20th Anniversary Belgian-Style Ale
Great Divide Brewing Company

20th Anniversary Belgian-Style Ale20th Anniversary Belgian-Style Ale
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Style:
Belgian Strong Pale Ale
ABV:
8.2%
Score:
85
Avg:
3.76 | pDev: 9.57%
Reviews:
51
Ratings:
249
From:
Great Divide Brewing Company
 
Colorado, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  2
Gots
  29
SCORE
85
Very Good
20th Anniversary Belgian-Style Ale20th Anniversary Belgian-Style Ale
Notes:
Reviews: 51 | Ratings: 249 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of daliandragon
3.99/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is something that has been in the cellar for a while so this seemed like a good time. Interesting multi tone colored body with little head and plenty of sediment. Nose is musty and spicy with plenty of funk. Nice hit of yeast in an otherwise mellow and relaxed palate. Really solid bread and butter note, with yeast and clove in the aftertaste. I like the relaxed, low carb texture that doesn't betray much alcohol flavor but it isn't really accurate to style. Tasty little relic though, with aged complexity.

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Photo of beertunes
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Cursed 22oz format bottle poured into 12oz goblet. Poured a hazy bright gold color, with just the thinnest cap of white head that had no retention or lacing.

The aroma was right where I like it; lots of yeast spice, some solid, but subtle grains, and that "something" that makes me like the Belgian styles so much.

The flavor, however, didn't quite match up. The yeasty spice was there, and some soft grains, but the overall package wasn't quite what it might have been. Maybe it sat too long, which would be my fault.

The body was semi-full and smooth, and had a nicely semi-dry finish.

Drinkability was great, Iwouldn't mind having another couple a 22's of this. Overall, a very nice brew, and one I suspect would have been even more impressive if I had gotten to it sooner.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.79/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found this on the shelves of my local liquor store after having aged a bit over three years. Couldn't resist the temptation. The beer came out nice and bubbly, and hazy, pale golden body looked right at home in a Duvel tulip, The head was two fingers thick, and had a dense consistency. The smell of the beer was sweet, giving off banana, bubblegum, and red delicious apple aromas. The taste was much blander than expected, perhaps due to the age. The sweetness was indistinct with a tinge of vinousness, and there was no hop presence. The body also felt very thin, and experience lacked much complexity. Glad that this was a cheap thrill.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.09/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aged 2 years. Tannish light yellow color with lots lasting white head. A lot of Belgium yeast and some banana. Slight sweet tangy very slight banana with that good Belgium yeast. Smooth medium body with light carbonation. Pretty damn good.

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Photo of NickSMpls
3.79/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sea-foam head over pale yellow, straw colored pour. Slightly hazy, more soif you the swirl & pour. Were told this style ages well, so we braved buying a beer bottled in March '14 for Dec'15. It seems so, as the taste was clean and still a complex mix of fruit, spice and chablis wine. Light carbonation and a dry finish. We're now out hunting for the 21st edition.

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Photo of LADaveBN
3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a straw color with half a finger of white head. Little lacing down the sides. Nose is Belgian yeast, cut grass, coriander, grape, some citrus. Taste is quite a bit of citrus and Belgian yeast on the front and finishes relatively dry. Feel is crisp with moderate-heavy carbonation. Overall, a nice Belgian pale.

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Photo of jopezu
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

super cloudy bright straw, massive foamy head. nose; belgian yeast, booze, slight white wine. taste; belgian yeast, lemon, pear and grape. light herb (chamomile?) good balance on the tangy yeast and sweet fruit notes. slight pepper and booze touch on the finish. terrific carbonation. nothing that breaks the mold of the typical belgian, but very well balanced, bright on the fruits, and doesn't leave as much of that musty yeast lingering that builds as most belgian progress. an odd choice of style to emblazon the great divide shield for an anniversary release, but as this is the 20th, they probably needed to get out into the weeds a little. =)

