19th Anniversary Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

BA SCORE
82
good
384 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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19th Anniversary Ale19th Anniversary Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
greatdivide.com

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
19th Anniversary Ale isn’t just a wood-aged ale. It’s a compass – a reminder of where we’ve been and where we’re going. Brewed with pure birch syrup and aged on birch wood, this beer embraces reverential tradition and revolutionary innovation.

Added by Jason on 04-29-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
384
Reviews:
69
Avg:
3.59
pDev:
13.65%
 
 
Wants:
10
Gots:
21
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 384 |  Reviews: 69
Photo of DonFrap
1.25/5  rDev -65.2%

Photo of ArrogantB
1.72/5  rDev -52.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

22oz bottle $8 (or was it $9)? Golden orange color, good head, looks ok. Aroma is musty and stale and really not good at all. The flavor was just downright awful, that birch syrup and birch wood were the main flavors competing with a really nasty alcohol flavor. I took about two drinks and drain poured this. Easily the worst Great Divide beer I've ever had by a long shot, they usually make solid stuff for the most part. Atrocious beer.

 439 characters

Photo of HKUSPC40
1.75/5  rDev -51.3%

Photo of utfiero
2/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Color - clear golden wheat.

Aroma- sweet but sharp like a mild radish with honey.

Taste- Overwhelming and unbalanced. Starts sweet and strong, alcohol esters are strong (reminding us of accidentally tasting cheap cologne), finishing with a sharp woody and annoying aftertaste. Could this bottle have been spoiled in shipping in the Texas summer heat? Possible, but we'll never know.

By the way, I'm not biased against Great Divide at all. I've even filled my growler at the brewery in Denver. But this brew just didn't measure up.

Poured from 650 ml bomber into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass). Tasted on 7/20/2013.

 664 characters

Photo of Sabtos
2.17/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Gold amber with a white collar.

I don't know what went wrong with this one--I think maybe it isn't right.

Smell is parmesan, corn, grapefruit.

Taste is that crisped up parmesan that fell off the pizza onto the baking tray.

This is downright funky and pretty bitter. Dry yet slick. Blech!

 291 characters

Photo of ThickNStout
2.28/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22oz bottle from Hop City (Atlanta, GA). 8.99. Bottled 5/14/13. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

Pours golden hued amber with a quarter finger of pale head that quickly retreats to a halo. Very few tiny pin points of "lace".

Muted aromas of sap, earth, flower petals and a kind of generic beer smell. Not too excited to move on after smelling this.

Oh. Hmm. Birch seems to be a much harsher wood than oak. Astringent bark, sweet sap (I assume that's the birch syrup?), subdued citrus peel, almost harsh pine, hot booze and black pepper. Not sure what's goin on here or what it's even tryin for.

Semi oily medium body with moderately high carbonation. Lingering "off" bittersweet wood and faint hop aftertaste.

An experiment gone wrong? If this is Great Divide's compass, as it says on the label, I'm not sure that I'm all that interested in where they're going. I didn't/couldn't/wouldn't finish the bomber. Quite a disappointment from a brewery I typically enjoy. I'd advise taking a pass on this one.

 1,011 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
2.3/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

Bomber, poured a light copper with white head. Foam was soapy and slick, along with the lacing. Filmy.

Aroma is birch and booze. Some sweetness. While these aren't all that bad, they don't do well

The first sip surprised me. Very light body as it enters and leaves. The birch and sweetness take over, some vanilla, which is promptly murdered by the booze. Probably a good thing else that vanilla combined with the residual sugars would have been too much. But this beer has nothing else going for it. Birch, booze, sweet. Thin with a bit of a saving dryness on the end.

Drain pour half the bottle. What were they thinking?

 626 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
2.37/5  rDev -34%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

Pours a thick viscous copper body with light beige head forming thin even after a vigorous pour, there's not much head wanting to erupt here. Fine speckled lacing not the worst looking beer ever. Bottled on 5/14/13, warming birch syrup it's almost like a woody honey or other concentrated sugar, minimal hops going on in the nose. Flavor warming alcohol big unfermented sugary body it's so rough it's unreal this needs another fermentation why release this keep this forever it will ferment forever if it was bottled conditioned sickeningly sweet beer, big alcohol wave hints of vanilla and charred oak with minimal aging this is young folks too fresh if you have a bottle don't drink it. If you have a bottle and your a diabetic get your local EMT ready to pick you up and take you to the ER. Overall it needs time, I won't be as mean as some reviews but this is the most sickeningly sweet beer I've ever tasted Birch syrupy should be barred from microbreweries.

 963 characters

Photo of maximum12
2.4/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Picked up a bottle of this beer because I always enjoy Great Divide's anniversary beers, & reading 'birch syrup' on the label sealed the deal in sticky. Bottle dated April 2013, split with my wife on a sleepy Saturday evening.

Poured into our virgin Cantillon glasses, anything would look amazing...but this one is an unclear orange, slightly hooded on the clarity scale, low carbonation. Nose is a wicked combination of sloppy sweetness (the syrup?), oranges with a sugar coating, added sweetener, & vanilla. All in all my blood sugar jumped just inhaling the fumes.

