Sleeman No. 20 Anniversary Ale | Sleeman Breweries Ltd.

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Sleeman No. 20 Anniversary AleSleeman No. 20 Anniversary Ale
30 Ratings
Sleeman No. 20 Anniversary AleSleeman No. 20 Anniversary Ale

Brewed by:
Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
Ontario, Canada

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by CAMRAhardliner on 05-21-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 30 |  Reviews: 26
Reviews by DoctorStrangiato:
Photo of DoctorStrangiato
3.66/5  rDev +28%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 341-ml bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - nice ale! Looks yellow-gold with less than perfect clarity in the glass. Good frothy head and some sweet lacing.

Smell - pretty subtle, but a soft skunky, hoppy aroma. Not bad.

Taste - much as expected. A bit of sweetness noticed right away, flavourful caramel-like profile. Just a slighty bitter note at the end.

Mouthfeel - pretty smooth and gentle. A good beer for the winter months.

Drinkability - a nice, easy-drinking brew. I think I'll have another ale.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
2.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer arrives at the table in a tall, sleek glass, and appears a medium light golden hue, with a small amount of thin white head. The smell is quite surprising - astringency, soap, and, well, bleach. Yeah, bleach, as in swimming pool water. The taste starts with an abundance of carbonation, overwhelming any other sensation. Eventually, grassy hops, and a mild, sweet caramel malt flavor evolve on the palate. This finishes dry, with an unpleasant tartness. The only positive that I can state from this experience is that it sure tastes a hell of a lot better than the aroma suggests, which is only saying so much.

Update Feb 19, 2009:

Had another pint last night, at the same place, and this time the bleachiness that was so off-putting before was non-existent. Must have been a bad line or something.

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Photo of CanuckRover
3.1/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light copper. Thick white head recedes to a thin film that stays on. No lacings. A very slight haze, which is kind of weird.

Smells... not horrible. Faint malt sweetness leaning towards British fruitiness. Bit of an unpleasant metallic aroma.

A light (and I mean light) bittering hop presence right up front provides a bit of character with some help from the moderate carbonation. Core is a bit of orange sweetness, bit of corn, but none of the trademark Sleemans skunk, which is nice.

It's pretty slick in the mouth. Drinkable enough I suppose.

Its fine, but I have no idea if it differs at all from the other Sleemans ales... why fashion an anniversary ale after Molson Ex?

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Photo of IronDjinn
2.18/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

An anniversary ale from Sleeman, I am curious if they have upped things a notch this time around in celebration.

Pours out a deep clear golden hue, crowned by a white spongy head with decent retention.

Aroma is timid, some light biscuity crystal malt, along with faint fruity notes.

Bland! Incredibly bland flavour, akin to a Coors Light, except for hints of grassy hops on the finish and a whisper of citrus in the aftertaste. C'mon guys, this is your 20th Anniversary Ale, it's no time to celebrate mediocrity. Half their regular offerings have more flavour than this! Disappointing...

Mouthfeel is the usual watery fair with flaccid intermittent carbonation.

This is a pass for me, it's all talk and no action, Sleeman really phoned this one in this time.

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Photo of Hoagie
3/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Seanv
1.5/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle. Has been in the fridge for about 1 month.
Pours a dark yellow/light orange color. Almost see through. Minor bit of film in the center. Small amount around rim. Sweet somewhat floral aroma. Some unidentifiable fruits as well if you really dig. At first however it is a corny wheat nose. Corny and wheaty taste as expected. Some sweetness as well. Really not much to it. Fairly well balanced carbonation, very slight hop presence. Very thin body. Once again Sleeman disappoints. If it took 20 years to perfect this, they are in deep trouble.

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Photo of uno99
2.39/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

bought a sixer of this because the LCBO i was in literally had Guinness and killkenny as their most "exotic" beers. I didn't want to pay $12 for a 4 pack of Guinness so I got this. this is my third time drinking this mediocre brew.

A:quite a nice head with nice lacing. slightly nicer looking than an average macro

S: Smells skunky, malty and not too appealing im afraid. smells less offensive once the head dies down.

T: sweet malt, slightly skunky, hops are laid back. unbalanced and not too enjoyable

M: The good news is its wet, and if your thirsty and just polished off a lb. of hot wings that's good enough.

D: This should be a good session beer, but its too unbalanced to be drank in quantity.

Bravo Sleeman's for another EPIC FAIL. If your gonna make an anniversary beer - something that should be the centerpiece of your brewery - it should be outstanding quality and carefully crafted... this is just embarrassing.

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Photo of ludachris
3.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of TheHammer, thanks Markasaraus rex.
Pours light amber, a wee bit darker than the average macro, with a suprisingly nice two finger tightly nit white head with very nice retention. Can already see some nice lacing. Strong carbonation visible.
Classic Sleeman skunk up front in the nose. Grassy hops, floral notes and a bit of malt with a hint of caramel follows.
Floral notes upfront paired with watered down grassy hops. Buttery and subtle malt finish.
Mouthfeel watery and thin. Carbonation doesn't really fit in, but nonetheless very quaffable. Seems like it would be a nice lawnmower brew.

