GABF 25th Year Beer | Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub

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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.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 91 |  Reviews: 86
Photo of GimpyCane
2.21/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I was just told that GABF 25th year beer is an ESB and not a DIPA. Well, I still feel the same way.

Picked up a bomber after seeing it on display for $1.99. Poured a hazy light copper w/ a 2 inch off white frothy head that left a good
amount of lacing. The aroma was odd slight hint of pine and grapefruit with an undertone of sulfur. I thought I was losing my mind, but my wife confirmed the fart smell as well. The flavor was weak for a ESB, light bitter tone, slighty watery, fizzy carbonation and very short lived flavor. Sorry Boulder, this is not one of my favorite.

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Photo of benito
2.27/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: The brew's best quality by far. Hazy orange with a nice head.

S: Light, really light hoppiness that fades into a big bouquet of nothingness.

T and M: Thin at best. There's an acrid, wheat taste near the beginning that is washed away by a little mid-palate hops and a cool, creamy finish. I'd rather that that flavor progression have been reversed, and I would have expected a more assertive hop presence throughout.

D: The thin body and flavor make this boring.

A commemorative brew that is in no way commensurate to the wonderful festival it honors. Skip this and just go to the GABF.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.49/5  rDev -32.7%
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 quasimoto
2.53/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Its a nice amber color with an off white head that leaves very little lacing.

S - Muddy, cardboard, floral grapefruit. Im reaching for some aroma here, and it just aint happening.

T - The flavor of paper starts off this but turns into and unbalanced hop bomb. Not a real sense of where the hops are going in this one. Ther eis a background of toasty caramel, but you have to lift a rock to find it.

M - It starts off very sharp, and bitter, with tons of carbination.Mellows to a rather smooth mouth feel and very dry on the end.

D - Its drinkable. But I wouldnt tackle somebody for it.

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Photo of mdfb79
2.69/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

From 10/02/11 notes. Shared with some friends, poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Bell's tulip.

a - Pours a dark orange-copper color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bready malts and caramel malts, and lightly musty notes.

t - Tastes of bready malts, caramel malts, light hops. Lightly musty again.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation.

o - Overall it has held up decently, but seems a bit faded. Lots of bready and caramel malts. Wouldn't seek it out again.

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Photo of mcallister
2.8/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Deep cloudy amber in color. Off white head; half inch with some trace lacing.

Wonderful flowery hop aromas. Bright and vibrant. Orange peel, apricot, and fresh squeezed grapefruit.

Well this one ends there. I'm not sure if I had a bad bottle of this is just getting old. This beer was basically like drinking a glass of grapefruit juice. Hardly and carbonation or viscosity, overly sweet, hints of fennel and other citrusy flavors.

Mouthfeel is thin week and lackluster. Very dissapointing beer.

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Photo of TastyTaste
2.99/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Medium gold body, lighter than your average DIPA. Head is full and fluffy, slow fading, a little lace left.

Smell: Resinous hops, smells good. Caramel sweetness, citrus, smells pretty good.

Taste: Hops are not as pungent as you would expect, and there is some candy tartness there as well. Really below average versus the style, the flavor is not all it could be.

Drinkability: Not a bad beer to drink, but I prefer others in the style.

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Photo of weeare138
3.15/5  rDev -14.9%
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 simmons
3.2/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Apperance: A slightly hazy copper ale with a thin white head

Aroma: lots of malt is present followed by a earthy hop aroma

Taste: fairly sweet malt covered up by a bitter yet citrusy flavor. Good useage of hops but needs just alittle bit more malt to balance it out

Moutfeel: the carbonation in this brew is perfect, soft and smooth. as for balance I think it could use a little bit of work.

Drinkability: This is an ok ESB, not bad at all it just needs alittle bit more balance thats all.

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Photo of bucko
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a slightly-hazy orange/copper color with a big, rocky off-white head that slowly dissipates into some rather significant lacing. The aroma is sweet and malty, slightly grainy with a strong spicy, floral hop presence. The flavor malty with notes of bread and biscuit and a punch of spicy, somewhat citrusy hops. Mouthfeel is nice - smooth and almost silky. Drinkable? Yes. Please! Overall this is an enjoyable beer, though not exactly what I expect when I hear ESB. Regardless, I'm enjoying this while it lasts.

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Photo of bruachan
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

i guess this is a commemoration of something

it's a lightish copper color, but not awe inspiring. the head up top is okay, showing promise of some nice lacing, but seems to just be looking for an excuse to vanish into thin air. the fervent carbonation won't let it, however

the aroma is not particularly strong, but dominated by malt scents: toasty, biscuity (and dogfoody). it's sweet and has a tea-like hop character...floral and woody. the mouthfeel is a little prickly for an ESB

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Photo of chilidog
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up this "bargain" beer for also 1.99. One time only brew, special, ok..

It poured good enough with a golden amber, slight haze, egg-shell head that maintained an inch to lace fair.

The aroma was pine and citric grapefruit.

The taste was also citric hop and malts in the background.
Abit dry and tart round out this medium at best bodied brew.

Overall its drinkable, not as big a beer as I would of expected for a once only beer-fest offering. The abv isn't that high either.
I'll pick up accouple here and there, as suplies last. $1.99, Why not!!

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Photo of yelterdow
3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Served at fridge temperature in a pint glass. Purchased at Ramsey Liquors for $5.19 in early October, 2006.

