Anniversary Strong Ale | New Glarus Brewing Company

very good
75 Reviews
Anniversary Strong AleAnniversary Strong Ale

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jakob on 05-18-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 403
Photo of schmidtmattsays
2.98/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bottle 3/13/15.

Not sure if this was a poorly cellared bottle or perhaps not meant for aging but got an awful coppery/metallic/zinc finish on the taste. Not enjoyable at all. I have a bottle of my own that I'll open soon to see if it was a bad bottle or a wider issue.

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Photo of PHBoiler
3.34/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Not aged particularly well. Fairly thin body. Some raisin and oxidized fruit notes. Not sure what the base really was in terms of style. Mouthfeel doesn't carry the flavors.

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Photo of TheSSG
3.42/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice, soapy, off-white head that laces nicely. Floral hop aroma behind sweet, slightly toasted malt. Deep, burnt umber color. A medium bitterness with toasted malt behind the sweetness. Lingering bitterness over lightly toasted malt. The sweetness has a nice banana-like aspect to it.

Not bad, but not really a favorite style of mine. I feel silly rating this because I'm just not a fan of this style.

Edit: I will agree with a previous reviewer that this gets much nicer as it warms.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.48/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep reddish brown. Big off white head. Great retention. Big pillow of foam.Thick collar.

Smell - Lots of different aromas. Cola, Belgiany, a touch of scotch ale, and even a bit of phenols that reminds me a bit of a weizenbock.

Taste - Sweet caramel. Belgian sweetness. Cola again, maybe that's some spiciness. Less complex, but at least it's cohesive.

Mouthfeel - Thick and sweet. Medium high carbonation.

Overall - While tasty, there's not a ton of interesting flavors about it.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
3.48/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

500mL bottle split.

A: Dark brown with violet edges. Fluffy creme foam head. Decent legs.

N: Lots of raisin, prune, toffee, and biscuit. Nicely sweet with plenty of clove and esters.

T: Surprisingly bitter with a decent amount of caramel sweetness. Pretty good, but the hops could get dialed back.

M: Slightly sticky with a bready substance.

O: A good representation of the style for an American version, but I’d prefer the real thing. Too many hops.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.52/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Got this goodie from Duff27 in a trade. Opening it for my birthday. 500ml brown glass bottle with great home-drawn feeling label art and iconic green/gold pry-off pressure cap served into an Avery stem-snifter in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Expectations are very high given the brewery, which I adore. Reviewed live. Reviewed as a strong ale because it identifies as such in the name.

Served cold - straight from me fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a 1.5 finger wide head of off-white colour. Decent creaminess. Nice thickness. Sticky inconsistent lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is good - about 5+ minutes.

Body colour is a semitranslucent nontransparent dark amber - somewhat dull. No yeast particles are visible.

There's no real standard for a strong ale; anything goes as far as I'm concerned. But this could be more vibrant and the head could be better. I'm looking forward to trying it, but admittedly it's not much to look at. Not unique or special, but there are no obvious flaws.

Sm: Belgian dark malts, candi sugar, licorice/anise, caramel, dark malts, chocolate malts, fennel, dark stonefruit, nutmeg, abbey malts, treacle, vague hints of fruitcake, heavy caramelized sugars, plum, and fig. Certainly Belgian in character. Quite sweet and sugary, though it's refined and never cloying.

No hop character, alcohol, or yeast is detectable.

A pleasant aroma of moderate strength. I'm looking forward to trying it.

T: Has a nice Belgian dark malt/abbey malt backbone. Plum and fig. Fruitcake. Abbey yeast. Subtle touches of licorice/fennel/anise. Candied character. Plenty of residual sugars; they're quite welcome here and the beer never comes off too sweet. Hints of lightly acidic apple and pear. Hints of rum/sugarcane. Raisin. A kiss of pepper. Maybe some sasafrass? It's quite an interesting build for a strong ale and I can see why some are figuring it for a Belgian dark ale. The soaky rum notes are particularly intriguing and suit the Belgian build nicely.

Well balanced, with some interesting complexity and subtlety, though more would be lovely. Above average depth of flavour. Average intensity and duration of flavour. Cohesive, but not quite gestalt. I dig the Belgian build.

