19th Anniversary Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

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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.

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Reviews: 69 | Ratings: 384
Photo of ckollias
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this large bottle brew out of snifter glass.

A: Pours a golden hue with a thin white head that quickly dissipates leaving a wispy lace and no trail.

S: Floral earthy hop and malt aroma.

T: Very strong alcoholic and sweet flavor. Finishes like it starts – strong and sweet.

M: Heavy body and medium carbonation.

O: Very good DIPA – worthy of a try.

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Photo of stephens101
3.59/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a bright reddish-orange with a sturdy tan head.

Aroma is faint any way you cut it. Some mild notes of orange and lemon. Possibly some persimmon and herbs. A bit of caramel candy is noticed.

This one is more flavorful than aromatic with a nice hit of caramel malts, green apple butter and oak. Bitter in the background with some orange peel chalk as well.

Medium bodied and dry for the most part. The alcohol heats things up, but doesn't kill.

GD is one of my favorite go-to breweries and I'm happy to share the celebration of 19th years with this fabulous brew.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.09/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The color is golden while the compact small head is off-white. Nice lacings.

S: Lots of syrupy-sweet caramell malt. The birch chips are very obivious (smells just like my home-made-birch-schnaps). Hoppy and very fruity. Vanilla and coconut.

T: Very sweet, malty and toffee. Birch, coconut and vanilla dominates. Dark dried fruits and even some nice fresh ones.

M: Body is actually thick and sticky, while carbonation is very mild. Aftertaste is both bitter and sweet, but not very long. Alcoholic and warming.

O: This is my first birch-beer, but I'm no stranger to birch in alcoholic beverages... Very nice and interesting. If all beers with birch is like this - they should replace oak to birch in beers from now on!
This beer would probably evolve if properly cellared.

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Photo of StaveHooks
4.35/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle served in a Dogfish Head IPA glass

A - An aggressive pour yields an almost clear honey brass color with a timid white head. High specks and lower spider lacing.

S - Coconut shavings, woody, buttery caramel, salty, a quick swirl brings out a bready yeast.

T - Very woody upfront with loads of toasted coconut, spicy bitterness on the outside edges, sugar cookies, buttery malts, like crunch n munch light. Spicy alcohol fits in perfectly and really adds to the overall flavor profile. Finishes woody and brisk with a long woody aftertaste.

M - Full bodied but in a light silky kinda way, low carbonation has just enough lifting power to provide silky feel.

Wow! This is head over heels better than the last 2 anniversary beers GD has put out. The wood is dominate but in a very "non-powering" light way. The sweetness is lightened by the wood pairing with a savory salty/buttery character that really pulls everything together. It's not trying to be overly complex but succeeds in a simple but complex way.(If that makes any sense) This is a well made and very rounded brew. Happy anniversary Great Divide!

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Photo of BKBassist
3.92/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip.

A - Golden orange with a clean, small bubbled, fast dissipating head.

S - Oak (birch I suppose actually) forward, hints of vanilla and coconut.

T - I have no idea what a birch tree looks like or smells like or tastes like. To me, the wood notes in this beer are similar to oak aged beers I have had. It imparts a creamy, vanilla, hint of coconut and peach feel. The base beer of this was probably quite hoppy, as there is a DIPA like tropical backbone.

M - tiny carb, nice and solid feel. Typical of BA strong ales.

O - I like this beer. I can't say I can differentiate from a similar beer aged in oak, but it's drinkable for the ABV, pleasantly flavoured and well made.

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Photo of cvm4
3.74/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours an amber color with a hint of golden hues. Has a one finger eggshell head.

S - Some woodiness, a little citrus, may'be syrup and a bit of toffee.

T - It's like a cross between a barleywine and DIPA. I want to not like it, but I really do. It's woody, pine hops and sweet malts.

M - Full bodied with medium carbonation. Can seem cloying due to the sweetness of the birch syrup.

O - I can understand why this has a lower than normal BA rating. But, Everything does mesh well together for me.

