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.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 403
Photo of darkphx
5/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I personally have had every Trappist beer, and just recently got to try Westvleteren 12. One of my favorite biers is St. Bernardus Abt 12, and I will that New Glarus Anniversary Strong Ale is as good if not better then the other Belgian Strong Dark biers (quads) that I have tried.

I grabbed one this weekend and wasn't expecting much, since this was New Glarus' first time brewing a big beer like this. I was very surprised at how good it was. I am now on the hunt to grab several more of these to throw in my cellar. Hats off to New Glarus! Cheers!

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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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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 t420o
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

New Glarus Anniversary Strong Ale

A- pour produces a massive 3-1/2 finger tan head resting on a deep brown body with some ruby highlights when held to the light. Head retention is excellent and lacing is as well. 4.5

S- Belgian yeast, candied sugar, chocolate and caramel malt, clove, bready, slightly nutty. Smells nice. 4

T- lighter than I was expecting but excellent. Clove, spices, candied sugar, caramel malt, doughy yeast, light nuttiness. Not a hint of alcohol. 4

M- medium body, creamy, lighter carbonation. 4.25

O- very much like a dubbel in a lot of ways. It's a very good beer that I'd like to have more of to see what some age does to it. 4


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Photo of Brabander
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This bottle was a gift from my beerbuddy Trevorjk, thanks for this very nice beer my friend.

Poured in my Struise glass this beer shows a very decent head, a bit light brown. Fluid is darkred to brown. Very decent smell. The taste is as a beer should be; very drinkable and enjoying. Some sweetness in it and some candysugar.

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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 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 Bighuge
4.67/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Deep, dark chestnut hue. Big frothy beige head with great density and lacing capability. Lots of eye pleasing lace for my viewing pleasure as I drink. On the nose, I get cedar plank, slight farmyard tones, cinnamon dough balls and some fig. Pretty delicate beer, yet complex. It has subtlety but also depth. Dark fruits and slighy rum undtertones. Black cherry. Dates and figs. Low on the heat factor. Biscuity malt base. Some slight apple and pear esters. Bread pudding and raisin. The flavors seem to not cease....Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated and light-medium bodied. The beauty of this beer really is finding that perfect equilibrium of subtlety and complexity. Well done and it doesn't surprise me coming from one of my Top 3 favorite breweries of the past 15 years. Great sipping beer and nightcap.

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Photo of weonfire
4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark Brown/Red, opaque, huge-long lasting head, excellent patchy lacing up to top of glass, head very slow to dissipate, light carbonation rising

S - Carmel, Dark aged fruit- dates & cherry, dark chocolate

T - Carmel, Dry/earthy/bread, dark chocolate, biscuit. finish has a touch of sweetness

M - Full body, excellent carbonation, frothy, flavors cover very well

O - Certainly surprised me a bit. Much more dry/earthy than expected. ABV is hidden very well. Mouth has a real nice carbonation fizz. Unfortunately no sweetness- until a touch on the finish. Really wish there was a lot more. Lot more. Real easy drinking tho. Got one more for the cellar. Pretty interested to see the evolution in a years time.

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Photo of jonfalk
4.44/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This strong Ale boasts an impressive pour into a Belgium style chalice, exhibiting a brown to red color with a thick tan head. The aroma was immediate and equally rich. Lacing existed through out the entire experience. The immediate flavors are cherry, dark chocolate and raisin. A slight tart note was noticed but did not reappear until later in the glass as the elixir warmed. Spice notes of allspice and clove were found to be a bit harsh, perhaps even hot, but cellaring could smooth out that experience. This beer has a rich mouth feel which helps cover the alcohol and makes this fairly drinkable beverage. Overall my congratulations to the craftsman raised master. I expect this to age well and would recommend one to drink and one to cellar as the individuals means permit.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.21/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle poured into Duvel Tulip.

aggressive hiss when the pressure cap was cracked open.

Appearance: murky brown bodied beer with a massive 3 fingers of head. Head is off white almost tan in color and has alot of staying power. Sticky lacing all over the glass as the head slowely drops to a clumpy and uneven thick cap. Dan always makes amazing looking beers!

Smell: Fruity malts and yeasty esters with a slight astrigent note. Bananas, huge clove notes, bubblegum. Lots of belgian yeast in the nose of this beer.

Taste: Nice complex malt profile! Dark fruits, toffee, almost a caramelized brown sugar note and slightly bready. Lots of yeast with spicy and slightly sharp booze. Slightly nutty and earthy. Rich finish that is sweet and yeasty.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. This beer is rich and a sipper no doubt. Ample carbonation and its really spot on. Creamy, sticky and pretty smooth beer. ABV is really well hidden, but it show itself just a little bit. I would guess the ABV to be near 8-9%.

Overall: This beer is a really nice belgian style beer. I cant think of many other brewers beside Dan Carey in the USA that can make such great Belgian style beers. I think this beer will really improve in the cellar, a little bit of mellowing will make this beer go from good to fantastic.

