21st Anniversary Sour Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

21st Anniversary Sour Ale21st Anniversary Sour Ale
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Average: 3.73 | pDev: 9.92%

Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 143

American Wild Ale

ABV: 6.20% | Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Wants   Gots 

Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Notes: This beer is retired; no longer brewed. This American sour is a celebration of 21 years of brewing. Soured with lactobacillus and brettanomyces and aged for 9 months in wine barrels.
Very Good
21st Anniversary Sour Ale21st Anniversary Sour Ale
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Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 143
Photo of Phil-Fresh
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Slightly citrusy, with a moderately strong white wine aroma, and moderate sourness.

A: Bright orange color, hazy, with a moderate white uniform head that has adequate retention. Lots of lacing left in the glass.

T: slightly funky, with a grape skin flavor upfront, almost white wine like, with a moderate sourness and light oak character.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Solid; the beer has a solid wine, sour aroma and flavor. The beer is easy to drink, but lacks complexity in the aroma and flavor.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 6/30/2015. Pours slightly hazy golden orange color with a 1 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of lightly tart lemon, apricot, peach, strawberry, kiwi, pineapple, pear, green apple, white grape, white wine, wheat, cracker, and honey; with light funk, pepper, oak, and yeast earthiness. Nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/earthy yeast, wine barrel, and moderate pale malt notes; with good strength. Taste of lightly tart lemon, apricot, peach, strawberry, kiwi, pineapple, pear, green apple, white grape, white wine, wheat, cracker, and honey; with light funk, pepper, oak, and yeast earthiness. Light fruity tartness and yeast/oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, apricot, peach, strawberry, kiwi, pineapple, pear, green apple, white grape, white wine, wheat, cracker, honey, and yeast/oak earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/earthy yeast, wine barrel, and moderate pale malt flavors; with a good malt/tart/spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from yeast/oak tart/spiciness as well. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, fairly creamy/grainy, and lightly acidic balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good wild ale style. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/earthy yeast, wine barrel, and moderate bready malt flavors; very smooth and easy to drink. A bit more malty and less tart/acidic/funky than I expected; but it has a lot of nice tropical Brett flavors going on. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
3.61/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

American sour ale. Very tame. Getting some strawberry, citrus and oak. Semi dry finish. Nice carb. Light. Could crush a bunch of this on a hot day. It's eh.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.61/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml capped/foiled bottle split between a pair of large snifters. Most sediment left in the bottle. I got the glass with less sediment. Bottled on June 30, 2015.

Pours clear golden with little to no head. Carbonation is nearly nonexistent. Smell is tart, lemons and apricots.

Taste is moderately tart and a little on the sweet side. Focus is more on the apricot, most of the lemon is lost.

Mouthfeel is rich and silky. Overall, it's not bad, but not nearly as tart as the sweetness demands.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy Light golden color with a skim of white head. Sour tart smell, smells like a Chardonnay. Has a tart green grape taste. Mold carbonation with a medium light body. 4 across the board. Pretty good sour, glad they kept it basic and didn't add any fruit to it like so many sours.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.59/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml into a snifter, the beer is a hazy, golden coloring with a bright white head. Aromas of subtle toasted grains, white grape must, and dry chardonnay characteristics. Earthy and tart. Flavors are toasted and subtle forward, with notes of chardonnay characteristics, farmhouse funk, and a light sourness. Light and smooth, with a definite dryness that keeps things clean. Effervesced and light finish, with a subtle sour linger, and a touch of astringency.

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Photo of MikesnoHSL
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

This is more of a farmhouse or saison than a "sour" beer. In fact it's not sout at all. For a farmhouse it's pretty good actually but the label is very misleading

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Photo of zeff80
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle. Poured out a burgundy color with a small, off-white head of foam. It smelled sour with some malty notes. Some cherry aroma. Tasted fairly tart and sour but not overdone. A touch of cherry and apple with a sweet bready malt backbone.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.49/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've tried to actually refrain from taking the time to write reviews since I generally keep track here for myself and my own records. However, in looking at the score for this beer it is MY OPINION that this is an extremely under rated beer.

