GABF 25th Year Beer | Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub

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GABF 25th Year BeerGABF 25th Year Beer
91 Ratings
GABF 25th Year BeerGABF 25th Year Beer

Brewed by:
Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
Colorado, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
An ESB (as stated by the brewery) brewed by Charlie Papazian at Boulder Beer to celebrate 25 years of the Great American Beer Festival (GABF).

Added by TastyTaste on 08-26-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 91 |  Reviews: 86
Reviews by HopasaurusRex:
Photo of HopasaurusRex
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden amber colored body topped by lasting foam stand.

Spicy nose of grapefruity Saaz. It's a bit light but discernible. Not much other perceptible hop aroma.

Medium-bodied English style pale ale/ESB. Good balance between fruity yeast and citric bitterness. Lingering finish of floral noble hops.

Overall, a bit thin for an ESB, but drank well for a Sunday afternoon of football watching.

Cheers to the 25th Anniversary of the GABF!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think its great to see a beer in tribute the GABF and the style to the tribute couldnt be more American.Poured a clear medium gold with tight formed craterous 1/2 finger head that had good lasting power,very interesting aromas I have to say, piney with notes of overipe pineapple and pepper, an interesting twist and I like it, a slight noticable biscuit like malt sweetness underneath wich is more noticable on the palate.This is dry hopped with saaz and I think it lends a nice soft spiciness to go with the healthy dose of American in your face hop flavors I detect some Amarillos in there, Iam quite sure as well as some cascade, a big lightly sweet biscuit-like malt base really holds up to this large dose of hops keeping it is decent balance.Not sure what the alc% abv is but bottle says a high gravity brew.Wow its interesting and a little complex,I like it and will buy again.

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Photo of JMD71
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ap: Slightly hazy, orangey gold color with tight head which receds after moments in the glass. Good lacing evident as the glass is emptied. Carbonation appeared slow.

Ar: Malty nose with huge hop bouquet. Slightly sweet at first but the citrusy hops are evident.

Ta: Sweet tangeries with nice hop balance. Fruity. Hops perfectly in balance with the malt bill. Almost a sligh mandarin orange flavor.

Mo: Light to medium bodied. Crisp & refreshing. Leaves palette very clean. I was expecting it to be fuller bodied, but the lighter body was welcomed!

Dr: Very easy drinking. Went down easily. The lighter body enhances its drinkability.

Comments: I really looked forward to this Boulder (& Charlie P!)offering & it lived up to its hype. A delicious beer. Very well crafted all around. Perfect balance without the huge bitterness.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.49/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle. Pours a golden orange with a medium frothy white head after a vigorous pour. It quickly goes to a thin film that laces the glass.

The aroma is piney peppery hops but there's some rotten melon and cardboard. The hops smell good, the rest not so much.

The flavor is sweet melon, starchy malts, and then some spicy hops with a sweet finish. The flavors don't really blend well at all. It's too sweet with not enough hop balance. The alcohol is well hidden. The mouthfeel is medium and pretty watery with some sharp carbonation.

Overall, it's almost like a good DIPA, but just a bit off.

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Photo of merlin48
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle pours a cloudy orange body, topped by a small offwhite head. Looks moderately attractive with a sturdy offwhite head and some attractive, patchy lace on the pint glass. Aroma is biscuity, earthy, and fruity. Some pear and spicy floral notes are discerned in the background. Medium bodied in the mouth, with an aggressive carbonation. Taste is dry and bitter, with an earthy and rind hops dominance. Very little malt presence, save some pale bisscuit. Not very complex, but not as bad as most reviews. I doubt I would pick this again, as there are plenty of big IPA's on the shelves out there that are cheaper and better.

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light copper color, slightly hazed with a full finger of off-white head..leaves some thinly coated lacing.
Floral hops in the nose with not much else going on.
The taste is very well balanced...heavy pale malt with a heavy dose of floral hops, which bitters up this brew nicely, making it very fitting for an anniversary ESB.
No hint of easy session beer if given the opportunity.
Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and the carbonation is perfect.
A solid, limited offering from the folks at Boulder...real appreciative that they allowed this one to come to MA.
Find it while you will be quite pleased with this offering.

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Photo of ADR
3.86/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear bright orange appearance. Nice puffy white head, retains a height of almost an inch for well over a minute. Good rings of lace on a pint glass. Aroma starts with a suggestion of piney hops, but then is subsumed in a creamy orange candy impression. Mouthfeel is lighter than medium, carbonation -- about average overall. Taste is pleasant, not obviously hop-ridden for the style, but with a decent combination of sweet malt, noble hop, and smooth body that lends a sort of fruit syrup profile. Punctuation of a stronger hop bite at the close. I like this beer, not cartoonish to play to the hop "fan-boys".

