around and just enjoy a couple, perhaps to just talk over the past 25 years. Cheers Goose Island!

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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 shand
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Screw the styles, this is a beer that really blurs style lines. It's a very tasty beer that's really hard to put into a box. The toasty and bready malts of an ESB are here, but paired with the level of hops you might expect from an APA. It is similar to an amped-up version of Honkers, but I think the extra hops do more to the flavor profile than that description lets on.

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Photo of Offa
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I had this cask-conditioned at Goose Island Clybourn and it was, in that form, a wonderful strong English ale.

Copper, it has a big, creamy off-white head slowly shrinking.

Aroma was full-bodied, appealing fruity, flowery, and with tea, but a bit subdued.

Taste was nice flowery tea (hint of Earl Grey), caramelly, toasty, a full-bodied, excellent English ale character.

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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 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 justintcoons
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Amber with a short off-white head. Good clarity with low-moderate carbonation.

Bread, cracker, lemon, florals, honey and a touch of apricot.

Very bready with doses of caramel and dollops of honey. A pinch of brown sugar and powdered cocoa. The hops are floral and earthy with notes of lemongrass, a few pine needles and a touch of tangerine zest.

Medium bodied, smooth, crisp and somewhat dry.

How can you go wrong with amping up Honkers? Unfortunately I'd still prefer the standard to the 25th Anniversary.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.31/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a perfect pint. An ESB for a 25th anniversary? I don't get it.

3.75 A: Clear orange amber color. Two fingers of frothy beige head. Retention is good and a moderate amount of irregular lacing is left.

3.25 S: This smells more like a baby barleywine than an ESB. Caramel left, right, and center. A touch of toffee as well. Lots of fruitiness with emphasis on overripe peach and candied apples. This doesn't have any of the mineral, toastiness, or earthy qualities that you might find in an actual ESB.

3.25 T: The taste is closer to an ESB in that it tastes like an amber ale. Layers of caramel, some toffee, lots of light fruits again, and a touch of toastiness. Sweet, but not overly so. Light booziness throughout.

3.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Velvety creaminess on the verge of being chewy. I prefer ESBs to be more crisp, but then again this isn't an ESB, so it works okay.

3.25 D: It doesn't work as an ESB. That's for sure. Otherwise, it's decent, but nothing special and certainly not 25th anniversary special.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
3.84/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Orange honey with a bit of foam and good lacing...a lot like Honker's Ale.

Smell: Bitter hops and smooth malt with some orange...a lot like Honker's Ale, just a bit milder.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Good balance of caramel and orangey hops. Very woody. Overall, a lot like Honker's Ale, just a bit boozier, almost as if someone spiked it with rum. Mouthfeel is very smooth and medium-bodied, but I wish there were more carbonation.

Overall Drinkability: A good homage to the original, but like many remixes, not quite as good.

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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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