It is a wonderfully drinkable wild ale in every respect. I suspect that because it says "sour" on the label drinkers/reviewers want more sour and acidic tones. Perhaps Great Divide should not have used "sour" on the label. It is a light but complex brew with layers of elegant flavors, stone fruit, fruity funk and sweet yeast notes. It has hints of sour but more like a good acidic funk than anything else. It is remarkably balanced, integrated and especially drinkable.

This is one of Great Divides best in my opinion and very well worth a try.

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Photo of ryanhooks81
2.96/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

poured from bomber into glass. hazy golden in color, little head, no retention. no lacing. weak carbonation. pretty ok, but not what i expected from a "sour"

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.59/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Gold in color with a light haziness. A fingernail of off white surrounds the rim and half of the middle of the glass. The aroma is green apples and tart Brett. I taste dry sparkling apple juice and just a hint of acidic tart Brett. Honestly for a sour it seems a bit one note. The mouth is highly carbonated, but extremely dry.

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Photo of russpowell
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottled Jun 30 15

Pours a semi-hazed honey color with a pinky of beige colored head. Head drops of rapidly, carbonation fades, near zero head retention & lacing

S: Slight sourness & pears

T: Follows the nose, some earthy brett funk as well. Pears, white grapeskins & a little mustiness as this warms. Finishes fruity, a little tart, some grape sweetness & a whisper of oaky dryness & funk

MF: Light body, delicate carbonation, carbonation picks up once warm

Drinks very easy, this is sort of a basic sour, not really worth of a GD Anniversary slot, but I guess everyone has to get in on sours. These guys make some great beer, but this falls short

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Photo of cjgiant
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap:
Pours a mostly clear yellow-golden. Head is actually decent, and carbonation is visible, bit more than expected from a wild ale.

Nose is nice, but not sour at all. Maybe a light tartness coupled with an apple-heavy fruity smell. I almost am thinking of green apple, and yogurt with a little granola - as there is a light honey sweetness and light breadinrss in there as well.

Taste does follow the nose pretty well, the tartness is hidden with a cold drink, though. In fact, I've rarely had a beer that matches taste to nose so well. There is definitely a complexity in this beer with how the light sweetness plays into the apple fruit, then releasing some tartness before ending clean. The feel is a tad effervescent for my liking though.

Interesting but a little tame on the American Wild Ale side. Might fit into a more subtle sour category quite well, however. Before the tart came with warmth, it seemed like a fruity saison, almost (without the yeast character).

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Photo of Pursuitofhoppiness1
4.36/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.75

Great divide has done it again. We just got it on tap today. Great for wine lovers, really enjoyed the citrus note and tartness. The after taste reminding me of oaky white wine. It's a bright teasing looking color. Very drinkable.

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Photo of aggiearcher13
3.21/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

L: Pale, a little hazy, pretty decent foam for a wild ale. Recedes quickly to a thin layer of lacing that hangs around for the entire time. Looks tasty.
A: White grape, musty, citrus and green apple. I can smell the lacto, almost a sour milk aroma in there.
T: Some oak and a sour milk taste. Most unusual for a sour beer for me, I can't say I've had the aroma and taste of sour milk in a beer before, but it's there. Not off-putting, but faint and interesting. Some good tartness but not that sour for the style.
F: Really good body for the style, I'm pretty impressed by this. Lower carbonation than most in the style. More carbonation might lend a little more acidity that would improve that overall profile, but I'm not sure it would do enough.
O: I'm glad I tried this, but I wouldn't seek it out again. Or even get it again, really, when you consider the other options out there. I would rate it an average effort from a brewery that has been decidedly average over the past few years. Somehow it manages to be less than the sum of its parts.

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Photo of crob3888
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a slightly hazy bright yellow with a beautiful one finger white head. Smell is of tart lactobacillus, citrus zest, wood-aging, and grain. The taste is similar, with a refreshing crispness and tartness to round out the flavors of white wine, chardonnay, citrus zest, and oak-aging. Overall a tasty beer!