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of ggaughan
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great way to build up the anticipation for the GABF at the end of this month. The beer poured a golden color with a thick white head and good lacing. The aroma was a nice little hop bomb with piney aromas and a touch of citrus. Pleasing, not overpowering. The taste was very hoppy as expected but again, not overpowering. There was a good touch of citrus that made this beer fairly drinkable and a definite try for any IPA fans out there.

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Photo of Dewey0603
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my second review and the first with this beer listed as an ESB.
This beer pours a clear yellow orange with a huge white foamy head. The color's OK,but the head leaves great lacing and lasts forever. The smell is "bisquity" with a large citrus hop aroma. A real strong aroma in this beer. The taste is creamy with a real mild hop presence. The slight bitterness makes this a clear crisp very drinkable beer. As far as ESB's go, this is one of the better ones.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Boulder's 25th Anniversary GABF beer pours a hazy orange-copper body beneath a decent head of white froth. The retention is good and it leaves some really nice lace in its wake. The aroma is brightly hoppy and floral over lightly sweet and grainy malt! In the mouth it's smooth with a medium body and moderate carbonation. A gently caramelish malt combines well with leafy and floral hops in the flavor. Well balanced. Enjoyable.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.11/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear orangish amber color with a small head that quickly dissapears into a thin white lace that encircles the glass. A nice hoppy aroma that is mostly citrus (grapefruit) and a bit of malt make up the nose. A very brief malt presence starts out in the taste and is quickly followed by a long finish dominated by the citrusy hops. The taste could have been a bit more balanced but it is still good. Overall, this is a pretty interesting brew that I would not mind having again. Recommened.

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Photo of russpowell
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber with a 3 fingers sand colored head. Very good lacing & average head retention

S: Grapefruitty hops & hints of caramel

T: Nice malt foreground quickly surrenders to piney & citrussy hops up front. A little fruittyness fills in as it warms. Peppery hops also fill as the beer warms, along with a little alcohol burn.

MF: Medium bodied with good carbonation & very good balance.

Drinks pretty easy. Maybe a bit underpowered for the style, but only a little. This seems to me like mojo with a couple extra ozs of hops & few more lbs of malt. Not a knock, I like that beer

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Photo of aluskungs
4.18/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great, great smell. Like putting your face into a bin of hops and breathe... nice hoppy fresh sweetness, not harsh very flowery.

The beer in my glass is a hazy copper, maybe not filtered? Small head that disappears, a bit odd being that hops aid in head retention, maybe my glass is dirty.

Very drinkable beer that one can quaff down in no time flat. A big malt sweetness followed by bitterness to cleanse the palate and clear the taste bud runway for the next arrival of coppery goodness!

A good ESB that would be a good flagship beer for any brewery. A great example of style that any beer drinker would like.

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Photo of shbobdb
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very good beer. Been eyeing it for a while, but decided to pick it up (finally)

It pours a glorious amber with a head like no other. Serious head retention, serious lacing, holy crap! Why can't every beer look like this!?

It smells of raw hops. They say Saaz, and I believe it, but it has a lot of citrusy American notes as well. But that could just be the excessive alcohol. I'm not sure.

The taste is very good. Syrupy sweet from the malt, but delightfully balanced by the hops. A very good balanced beer,

The mouthfeel is full and rich . . .

And the drinkability is unparalleled.

Really good stuff. I'm not a lover of english beer, but I do like their malts. This blends english malts with continental hops and just the slightest hint of PNW hops (maybe?) to create one helluva beer experience. I dig.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dark, coppery orange with a thick lustrious foamy white head that had very good retention and left a nice sheet lacing.

S: an assertive hoppiness, citrus, fresh pine and floral notes along with a lingering maltiness.

T: A nice bountiful boutique of floral hopping starts things off with some spicy saaz adding some spiciness and highlights. A nice malty backbone gives this some substance while some grapefruit and pine lingered on the finish.

M: light-medium, moderate with a decent carbonation. Leaves a nice hop tang afterbite.

D: Good drinkability, smooth, wont blow you away but enjoyable.

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Photo of akorsak
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a bomber of the GABF anniversary beer purchased at Spirits Unlimited and served in a seidel.

A: Color is amber to orange with small ring of head but good retention.

S: Nose is unmistakably piney.

T: Flavor is at first grainy before transitioning into a pine and citrus hop flavor. Finish is long, leaving a fresh tart taste on the tongue.
Taste is surprisingly assertive.

