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 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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Photo of Gavage
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a crystal clear orange color with a 2" fluffy head that lingers a while before fading. Light lacing develops. No visible carbonation bubbles.

Smell: fruity and I noticed both pine & light floral bitterness.

Taste: malt levels are toned back and a bit bready, but there is a nice balance of pine bitterness, green grapes, grapefruit citrus, and fruit sweetness. Overall dryness with this beer. No noticeable alcohol.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied which is a bit light for the style. Lightly crisp and dry at the start. The finish is smoother and dry. The aftertaste is not very long.

Drinkability: Good drinking beer, as the bottle was very fresh. Worth trying for giving a congrats on the GABF turning 25.

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Photo of ggaughan
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
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 SixpointJMH
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
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 feloniousmonk
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hops bump out on first cracking the crown. Very promising.

Clear amber/gold. Nice fluffy froth.

Sharply hoppy aroma, bristling pine, some tropical fruit, but not a harsh hoppiness, just right. Dies down a bit too quick, though.

A flash of the bitterness on the palate, then thin. Big hoppy bite, with a messy flavor, none too coherent. Medium bodied, faintish finish. Bit too watery, methinks. Tidy bitterness remains alongside, a blend of sweet, succulent malt that turns dry, plus tangy citric fruit.

A drinkable brew, with enough hops to keep an ale enthusiast happy, to a point...just missing a lot that keeps it from being memorable.

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Photo of OldSock
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Bomber picked up last week. Never been to the GABF, but thats no reason that I can't celebrate it by drinking a beer. Pours a clear amber with a thin white head that falls quickly, but leaves some nice lacing.

Smell – Lots of American hops. Citrus and pine overwhelm everything except for a faint whiff of toasted malt.

Taste – Despite all of the hop aroma, this is a rather balanced beer, sure its bitter but the malt keeps it in check. The hop flavors include apricots and the standard citrus/pine. The sweet malt is a nice counterpoint to the hoppiness, but it isn't too complex.

Mouthfeel – Medium body with solid, but non-intrusive carbonation.

Drinkability & Notes – Solid beer, good fresh hop flavor, well balanced, easy to drink but I was hoping for more from a special release.

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Photo of Foxman
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It pours a very clear but muted amber. A tall finger of off-white head thins soon to a fuzz of froth. Scallops of lacing shell the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, there's an initial pine and citrus eddy with an odd ferrous edge. Underneath floats a caramel sweet layer of malt.

On sipping, upon first blush, sweet toasted malt appears, with caramel and berry, but that quickly morphs to an unusual vegetal earthiness. A dry grapefruit citrus note crisps the middle. Another glance of grain serves up a mild fruity sweetness and a slightly doughy biscuit touch. The finish is bittered well and nicely by softly glowing hops. The flavor kicks off out of bounds, but ends up in a good place.

Medium bodied, the hops have an oily presence and the malt works to coat capably.

It starts Mr. Hyde and winds up Mr. Jeckyll. It's the pleasant finish that's memorable because it comes last, but it can't negate the off-beat beginning. What helps salvage it is that the lead-in is rapid, minimizing the missteps, and the finish is slower and easier. So if you're in the mood for a schizophrenic beer, look no further.

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Photo of akorsak
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
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 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 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 oberon
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
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 mattpetti
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice reddish amber in color with a nice fluffy white head that shows good retention and lacing in my glass. The smell is a pleasant blend of almost tropical fruitiness. Peach, nectarine, some orange, maybe some apriocot circle around the nose before yielding to crisp, herbal hop smell in the end. Smells yummy. Now for a sip. Well balanced fruity goodness with subtle yet firm, herbal hop bitterness. The finish has a crisp biscuit malt flavor that ends nicely. This beer doesn't let you miss anything as ther flavors swirl and gain complexity with every sip. Slightly dry and never to cloying or overpowering this beer is a joy to drink. Makes me wish i was able to go to this years festival. Those people are lucky who get this wonderful beer on tap. Cheers!!

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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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