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Photo of Benish
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter glass. The color was dark like prune juice, almost impenetrable. When pouring it produces a thick head, it has that off white tannish color. Moderate lacings all over the glass.

I smelled primarily dark fruit. I'm thinking prunes, dark cherries, and some dates.

The beer is sweet and yeasty. Once again dominantly dark fruits. Dark cherries seems to be most noticeable. Plenty of carbonation present. It has a medium to heavy body. Actually seems almost syrupy. There is some noticeable heat but nothing harsh. Maybe it's a little like cherry cough syrup but not in a bad way! This is for my own reference BTW.

The finish may be just a tad subpar the St. Bernardus Abt 12 (which I drank for the first time last night). However I'm told that this is a double, not a quad. I have hit by the craft beer bug not too long ago and am just getting into some Belgium style ales.

Overall this beer is delicious. I'm amaze what Dan can do. He brews so many great beers and this is certainly one of them. New Glarus always impresses me!

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Photo of Hessma
4.55/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I could have spent more time smelling this BSDA than drinking it. A sweet and spicy aroma that has you wishing there was a scented candle somewhere just like it.

The abv seems to be a secret, I'm guessing it pushes 10%, but the alcohol is well hidden with the complexity and flavor (straight Dubbel) that you would expect from New Glarus.

The Belgian yeast and candi sugar comes through both in the nose and on the palate, followed by a wonderful earthy bittering balance of both American and German hops.

Overall a great beer, but slightly disappointing for a 20th Anniv brew.
Congrats to New Glarus on another great beer and another great year!

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Photo of sonoffenrir
4.77/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

500ml bottle. $6.99 at the local corner market.

As a New Glarus whore, I was expecting alot from this beer and was not disappointed. Pours a beautiful dark red copper with a 2-3 finger head that hold for a long time. Resiny, bready, slightly fruity nose. Complexity is off the chain. Dark fruits, citrus, pine, Belgian sugar, resin, with a pronounced breadiness and just a hint of funk. ABV is high and well-masked. I had a couple Victory Storm King Stouts the other night (9.5 ABV), and this ale seemed to be above that. I would put it in the 10+ range. If you see this one, grab it. This would seem to be a beer that will age well. I'm going to grab a couple more and forget I have them for a year or two.

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Photo of Woodman70
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not a big fan of Belgian Strong Ales...or so I thought...This beer was absolutely amazing!!! heading back to the liquor store to buy 4 more...I think this would be a perfect beer to cellar for a year..Dan created a great 20th anniversary beer as expected

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Photo of Knapp85
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a nice deep brownish red colt with a creamy colored head on top. The smell of the beer is sweet with a dark fruitiness to it with a spicy lager-like aroma to it... Very interesting nose to say the least. The taste of the beer is sweet, malty, slightly fruity and toasted. The mouthfeel is smooth gently carbonated and very drinkable. Overall the beer is very good. Really nice.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet.

Appearance: Pours a dark brownish caramel amber red with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid two fingers of creamy off white head which slowly recede into a thinner creamy layer. Leaves a good amount of clingy lacing.

Smell: A rich, yeasty, and spicy dark Belgian style aroma with lots of fruit esters. Belgian yeast with hints of clove, funk, cinnamon, and pepper. Toasted malts with hints of caramel, toffee, biscuit, toasted bread, grains, and a slight hint of roast chocolate. Lively fruit aroma with hints of banana, apple, and pear along with dark fruit hints of grapes, raisin, fig, dates, prunes, and plum. Some candied sugar hints. Subtle earthy hop presence in the background. Also a little scent of the booze. A very solid dark Belgian aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a yeasty and spicy dark Belgian taste with lots of toasty malt and fruit notes. Belgian yeast upfront with notes of clove, funk, and cinnamon and pepper spicing. Sweet notes of Belgian candied sugar. Big bready toasted malt presence with notes of caramel, toffee, biscuit, grains, and a little dark roast flavor. Big mix of fruit esters including notes of banana, apple, and pear. Dark fruit notes of fig, dates, dark grapes, raisin, prune, and plum. Subtle earthy and herbal hop presence towards the finish. Slight alcohol taste. A very solid Dark Belgian taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium to high level of carbonation. Creamy, fairly juicy, and drying on the finish. Alcohol heat is light.

Overall: A pretty solid American take on a Dark Belgian ale/Dubbel. Good use of toasty malts with some nice spice and fruit esters.

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Photo of Fcolle2
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: pours slightly cloudy deep brown. 2 finger off white head the has good retention.

S: Belgian yeast some dark fruits and some nice warm spice.

T: nice Carmel malts and a licorice like sweetness with dark fruit notes lingering on the aftertaste.

M: slight carbonation. Not as much as I expected from the pour. Has a really nice warm feel that is enhanced by the alcohol.

O: really tasty strong ale. Belgian yeast and nice warm feel make this a drinkable strong ale no matter what season.

