20th Anniversary Ale
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

20th Anniversary Ale20th Anniversary Ale
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Belgian Strong Dark Ale
4.07 | pDev: 7.62%
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
20th Anniversary Ale20th Anniversary Ale
Notes: Weyerbacher is turning 20 this year! How do we celebrate 20 years of bold and innovative beers? With the release of our 20th Anniversary ale! Our 20th Anniversary brew is a Belgian-Style Dark Ale weighing in at 11% ABV. It’s malty with notes of caramel, raisins and berries, as well as subtle hints of coriander and star anise.
Reviews: 85 | Ratings: 273 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jmasher85
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Minimal lacing and carbonation, and not much head retention, Possibly the result of 3+ years in the cellar. Also, lots of floaties and congealed crud hanging out at the bottom of my glass... flavor country! I would say it makes me think more of the beer as a belgian-style ale, but I've had that from weyerbacher and lots of other of their beers have different styles, so who knows?

Anyway, this dark mahogany brown l is a powerhouse of flavor. The aroma is heavy on the bread pudding and dark fruits. Some banana-like esters and just a hint of bubblegum contribute to the powerfully complex aroma. Also hints of Dr. Pepper and burnt toffee.

Taste is similar, with a emphasis on the fruity, candy-like bready quality. less sweet than you would think from the aroma, but no hop or toasted malt bitterness. Very low alcohol burn for something so strong, but just enough prickle on the tongue to tell you not to drink it too fast. But I can certainly make this a regular addition to my lineup if it weren't a limited release. An excellent brew all around!

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jmasher85 from Maryland, Feb 04, 2019
Photo of jvgoor3786
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep brown and hazy with lots of floaties at 2.5 years old. There a quick, fizzy head with no lacing.

The smell is lots of raisin, dark fruit, and some caramel sweetness with maybe a little smokiness.

The taste is very sweet like raisins in a bread pudding. There is a slight, subtle spice bite that I assume is the coriander. There is no hint of the 11% abv. While the sweetness seems to be the main flavor, the dark fruit still plays a nice part.

The mouthfeel is low carbonation and medium thickness. There is a lingering spice at the end.

Overall this is really enjoyable and easy to drink. The sweetness dominates but doesn't overwhelm.

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jvgoor3786 from Arkansas, Jan 08, 2018
Photo of JJKBeerLvr
4.31/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into snifter glass in December 2017. There was a bottled-on date of June 2015 on the bottle. I drank this after cellaring the bottle for a couple of years.

Appearance: Very dark black with a thick tan/brown head. Head is very creamy and remains thick for a very long while. It leaves a lot of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Strong aroma of caramel, cinnamon, berries, and malts. There is not much hop aroma.

Taste: There is strong mint and chocolate flavors with some smoky roasted malt flavors, and a little vanilla and caramel flavor. There is little bitterness from hops, but the flavor is dominated by the mint and chocolate flavors. There is a strong alcohol presence as with other Imperial Stouts.

Mouth-feel: Thick, but with a heavy and extremely smooth and creamy body.

This is a very good Belgian ale, and it has a variety of flavors that adds a nice complexity to the beer. It is very smooth and enjoyable to drink. Comparing the taste over different bottles over 2 years, it has gotten even more smooth over time. I would buy this again if Weyerbacher decided to brew some more. This is probably my favorite of the anniversary brews so far (up thru 22).

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JJKBeerLvr from Pennsylvania, Jan 06, 2018
Photo of drtth
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This bottle is the brewery's 20th Anniversary beer and was bottled in mid 2015.

The dark, mahogany colored beer pours out into a snifter glass with a 1" light tan foamy head that recedes slowly but visibly to a thin layer on the surface and a small ring around the glass. Sipping creates lots of patches of foam, most of which soon slide back down to the liquid leaving some scattered smaller patches on the sides of the glass. Eventually the foam almost totally disappears from the surface.

The aromas include some dark fruit such as plum and raisins. There's also something that seems a bit like licorice and a just bit of some other spice.

The flavors include the plum and raisins on top of lots of caramel sweetness, all mingled with just a hint of spice and licorice tinged bitterness from the hops.

The mouthfeel is on the full side of medium bodied and fairly smooth with the very light carbonation. The finish begins as the fruit flavors begin to recede to be followed closely by the sweetness, leaving behind a light spicy bitterness that soon turns dry but lingers around the back of the palate for quite a while.

