21st Anniversary Ale
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

21st Anniversary Ale21st Anniversary Ale
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Stout - American Imperial
3.93 | pDev: 8.14%
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
21st Anniversary Ale21st Anniversary Ale
Notes: We’re turning 21 and we’re celebrating with a delicious chocolate cake with bourbon bacon icing (in a glass …). Cocoa nibs and cocoa powder give this big beer its rich chocolate flavor. Vanilla beans and Munich malts add a cake layer of flavor. Where’s the icing? We’re blending this already amazing beer with its bourbon barrel aged counterpart, while smoked malts bring a touch of bacon. In Weyerbacher’s traditional celebratory fashion, this big stout comes in at 11.9% ABV.
Reviews: 60 | Ratings: 213 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Budlum:
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Budlum from Maryland

3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aug 05, 2016
More User Reviews:
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maximum12 from Minnesota

4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to bonedizzle for handing this 12 oz bottle off at a D-Day Eve in-person trade. I’m really hoping this one recaptures the past glory of Weyerbacher’s anniversary brews like XIII, XIV, & XVI – because those were world-class beers. Bottle dated 6/22/16.

Pour Richard: black. Mild carbonation to the naked eye, which actually isn’t naked, since I wear contacts; bet you didn’t know that, dear reader. And no, I’m not having a laser jammed in my eye, thanks. Smells like booze & sweet chocolate. I’d roll in that.

Weyerbacher 21 delivers on my nostalgic memories. Vanilla isn’t coy. Sweet & intense, it puts the mouth on notice that this ain’t no chugging stout. Underneath the vanilla there’s fudge, light bourbon, nutmeg-ish spicing, & about halfway through the booziness in the nose announces its presence with authority. Little black licorice, cola on the finish. Oily & slick & heavy. But with this lovely vanilla front, I could spoon this for quite a while.

This isn’t heyday “holy crap that’s Charlize Theron!” material, but from the first sip to the last this is an excellent beer. Keep it up, Weyerbacher. And come back to MN!

Nov 10, 2016
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BigMike from Pennsylvania

2.87/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not sure if mine was infected or not but it wasn't enjoyable at all. The prominent aroma and taste was metallic and booze. I let it go through a range of temps while sipping on it but it never went away. I still have 3 left so hopefully maybe that one bottle wasn't sealed completely and oxidized or something. This was nowhere near SMS.

Jul 28, 2016
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BB1313 from Ohio

4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 6/22/16. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours black with a small tan head that fizzles away quickly leaving little retention and lacing. The aromas are very nice. Nice blend of chocolate and bourbon. The bourbon isn't overwhelming, but it's definitely present and accents everything else. Hints of oak and dark fruits in the mix. The flavors are bold. Lots of dark chocolate. Some black cherry in the mix. Solid cocoa malt backbone. The bourbon and oak is present giving this one a subtle warmth in the finish. The vanilla notes aren't as noticeable as I was expecting, but there's still enough going on to barely notice. Alcohol is ultimately well hidden. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of full-bodied; thin with active carbonation. Very smooth and dangerously drinkable.

This is a really nice bourbon barrel-aged stout. It's bold and balanced at the same time. Well crafted, very enjoyable and fun to drink. No complaints here. I really like it. Definitely worth checking out.

Aug 21, 2016
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threeviews from Florida

3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle (Packaged On Date: 23 June 2016) into a Teku 2.0 glass...exactly 7 months from bottling.

A - Pours black with some faint, mahogany highlights at the glass' edge with only a mere wisp of a coffee ice cream colored head. (3.5)

S - Savory, bacon-y smoked malt, sweet (yet mild) bourbon and hints of cocoa comprise the nose in that order. The vanilla adjunct arguably reveals itself at room temperature, but that might just be power of suggestion. (3.75)
T - Flavor follows the nose perfectly...smoked malt, bourbon and cocoa. Like the nose, the vanilla component is all but forgotten.(4.0)

M - Medium-minus mouthfeel, conservative carbonation and a semi-dry finish makes for something that drinks well below its advertised 11.9% ABV. (4.0)

O - I recommend consuming this one at near room temperature to illicit all of the flavors and aromas (as well as enjoy some of the alcohol heat which does grow). What's more, this beer has changed considerably in the seven months of age. The smoked malt character has really grown while any contribution from the vanilla has faded considerably. The cocoa is still noticeable but still is tertiary in the aroma and flavor. This has been a fun beer to have sampled every month since its release but ultimately would enjoy a bit more barrel influence. However, Weyerbacher again brings the value. For a BBA Imperial Stout with adjuncts (cocoa and vanilla) around ~$13 per 4-Pack is a really attractive. (4.25)

Jan 24, 2017
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scotorum from Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4


Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Smith English tulip.

a: Opaque black with a finger thick tan head which receded to even surface foam and dense to spotty lacing.

s: Booze, chocolate and vanilla combo.