Overall, one of the better Sleeman offerings I have had, right beside their honey brown. Decent appearance with a really nice head but at the same time not well balanced, thin and watered down. I have to keep in mind that those traits are key to macros like this. Wouldn't buy a 6er of this but wouldn't mind having a few at a party. Thought they would have done something a little nicer with their 20th anniversary brew.

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Photo of mrmanning
2.68/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

341 ml bottle- Sparkling deeper gold topped with a decent creamy white foam. Nose of cookie dough and grains, pale malts and hay with a slight fruity component. Taste is biscuit and sweet cookie dough with sweet-ish grains and lemony pale malts. Finishes a bit assertive with the carbonation, with decent astringency. Pretty standard stuff for the 20th anniversary beer I'm afraid.

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Photo of BigBry
2.9/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This was one of the few choices available at the bar we stopped at in Banff, looked interesting, so gave it a shot.
Darker in color than everyone else's Coors Light, solid white head that actualyy left some good lace. Light smell of grass/grain, slightly citic. The taste had some grainy malt and more grassy hops in the finish. Mouthfeel was light and slightly watery. Average, slightly disappointing, a decent macro alternative but not much in the 'pale ale' department.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.45/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Arrived with a finger's worth of fluffy white head with low retention. Color was a medium amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a mildly grainy sweetness. Mouthfeel was medium with a slightly tart bitterness on the tongue. Finish had a satisfying dryness. A solid addition to the Sleeman line.

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Photo of nighthawk
2.84/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

341mL clear glass bottle with no freshness date (though I suppose you could figure out the year of production given the anniversary nature of this brew). Poured into pint glass.

Pours a clear yellow, two fingers of head slowly dissipate to a thin ring. Clear, lots of bubbles fizzing up.

Muted aroma with some biscuity malt, a bit sweet, and some grassy bitter hops.

Taste isn't particularly interesting, but you get a bit of hop bitterness in the grassy/vegetal range, and a bit of sweet grain malt.

Clean, crisp and refreshing. It's fairly pleasant in the mouth.

Combine the crisp and refreshing mouthfeel with a decent flavour and this beer would be worth getting. As it is, it doesn't taste much different from their usual aal offerings.

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Photo of bumchilly25
3/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Derek
3.22/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Golden yellow with a white head, some retention & lacing.

S: Earthy-orange aroma with some caramel sweetness.

T: Caramel sweetness is upfront, without the bitterness to back it up, some decent earthy-orange hop flavour & biscuity malt.

M: A little too much residual sweetness in this one.

D: A little sweet for my palate.

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Photo of bludtek
3.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

There is something appealing about a beer served in colourless bottle. Cool and refreshing looking on a hot evening. As something I hadn't seen from Sleeman's before I thought it would be worth a try.

The beer appears deep gold in colour. A substantial puffy head that quickly dimples sticks around while I enjoy the floral hop aroma.

I initially taste a nondescript light malt that is similar to a macro lager. It is a bit sweet, and reminds me of white flour and sugar water. The well rounded hops balances this out somewhat giving interest. Floral, toasted marshmallow, and hints of wood seem to be present.

I have to admit I'm a bit biased when it comes to mouth feel as it reminds me of my own (unfortunate) watery home brews. It seems as thought there are hints of good flavours, but nothing too substantial.

All in all, I thought it was worth a try, and ended up neither disappointed nor impressed. This is another macro pale ale that is pretty predictable. I probably won't buy it, but it was worth a shot.

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Photo of Grunewald
3.1/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - poured from a 355ml bottle into a weizen glass. It pours clear straw color with a white head. The head leaves wispy lacing.

S - soapy malt

T - slightly sweet malt with faint hops

M - light body, medium-high carbonation and a neutral finish

D - not interesting yet not offensive

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Photo of oldp0rt
3/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of BBP
3.6/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- A dark golden metalic look with it's fair share of head that receeded quickly.

S- Bready and fruity. Sweet malts.

T- Has an intricate intro with lemon, honey, apple, and herb tastes which fades into hops. Pretty sweet but not lacking the bitter aftertaste I love.

M- A little light but by no means watery. Smooth going down.

D- Very drinkable. One of the cheapest 24's of sleemans, and my personal favorite. Good balance between taste and budget.

EDIT: Now that this one isn't available, I miss it a lot. It was one of the best budget beers that I can remember.

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Photo of GodOfBeer
2.81/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear golden/bronze with a thin white head that leaves some lacing.

Smells like a typical macro beer, some corn graininess, metallic and lots of sweetness.

Tastes kind of fake, some sweet maltiness and metallic notes that doesn't leave a nice aftertaste.

Watery mouthfeel and not very drinkable as I did not feel like finishing it.

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Photo of pootz
3.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle: 3 weeks from bottling according to the date code on the box, so I have a fresh sample in prime shape.