As usual, a well made beer from Weyerbacher who have long been one of my favorite semi-local breweries (i.e., just over a 1 hour drive from where I sit). Since I found only this one bottle I won't be able to have another but would definitely do so if I were to find another. The balance and complexity of this beer are noteworthy and it definitely reminds of the Belgian versions of the BSDA. While I did not have the chance to try this beer when freshly bottled I'd say that if it has not improved with age, the bottle age has done no damage either.

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drtth from Pennsylvania, Sep 18, 2017
Photo of Dragginballs76
4.41/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours deep purple color with nice thin tan head, not much lacing.

Aroma - Plum, raisin, nice bready aroma. Banana, clove.

Taste - So damn smooth, lots of dark fruit and Belgian yeast . Plum, no sign of the 11% ABV.

Feel - Full bodied very smooth and silky feel.

Overall - I should mention this was aged 2 years just an amazing beer wonderful flavors and so smooth.

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Dragginballs76 from South Carolina, May 17, 2017
Photo of woodychandler
4.14/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

And, as the grand finale to the madness that has been my Weyerbacher vertical as a part of the eradication of the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody, I have arrived at the anniversary beers. I never intended for things to get so out of hand, but between work & travel, this is the result. It is actually nice to reconnect after all of this time, plus it keeps me at home & out of trouble.

From the bottle: "Belgian Style Dark Ale Brewed with Coriander and Star Anise".

The bottle is dated 06/09/15 with a "Best By" date of 06/09/20, but I am anxious to get it out of the backlog. Its relative age dictates that I employ a gentle pour following the Pop! of the cap. Color was Dark Brown to Very Dark Brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with NE-quality clarity. An in-glass swirl raised two fingers of foamy, soapy, light-tan head that quickly faded back to wisps, leaving some lacing in its wake. Nose had a pepperiness to go along with a licorice and treacle smell. How curious! Mouthfeel was medium. There was a mild fusel heat to the beer on the tongue, paving the way for the spice of the coriander and the licorice-quality of the star anise to really shine. There was also a bready quality from the malt, plus I still felt like I was tasting treacle. My my. Finish was dry, a combination of the spices and the inherent heat from the ABV. I kind of wish that I had bought more than one bottle, but with an already daunting backlog, this one will have to suffice. I think that it could probably age a bit longer without any worries. Let me know how that works out for you.

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woodychandler from Pennsylvania, Feb 22, 2017
Photo of Immortale25
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Wicked Weed snifter. Bottleneck says 06/09/15.

A- Pours a dark brown color with a 1/4 inch light tan head that retains well before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and some faint wisps of surface foam. Resilient lacing leaves a broken ring behind. There are also flakes of sediment suspended in the body.

S- Belgian yeast gives off notes of banana, vanilla wafer and a touch of bubble gum.

T- Somewhat sweet toasty malt with plenty of Belgian yeast richness plus the expected spice characteristic of coriander and clove. Notes of Belgian candi sugar, vanilla and black pepper. Not getting a lot of anise which is a good thing for me. There's a tad bit of oxidation present which isn't surprising given this beer's age. Speaking of which, the ABV is masked very well at this point.

M- Slightly creamy but there's also an accompanying tanginess from the spice. Medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- This beer is well over a year old and it's drinking quite well. Never had it fresh but, if you're still holding onto some, you can let it ride for a good bit longer in my opinion.

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Immortale25 from North Carolina, Feb 16, 2017
Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Don't know where it spent the year, but it seems to have held up nicely. Poured into ale glass.

L: Dark brown, but not completely black when held up to light as it shines through almost all the way. Big foamy head with good retention, some lacing, and a cap and ring.

S: Sweet malts, star anise, coriander, dark fruits.

T: Tends to follow nose. Does not appear worse for the year wait. Caramel and dark fruits really come through.

F: Medium bodied, lighter, soft carbonation. Good balance and construction. Alcohol appears well-controlled.

O: Very nicely done Belgian with some flavor twists.

