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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 384 |  Reviews: 69
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 Whiskeydeez
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of JamesMN
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of JMBSH
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of Rift
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of KevinTenney
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of clay23
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of kjkinsey
2.75/5  rDev -23.4%

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 Lantern
4.5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of JamLand
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of Renegrenade
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of crobinso
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of RyV
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of mtalley999
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of Jason1337
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of brycevolk
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of Lukass
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of jewellrunner
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of Halcyondays
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of rabiddawg
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of 2dogbrew
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

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