M: The initial grainy flavor is a bit unpleasant, as the hops need to dominate from start to finish.

D: Not the best DIPA but certainly serviceable.

EDIT: The beer has been reclassified as an ESB. My overall thoughts on the beer don't change, however the hop body is very assertive for an ESB. Because of this, the drinkability has been increased from a 3.0 to a 3.5.

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Photo of AsburyParkJMH
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a nice limited offering from Boulder.

It pours a mildly hazy copper colour with a mid-sized sticky white head that leaves a fair amount of residue on the glass.

The aroma is piney and just hoppy in general, with hints of spice breaking through from time to time, with pepper definitely leading the way.

The flavour is more of the same and is actually a nice hop/spice mix. There are some biscuit or burnt bread notes here as well that were not so noticeable in the aroma. Hop burps are quite tasty as well. The mouthfeel is decent but is a tad watered down.

I liked this one. I've seen it listed as a few different styles but Boulder calls it an ESB. I'd say its a slightly tweaked version of one as it has a bit more of a kick to it hop-wise. Grab a bottle if you see it.

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Photo of barefootbrewer
3.99/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a cloudy orange/yellow with a thick head – which quickly dissipated. The aroma is heavy of hops, but the malt is noticeable. The taste is bitter from hops, but has a nice malty undertone. The mouthfeel is full and seems to work well for this beer. Overall, this is a nicely balanced delight to drink – wish I had bought more.

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Photo of umustdrink
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Bubble amber or light mahogany color. Head is rocky and bright white colored. Strong lacing, sticking in thick sheets.

S - Sweet and bitter piny hops balanced nicely with malts, mildly caramely and kind of smoky.

T/M - Smooth and creamy texture, flavor starts with sweet and peppery malts, piny and citrusy hops, very bitter. Carbonation is minimal but there are some very nice hoppy bites in there. Finish leaves a nice lasting bitterness, which is slightly sweet.

D - Very easy drinking stuff with some nice intriguing flavors that will to keep you drinking. Pick it up if you can still find it.

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Photo of Tyrawlings
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of plaid75
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a medium hazy copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and very good lacing.

The smell featured an upfront oily citrus and sweet hop and a solid soft malt.

The taste consisted of of an orangy sweet and mildly peppery hop balanced nicely by a soft biscuity malt.

The mouthfeel was a tad tin and a bit astringent. Dry finish.

Overall good drinkability. A few gaps in the mouthfeel, but overall very sessionable.

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Photo of weeare138
3.15/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to egajdzis/doppel07 for this...
Appears a hazy, light orange with a small off white head that slowly fades out. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is piney, orangey, citrusy, highlighted by tons of bitter grapefruit in the aromas.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a really bitter grapefruit taste that is just too one sided and unbalanced.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, thin, and bitter.
I wasn't expecting much from this one and I didn't get much. It's just a run of the mill DIPA in my opinion.

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Photo of Lupe
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright golden orange with a bit of haze. Big dense white head that has good retention, and leaves nice rings of lace.

Hoppy aroma of citus, pine, and floral notes. Bready malt is also present with a hint of spice.

Starts off with lots of citrus and floral hop flavors. Toasted grain and bready malt comes on to balance things out and adds a touch of sweetness. A light fruitiness is also present.

Light to medium in body, crisp and refreshing. Finishes clean. Easy drinking and smooth. Tasted a bit off when it warmed up a bit, by a solid brew overall.

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Photo of Phatz
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Three of us were discussing this beer as we shared the bomber and contemplated the style. It does not indicate on the bottle what the style but we were back and forth between hoppy pale ale and regular IPA. [EDIT - recently informed by the Bros this is an ESB. That makes sense] Regardless, It is tasty and simple and that is that. Here's the break down:

Appearance: Pours a golden orange color with a translucent body with a big head and moderate retention.

Smell: The nose is dominated by prickly hops with a hint of pale & caramel malts as a base. A few fruit suggestions make it through but the nose is mostly a straightforward hop nugget.

Taste: Simple and easy the big hop bite flashes bold and bright and fades away quickly leaving the pale malts and dry bitterness. It is a tasty flavor for the hopheads but seems lack a bit of depth.

Mouthfeel: Medium light in the mouth and easy in the stomach. Dry and crisp and pleasant.

Drinkability: [Amendment, I thought this was more apropos to a hoppy pale ale and now that I know it is an ESB I stand by my opinion... ] There is no doubt the simple hop flavor and light weight make this a drinking beer.

Hope this is helpful.

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GABF 25th Year Beer from Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
Beer rating: 3.71 out of 5 with 91 ratings