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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Reviews: 86 | Ratings: 91
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 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 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 Bighuge
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazed copper. Bubbly ivory white cap. Lacing is moderate in quantity.

Aroma: Lemony, perfumey, grapefruit rind, resinous.

Taste: Dusty, grainy, grundgy, but also citric and piney. Interesting flavor combo and really pretty good.

Mouthfeel: Medium body at best. Low carbonation. Alcohol is quite faint.

Drinkability: Nice enough beer. Easy to drink. Not overly bitter for the style, but tasty enough. Grade: B-

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Photo of jaluria
4.32/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a bright orange color with plenty of lacing. A soapy, white head that remains a thin film. Aromas of citrus, hops, apricot, pine, and grass. The taste was crisp and hoppy with a balanced, malt flavors. Slightly creamy texture with plenty of flavors. Easy to sip and enjoy.

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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 Phatz
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
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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Photo of budgood1
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

pours out of the 22 oz. bomber a very cloudy bright orange/copper colour with a sparse head. not much lace. aroma leans on the fruit lathered hops. a bit of musty malt to go along. as i taste it, it seems to me that there has been an attempt at making this beer as flavourful as possible yet keep the hop hysterics in check. it's drinkable as hell. lots of citrusy hops up front without the smackdown of bitterness....this gives way to a underwhelming meek maltiness...followed by a long and quite lasting hop bitterness that lingers surprising long. a unique hop profile to say the least. the mouthfeel is nice...lots of hop happiness. the body is thinner, but i don't mind. and the finish and aftertaste is all bittering hops....rather interesting.

i liked it...

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A good IPA head. A little doughy in texture and color. Great, hoppy amber hues, a little hazy. Good lacing as well. The aroma was a little resiny btu still flowery. Biscuits and hop gravy. A little spicey in the middle and a balanced hop and malt bitterness on the finish. A little stinky for a palate. Like semi off-setting pelletized hop aroma. But then again you can't taste if it's pellets or the real deal.

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Photo of dherling
4.04/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a honey orange cloudy beer, crowned with a small white head that dissapears quickly, some lacing. Has some lovely fruit int he nose, orange, apricot, hops, fresh and green smelling. This has a big mouthfeel, and wonderfully balanced flavor. Lots of hops, and fruity yeast notes. Again, apricot, slight lemon, grass, and huge amounts of hops in the finish, oily slick, not overbearingly bitter.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.11/5  rDev +11.1%
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 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 NeroFiddled
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
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 cameraman
3.87/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An amber to light orange towards the bottom of the glass, visible carbonation, with an eighth of an inch white head that forms at the rim of the glass. A grassy hop aroma hits the nose, with hints of pine and the faint scent of malt at the end. A very solid flavor, that starts with strong malt backbone, then the onslaught of hops hits the palate, with a grassy and grapefruit flavors the most dominant. Medium bodied, very smooth going down, leaves the palate nice and clean. This is an easy drinking beer for a hop-head, the flavor is geared to those who love their hops, but is still a very good beer.

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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 warriorsoul
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
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 RonfromJersey
4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Since the GABF is going on this week-end...

A hazy, bright amber body, topped by a three-finger slab of white froth, plenty of bubbles on the surface. Good lacing.

Excellent piney aroma, highly inviting.

A quick burst of caramelly sweetness doesn't so much lay a foundation as just slide on by. Next up is a big dollop of orange, followed by a resiny, piney hop bite at the finish that lingers agressively for a good while.

Fair medium mouthfeel, a little "loose". Good drinkability.

Another good beer from Boulder, but probably not a medal winner.

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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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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 merlin48
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
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 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 ADR
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
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 russpowell
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
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 kirok1999
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a clear medium amber with a thin white head with some lacing.

S- Nice bittering hops, piney and citrusy. Slight malt sweetness but it's quickly overpowered by the hops.

T- Matches the smell. Bitter hops at first, citrus and pine in the middle, bitter, dry hops at the end. Not much malt comes through at all.

D- Nice, dry and bitter. It is a nice quenching ale.

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Photo of bwyker
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.
Pours an orange-amber hue, with a moderate head of foam (about ½ inch) – of which about 1/8 stuck around during the entire tasting. Grapefruit in the nose, with hints of pineapple. Starts with the taste of citrus. Transitions to a sweet, yet earthy/grassy taste then finishes with a huge stinging bitterness. Mouthfeel is light and slightly dry. Excellent balance. Easy to drink, with a characteristically boulder fruity hop deliciousness.

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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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