t: Mostly the booze up front, over a smooth dark malt base which exudes smoke on first swallow. Sweet to moderately bitter finish mellows out. Very high ABV is somewhat evident. Slight dark fruit notes develop later, seemingly replacing the chocolate and supplementing the vanilla.

m: Medium to full, good body and heavy carbonation tingle.

o: Served too cold (48 degree beer fridge) but still getting a lot of flavor. A definite whiskey note dominates, although it is different from say New Holland's Dragon's Milk. Weyerbacher's Insanity or Founders' Backwoods Bastard, albeit the base brews on the last two are not stouts. Complex and enjoyable, changing to something more barleywine-like, that is more like their Insanity. Never got to try their old BBA stout called Heresy before they stopped making it, because for some reason it was never available in my state, or I'd have another comparable Weyerbacher entry to stack against this.

Aug 05, 2016
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hopflyer from Pennsylvania

4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 6/22/16

Pours fairly opaque, slight ruby highlight when held to light. One finger head dissipates to thin collar and sporadic film on top.

Bourbon barrel aging is immediately evident first sniff along with the chocolate. Other roasted maltiness and some burnt wood.

Taste is semi-sweet chocolate at first along with a decent dose of bourbon, but not overly boozy. The colcolate is prominent enough. Some of the vanilla comes thru as it warms some. Pretty simple combination of flavors but they're all pretty spot on.

Medium to heavy body and lower side of medium carbonation. Just about right for this style.

I had this fresh and remembered it being pretty boozy. The couple months really did this one good. As said before, the character is pretty basic but it's all done very well.

Nov 26, 2016
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kalosjakar from Rhode Island

3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Dark black with a small head which dissipated quickly.

Aroma: roasted malt, molasses, faint vanilla but there isn't much going on here. I can't detect cocoa or bourbon in the aroma at all. I'm underwhelmed to say the least with the aroma.

Taste: better than the aroma but not by much. slightly sweet, good roasted character, vanilla is much more apparent in the taste than aroma. burnt sugar, sweet bourbon at the end with a cool burn. im getting a bit of smokiness as well.

Feel: silky/wet with mild carbonation. medium mouthfeel with a bit of chewy/fudge character to it.

Overall: the feel was definitely the best part of this beer to me, which is rare. so often a beers aroma or taste stands out and the mouthfeel is either there or leaves something to be desired. this is the one time I've enjoyed the mouthfeel, but the taste is just okay, while the aroma is practically non-existent compared to other BBA Stouts.

Jul 12, 2016
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schoolboy from Ohio

4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I have the excellent good fortune of drinking lots of wonderful big stouts lately, including this marvelous effort from Weyerbacher. This is the real deal. And then some. Quite a bit.

Big fat stouts usually look like this one. Nice fine thin foam continuously rising from black ness (monster). The aroma is sweet and malty.

The taste is huge and boozy. Thick rich malts with loads of bitter too are like a fine confection. Sweet and delicious. The aftertaste fades to very strong alcohol. 11.9 seems more like 15 or 16.

This is a nice treat. I don't think this would benefit at all from aging. The fresh, bitter edge would get lost. Get some and drink it. Then it's gone forever.

Sep 14, 2016
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rydev24 from Pennsylvania

3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Jul 28, 2016
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macrosmatic from Florida

3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Cycle Brewing goblet.

A: Very, very dark brown, and nearly opaque with just some translucence around the edges. Minimal amount of visible carbonation and a thin tan head that fades fairly quickly. Leaves only a little lacing on the glass.

S: Fairly subdued for a barrel-aged stout. The aroma components seem to be there – chocolate, bourbon, and roasted malts. Oak with a light vanilla. But at least at refrigerator temperature, you’ve have to dig in there to find them. Not off-putting, but a little weird for a nearly 12% beer. NOTE: The aroma does open up a little as it warms, but still stays really low.

T: Bourbon and chocolate, about in balance. More vanilla than I got on the nose, and the dark malts with a good bit of roasty character. Hints of barrel char and mild smoke as the beer warms. Some sweet leathery notes mixed in with the malts as well. It finishes with lingering chocolate, sweet bourbon and some ethanol heat. Some dry woody tannins show up more as it warms, especially in the hang.

M: A fairly thin body for any barrel-aged stout, let alone one with this ABV. Average carbonation sensation. The alcohol flavors are definitely prevalent but not quite obnoxious.

O: Not an offensive beer, but really not a terribly good anniversary effort from Weyerbacher. I wouldn’t tell you to avoid it, but I would suggest you're probably better off letting this sit on the shelf. Certainly nothing exciting.

Mar 03, 2017
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wafers from New York

4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Jul 26, 2016
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Slatetank from Pennsylvania

4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I tried this from the bottle chilled in a snifter.

The color is black with a quick receding head of tan with opaque clarity. The smell is very nice with some cocoa and slight floral type vanilla sweetness in the nose with a mild earthy roast element and gentle alcohol aroma. The feel is good but the drawback is the warming alcohol is a little distracting. The malt is substantial with moderately sweet body and medium carbonation with subtle roast and mild creaminess from vanilla.