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Hazy straw gold, 1” sudsy white foam cap.
S: grapey, fruity, some Belgian yeast
T: smooth, white wine, light caramel, Belgian yeast, pineapple with some definite citrus notes, orange to lemon without the acid or rind flavors.
F: medium high carbonation, medium body, very fine soft carbonation
O: This is a summer beer well worth repeating.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.81/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Experienced from the 22 oz bomber in a snifter. This Belgian style ale pours a hazy yellow with tinges of amber, and a light frothy white head that dissipates to a moderately thick ring, spider webbed lacing, and thin pool of foam. Nose of lemons, Belgian yeast funkiness, sweet Belgian candy sugar, and white zinfandel wine un oaked wine. Flavors are spicy and effervescent with very light swwet candy sugars on the front and back, lemon zest and grapes to the sides, and light stone fruits and grapes on the aftertaste. The finish of the beer is lightly dry with a seltzer like, effervescent, prickly champagne note. Unique. I am a huge fan of this brewery, and totally understand the negative notes, yet this is pretty unique and boundary pushing. Everyone's cup of tea, no, BUT it is unique without blasting one's tastes totally out of the water.

Cheers

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Photo of mothmanscott
3.36/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a hazy straw producing barely a finger of very rapidly dissipating, champagne foam structured, white head that leaves no lace & barely leaves a surface collar ring. Aroma is candy sugar, Belgian fruity esters of apple & pear along with white grape from the added juice followed by Belgian yeast funk, lemon, clove & other spices, faint honey & banana. Slightly sour with a vinous hint. Not much malt in the nose other than a light breadiness, however pale malt may be masked by the grape & vinous hints. Taste is spicy & thin white wine accenting green apple & pear, lemon & orange notes. The package is very dry for such a sugary nose. Faint coriander & clove. Malt profile is thin with almost no breadiness but manifests as a pie doughiness when the brew warms. Finishes dry, spicy & fruity developing a bitterness that builds into a dry aftertaste & rapidly diminishes. Alcohol well hidden in the nose but slightly more active in the mouth as spice, bitterness & maybe a little warmth in the opening of the aftertaste. Alcohol becomes much more prominent as the brew warms. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with high, spritzy carbonation, dry & tongue coating prickly. Great Divide is among my favorite breweries but I think they were off the mark distinguishing this brew as their 20th Anniversary offering.

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Photo of chinchill
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle; bottled in March 2014; served in a Belgian snifter.

Poured pale golden with alight haze and small head. The aroma is fruity and has the unmistakable character of Belgian yeast. Some light funk and heavy yeast reduce its attraction but this aspect does not carry over to the flavor. Complex with very good balance and a mix of tropical and other fruity flavors, including white grapes and faint banana. Neither bitter nor sweet, with light spiciness.

O: this is a quite enjoyable Belgian style ale worth seeking out.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Pours a hazy straw yellow with a touch of brown in it. Two fingers of frothy off-white head. Retetntion is below average and a half finger of bubbly lacing is left.

3.75 S: Smells like an imperial saison to me. First thing that sticks out is a grassy hay and a ruddy earthiness. White grape follows behind with peppery spicy undertones. Lemon, a touch of bready yeast, cake frosting, and banana.

3.5 T: Well this tastes nothing like it smells. Foremost, there's a pretty healthy bitterness that comes out of nowhere. The saison flavors are still right there. Hay, earth, even a touch of funk. The white grapes probably have something to do with this. Peppery underneath. Much of the fruitiness found in the nose is diminished.

3.5 M: Lighter body. Good spritzy carbonation. Even a touch of creaminess. The finish I don't care much for. It's bitter and has an almost industrial component to it.

3.5 D: I wouldn't have made this for a 20th anniversary, but it's okay for a try I guess.

Edit: This tastes a million times better with all of the yeast mixed in. The supreme bitterness is gone. The finish is much improved and offers some sweetness canceling out most of the harsh flavors. It tastes pretty much the same, but the sweetness somehow trapped in the yeast brings a good balance. I adjusted my scores to be the median between the original review and this update.