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IvoryFoxhole from Virginia, Jan 10, 2017
Photo of GarthDanielson
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is a dark, vibrant, ruby-tinted maroon coloring, with a low profile, bubbly, foamy, off-white head. Some sediment floaters throughout the body, too. Aromas of grapes, plum, dark cherry, currants, red wine characteristics, fig, date, and earthy highlights. Flavors are very wine like forward, tart and dry, with a solid blend of dark cherry, grape, currants, and blackberries. Very sweet, with that dry wine character throughout. Some earthy highlights rough up the edges a bit, and there are some old world fruit sweet notes that add a bit more depth throughout. Very bold and slick in mouth, with a robust feel that borders on chewy. The slick feel stays constant through the finish, with a solid linger of the cherry and red wine grape blend that dominated the aftertaste. Good beer, but it will make your palate work for it.

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Photo of jpearce4
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this beer some time ago when it was relatively fresh, reviewing a year-old bottle that I aged in the cellar.

L - Pours a deep reddish brown, hazy, reasonable head on it that lingers a bit.
S - Smell is heavy on the caramel and spice! Sweet malt, clove, figs, plum
T - Follows the nose pretty closely here, except the spice aroma that was very present in the nose was tamed a bit in the taste. Caramel-like flavors shine through quite a bit, the fig & dark fruit flavors hit hard with some clove and a hint of bubble gum. This beer hits all the right notes for a Belgian strong dark for me.
F - Reasonable carbonation, nice warmth from the alcohol, doesn't burn. I would peg it as an 8-9% beer based on feel.

I really enjoyed this after letting it hang out for awhile. It was good fresh, but the sweetness started to really shine through in a good way after letting it age a bit. Interesting evolution, and I would definitely drink it again!

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jpearce4 from Michigan, Oct 25, 2016
Photo of MMOSNN
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Year-old 12oz bottle poured into a goblet.
Look - a dark muddy brown color with a small khaki head that dissipates immediately. There's some spotty lacing and a good amount of floaters.
Smell - dark fruits, licorice, molasses, some booze, and slight notes of the Belgian yeast.
Taste - similar to the aroma, but molasses and sweet dark fruits are strongest.
Feel - medium carbonation, slick and smooth body, sticky, but it's pretty thin.
Overall, this is solid for the style, but I don't think age is doing this beer any good. I remember liking this a lot more a year ago when it first came out. The body is too slick and thin. However, the beer maintains some complexity in flavor that makes up for this drawback.

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MMOSNN from North Carolina, Jul 28, 2016
Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a dark reddish brown with a two finger tan head. Light soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is sweet dark fruits, Belgian yeast and clove.

T - The taste follows the aroma. Plums, raisins, Belgian yeast, clove, and candied brown sugar. The star anise appears subtlety in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Soft creamy mouthfeel with a sticky dry finish.

O - Very strong American version of a Belgian Dark Ale. Highly recommended.

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TreyIsWilson from Michigan, Jul 19, 2016
Photo of Slatetank
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I usually like to give beers like this some time in the cellar so I am reviewing this approximately a year old.

The brew pours a deep burgundy/bronze shade with light tan head that revives when swirled. The aroma starts mild but gets more expressive as it nears cellar temp with a slight toffee-nutty aroma and mild spice with some metallic scents. The feel is decent with thick body and moderate carbonation with smooth malt and subtle sweet toasted malt mix and spice in the middle. There is some warming alcohol in the semi-dry finish.

The taste has a good mix of peppery spice with a caramel/toffee taste from malt yet there is toasted flavor with a subtle nuttiness too and prune-like stone fruit yeast flavors with a sweet almost almond-like quality w/ not a lot of star anise but it is there. I like the restraint in use of spice in this regard. There is a light alcohol in the finish but it fits with all the other flavors which seem mild in comparison to its strength. This is a very good Anniversary beer it shows the skill and experience of the brewer/brewery that produced a pretty complex and not overly spiced dark Belgian. I think there is a lot going on with this in a good way. A year of age may have improved this but I have no way of knowing. All I can say is if you see it don't hesitate to purchase and enjoy. The semi-sweet balance with alcohol that is mild for an 11% ale. I think the spice definitely adds to the beer -I would recommend this, much better than I expected!

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Slatetank from Pennsylvania, Jun 27, 2016
Photo of OrangeMen
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 vintage
~1 year since bottling date

Appearance- Pours a deep reddish brown color. Half finger thick, light khaki colored head, fizzy, creamy, tightly packed bubbles. Some spotty head lacing and alcohol legs.

