21st Anniversary Ale | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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21st Anniversary Ale21st Anniversary Ale
Very Good
209 Ratings
21st Anniversary Ale21st Anniversary Ale

Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.90%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by WCKDVBZ on 05-20-2016

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 209 |  Reviews: 58
Reviews by justintcoons:
Photo of justintcoons
3.64/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Black with a short white head that dissipates quickly. No light penetration.

Cocoa nib, black licorice, raisin, prune, light bourbon, and touches of cinnamon.

Black licorice, charred oak, roasted barley, and slight smoke. Raisin and prune. Molasses, toffee, and cocoa nib. Notes of sweet corny Bourbon.

Medium bodied, smooth, oily, sticky, and semi-dry.

Smooth with a lot of sweet dark fruits and earthy char. Not as much chocolate and vanilla as I had hoped for.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BB1313
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of kalosjakar
3.76/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of hopflyer
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of BigMike
2.87/5  rDev -27.2%
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.

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Photo of threeviews
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
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)

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Photo of scotorum
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of maximum12
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
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!

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Photo of Marklaker
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Packaged 6/23/16.
Black color with a miniscule, soon to be gone, tan head.
Chocolate aroma mostly. Roasted malt, vanilla, faint bourbon.
Both dark chocolate and cocoa in the taste. Vanilla. Hint of bourbon.
Full-bodied, on the sweeter side.

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Photo of petewheeler
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Franziskaner
3.42/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black in color with no light seeping through. There's a fingernail of beige around about half of the rim. The aroma is vanilla, cocoa, and bourbon in that order. I'm tasting a bit of muddled bourbon and cocoa. I'm not tasting the vanilla. I'm hoping for more depth of flavor as this warms. Perhaps I opened it too soon? There's definitely a warmth from the alcohol and a bit of chewiness.

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Photo of acurtis
3.44/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of zachthelaxer93
4.44/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Skabiski
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of tdm168
3.99/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of fthegiants
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mlockman
3.4/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

There is a real unfortunate artificial quality to the vanilla flavor that dominates the palate of this beer. Bourbon notes are pretty subdued compared to their other barrel-aged offerings.

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Photo of woodchip
3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of grahuba
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ConradKenney
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Treyliff
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter
Bottled 6/28/16

A- pours deep black in color with a thin foamy khaki colored head that reduces to a ring around the edge

S- plenty of bourbon on the nose, along with vanilla, cocoa, licorice, marshmallow, fruity Belgian yeast & raisin. Smells like Heresy with vanilla

T- taste follows the nose for the most part, sweet candied sugar and vanilla up front, along with cocoa and brown sugar. Barrel kicks in mid-palate with some woody bourbon, the finish is sweet with lingers of licorice ad bourbon

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that continues in to the finish wit some achohol warmth on the linger

O- all of there BA stouts seem to have a similar flavor. This pretty much tasted like Heresy with vanilla, or SMS without the coffee.

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Photo of cyrushire
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Rizzy17
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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21st Anniversary Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 209 ratings