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Photo of Tone
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, golden/copper color. 1/3 inch head of a white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of sweet malt, hops, citrus hops, hint of pale malt, slight alcohol, and slight grass. Fits the style of an American Strong Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, citrus hops, caramel malt, pale malt, and alcohol. Overall, decent appearance, good aroma, feel, and blend. Body is not strong enough, in my opinion.

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Photo of russpowell
3.64/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled May 14th 2013

Pours amber with a thumb of pearl colored head. Stays effervescent, traces of lacing & head retention

S: Faint woody notes &pears, toffee, booze, some pineapple

T: Dry woody notes, some toffee, some pear brandy up front. Some faint herbal notes, apricot & pears, & orange peel as this warms, some passion fruit as well, & toffee. Finishes with orange, a bit of booze warmth, muted shortbread flavor & a bit of canned peaches

MF: Chewy, dry & near zero carbonation, decent balance for the style, warming

Not one of Great Divide's better anniversary offerings, but worth a try . Started feeling the ABV quite a bit

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +17.3%
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 0%
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.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of Hopswagger
4.32/5  rDev +20.3%
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!

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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.

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Photo of CSeanGraae
3.84/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Photo of mpedara429
3.96/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A slightly hazy amber color with a finger of off white head. Low retention and spotty lacing.

S: Toffee, booze, vanilla, and wood.

T: Similar to the smell. A strong bitter bite on the finish that is accompanied by woody and earthy tones.

M: Medium heavy body with a softer carbonation. Body is also sticky, smooth and creamy.

O: Its kind of unusual, but pretty good. The taste is different as it comes in a super sweet wave, and then a bitter earthy wave.

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Photo of Chaney
3.34/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Picked up a bomber for $8.99.

Served in a DC Brau tulip.

A: Poured a rusted orange color with only a slight pathetic head that wouldn't pick a fight with me.

S: Smelled like a carnival: Sugary taffy, cotton candy, and caramel corn all rolled into one.

T: I definitely good the wood part... bark and all. Bitter, bitter, bitter, and not in a pleasant way. I didn't find the birch syrup to be that interesting in the slightest.

M: Harsh. Lots of booze and sandpaper-esque notes that boggle the mind and palate. The carbonation was fine though.

O: Heck, this one's pretty cheap. Buy another bottle, bury it in your cellar, and don't even think about it for 10 years.

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Photo of Misanthropy_Sipping
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Was really interested and kind of excited over this. Great Divide does some really great beers. Unfortunately I wasn't sure how to feel about it after I finished. Here's the history:

Pours a very clean gold amber. Almost a light honey appearance. Nice mellow orange hue. Doesn't really have much of a head at all. Quickly dissipating bubblies that leave the beer quite placid.

Smells very noticeably of birch juice/syrup and booze. There is a slight woodiness in it and is just slightly sweet to the nose. For the smell of birch I would really recommend someone find some birch juice. Drink it... smell it. It has a very specific light and unusual taste and smell. For me it falls into the category of a backward scent and taste. It's hard to explain, it's like an emptiness. Once you have something of birch origin you lily won't forget though.

To continue there are also some fruity esters happening but very mildly.

The taste is sweet, and ends pretty cloying for me. The taste is definitely dominated by birch, booze, and pineapple. It's slightly bitter at the end with the herbal hops that are almost quashed by the booze. How anyone could not pick out booze on this floors me. There is a vanilla tone buried inside which is pretty nice and helps the beer out quite a bit.

The mouthfeel is just plain sticky. It's dense but goes down surprisingly well for how sticky/thick it is. I'm guessing the birch syrup and high malt s definitely to blame for these two things. Between the cloying sweetness and these two things though, it is kind of hard to get around with.

Overall, this is okay. It's interesting... it's not bad. It's not a hoppy beer much at all. Mainly sweet and unusual. I appreciate the oddness of it. But it doesn't really blow my mind. To put it simply I am glad to try it, but this won't be one I will be going back to buy. If you don't like sweet and boozy and sticky, just don't do it.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.44/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Old Toad in Rochester, NY.