The taste is very good with mostly dark malt up front with a toffee-like taste that has a dark cocoa presence with slight smoke quality in the middle with some vanilla adding to the perception of sweetness with a mild raisin-like character from the yeast and a warming alcohol quality in the finish. Overall this is a good stout with cocoa and vanilla well represented in the taste with a natural flavor however the high alcohol flavor makes it difficult to enjoy -more of a 1 and done type stout.

Jul 13, 2016
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BeerForMuscle from New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Aug 07, 2016
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Dodo2step from Pennsylvania

3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- dark chocolate color that is opaque. Minimal head and no lacing.

S- bourbon and vanilla....mmmm.....it smells good with the grain as well.

F- dark malt with back end of bourbon and hint of vanilla.

M- grainy and malty with bourbon rounding it out. beautiful

O- a great bourbon stout beer. The vanilla could have come through a little better but its great.

Jul 16, 2016
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jopezu from Georgia

4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours a dark, opaque brown with a small head that poofs. nose; vanilla, molasses, light bourbon, & ethanol. taste; dark malt, char, light bourbon, raisin, vanilla, hops, licorice, light oak, & ethanol. the entire flavor palette blooms on the aftertaste, with maybe only the warming booze standing out. low carbonation & medium mouthfeel (thin for what i was expecting however). it's always cool to see interesting brews for anniversaries, but weyerbacher has its own beat here with its already great high-abv dark ale lineup (tiny, insanity, blasphemy, etc). still, very nice.

Jul 28, 2016
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kotzbauerm from Kentucky

4.75/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Feb 23, 2017
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mothman from Minnesota

3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Light tan head. Fades to nothing. Dark brown color. Nearing black.

A bit thin. Lots of chocolate and cocoa. Bourbon and oak. Gets better as it warms. Light vanilla. Roast in the finish.

This would be much better if it wasn't so thin.

Oct 13, 2016
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jlindros from Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I used to love their anniversary beers, and this looks crazy. Bottled 6/21/16, a bit of age but not too bad.

Pours a light fizzy head that disappears practically instantly. pitch black beer with long legs.

Nose brings creamy dark malts, milk chocolate, loads of vanilla, a little cocoa and fudge notes, faint baking spices and nougat, hints of dark fruits in the background, maybe a touch of dried lactose, no bourbon but a touch of barrel char.

Taste brings plenty of vanilla again, a little sweet creme brulee, more dark fruits little raisiny which blends with the burnt sugar, burnt caramel creme brulee like a burn raisin thing, little cake and baking spices almost cinnamon horchata thing going on, some creamy milk chocolate, hot cocoa, a little fudge, little roasted burn coffee and charred malt, too much on the crazy burnt malts, some tingly booze with a little fusel alcohol note, again no real bourbon but barrel char.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, not quite a thick as i expected but creamy a little lush, plenty of hot tingly booze, lighter carb too.

Overall kind of a mess, not what expected, too much roasted malt, too much on the weird baking spices and burn fruits and burnt sugars too much alcohol burn, etc, very little barrel and no bourbon, Ok on the cocoa, vanilla was nice, but still hard to drink.

Feb 17, 2017
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PhineasMcClintock from Massachusetts

3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Jun 28, 2016
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StraightNoChaser from Georgia

4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

look: very dark brown and nearly opaque like an impy stout outta be. Slight head on the pour that recedes to zero. nada.
smell: smoke, roasty dark chocolate, vanilla, some oak and bourbon. I'm guessing this didn't spend a lot of time in the barrel.
taste: much like the nose. Damn good beer imo, though i have to say, like a lot of folks based on comments, expected something divine after what they did with SMS. Gonna sit on a few and see what happens.

Jul 17, 2016
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strohme2 from Michigan

3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Obviously this exact beer hasn't been brewed before so I bought it based off of Sunday Morning Stout. Actually I bought 2 four packs, hope I made a good decision. Packaged 8 days ago!
Pours a deep, dark near black with a short lasting mocha head. Uh-oh...looks thin too. Good aroma, some roast, dark chocolate and vanilla. Taste is similar. Some bittersweet chocolate, light vanilla, some twang of the barrel and wood and a nice finish of faint smoke. I was worried about the smokiness but it's subtle. Mouthfeel is a bit thin but very drinkable for an almost 12% beer. There'll be no problem drinking the 8.

Jun 30, 2016
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grover37 from District of Columbia

4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Jul 09, 2016
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chefduff2 from New York

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aug 12, 2016
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle with a June 2016 packaging date.
A big beer with ABV at 11.9%, as is obvious in the aroma, hinted at in the flavor, but nicely concealed in the mouthfeel.
Some bourbon but lots of fruit and dried fruit in the boozy aroma. The flavor adds some woody notes and more dark bread.

Full body with light carbonation.

Feb 21, 2019
21st Anniversary Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 213 ratings