Appearance: Pours a deep burnished gold color with a very decent 2 finger fine-poured sticky white cap. Fair cap retention, decent lacing. Moderate fine bubbled carbonation.

Aroma: Sweet grainy-doughy aromas mix with some fruity notes and wet grass tones.

Profile: Nice flood of biscuit malt in the front light sweetness with a pleasant peach fruity-herbal undertone, silky creamy mouth feel, finish goes to a mild balance of fruit esters,biscuity malt and earthy-herbal hops, clean finish light metallic after taste.

Very pleasant smooth and drinkable ale, if it has a fault it is that it is a tad thin in the finish and the profile understated but others would say this is its subtle strength in a mild golden ale. I believe this to be a cream ale like those commercially made in the region prior to prohibition. One of Sleeman's better efforts.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
2.4/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

It seems breweries dont put enough effort into their anniversary offerings, this example being no exception. You'd think it would be the very best a brewery can put out, this is very reminiscent of their cream ale.

It pours from the clear embossed bottle a light bronze color with a frothy, dense eggshell head. It has great retention and musters up a good amount of lace. The aroma is very light with a clear vegetable feel. Hops arent there and the malt base is anemic. Equally unimpressive flavor. Some husky grains and dough battle against the DMS and lose. Hops are very light. The mouthfeel is light and prickly with carbonation. The finish is a flash in the pan with no dicernable bitterness.

A mediocre offering. I was hoping this would be some sort of IPA or something. Its just another bland patio beer for people who enjoy macros.

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Photo of TheTrevor
3.03/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a dark yellow with a single-finger head that didn't last long. The smell is some sweet malt with a bit of grassy hops. Taste is pretty much exactly that, some sweet malt that gives way to some very processed-tasting hops. Mouthfeel is thin with some fine carbonation. Not an unpleasant beer, but very average.

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Photo of bulldogops
1.84/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

Bottle from a Sleeman mix-pack, 5%. My least favourite Sleeman product thus far, especially due to the hype surrounding it at bars and pubs. Nice amber colour, clear, tan foam, but an unpleasant aroma and a taste to suit. No additives can save this beast - it was overly grassy and not balanced in the slightest.

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Photo of biegaman
3.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Almost indistinguishably identical to apple juice with only a light kumquat tinge that sets it a little deeper in tone compared to other macro lagers. What is appealing: the ample topping of spotless white head and many active signs of carbonation. What isn't appealing: the filmy tinge despite what was probably a very heavy filtration process.

The aroma adds another check mark to the 'not appealing' column. Although despite not liking it myself, I should admit that it is far from being the worst offender in the macro smell department. There is nothing repulsive about it and unlike its colleagues I'm finding it pleasantly sweet (as oppose to cloyingly sweet). Unfortunately, I just can't seem to shake off that syrupy smell of industrially processed corn.

The taste is also pleasantly sweet but still with a hint of corn syrup. Luckily most of the adjuncts have receded and left behind trace notes of sugar and pink bubble gum. As flavours go we could have done a lot worse so I suppose I'd put the check mark somewhere in the middle for this category (meaning it should appeal to those who - unlike me- enjoy the style).

Since the hop presence is omitted intentionally and the malt bill is probably comprised mostly of rice or corn, I suppose it's not entirely useful to hold macro lagers to the same judging scheme as other beers. Instead maybe, what's that word they like to use? Oh yea, "smoothness". Is this a "smooth" beer? Again, probably for others but it certainly doesn't fit my description of the word.

That said, what macro breweries do rarely match with my tastes. Call it "anniversary" or "premium" or "grand cru" or whatever the hell you'd like; brew it in small batches and put it in fancy packaging for all I care. In the end, it's never very different from the standard line of products - at least that was certainly the case with Sleeman's 'anniversary' offering.

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Photo of atomicbolt
3.4/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My dad picked up a 24-pack of mixed Sleeman bottles - I thought it would be a mix of Draught, Cream Ale and Honey Brown, but unfortunately it's 6 Draught, 6 Light, 6 Cream Ale and 6 #20's. I've never tried the #20, so I'll give it a shot:

I don't even need to pour it to give it a look (honestly, for all the crap that clear bottles get, they look cool and as long as they're packaged in a box you don't need to get all worked up about light damage or whatever) - a deep amber colour darker than the Cream Ale, with a thin white head and light lacing. Some skunkiness on the smell, but also some pleasant floral character, some honey and citrus smells.

The taste's not as bad as people are letting on. Upfront it's light, fruity, a bit of honey, but later there's more of a hop profile than I was expecting from a macro - a bit of bitterness, earthy, almost woody. Finishes clean with a pleasant lager-y aftertaste. Thin mouthfeel with low carbonation, but entirely drinkable. Not overwhelming in any capacity, but an all-around decent beer with nothing offensive. Definitely a step up from more mainstream fare, but for a special anniversary beer, Sleeman definitely could have been a bit more adventurous.

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Sleeman No. 20 Anniversary Ale from Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
Beer rating: 2.86 out of 5 with 30 ratings