Aroma- Rich dark fruits, plum, raisin, fig, licorice, sweeter orange peels, red wine grape. Toasted malts, candied sugary sweetness. Clove, belgian yeast, lots of earthy spice.

Taste- Rich malts, toastiness, caramel, brown sugar, candied sweetness. Dark fruits, plum, raisin, vinous qualities, licorice. Belgian yeast, clove, earthy spice, woody, coriander, orange zest, sweet and tangy spiciness.

Feel- Medium feel, sticky sweet and slightly syrupy, spicy dry on the finish. Moderate to lower carbonation.

Overall- Aging very nicely, dark fruits seem to have come forward a bit more, even introducing some grapey vinous character. Still a nice rich maltiness throughout. Spiciness resides on the finish, with some Belgian yeast spice, pepper, woodiness, and sweet spicy tanginess from the coriander.

Was able to have a bottle fresh as well, and think i would rate the same fresh vs aged.

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OrangeMen from New York, Jun 18, 2016
Photo of bushbeer75
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz brown bottle - bottled on 6/18/15 - best before 6/18/20

Weyerbacher 20th Anniversary Ale filled my tulip glass with a mahogany [dark brown with red highlights] color. A nice 1 1/2-finger tan foamy head that held well was produced. The aroma was of dark fruit [i.e., plums] and sweet malt. The taste begins with dark fruit followed by sweet caramel malt. Just a touch of coriander is noted. Medium bodied, smooth and a little creamy mouth feel.

This ale is a nice American representation of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. So very drinkable for a 11 abv.

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bushbeer75 from Michigan, Jun 16, 2016
Photo of DrDemento456
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single of this for around 3 bucks from Beermuda in Lower Burrel.

A - A 1/2 inch of head quickly fizzes out before I can type resulting in a thin lace ring. Color is a deep and hazy amber brown.
S - Smells like a quite average belgium dark ale mild fruit sugars some dark fruit smells and a touch of dry grapes.
T - Has the sort of distinct wine flavor with drying yeasts but is actually quite rounded. Puree raisins and candied sugars at the base with a semi bubble gum like finish.
M - Quite smooth was drunk a bit warm so it goes down medium bodied but it will creep up on you.

Overall drinks a a bit better than the Weizenbock I had earlier and is quite true to the style despite the high ABV

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DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania, Jun 14, 2016
Photo of K-Dog
3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wad sitting on this one foe almost a year. Nice looking beer but that's about it for this. Thought it had a sour smell to it. The taste was an average strong Belgium at best with a slight metallic taste. Was rather disappointed with this. I prefer shorts evil urges or roak kashmir better for this style of beer.

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K-Dog from Michigan, May 30, 2016
Photo of avalon07
4.04/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a brown color and and cloudy, murky consistency. There was an inch of off white, foamy, fairly long-lasting head. OK lacing.

S: A nice aroma of spices, yeast, dark fruit, and caramel.

T: Tasted of Belgian-style yeast (not as prevalent as in some beers of this style), raisins, caramel, light malt, figs, coriander, and molasses. A pretty big, sharp flavor that's heavy on the dark fruit and sugary elements (not a bad thing). A tad bit thin in the finish, but this is easily overlooked.

F: A well-carbonated beer with a prickly, lively finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is one of the better examples of an American brewery doing a classic Belgian style. Very drinkable.

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avalon07 from South Carolina, May 24, 2016
Photo of rjd722
4.51/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Enjoying this on Phillies Opening Day 2016.

Look: Pours a murky brown with a light tan head which dissipates rather quickly, overall retention is nice. There is a lot of sediment floating around, beer is very hazy.

Aroma: Huge and really rich, great stuff. Raisins, toffee, maybe some molasses. Dark fruit and rich malty goodness dominates the profile.

Taste: Dark fruit, slightly sweet booziness, toffee, and raisin. The rich malts are present throughout.

Feel: Low carbonation, warmth from the alcohol. Very pleasant and drinkable, wish I would have bought a few more of these, especially for aging!

