35th Anniversary Ale
Alaskan Brewing Co.

35th Anniversary Ale35th Anniversary Ale
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Alaskan Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States
Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #423
Ranked #15,260
3.92 | pDev: 11.48%
Jun 06, 2023
Dec 30, 2021
Alaskan Brewing has a trophy case full of medals for their Smoked Porter. It is one of the most heavily awarded ales in the history of craft beer. This 35th Anniversary Ale uses some of that same Alaskan Alder smoked malt, but the star of the show here is birch syrup from Alaska’s Kahiltna Birchworks. Notoriously hard to produce, it takes over 100 gallons of birch sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. The molasses-esq minerality of this birch syrup is artfully offset by the addition of wildflower honey. The resulting interplay of flavors is well thought out and masterfully executed. Sneaking in only days before the new year, this imperial stout is one of the best beers of 2021.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 4.25 by LennyBound from Illinois

Jun 06, 2023
Rated: 4 by d5001986 from Wisconsin

Jun 05, 2023
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Reviewed by Harrison8 from Missouri

3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Pours black with two fingers of khaki foam. Aroma is roasty, toasty, and earthy malts, with the bulk of the emphasis on roasty and earthy. Some faint fragments on syrup and wildflower honey come through. Flavor profile is a little more balanced, showcasing roasty, toasty, caramely, and earthy malts throughout, with a shift in focus to roasty and earthy at the finish. Bits and pieces of molasses and maple syrup add a little extra depth, but it's minor. Mouth feel is medium in thickness with a soft effervescence and mild silt. Overall, fair enough. Imperial stout notes with a little more emphasis on earthiness. The flavor additives listed (birch syrup and wildflower honey) are very minor additions.

Served in a 2023 AM membership glass from a 22oz bottle.
May 07, 2023
Rated: 3.75 by mattmarka1 from Minnesota

Jan 08, 2023
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Reviewed by NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Alaskan Brewing Co. "35th Anniversary Ale"
22 fl. oz. brown glass bottle coded "2021"
$9.99 @ Hy-Vee #1470, Omaha, NE

Notes via stream of consciousness: The label notes that it's "brewed with Birch syrup and wildflower honey". It's poured the expected opaque black body beneath a finger's width of tan foam. The aroma is like dark chocolate, sugar, a roasted edge, and a flicker of alcohol. The flavor opens up adding some almost burnt sugar, golden caramel, molasses, mild smokiness, coffee, and maple syrup (technically Birch syrup). The bitterness is there, as is a little bit of alcohol, keeping it dry. In the mouth it's medium bodied and smooth across the palate. The head didn't hold up too well, nor did it leave a lot of lacing. It's not the best Russian stout that I've tasted but there is a cetain charm to it.
Review #8,466
Dec 23, 2022
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Reviewed by DarkLordScott from Wisconsin

3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
Pours dark brown with a nice three finger head that leaves nice lacing. Aroma is roasted malt and perhaps that birch syrup it is brewed with on the label. Taste is molasses and a roasted malt profile. The feel is medium to light and dissipates quickly on the tongue. An alright, if not to spec, RIS.
Dec 03, 2022
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Reviewed by HardTarget from Texas

3.72/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Appearance: Black glass, holds the thinnest of tan halos of foam, but looks a bit flat.

Aroma: Roasted barley, a bit of pine hops.

Taste: Unsweetened chocolate, roasted grain, some hop bitterness, hints of citric rind.

Mouthfeel: Very low carbonation, almost flat, medium body, fairly clean finish, a bit dry.

Overall: A bit of a let down. I love Russian Imperial Stouts and have always enjoyed Alaskan. This is just a little too dry and roasted, needed a bit more malt sweetness to support everything. I have no idea what the birch is adding, there is a slight woody note, but it's subtle. Same with the honey, I wouldn't know it was there if not for the label. A good beer, I'm going to enjoy the bomber, but was hoping for a bit more bang in the celebration.
Oct 07, 2022
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Reviewed by zeff80 from Missouri

