19th Anniversary Belgian Style Golden Ale | Deschutes Brewery

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19th Anniversary Belgian Style Golden Ale19th Anniversary Belgian Style Golden Ale
60 Ratings
19th Anniversary Belgian Style Golden Ale19th Anniversary Belgian Style Golden Ale

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.70%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
(Retired) Released 2007

Added by Cascadia on 06-15-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 60 |  Reviews: 56
Photo of jakon
1.87/5  rDev -47.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Purchased 6-21 at Cedar Hills New Seasons. Consumed the same night so as to determine whether or not I'd be needing more.

The appearance didn't disappoint, but the aroma I was getting as I poured did. The beer was a few shades darker than golden, with an average head. No need to force it, and no need to ease back on the gas. It dissipated more quickly than I prefer. I didn't like the nose at all. Couldn't identify some of the more distinct aromas I was getting, but it just smelled too sweet and medicinal. I knew immediately that it was going to take me awhile to finish the beer. I couldn't believe it at first, but this beer actually had a slight malt liquor character to it. As I sipped, it only became more prevalent. The beer wasn't balanced at all. Far too malty for my taste, and I was actually getting hints of cough syrup. Overall, this is actually my least favorite beer I've tried in the last few years. Sorry to say it, because I love Deschutes. But it's the truth. I should note that I've been disappointed with many other belgian style ales in the past. Sometimes I wonder whether to chalk it up to abuse it may have suffered on it's journey to my fridge. I can't do that with this one though.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.4/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22 oz bottle. Pours a clear golden yellow with a pillowy white head (after a vigorous pour) that retains and leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is yeast and some clove and a little fruit. It's pretty subdued.

The flavor is slightly sweet malts with some spices that seem a little off - kind of tarry. It has an ashy bitter finish. As it warms, more sugary sweetness, a little melon and alcohol come out. The mouthfeel it medium with sharp carbonation.

Overall, not a very good Belgian. The off-flavors really detract, and the flavors are rather mish-mashed.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.61/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Purchased at a small grocery store in Hood River, OR. Consumed at a camp fire on the Hood River along with smores. Honey gold body, cream colored head with ok lacing. Aroma is boozey, grainy with some corn, very sweet and sugary. Tastes strong and full of alcohol. Malty with only light apply fruit flavors. DoesnÂ’t seem to match the style well. Heavy, thick mouthfeel with a touch of spritz and spice. Not very drinkable.

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Photo of Mitchster
2.66/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Brewed with French Pilsner malt, Belgian white candy diamonds, bitter orange peel from Curacao, Belgian yeast and hopped with Czech Saaz, Slovenian Goldings, Pacific Northwest Liberty and Brewers Gold. 8.7% ABV. The first Belgian Style ale that Deschutes has ever bottled. $3.49 for a 22oz bottle.

Pours out to a thick appearing hazy burnt golden, forming a rocky and soapy white head with excellent retention and good lacing. Mild to moderate carbonation level. The aroma is academically interesting, but not very rewarding...it's not very phenolic, but has a distinct Euro-malt base, some mild fruity esters of tropical fruit, alcohol, and vanilla. I have not smelled this yeast strain before...it's very mild for a Belgian-style yeast. Smells more French than Belgian. If anything it reminds me of Ommegang, where they have to ferment it really warm to bring out the necessary phenols, and in the process make a bunch of fusels. This would be like a colder fermentation of the Ommegang yeast. Mouthfeel is thick and soft with a medium-dense body. As it warms, it gets a bit gummy. The taste begins with herbal and woodsy hops (quite odd for the style), some off character esters, a husky pale malt body, a firm herbal bitterness, and ends in isopropyl with a touch of fusels. The finish is biting with alcohol and tastes quite boozy. The aftertaste is not very good...herbal bitterness lingers much longer than it should for the style. Bitterness is marked for the style.

Boy, Deschutes really missed the mark on this one. I can see why it's the first Belgian-style they've bottled, but really they should go back to the drawing board for this one. Very bland, lacking all the characteristics I expect in a triple, with plenty of off-flavors to boot.

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Photo of ccrida
2.68/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my St Feuillien goblet, the 19th Anniversary Belgian Style Golden Ale is definitely gold, almost into orange/bronze territory, clear and bubbly, with a thin eggshell head that quickly subsides.

The nose is very sweet, lots of candi sugar bubblegum, with phenols and too much fusel alcohol.

The taste is not as sweet as the nose, with pleasant fruity notes and a nice spiciness. However, there are lots of phenols and it's very boozy.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side for a BSPA (although it's really not very pale!) but there's a nice effervescence to temper it.

This was not the most drinkable example of the style, an average American version. It was not light enough and too boozy, even though it's only 8.7%. In that regard, it reminds me of hop henge, another from the Bond Street Series where there fermentation temps seem to have ran away from them. All and all, it was interesting to try, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get a hold of hit. I's also not interesting enough for me to bother grabbing another to through in the cellar.

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Photo of johnbonham1980
2.81/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured golden, as expected, with scant, bubbly head.

Both smell and taste have a good amount of boozy overtones, but beyond that is a fairly pleasant malty taste. Hops are well balanced with the malt, but in no way is this a heavily hopped beer. There is a good amount of citrus (mostly grapefruit) up front, and the beer leads to an earthy finish with mushroom notes. Good amount of pine as well, which comes out once the alcohol dissipates.