No alcohol or hop character comes through.

Mf: Unrefreshing. Good body and thickness. A bit sticky. Complements the flavour profile well, but I wouldn't say it's custom-tailored to it. Smooth and wet, with enough coarseness to coax out some nuance from the flavour profile. Nice presence on the palate.

Not oily, harsh, astringent, boozy, hot, or wet.

Dr: A drinkable strong ale with intense Belgian leanings. It doesn't meet my sky-high expectations, but it's a very enjoyable Belgian-inspired beer and is well worth trying. I could see age doing this one well. I was hoping for a mind-blowing beer given that it's an anniversary ale form New Glarus, and it doesn't quite deliver, but it's unfair to impose expectations. I can't see anyone being truly disappointed with this one, and I'm very glad I got to try it. Thanks again for the bottle, Duff27!

Low B

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 9/14/13

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this rather rare beer

Appearance: Somewhere at the intersection of deep amber and reddish brown - some gold around the edges - pours with an off-white, medium head - leaves some nice streaks of lacing

Smell: Cooked and caramelized, with a big dose of Belgian yeast - caramel malts, caramel, and some darker malts - very bready - clove with a lot of banana - banana candy - dark fruits like figs

Taste: Caramelized malts and dark fruits - dark caramel and amber malts, with some straight-up caramel and malt extract - definitely bready - Belgian yeast, with a lot of clove and banana - candi sugar - some dark fruits like figs and raisins - doesn't exactly fit into a Belgian style category, but it has some charm - finishes with some booze

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nice carbonation, smooth, nice to sip

Overall: Isn't fruit the traditional 20th anniversary gift?

This is a good strong ale. But it's not exceptional. Definitely not as exceptional as many of the beers in New Glarus' lineup. Worth a try, simply because New Glarus is so good.

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Photo of d5001986
3.54/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle poured into tulip.

Deep reddish-brown color with large, foamy, off white head.

Smell is banana, tart dark fruit, and yeast.

Taste is dark fruit, banana, yeast - there's also a slight off-putting metallic taste and some funkiness.

Feels medium bodied, high carbonation delivers a bit of a sting going down.

Overall pretty typical of the style, doesn't really stand out in my mind. Not my favorite NG offering, but still not bad.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.64/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle opened on 7.23.13

A - Pours a opaque medium brown with a large khaki head with good retention.

S - Malty and sweet dark frutis.

T - Very sweet, raisins, plums, dates, figs. Like, really sweet.

D - Good carbonation with a medium body.

O - I like the direction here, just very, very sweet.

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Photo of chinchill
3.66/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

20th Anniv. strong ale.

Refined and aged (I presume), this pouts with a fine orange-brown body that has excellent clarity and is topped by a good head. The aroma suggest liquer at least as much as ale. The strong ale style (such as it is) comes out clearly upon tasting.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.67/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Jeff for this one. 500ml bottle into a Westvleteren XII chalice.

Pours a .5 finger light cream colored fine head that dissipates quickly. Beer is a clear dark mahogany. Lacing is thick, layered, and stringy with good stick. Pretty nice for the style.

Nose is prunes, brown sugar, molasses and clove. A nice spiciness but a bit muted. Decent.

Opens plum, fig, and brown sugar. Slightly boozy in the middle. More dark fruit, caramel, and molasses. Coarse. Clove and other spices. End is brown sugar and a sappy sweetness. Finishes sugary with a fig and brown sugar aftertaste. Pleasant.

Medium bodied with ample carbonation. Prickly and lively in the mouth and coarse and bubbly going down. Finishes pretty clean with a light, lingering aftertaste. Real crisp but robust at the same time.

A solid beer overall but nothing that really stands out in the style. Worth trying though.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.72/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter

A- pours a dark brown with some ruby hue, good size head with huge bubbles that reduce to a small layer floating on top, leaving a bit of lace

S- powdery belgian yeast gives just a hint of banana & phenolic aroma, lots of dark fruit; black cherries, raisan and fig, sugar candy. It actually smells like a classic Dubbel

T- phenolic yeast with some candied fruit, burnt brown sugar, light herbal bitterness on the finish with artificial-like cherry cough syrup

M- medium body and carbonation gives way to a big foamy and chewy mouthfeel that lasts throughout the whole mouthfeel, lots of warming alcohol on the finish

O- Not sure of the abc, but this one's got some heat. I enjoyed it, but it didn't quite mesh for me.