Great Divide's 19th Anniversary Ale is just as much a sugary tangle as the nose suggests. Wood sap comes across sickly sweet, with another hard lump of sugar from the malts. Oak lends a pleasant dryness, but contributes something akin to vanilla. Orange zest & half a still of alcohol rush to fill any open spots in the middle, before the sweet tide washes away everything else. Suffers from a lack of carbonation; heavy. Eleven ounces might be twice as much as I can handle.

The more I sip the less I'm enjoying this. First miss in this series, & it wasn't close. A bad beer that I'm not remotely interested in finishing.

 1,196 characters

Photo of brotherloco
2.5/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of olradetbalder
2.75/5  rDev -23.4%

Photo of kojevergas
2.75/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottled May 14th 2013. 10.20% ABV confirmed. 650ml brown glass bottle with uninteresting label art and foiled-over standard pry-off pressure cap acquired at Sunset Beer Co. for $7.99 and served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average; I like a lot of Great Divide's work but this seems a bit suspect.

Served cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonatio issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a dirty 1.5 finger head of beige/light khaki colour. Slightly creamy. Okay thickness. Average (~2 minute) retention; okay for the high ABV but not impressive. No bubble show. No lacing as the head recedes.

Body colour is a surprisingly light pale copper-orange. Translucent. No yeast particles are visible.

Not your typical appearance for an alleged strong ale. Looks decent, but it's not all that appealing to be honest. I remain optimistic.

Sm: Getting some birch syrup and wood - but probably only because I'm looking for it. I doubt I could identify those notes without prompting. It is distinctly syrupy though - I might've guessed maple if the label hadn't told me it was birch. Residual sugars are present. Some toffee. Muted buried citrusy hop character. Sticky and nectary. It seems strange for an alleged strong ale. The toffee and rich syrup remind me of a barleywine. Tangerine. No yeast or alcohol comes through on the aroma. Honey. Birch is certainly dominant. An aroma of moderate strength.

T: Birch syrup. Residual sugars. Caramel. Sweet citrusy hops. Hop profile is surprisingly overt. Tangerine. Syrupy; too sweet. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. Tropical fruits. Candied. I'd almost call it cloying. Not a great flavour profile by any means. Boozy. Imbalanced. Lacks complexity and subtlety. It's okay, but I'm not really liking it. Too sweet. Flavour profile is lacking; I really wish it was more balanced. Not very tasty. Lacking for the style.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Slight acidity. Overcarbonated. Doesn't suit the flavour profile all that well. Presence on the palate is poor. Too thick. Not soft. Unrefreshing.

Dr: I guess it's somewhat drinkable. There's just not much of interest here. I wouldn't get it again. A disappointment from Great Divide. Lackluster. I'll finish this bottle with some difficulty; I really wish I had help though. Doesn't hide its ABV all that well. Overpriced for the lack of quality. Quite underwhelming. Meh. A pretty mundane choice for an anniversary Ale. I expected far better.

High C-

 2,624 characters

Photo of Qbdoo
2.75/5  rDev -23.4%

Photo of kjkinsey
2.75/5  rDev -23.4%

Photo of Nunya
2.75/5  rDev -23.4%

Photo of heytomcat
2.75/5  rDev -23.4%

Photo of rojapa
2.75/5  rDev -23.4%

Photo of laituegonflable
2.84/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Pours a copper colour, clear, lacklustre head of large off-white bubbles. Lacing is unspectacular, but has spirit. Good for you, lacing.

Smells fruity but somewhat empty. Notes of mango and banana, touch of metal and not much else. Maybe a late touch of spice, but it's like artificial additives to provide aroma are doing most of the work here.

More oomph on the palate. Malty, with brown sugar, molasses and treacle. Touch of booze towards the back but certainly one-dimensional. Sweet, with a whisper of bitterness and maybe some very overripe fruit - kiwi and peach mostly. Doesn't excite; doesn't inspire.

Thick feel really. Fairly smooth, but definitely big and almost gluggy. Not a lot of texture; needs something to cut through.

Drinks heavy and sweet. Definitely needs a different angle - something to freshen, cut through or just elevate this thick, syrupy flavour. Note I was served this blind; I was even more disappointed to discover it's an anniversary ale.

 975 characters

Photo of denver10
2.98/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours a light translucent golden yellow with a slight white head. Aroma offers the barrel, some nice sweet birch syrup, and a touch of some hoppiness. Some alcohol is present. Flavor offers the woodl, some sweetness from the birch syrup, and a piney bitter finish. Again some alcohol is present. A medium bodied to fuller still mouthfeel. Overall, the use of birch syrup and wood was definitely quite interesting and I am glad to have tried it, but this was more of an interesting beer than a good one.

 502 characters

Photo of jmccraney
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of TheMrFarnham
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of timjim1327
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of JamLand
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of crobinso
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of pisano
3/5  rDev -16.4%

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19th Anniversary Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
3.59 out of 5 based on 384 ratings.
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