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Photo of corywalston
4.51/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A. Easy poor, white soapy head that dissipates to islands of bubbles and a ring around the glass. No carbonation. Color is a cloudy yellow with a golden shadow. The type of cloudy were your not sure if the glass is frosted or not.
S. Fruit, apple, grape juice, yeast is slightly over powering. Also banana, and honey?
T. Taste sour on the front of the pallet, yeasty, sweet and fruity, apple juice, maraschino cherries, and biscuit. The grape is evident. The aftertaste like corn chips, with a little heat in the chest.
M. Crisp, watery, and dry.
O. Very good one of the best Belgium I’ve ever had. I recommend trying it out. With that being said, I would not choose a Belgium beer for my 20th anniversary. In my opinion yeti is what put Great Divide on the map.

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Photo of stephens101
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%

While GD makes some absolutely otherworldly beers, the Anniversary outings have not exactly impressed. Still gotta give this one a go.

Bright, reddish-orange with a fleeting tan head.

Out of the yeasty aroma an abundance of light fruits arise. Lemon, orange, pear and grapefruit combine to form a pleasant precursor to the light fruits that slide across the tongue. Faint notes of coriander are noticed and all is concluded with a fading bitterness.

An inviting and palatable beer that flows freely, doesn't try too hard, and is completely secure within its own skin.

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Photo of farrago
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Wispy head, barely covers the surface before even that thin layer of white is gone, lacing close to nonexistent and no stick. Filmy light yellow hued liquid, holds the light and glows warmly, just transparent enough to see the fat bubbles rise inside the glass. The nose leans on clove to nutmeg spice, lemon pulp, yeast and apple, pear and, of course, white grape fruit scents, comes across as gregariously sugary with bubblegum notes and not much to provide counterbalance. In the mouth it is medium-bodied with active carbonation which ultimately proves more distracting than refreshing, albeit this trails off at the end. The coriander to clove spice sweet, fewer yeasty qualities here as the lemon to sour orange citrus plays a bigger role and the vinous qualities come to the fore and accentuate the white grape, pear, green apple flavors. You get a bit more banana as it warms. Yeast to raw pie dough, not much in terms of finished or baked bread or even rougher grains. Does produce a certain bitterness at the end, however, this itself just contributes to its herky-jerky presentation. If you enjoy the primary flavors here, they are deep and longlasting.

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Photo of brentk56
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%

Appearance: Pours a hazy goldenstraw color; the head is modest for a Belgian style though the lacing action is adequate

Smell: Bready and yeasty, with candi sugar and spicy phenols; hard to pick up the Viognier

Taste: The sweetness asserts itself in the foreground, with bready elements underneath; beyond the sugary elements, there is a woody character, yeasty spice phenols and the Viognier juice arriving (though very subtle) in the mid-range; the finish brings in the hops to offset the sweetness; slightly boozy in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I was expecting the Viognier to make more of an impact here but find this to be more typically Belgian in flavor and a bit too sweet for my palate

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Photo of seedyone
3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

05/10/14 From bottle. Like the blurb says "this is a grown-up beer".

I really enjoy well made Belgian brews & most permutations thereof & this gets real close.

If the head were an indicator of flavor it would have been a disappointment, so I'm happy to say I've learned not to judge a beer by it's cover. Perhaps a tap extraction would have been prettier.

This delivered a full, full flavor & texture. A slight mustiness on the nose, but that just adds a complexity to the enjoyment.

I look forward to the 25th Anniversary measure.

Last year Firestone-Walker was my find of the year & since this is the third or fourth bulls-eye from Great Divide in as many months, they may get the nod this year.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A 650 ml. bomber bottled on Mar 21, 2014. Sampled on August 10, 2014.

The pour is straw to golden yellow with a modest white, fizzy head settling on top and leaving decent lacing on the glass as it fades. Highly carbonated.