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Photo of pweis909
3.72/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A=Dark with big head composed of large bubbles that web the glass as the head recedes
S=Dark sugar and Belgian ester profile suggests the peel of a ripe banana.
T=Dessert. This is a very sweet, rich beer. Lots of residual sugar, a brown sugar flavor. I should have shared this beer with four people because 4 oz would have been enough. Cloyingly sweet, I'm afraid.
M=Full bodied. Thick, slick, mouth-coating. Too much.
O= This is not a very drinkable beer. I guess that's OK because you only celebrate a 20th anniversary once. New Glarus went for the gusto, and I give them credit for trying. I wonder if this is exactly the beer that was envisioned, or if they were hoping for something a little more attenuated, as all that sweetness and body make me wonder about the fermentation. Difficult to second guess a company that puts out so many great beers. For special beers by New Glarus, I still prefer the Golden Ale (an homage of sorts to Orval, methinks) that was put out a few years ago, the fruit beers, and the sours of the thumprint series.

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Photo of ferrari29
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Beer poured into a Snifter shaped glass

A - beer pours with a very dark maple syrup brown color; appears moderately effervescent; tan colored head; head is about 1/2 finger in size; forms a nice layer of lacing around my glass

S - beer has a slight scotch nose to hit; maple syrup and molasses; light roasted malt nose; candied dark fruits; caramel; plums

T - flavor is much lighter than I anticipated; strong ale's typically have a mixed booze and caramel flavor, not this one; very complex taste; caramel, and roasted malt flavor; dark candied fruit flavor; molasses; hint of vanilla

M - very effervescent; I can feel bubbles on my tongue from front to back; unfortunately, bubbles mask a lot of the flavoring in the beer; flavor dissipates pretty quickly once I drink it

D - Overall, I find this to be a very drinkable Strong Ale; light on flavor, but packs a tiny alcohol punch, compared to most Strong Ales, without the overwhelming taste and nose buds with booze

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.77/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to jmgrub for sharing this one at Wowcoolman's tasting.

Pours a clear dark orange-brown with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, earth, caramel, and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with spice and grain flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with lots of spice and grain flavors that are interesting.

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Photo of jbaker67
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours very dark brown with a thick tan head...excellent retention and lacing. Aroma has subtle fruit and roastiness...hints of underlying clove and allspice. Flavor has fruitiness up front and then firm roastiness...more hoppy than many dubbels ive had...faint leather and mild booze. Mouthfeel is medium/full and silky smooth with a dry roasty/fruity/hoppy finish.

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Photo of kevanb
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle, poured into a New Glarus flute.

The beer pours a deep amber color, quite hazy with hues of copper and burgundy with a large fluffy, soapy, khaki colored head that rises about 2 fingers high, settles nicely and leaves a wonderful amount of sticky lace. The aroma is blunt, a bit boozy, but has lots of yeasty esters, rich caramel malt, banana and clove really shine, plum and fig are also noteworthy with some nice brown sugar sweetness at the finish. The flavors are right in line, big fruity belgian yeast with banana and clove, raisin, fig, stone fruit and lots of sweet brown sugar at the end that finishes warm and with a boozy kick. It's straightforward for the style, the balance is fine, nothing earth shattering and not overly complex like many of the more heralded beers from Belgium. The body is nice, a bit of zippy carbonation feels nice yet it feels fairly rich, the finish is a bit astringent and a little prickly but it does coat the mouth well.

Verdict: A very decent Belgian Strong Dark Ale from New Glarus, a style I don't often see from New Glarus. It's a bit simple, despite the style's inherent complexity, but is very easy to drink and very enjoyable at that. Definitely a good fall or winter beer.

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Photo of scaliasux
3.86/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark reddish-brown. Appears at least a little hazy. Tall tan head - persistent.