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Photo of Runninmixz
2.09/5  rDev -44%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 2.25

Not the least bit sour. Thin mouthfeel, Apple in the nose, slight belgian tang in the back with a flat apple peel flavor up front. Very weak for an anniversary beer.

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Photo of StraightNoChaser
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

look: Very clear delicate light yellow-gold. Full and delicate white head with lacing that sticks around.
smell: Gonna use delicate again, as it is delicately tart citrus with subtle barrel notes.
taste: Creamy and yes delicately tart with complimentary white wine and barrel notes.
overall: A fine work of brewing art this. I'm usually a high abv in your face huge stout barbarian but this is a really nice alternative.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a modest head; the bubbles pop quickly as the head recedes to a film all the while leaving some splashy lace

Smell: Grainy malts with a lactic kiwi and strawberry element; a white wine character might fool a blindfolded drinker

Taste: Grainy, with white wine grapes and a lactic tropical fruit flavor developing - kiwi and, to a lesser extent, strawberry; slightly acetic through the middle with more funk than sour elements through the finish; as with the aroma, this beer brings a lot of white wine elements to the palate

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; hardly puckery

Overall: A pleasant drinker and I won't knock it down as much as others who are looking for something more sour; the Brett has more to do with the flavor profile here than the Lacto; the white wine barrels also make a statement; this would be a good beer to use to introduce a white wine drinker to sour beers

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.79/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

i have not had too much of the wild stuff from these guys, festivals only, so its nice to see them put one out. the price is awfully high for the quality of the beer, but i like the beer just the same, its a little something different. lots of sediment and haze in this one, heady too, looks like a wild ale should in the glass really, muted luster but quite light. smells good, not woody really at all, and more of a brett than a mixed bugs thing going on, i would call this pretty low on the acidity spectrum, but plenty funky, and not a generic brett funky, but something really pretty interesting on the wild side. its nice in the taste, subtle notes of white grape and peach, but this isnt fruity and it isnt sweet. kind of one big pop of flavor there in the middle, and then a slow fade out with the wild yeast. its simple in comparison to some of the best ones out there, but its also not generic at all, it has a funk all of its own, and thats pretty neat in this day and age of mass proliferating wild beers that arent all real good. in the end, its up to the quality standard great divide has established over the years, but its certainly not worth what they ask for it. best to find it on tap and just pay for a glass, thats all i really wanted of this, but its well made beer and its different from the crowd. might cellar well too...

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Photo of WaterFurnace
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Was really looking forward to opening this one, fantastic color and smell. The smell is very fruity and has a strong, funky, sour, caustic aroma. The sour note just doesn't come in the taste though. Very good beer overall, but it left something to be desired in terms of a sour.

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Photo of REVZEB
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap. The brett and wine barrels carry this beer with a bright red fruits such as strawberry and cherry, and a dash of hibiscus accompanying. The feel is a tad acidic in the finish, and the finish is so bright is loses its staying power on the palate. Smell is wine forward

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Photo of YalovaIA
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is a good decent beer. Not enough sour for my preference. Others may find it just right. Overall I would expect more complexity and flavors for a 21st anniversary beer. Give it a try and see for yourself.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Yard House in Northridge, CA.

Pours a murky golden-orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is slightly sour with grain, earth, fruit, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly sour grain, fruit, white wine, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with solid flavors, but everything is quite subtle for a sour beer.

Serving type: on tap.

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Photo of MLDucky
3.89/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The look and smell of this beer did not match up to the taste for me. Acidic, lacto on the nose, but upon taste, it tasted a bit muted. I was expected more of a punch from an anniversary beer. I could see people enjoying multiple of these with no problem and for the individuals not quite on the sour wagon, this would be a great beginner. Good beer, but I guess I'm being selfish wanting a more sour note to it.

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21st Anniversary Sour Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 143 ratings