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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 cradke
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Dark brown with some transparency around the rim of the glass. Very fluffy head (2-3 fingers.)

Smell: Dark malts. Sweet candied sugar and Belgian yeast. Inviting, but with a touch of high ABV.

Taste: Strong Belgian yest, candied sugar and alcohol up front. Blends to very belgian quad taste. Dark fruits, esters, and some fig. Lots of brown and dark sugar. Enjoyable but maybe somewhere between over the top and not quite enough flavor. Wish they dialed it up just a bit more.

Mouthfeel: Very nice carbonation. I very much enjoy how the taste spreads across the palate. Wish it was a touch more viscous and thicker to let the dark notes sink in.

Overall: This is a very good beer. It's got great Belgian quad style notes with lots of dark fruit. I wish it was a touch thicker and that the flavor was a little more pronounced. On the plus side, this has every ingredient needed to age beautifully. Strong ABV, dark sugar and lots of carbonation from the get go. If you have multiples, crack one and let the other age. If you only have one, wait a couple months and let it develop. It's very good now, but it could be an world beater with 12-18 months on it.

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Photo of Ri0
4.14/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip

A - Pours a deep, dark brown in color; 2 finger dirty white head. Thin head remains until I finish my glass. Decent amount of lacing.

S - Belgian yeast, toffee, caramel, banana esters, and dark fruits.

T - Sweet malts, dark fruits, caramel and brown sugar. Plenty of the funky Belgian yeast. An interesting take on a Belgian Strong Ale.

M - Big carbonation that really fizzes in my mouth with a nice light body. A very slight tart/bitterness lingers on my tongue.

O - Solid overall beer that I am glad I tried. Belgian Strong Ales are not my favorite style and I will need to develop my palate over time to get acquire a taste for these. I think this beer turned out sell for Dan and New Glarus.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
4.74/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

500 ml bottle $6.99/bottle

A: clear, deep copper color with red hues, off white head that was full, dissipated a bit, but kept it right to the end
S: medium to full nose, Belgian candi sugar, roasted malt, yeasty, classic Belgian dubbel
T: outstanding, roasted malt, candi sugar, some acridness, yeasty, classic Belgian dubbel
M: full and rounded
O: I usually don't give out high ratings and reserve them for classic styles, this is one of them, this is a classic Belgian dubbel but what it really has going for it is the incredible freshness of the taste

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Photo of Lemke10
4.54/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The word is this is extremely limited and rationed throughout the state so make sure you grab it while you can.

This one pours a dark amber color with a foamy beige head. The aroma is very yeasty with hints of bread, tart fruit, and banana. Very inviting with its’ traditional Belgian characteristics.

Holy cow is this beer smooth! To compliment the smooth texture is a rich, deep flavor that is very well balanced. Yeast, caramel malt, banana, and citrus are all present and very tasty. This is a slow sipper that delivers a lot of great flavor. It finishes sweet with a great malty after taste. The lacing it leaves behind is pretty impressive too!

This is a brew well worthy of being a 20th Anniversary celebration release. This ranks pretty high with me amongst other New Glarus beers. I’m sure this will earn a place in the hearts of many beer lovers. All I can say is I will look forward to a delicious 25th Anniversary brew 5 years from now! -Chris Lemke of

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Photo of cnbrown313
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle poured into a snifter

A - Pours dark mahogany in color with a generous 2 finger white head

S - Sweet fruits, caramel, banana, and just a bit of booze

T - Very interesting and unique beer. It almost tastes like a Belgian style barleywine. You get lots of caramel and dark fruits, followed by a funky Belgian yeast that really sets this beer apart from any other "strong ales" I've had. Very nice.

M - The mouthfeel is surprisingly light and the carbonation in plentiful. The flavors really move around and the body isn't heavy at all.

O - I would recommend getting one to drink and one to age. There are a lot of interesting flavors going on and I'm curious to read some other reviews on this one too.

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Photo of Jakob
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was surprised when I visited Wisconsin and saw that this beer was available at checkout. Bought two bottles....glad I did. This is a very solid beer (as one can generally expect from New Glarus). I bought mine in the R&D 500mL bottle.

The beer poured a nice thick head. Color is a very dark red - you can barely see through it when held to the spring sunlight. The nose is sweet with a tinge of raisin and malt, but with noticeable alcohol. The taste is similar, sweet and malty followed with an alcohol bite. The mouthfeel is nice with a reasonable amount of carbonation.

As one might assume, this is my first review. While I drink craft beer in quantities that might raise alarm in some circles, I have not attended Siebel and don't run in circles where the finer qualities and idiosyncrasies of beer are the topic of discussion (although I think I should consider new circles). Nonetheless, this is a really good strong ale. I haven't any idea what the ABV is, but after one bottle I am certain it is in the 8-9.5% range. I suggest this beer for all of those who appreciate good beer and fans of New Glarus.

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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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