Appearance- Pours a very slightly cloudy orange, and the soapy off-white head sits nicely at about two fingers. The way that the bubbles pop on the crown is cool... they explode and fill back in with a *whoosh*. Extremely sticky lacing clings for dear life all along the interior.

Smell- Big, fresh sharp aromas from the dry-hopping... floral and somewhat piney, they are exquisitely balanced with a big British Pale Malt presence. A great smelling beer.

Taste- Both the hop and malt profile are nicely balanced... the dry-hopping thankfully gives the beer some pep and pizazz, but it's over much too quickly... there isn't much lasting taste after the swallow.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Disappointingly watery in the mouth, and very lightweight overall. Frankly, it does nothing to improve or accentuate any aspect of the beer at all... it just falls flat. Interestingly, the carbonation of this beer diminished so quickly over this tasting that by the end, it was almost completely gone. There's no ABV mentioned, so how do we score drinkability based on the style? A potentially good session beer that needs some more interesting components.

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Photo of DaveFL1976
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a really great looking body. Honey golden colour, completely transparant. It looks like nectar. THe head is nice as well, a somewhat frothy off-white inch-thick layer of bubbles,
Nice smell, but not spectacular in any one area. You can definately get a whiff of malts, and aroma hops are also evident. Centennial if I had to guess. The taste is a bit of a let down. I was expecting a more American style ale, but there is definately hints of British influence. Buttery diacetal flavor sits rather heavy on the palate. Mouthfeel is nice, though. Medium body with nice mellow carbonation. Drinkability slows down a bit -- thanks to the butteryness.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a one finger, white head that fades quickly to a ring leaving a some lace. Amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Hoppy/malty nose. Starts malty but hops are here making a more balanced to bitter finish. $5.15 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle purchased from Super Saver in Somerville for $2.99... "Limited Edition Single-Batch Brew" on the front logo sticker...
Pours a bright-orange, nectaringe color with no head at all and no lacing either...
Strong, citrus aroma with noticeable hops and vanilla...
Taste resembled the smell, with a nice suggestion of hops, caramel, vanilla, florals, and tangerines...
Watery, loose, light, subtle mouthfeel with not much going on... Easy drinkability with no alcohol detectable at all...

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Photo of hero27
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle.

Limited Edition, brewed to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Great American Beer Festival. Says on the label that Boulder Beer Co. was one of only 22 breweries at the first GABF.

Pours a slightly hazy orange/amber...modest head of off-white foam.
The majority of the aroma is hops with a slight acidic, citric twinge.
Dusty, toasted pale malts carry the majority of the flavor and add a good amount of sweetness, but the Saaz hops are not ignored and relay a nice floral hop taste.
Not sure what the alcohol of this baby is, but it can't be much more than 6% I wouldn't imagine. Slides down pretty easily even with the grainy malt texture. The light-medium body makes this one a pretty drinkable beer.

At $3.50 for a 22oz bottle of a limited-edition brew, I couldn't turn it down. Nothing spectacular for a one-off, but a decent ESB nonetheless.

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Photo of Tyrawlings
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Wasatch
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy golden orange color, nice carbonation, fizzy little off-white head, some sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is malty, slightly spicy, and a good dose of caramel. The taste is malty, bitter, spicy, and some caramel. The finish is dry/bitter. Medium body. Drinkable, not a bad brew, but hard to compare this to a Fullers.

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Photo of giblet
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this was a very good brew. i was hoping it would be a great one, but settled in at very good. all the good characteristics of a ESB. i felt the tast was very good but expected a bit stronger than it was. very drinkable.

i will look for more of this and more from this brewer.

suckem up and movem out!


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Photo of mentor
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber purchased from Total Beverage (Colorado) and consumed that same evening. Pours a full finger of fine tan head. Clingy and cavernous. The beer is a fairly clear brilliant orange golden.

Smells Saaz hoppy. Metallic, oranges, and tangerine. Some grassy co-ho is accompanied by lighter esters and a hint of alcohol. Tastes bitter hoppy with woody dry hop flavor. Peppery hop zing. Tangerine and rough grassy coho. Light-colored caramel flavor. Aftertaste has a bit of metallic and large carb bubbles form on the tongue to dry the mouth. I find the carb unpleasant and distracting from the rest of the experience. Just a hint of alcohol burn in the aftertaste, but not as much as I was expecting. Near the end of the glass, I'm left with a metallic watery flavor in my mouth.

Medium-light in the mouth, but has a dextrinous creamy feel.

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Photo of DrFunkenstein
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of rab53
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of ppoitras
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle purchased from Julio's, Marlboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" beige head over the slightly cloudy amber brew. Head lasts well, with heavy coating lacing. Aroma is dominated by piney and crisp hops character. Taste is lemony upfront, pine popping up in the middle, and a sweet yet bitter close and aftertaste. Mouthfeel and drinkability are better than average, but nothing overly noteworthy. Kind of a notch down from some of the other Boulder beers I've had of late, but still a good brew and an important milestone for the GABF.

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Photo of orfeu
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber-orange with a cream-colored rocky head. Mild nose, with piney clementine aromas. Mouthfeel is thinner than expected, as is the flavor, which is primarily a mellow orange-pineapple and slight grapefruit rind character. Very little pine flavor, but nice moderately bitter finish. A decent offering, but really a bit underwhelming for such an auspicious occasion as a 25th anniversary. Easy enough to drink, but I won't be running back for another bomber any time soon.

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GABF 25th Year Beer from Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
3.7 out of 5 based on 91 ratings.
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