This felt a little bit weird. The wood aging here kind of lent an earthy astringency that didn't work with the base beer, which gives off some coconut and caramel and a little bit of hoppy bitterness. A bunch of flavors that kind of don't really work together for me.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.79/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark goldenrod color. Like honeyed amber. Some chill haze. Thick 3/4" cap of bright suds. No escaping carbonation from below to support the head, but it's proving its worth in retention.

Sappy sweet birch, floral hops, herbal aromas, slight woodsiness, cereal grains, candied orange, vanilla cream soda, and mild soapiness. Quite the interesting array of aromas. Smells a little waxy, like a scented candle, but overall, it's good. Almost has a touch of butterscotch.

Flavors totally follow the nose, but with an added hop flavor and bitter firmness. Sweet, too, but not cloying. Birch chips cut in with some wood-sucking dryness. Actually, it's rather woody now. Still has a touch of herbal qualities that push it into birch beer territory, but the vanilla notes overpower any semblance of botanicals used/implied. Citrus notes are mostly orange-y, but there's some pithy grapefruit and tropicalia (pineapple??) in the mix. Malty, not grainy. Ale yeast waxes English. Slight earthiness, and maybe a bit of pie crust in the malts. Hops are strangely bitter with pine notes; creates good balance with the sweetness. The strength builds because you feel it, not because you taste it.

Where's this 10%+ ABV? Uncannily smooth. The body is dense and wooly with roundedness. Not much stick, either, except in the back of the mouth. Coating, I should say. Medium carbonation. The feel doesn't falter. Just different for an amber strong ale.

They're always making woody Anniversary beers. This one is no exception.

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Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.37/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

22 ounce (650 ml) bottle in a pilsner glass. Bottled on date of April 22nd, 2013.
A - deep golden full of small fizzy bubble with a two finger head that recedes to a tight lacing and 1/2 finger lingering head.
S - smells woody with a sharp alcoholic bite that make its vaguely whiskey like in an overpowering way.
T - alcohol zap is immediate and strong. Woody resinous sweet taste underlies the heavy booze bite. Hops are blown away by the booze.
M - moderate body with ample carbonation that intesifies the alcoholic feel.
O - closer to a weak whiskey than a strong beer. Some may like it but it was not what I was looking for from Great Divide.
Is there a wood aged malt liquor category?
Great Divide has been one of my favorites when I can get it but this one is not the usual.

Maybe significant aging would even this out but I doubt it as it looks too filtered.

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Photo of wvsabbath
3.41/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type -22oz bottle

Appearance - Golden amber/ yellow with a 1/4 foamy head, nice lacing.

Smell - Woody/birchy aroma, some hops, nothing to strong or strong.

Taste - Sweet malts, birch and oak. Hops are piney and sweet, added sugars, some Plenty of booze in each sip. Slight herbal, spice note in the finish. Nothing much more to add.

Mouthfeel - Birch, malts, sugars and booze nails the tongue. Palate gets more sugars, booze and added sugars, along with spices. Aftertaste is sweet, birchy and alcohol influenced.

Overall - Well, its not bad but not very balanced. The booze is too strong and its a little to sweet, which takes away from the oaked flavors, hops and malts. More spices, hops and malts, less booze and sugars would help this out. Worth a drink since it is a anniversary beer and it is enjoyable enough.

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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.

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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-

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Photo of mactrail
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Amber color in the tall Saxo tulip with a brief cap of foam. Just a few bubbles, but a sharp prickle on the tongue. Interesting woodsy smell.

Very sweet and malty. I can't say that the birch adds a whole lot, but the overall effect is a fat-bodied brew with a tangy mouthfeel. Some stray aromatics, but it's like a double bock beer. There might be a faint herbal taste. I don't taste the alcohol, but it's definitely lurking behind the syrup.

A beer that's hard to figure, but it's worth a try if you like an oddity. Quite sippable, though some creamy carbonation would have made this more rewarding. From the 22 oz bottle for $8.50 at Baron's Market in San Diego.

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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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