The aroma begins with the Belgian esters I would expect including toasted bread, toasted biscuit, yeast, citrus, and sweetness. But there is a kind of distracting vegetable oil note.

Light and refreshing champagne-like body.

The taste echoes the aroma but the vegetable oil sensations seems to go away. A clean, crisp hop finish. A good way for Great Divide to celebrate 20 years I imagine.

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Photo of FickleBeast
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Bottle conditioned beer pours a hazy golden color with a finger of foam that fades quickly. Not as persistent or billowy as other Belgian style beers I've had. Aroma is quite spicy and phenolic.

My first impression is that this beer is thin bodied, with a bit of a metallic twang and not as effervescent as the style would demand. Yeast flavors are dominant, with a lingering bitterness. While it has elements of a Belgian-style ale, the sum of the parts add up to a lackluster representation of the style. The under-carbonation really hurts the impression that I get from this beer.

This is a servicable beer, however I don't think it was worth the price.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle dated 3/21/14 poured into a tulip
A: Hazy yellow with a one-finger head
S: Wheat, apple and coriander
T: Wheat, grass, fruit esters... but feels disconnected somehow
M: Fairly light-bodied but again disjointed in a way I can't explain
O: Pleasant flavors they just need integration

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Photo of Mantooth
3.16/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Draft pour at Duckworth's, Huntersville North Cackalacky.

Pours much lighter than I expected, looks like a pils in the glass, with minimal snow-white head and lacing. The nose is underwhelming, bit soapy and bready and the taste is similar. The alcohol is very well hidden and the beer is quite drinkable. I'm baffled why this brew would serve as their 20th Anniversary offering.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 3/21/2014. Pours lightly hazy bright gold color with a 2 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big lemon, apricot, pear, apple, white grape, light banana, white wine, wheat, biscuit, clove, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, pale malt, and grape juice notes; with good strength. Taste of lemon, apricot, pear, apple, white grape, light banana, white wine, wheat, biscuit, clove, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Slight yeast spice and fruity tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, apricot, pear, apple, white grape, light banana, white wine, wheat, biscuit, clove, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, pale malt, and grape juice flavors; with a great malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and slightly bready mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Belgian strong pale ale. All around good complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, pale malt, and grape juice flavors; and extremely smooth and crisp to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter (3/21/14)

A: Bright straw color that is hazy. Decent head that has a collar and almost no lacing.

S: Straw and belgian candi smells. Quite farmhouse.

T: Farmhouse with this like freshly mown grass. Gets better as you drink it, but it is just this very earthy belgian strong pale ale. Yet it is still light. Almost like a saison pale ale. Just a weird flavor.

M: Smooth with rolling, massaging carbonation.

O: Just not my style. Darn anniversary beers being so tempting. I worry that I won't be able to find one if I wait to buy it, but then it starts popping up to try as samples. Ugh.

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Photo of utfiero
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color- hazy light gold. Huge head.

Aroma- dusty yeast, coriander, light grains, and hint of canned olive juice.

Taste- A refreshing change from last year's anniversary brew. Starts wheaty, crisp with white grape notes and hints of lemon peel, clove, pine needle,and pepper. Finishes with dry long clean hop note. A nice, refreshing strong brew. Sooo much better than last year's anniversary brew from Great Divide!

Poured from 650 ml bomber into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass). Tasted 6/10/14. Purchased from Western Beverages next to Costco in NW Austin.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, pale golden color with a frothy white head that leaves little bits of lacing.

Smells of bright fruits and grass.

Tastes of the grass and fruits mostly with a little pale malt. Grass notes lead off with some hay as well. Fruits come next with white grapes, apples, and pears. Grainy malts come through and add some sweetness adding to the fruits. A bit of spicy yeast comes towards the end before a second wave of fruits and a little alcohol heat.

Mouthfeel is medium with a crisp amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is solid, but I don't appreciate the grainy malts and want more yeast notes.

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20th Anniversary Belgian-Style Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 249 ratings