19th Anniversary Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

19th Anniversary Ale19th Anniversary Ale
384 Ratings
19th Anniversary Ale19th Anniversary Ale

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 384 |  Reviews: 69
Photo of Danobold
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of TXhomebrewer
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of tuka
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of gillagorilla
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter

A: Golden blonde with a hint of copper more towards the center. Poured with no head. You can swirl it to get a nice head on it though.

S: Surprisingly, I smell a lot of lemon and citrus. Very light and with what seems to be some floral pine. Swirling it really brings out the pine and a hint of creaminess. I haven't really smelled birch or birch sap but that is probably the lingering smell,

T: It tastes like a really hoppy barleywine or an oak-aged DIPA. It is mostly pine or I guess it would be birch in this case. I guess I don't know what I was expecting out of this since I wasn't even sure of the style of the beer when I first got it. I hate when they just say ale. I thought it was a stout considering how dark the bottle was. It's good and is quite in line with their previous anniversary DIPAs of which I haven't had any but still know where I could get them. It is quite good and reminds me a bit of fresh Bigfoot. It kind of tastes like you would think a pinecone would.

M: Solid carbonation with a nice prickly coarseness.

O: It's pretty great, just not at all what you would expect. I was expecting something a bit sweeter, but this is a pleasant surprise. Good stuff but I don't know how it would stand up to aging even at the relatively high abv. I feel like this is probably best fresh. It seems like the hops are the main part of it and there isn't too much of the birch aging in there that I can taste. Aging might just bring the birch to the front, which would be interesting but probably not too good though.

 1,583 characters

Photo of PopnLoads
4/5  rDev +8.7%

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of crob3888
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of jopezu
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of jaybags
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of Nobcefus
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice. Bottled on April 22, 2013.

Appearance: Pours a bright and clear golden orange with a moderate amount of carbonation. Solid two fingers of white head that slowly recede into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing around the glass.

Smell: An interesting and sweet aroma of wood hints, caramel malt, fruit esters, and spices. Upfront barrel hints of wood, oak, vanilla, and whiskey. Big hints of the birch syrup. Spice hints of cinnamon and cardamon. Sweet malt presence with hints of caramel, toffee, yeast, and grains. Fruit esters of orange, apricot, tangerine, and lemon. Candied sugar sweetness. Also hints of butterscotch and honey. Fairly boozy. Quite a unique and interesting aroma.

Taste: As unique as it smells, a taste of wood notes, sweet malt, fruit esters, and spices. Big wood barrel taste upfront with notes of vanilla, oak, and whiskey. Noticeable taste of the birch syrup along with some butterscotch, candied sugar and honey. Fairly spicy with notes of cinnamon and cardamon. Malts with a taste of sweet caramel, toffee, yeast, and wheat grains. Citrus fruit esters of orange, tangerine, apricot, and lemon. Earthy with some notes of piney hops. Taste of alcohol is also noticeable to a degree. Taste is sweet but not cloying. Pretty good.

Mouthfeel: Fairly full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, syrupy, and slick. Fairly boozy but this goes down easier than expected.

Overall: This came out pretty good to me. Very unique, not sure what they were going for but it is tasty to me. Its almost like an aged IPA or barelywine aged on wood. Actually smoother than I expected.

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Photo of lighthabit
3.59/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

not too much to add here, rather, just an agreement with most of the others. birch lends a unique quality to this, but it's thrown off a bit by its sweetness. a tip - a 1/2 shot of bourbon seems to help mellow out the syrupy sweetness and lets the birch come thru a bit more. i'd be curious to see this without the syrup.

 321 characters

Photo of Lucnifter
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from tap at the brewery. Golden color with a tan rim. Super sweet and fruity aromas with a definite woody note. Taste is very fruity and a bit woody...very fruity actually. Its a bit over sweet but still scary easy to drink. You do taste the birch in the aftertaste and overall a good not great brew.

 307 characters

Photo of timjim1327
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of mikeincharleston
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of eulerthegrape
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Lovely85
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of DonFrap
1.25/5  rDev -66%

Photo of Ristaccia
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

Photo of Hopswagger
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

P: A crystal clear golden body with a nice milky off-white crown. Respectable retention with a garter of sexy lace inviting you to dive in.

S: Crisp toasty aroma. Apricots, smoked birch, toasted toffee, scotch, cardamom, salty caramel, cinnamon and sugar covered pecans.

T/M: Hoppy spices and lightly smoked birch and a sweet toasted malt base. Taste is very scotch like with an herbal presence, toasted toffee and tropical fruits. Syrupy/sticky mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Finishes dry with lingering scotch and smoked birch.

O: Surprisingly smooth for this thick palates booze monster. This is a successful woody in my opinion. The birch and scotch really ensures the palate and keep it guessing. I wish I would have picked up another on to age. Oh well. Cheers!

 778 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of maximum12
2.4/5  rDev -34.8%
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 CSeanGraae
3.84/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up on a whim, and have generally been a fan of Great Divide's brews. That being said, this one challenged my pallet. Overall, I have mixed feelings.

Served in: snifter

A: clear, golden amber - a color that is reminiscent of honey. Minimal, white head that doesn't hang around for long. Leaves a fine tinge of bubbles around the rim.

S: Floral character that reminds me of jasmine. A swirl reveals notes reminiscent of a moderately smokey scotch, with the high ABV coming in loud and clear.

T: Not your conventional taste experience. Challenging. Starts sweet and ends with a complex, bitter finish. Herbal, grassy notes follow the front end. There's a slight smokiness to the finish. Like a harder liquor, clear notes of alcohol can linger for a while after sips. Definitely reminds of of whiskey or scotch.

M: Lightly effervescent. On the low end of the carbonation scale. Has a modest, syrupy quality.

O: I'm intrigued. Maybe a bit confused. Did they intend to give it the character of a fine scotch or whiskey? If so, then mission accomplished. Not something I would choose to drink on a regular basis. Definitely a thought provoking brew though.

Note: this is my first review, so take it with a grain of salt.

 1,232 characters

19th Anniversary Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 384 ratings
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