3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
22oz bottle. Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a small, light brown head of bubbly foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass. It smelled of dark chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, honey and a subtle smokiness. The birch syrup gives a smokey taste with chocolate, toffee, caramel and coffee.
Jul 25, 2022
Rated: 4.02 by cheeseheadinMinneapolis from Wisconsin

Jul 10, 2022
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Reviewed by unclekeith from Alaska

1.92/5  rDev -51%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75
Dropping some thoughts, what a joke.
Looks are deceiving. Harmless upon first sight but a clunky muddled mess. Sour cherry coffee on the nose, long tawny astringent finish. Bone dry - a cadre of off flavors.
Jul 01, 2022
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Reviewed by detgfrsh from Texas

4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
From a bomber. Black with a thin layer of brown head. Roasted malt smell with some floral and honey. Full bodied. Tastes like it smells - roasted malt filters by honey and a floral note that I guess is birch. Interesting, never had anything with birch before.
Jun 22, 2022
Rated: 3.5 by MonkeyPilates from Minnesota

Jun 08, 2022
Rated: 3.5 by archero from Texas

May 24, 2022
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Reviewed by Bowers-Brew from Illinois

4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Mixed feelings on this one. First sip wasn't on point, but it got better with each subsequent taste. Some of the smokiness is present , but not overwhelming. Sweetness from the syrup and honey is present but subdued. Only thing that makes me rate it a little lower is the finish. A tad dryer and more bitter than I thought it should be. Still a great beer from a legend. Prost!
Apr 09, 2022
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Rated by Captain69 from Illinois

4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
strong russian stout great malt flavor take your time dru=ining and enjoy
Apr 09, 2022
Rated: 4 by 1971bernat from Virginia

Mar 17, 2022
Rated: 4.14 by MattDecker from Texas

Mar 09, 2022
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Reviewed by imnodoctorbut from Texas

4.54/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
pours a coffee black body with a tanned cream head instantly dissipates to a thin halo with super thin murky island of a cap; the lacing never quite sticks but does flash a bit with each sip

aroma is sweet, woody, boozy, syrupy, and robust. there is a soft floral sweetness to it as well, contrasting against the molasses and malt.

taste is an insanely balanced mix of soft sweetness, rich malt and molasses, and subtle bittering hop. chocolate, toffee, subtle honey notes, woody syrup - it's all there, and again, I cannot overstate the balancing act here.

mouthfeel is medium-high carbonation and medium bodied that runs mostly smooth, with a bit of chewy carbonation and a tad bit of crisp in the finish. the same flavor array is left in the aftertaste, with the molasses and bittering hop highlighted a little more as it sticks to the roof of my mouth and lower cheeks.

I honestly didn't want this bottle to run dry. while this could never be one to session, it is does wonders balancing something so complex with something so easy. the novelty was not lost on me - the birch syrup and wildflower honey have been integrated with beautiful, expert alchemy to render something unique and incredibly enjoyable.
if you're reading this, just pull the trigger and buy the bottle and don't you dare sit on it. enjoy now, ignore the ramblings on booziness (it's gone now) and I would bet that if it cellars very long that the sweetness that is so subtle and well balanced now at the time of my tasting, will have amplified thanks to a calming of the other elements.
*to be fair, I will likely go out soon to capture another bottle of this to cellar, but only because I know I'll be chasing this experience sometime down the road...but for now, I am totally soaking in the beauty of such a temporary thing.
Mar 01, 2022
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Reviewed by hreb from Washington

3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
22oz bottle of Alaskan's 35th Anniversary Ale. Served in a curved glass. Slick black in color, with little evidence of carbonation, save for a nice chestnut head that forms momentarily. Looks promising.

Aroma is strong with bourbon and boozy vanilla. Flavor also hits some strong notes along side a roasted, even blackened malt, although "boozy" again comes to mind most immediately. I don't taste much in the way of birch syrup or wildflower honey; what I do taste is a stout that has had every bit of its adjunct sugar fermented out. The subtler flavors are of wood and smoke, and those are the most interesting aspects of this beer. But I'm not loving it as much as the regular (and quite excellent) smoked porter.
Feb 21, 2022
Rated: 4.19 by DownyIsHungry from Minnesota

Feb 12, 2022
35th Anniversary Ale from Alaskan Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 34 ratings