Smell - Not real strong. Sweet caramel malt. Raisins, toffee. A little bread.

Taste - Malty. Darker than I expected, but mainly with very rich caramel malt flavors. Toffee and molasses, raisins. A little citrus in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium. Warm.

Overall - I'm not sure I've had a beer of this style before. As I like rich malts, this is easy to like.

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Photo of yamar68
3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Swampy ruby brown body with slow, steady beading and a healthy dollop of pale tan head... large gauge with plenty of sticky lace left behind.

Root beer, caramel, butterscotch, metallic brown ale notes, mild cocoa, ginger, stale coffee,

Plenty of nutty malts and cola flavors. Syrupy dessert flavors leading to a surprisingly tame sweet finish. It's dry and spicy, nothing sticky about it.

A nice beer. There are far more impressive New Glarus brews though.

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Photo of Strix
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy dark brown, good initial head, that leaves a ring of lace.

Smells of Belgian yeast atop apple, pear, raisin, clove.

When cold, a sharp and earthy hop presence dominates. As it warms, subtle clove, apple, malt, and yeast show. Aftertaste of a subtle dark chocolate hop note. I guess Strong Ale is a catch all, this strikes me as a Dubbel, but is danker and murkier than most. Quite interesting.

Highly carbonated, smoothes as it warms.

Congrats to 20 years!

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Photo of garymuchow
3.96/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice large head covers a darker body of deep reds and rather clear liquid.
Generally sweet malt aroma with some phenols and alcohol. Large head covers some of the aroma.
There we go, in the flavor - definitely a Belgian sprinted ale. Spice, alcohol, dryness, phenols, sharpness and tingly feel. Body is light enough to make it dangerously drinkable. Carbonation is a little low which aids in that too. Some nice caramel flavors.
This is good, but not great.

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Photo of foobula
3.99/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice amber color with a substantial khaki whipped-egg-like head. Nose of Belgian yeast, banana, orange, sweetness, a little booze. Taste features some yeast flavors like banana and esters. Sweetness, booze, and pepper in the mix. I'm guessing the ABV is 10%+, though it's not published anywhere. Mouthfeel is medium with the foamy head adding to the fullness. Overall it's a nice beer but I was expecting more complexity from this special NG one-off. EDIT: I agree with the previous reviewer VStarWalt who compared it to Chimay Blue. Very similar flavor profile. Also, bottle cap seal showed some bubbling, but still apparently intact.

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Photo of deebo
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml fresh bottle served into an oversized snifter.

This beer is super heady-light tan in color with a sticky persistant head. Very lively beer. Transparent when held to the light. Color is brown with lots of red coming through too.

Aromas of nutty toasted malt. Ester aroma is notably banana-ish which is a bit unusual in a dubbel. Some phenolic clove notes as well.

Taste is much more remniscent of a great dubbel. Rich malt character with flavors of slightly toasted bready malt with some minor Maillard reaction sweet notes present. Dry but spicy black peppery finish. Some vapory alcohols present.

Mouthfeel is highly carbonated with a big malt body. Dry finish to the point of being a bit astringent.

Overall a very nice Belgian dubbel. Lacks the complex esters, most notably the ripe fruit character of the best Belgian versions. But there is enough good things going on with this beer that I'm glad I have a few more bottles of this brew to enjoy. This beer is a good candidate to age for a few months to see if it cuts the edge a bit and provides a little more flavor development.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours deep burgundy raison color with a massive soapy looking, tan colored, three finger head that sticks to the glass like cotton candy.

S - Sweet candied dark fruit, prunes, and raisons.

T - Bready, yeasty, prunes, figs, and raisons.

M - Thick medium body.

O - Enjoyable.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a snifter.

Pours a dark copper with a big 3" tan head. Thick foamy head sits atop beer with some lacing.

caramel, toffee, biscuit, dark fruits mainly in the nose.

Sweet toffee and biscuit, dark fruits (plum, raisin), light hop bite and slight alcohol burn.

Nice strong ale/dubbel. Nothing to go crazy over but a solid beer as always from NG.

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Anniversary Strong Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.02 out of 5 based on 403 ratings.
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