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rjd722 from Maryland, Apr 04, 2016
Photo of DovGibor
4.29/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

6/10/15 bottle poured into snifter glass. Had a half an inch of dark brown head that quickly faded. Color is dark brown to rich ruby with persistent soft carbonation. Aside: I noticed some sediment when I was done pouring this beer. It doesn't say it is bottle conditioned, but either it is or that is a surprising amount of sediment.
Aroma is huge. I got whiffs of it just from popping the crown. It's rich and malty, with raisin/dried fruit and a little alcohol. I notice a little bit of tart cherry hiding in the background as well. Lots of yeasty goodness; zero hops.
The taste matches the smell. It's big and rich. It has fruity sweetness that marries well with the rich malts. Some slight toffee and caramel notes, and noticeable alcohol warmth. It's brewed with coriander and star anise, but I'm not sure what the coriander added as I don't detect it. I find hints of the anise in the aroma and woven into the caramel taste. The anise is a solid supporting player that I appreciate.
Medium mouthfeel. I wouldn't call this a glaring flaw, but I did expect a slightly fuller feel given the nose and taste.

This beer is not perfectly balanced, but it is very, very good. It has nine months on it now; I wonder what a bit more time will do to it?

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DovGibor from New York, Mar 29, 2016
Photo of hopflyer
3.72/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 6/15/10. Picked up for $1.49 in a bin of singles "on sale". How could I go wrong with an 11% Belgian at that price.

Pours murky light coffee color brown. Very lovely carbonation hurdling yeast particles around. Light tan 2 finger head and retains an ample layer throughout.

Nose is timid but has some raisin and Belgian yeast. Can't pick up much of anything else.

Taste at first is yeasty and a bit boozy. I pick up the coriander a little bit and helps fend off the alcohol. Grassy, farmhouse funk. Some sweet toffee flavors and a bit of nut flavor too as booze wears off. Not really getting the anise.

Feel is lively and fizzy. A bit of a medium body. A touch of alcohol burn.

Pretty good offering from a semi local brewery. It has the typical Belgian yeastiness and higher than average carbonation. Flavors blend nicely and booziness retreats immediately after the first few sips.

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hopflyer from Pennsylvania, Mar 19, 2016
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.67/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle - $3.75 at Dogwood Growlers in Acworth, Georgia.

Best Before: 06/09/20.

Appearance: Pours a lightly murky, dark brown body with a smallish, stray, yellowy-beige head.

Smell: Liberally spiced dark breadiness harboring a firmly sweet and boldly (dark) fruity aroma with a warning of stinging alcohol.

Taste: Dark banana bread glazed with molasses and dark keukenstroop and flecked with dark fruitiness of dates and figs and black cherry. Slight underlying roasted nuttiness hinting at chopped walnuts. Quite spicy from the added spices certainly but also the yeast along with some peppery, sharp alcoholic notes supporting. At times, feels a bit like a booze spiked cherry cola. Remains sweet and spicy through the slowly warming, nearingly hot finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-plus carbonation. A bit sticky, a bit chewy.

Overall: It's strong and it's sweet. A little rough around the edges.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.99/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a 13 oz Weyerbacher tulip glass bottled on 6/10/15. Pours a very attractive mahogany with a massive 3 finger tan head that leaves behind traces of lace, solid retention.

Smell is loaded with dark fruit, raisin, fig, toffee, vanilla, clove, caramel, and alcohol is certainly present.

Taste follows nicely starting with raisin, fig, vanilla, toffee,clove, caramel, and some warming alcohol hits the back of the throat.

Body isn't quite medium, moderate carbonation which works, not really dry, and very good drinkability for its 11% ABV.

Overall this is a very nice beer and I need to thank @jzeilinger for this. A very solid Belgian Strong Ale.

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SawDog505 from New Hampshire, Mar 13, 2016
Photo of stevoj
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from my cousin John B. Right on target Belgian strong ale, Dark brown with ruby tinge, no head. Big full aroma of raisins and fruitcake. Taste is also fruity (plums), medium slick body. Not feeling the booze right away, burn comes late and deep down. Happy Birthday, Weyerbacher!

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stevoj from Idaho, Feb 28, 2016
Photo of Jon_Hendricks
5/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color.

Overall: Aroma has licorice, subtle spices, cola, dark cherries, and plums. Has tastes of light sweetness coriander and light licorice. Belgian notes are subtle, but the overall flavors meld well, and have nice complexity. One of the best beers I have had!

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Jon_Hendricks from Pennsylvania, Feb 19, 2016
20th Anniversary Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 273 ratings