35th Anniversary Ale
Alaskan Brewing Co.

35th Anniversary Ale35th Anniversary Ale
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Alaskan Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States
Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #352
Ranked #10,850
4.05 | pDev: 7.41%
Apr 09, 2022
Dec 30, 2021
Very Good
35th Anniversary Ale35th Anniversary Ale
Notes: 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.
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Photo of Bowers-Brew
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Bowers-Brew from Illinois

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
Photo of Captain69
4.16/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Captain69 from Illinois

strong russian stout great malt flavor take your time dru=ining and enjoy

Apr 09, 2022
4 by 1971bernat from Virginia on Mar 17, 2022
4.14 by MattDecker from Texas on Mar 09, 2022
Photo of imnodoctorbut
4.54/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by imnodoctorbut from Texas

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
Photo of hreb
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by hreb from Washington

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
4.19 by DownyIsHungry from Minnesota on Feb 12, 2022
4.21 by SaxmanRick from Minnesota on Feb 11, 2022
3.91 by Scotchboy from Idaho on Feb 07, 2022
Photo of Fordcoyote15
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Fordcoyote15 from Pennsylvania

Nice bitter roast and unique woodiness/smokiness to this. Feel im torn between a 4 and 4.25, it certainly still leave me wanting for a 9% beer.

Feb 06, 2022
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by LiquidAmber from Washington

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing nearly opaque black in the glass, with a two finger dark khaki head with great retention and thick lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt with light char, chocolate, molasses, a hint of coffee. Flavor is dark toasted malt with good char and a bit of smokiness, dark chocolate, coffee, and a light sweetness from the birch. Smoky, slightly sweet finish with some light hop and smoke bitterness. Medium bodied with light to moderate creaminess, nice mouth feel. A good balance between dry malt and mild birch sweetness with good chocolate, coffee and smokey flavors. This uses the same smoked malt as their classic smoked porter malt and its flavor presence is clear. As with the earlier incarnations, but smoky flavors and light sweetness from the birch syrup give this a unique and inviting flavor. It really doesn’t feel like 5 years since the last anniversary stout, but glad it's here anyway. As always, nicely done.

Feb 04, 2022
4 by Gagnonsux from Texas on Feb 03, 2022
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by lordofthewiens from New Mexico

The beer is black with a small tan head.
Roasted malt aroma.
Taste of licorice, char, coffee. A little chocolate.
Medium-bodied. Nice bitter finish.

Jan 25, 2022
4 by GClarkage from California on Jan 24, 2022
Photo of GuyFawkes
3.17/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25
by GuyFawkes from Illinois

Released December 2021; drank 1/23/22 @ the Yarchives.

Black/brown appearance.

A rough pour yielded a HUGE dark tan head (careful pouring!); a thick curtain of tree-rung lace.

Honey, booze heat & fresh earth notes in the nose.

Sticky, medium mouthfeel.

A metallic flavor up front; once it warmed it announced itself as honey. Oatmeal & fresh earth on the finish.

A bit abrasive & not too tasty. Not one I'll return to.

Jan 24, 2022
Photo of BalancingBrooms
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by BalancingBrooms from Illinois

Pours black with a faint hint of brown at the edges with a one finger thick mocha head. Nose is woody, with chocolate and coffee with a faint background of smoke. Taste opens with a smooth coffee and chocolate, some wood in the middle, and ends with a slight floral hint. Body is medium to full and ends dry with some lingering bitterness. Overall a nice stout that has some nice features.

Jan 23, 2022
Photo of Bouleboubier
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by Bouleboubier from New Jersey

(22 oz bottle; purchased at Total Wine, Park Place, Tucson... poured into copita glasses)

Dark brown, ashy liquid; mocha-colored foam, falling quick, thin collar, no lace... oxidized, leathery licorice-tinged sweet coffee aromas; bit briny, olive musk; bit of alcohol edge carrying coffee roast... roasted malt-leaden foundation; singed-bitter, licorice-tinged, espresso-truffle, deep-caramelized near-molasses-y sweet essence, but well short of syrupy... mildly-oily swell up front, thinned out with the alcohol surge in the finish; moderate, spiritous heat in the aft; a bit flat, but punchy... what a colorfully flavor-layered RIS, one reminding me of the malt-forward, characterful imports of yesteryear; glad to have been in the right place at the right time to buy it; a highlight in an otherwise disappointing day of Eagles blunders (1862)

Jan 16, 2022
4 by Birdlegs from Washington on Jan 16, 2022
3.45 by rab53 from Washington on Jan 10, 2022
Photo of backblast
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by backblast from Alaska

Pours black with a thick tan head that dissipated quickly and had mild lacing.

Lots of malt and some bitterness to go with it but not too much at all. There is quite a bit of birch in this one and earthy honey/hop mixed with a tad of dark chocolate. Has a proper RIS lingering bitterness. I think this one will take cellaring well and will get better.

Jan 01, 2022
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by StonedTrippin from Colorado

this is epic stuff, one of the best stouts of the year for me, picked up by my mother in law, shes been on a roll lately! i remember this, or something real similar, as a beer they did for previous anniversary releases called perseverance, which also had birch syrup and honey in it, is this the same as that? its been too long to recall, and the bottle doesnt mention that name at all. in any event, this is absolutely amazing beer, rich and dark, near black from the bottle with a short tan head rising and receding, not overly leggy or viscous, and shockingly not a sweet beer despite the special ingredient additions. the nose has that almost bitter thing you get from molasses, a maple note, very much birch forward which is so cool, woodsy and concentrated and interesting, and just sick with this malt base, some smoke definitely coming through, black coffee, raisin, dark chocolate, its wonderful. the honey is less aromatic to me than the birch, but its there, and it lightens this some, a neat layer in a beer this dark and strong and roasty. the flavors come together incredibly well, light smoke, sturdy birch, not a lot of residual sugar, its crazy how like straight up tree forward this really is. distinctively birch too which is so neat, great with the roasty and smoked low end this has, bitter dark chocolate again, wet tobacco, and all the complexity and smoothness in the world, no barrel required, (although i could see a good rye barrel taking this places!). maybe the best non barrel aged stout i drank all year, assuming this did not see a barrel, the label offers little information. probably pretty close to what the old perseverance beers were like, but i dont think i ever had one this fresh before. gentle to drink, well hidden alcohol, a softness about it, has a peaceful vibe, like the stillness of the snowy woods, wintery and impossibly unique. world class all the way!

Dec 30, 2021
35th Anniversary Ale from Alaskan Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 21 ratings