Effervescent carbonation helps its drinkability, but this is a beer that would be difficult to enjoy on a particularly warm day. Drinkable enough to sneak up on you, though.

I consider this beer to be a great deal for the price, but the overall impression is not one of something I'd buy by the case. Worth a try, though.

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Photo of Reidrover
2.85/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Golden coloured ale with a large slightly off white head. Mild alcohol aroma ,pneholic slightly,a wiff of plastic. Very sweet, sugary sweet indeed, taste, raw alcohol noticable near the end, nothing much too it really. Starts of Ok but 4 ozs into the beer, it gets a bit sickeningly sweet and sticky/cloying on the palate. Sad to say i didnt like this beer. Its very reminicent of Full Sails "Vesuvius" in that it is a really poor attempt at a Belgian style ale. Maybe Oregons big brewers cant stretch that far yet

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Photo of TexIndy
2.95/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my DT glass. It was a slightly hazy golden yellow with tiny bits of yeast floating. It barely had a head that didn't even cover the whole top. What was there quickly dissipated. No lacing and very little carb. The aroma was really subdued. Some sweet malt, alcohol and fruit. The taste was off for me. Didn't really taste like a BSPA and it had a weird aftertaste. I got mine from a buddy who shipped it from Denver. Wonder if they summer heat got to it. Otherwise, it's just not that good which is a shame because I've loved every other Deschutes I've had. The label says this is their first Belgian so maybe future styles will improve. (2.5, NA, M, N)

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.04/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ok...Belgium it isn't...but it's very, very interesting. In all fairness they really weren't trying to duplicate or make a Belgium, they just wanted to try a brew with a Belgium influence, and that they did.

Pours a pretty almost crystal clear pale orangish yellow with a nice two fingers of white foam topping it.

Aroma is the first place you get the 'impression' of a Belgium....you can recognize the yeast, but then there is a nice fruity and caramel aroma the comes into play followed by light citrus hops not found in most Belgiums...definitely Pacific NW.

Taste is very unusual...it starts like a Belgium with some candied malts and bread like graininess, but then definite Pacific NW Hops raise their head and make their presence known with nicely sharp citrus peel bitterness. This brew lacks a smoothness I am accustomed to finding in a Belguim beer and the different elements; particularly the sweet soft belguim fruits and then the Pacific NW bitter citrus peel hops, just don't even come close to blending leaving me with an unpleasant taste.

Mouthfeel is clean and it dries as you swallow so the aftertaste is also clean and fresh. Alcohol warmth follows swallow after making itself known in the tail end of the tasting.

Very interesting. I wish there was a catch-all for 'Anniversary Ales" because so many of these can't really be put in a single catagory.
This one is nice...
It isn't a Belgium Strong ale.

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Photo of woemad
3.07/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber picked up at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $4.29.

This poured a slightly hazy gold color, with an inch or so of white, semi-fizzy foam. It dropped rapidly and left little in the way of lace aside from the odd spot.

The nose wasn't as interesting as I had hoped. Vaguely earthy scent, with a mildly sweet honey-ish tinge and an equally mind grassiness. Most Belgian beers I've had tend to have a bit more character than this. The only Belgian or ersatz Belgian beer I've had with less character that I can think of right now is Stella. It depresses me no end to have to type that.

The taste starts out with a mildly sweet maltiness, then a somewhat dry grassiness and faintly peppery spiciness takes over. That's pretty much it.

The body of this beer is relatively thin, but doesn't have that almost indefinable lightness of touch that Belgian beers usually have. The mouthfeel is light and slightly prickly, but still unsatisfying.

A disappointing beer in that I expect better from Deschutes and I was looking forward to something vaguely Belgian tasting. There's probably a poor to fair Belgian beer out there that tastes like this, but I haven't been unlucky enough to have it yet. It was actually kinda refreshing in that it's light and vaguely crisp, but it's hella hot in Spokane right now, and refreshing can be achieved here by nearly any beverage that's cold, especially one that's nearly 9%abv.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, purchased at whole foods in portland

appearance: pours into a la chouffe tulip, clear golden orange body with a light haze, bubbly snowy white cap with very nice retention

smell: very sweet and malty aroma, light yeast, nothing too distinct

taste: overly sweet malty base, white pepper and lots of spice, moderate alcohol booze, no fruit flavors really take center stage here as the spice and malt power this one...definitely a pass

mouthfeel: hot and spicy

drinkability: ok

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Photo of largadeer
3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured from a 22 oz bomber, this beer appears perfectly clear and golden. The head is modest at best, quite unlike most Belgian style ales, but this doesn't seem to be bottle conditioned either. An unusual choice for the style of beer.

Smell: The nose is fairly mild, revealing grassy and grainy notes and a slight fruity sweetness. There's something slightly soapy present as well.

Taste: Mild grainy sweetness, citrus, grass, a bit herbal/medicinal. It finishes quite dry, with an herbal hop bite and the distinct taste of alcohol. The aftertaste is fairly clean, with a slight hoppy bitterness sticking to the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied and surprisingly thin for 8.7% ABV. The carbonation is moderate, less than I was expecting for the style.

Drinkability: Disappointing, especially after the awesome 18th Anniversary Pilsner. I really wish they had just brewed that again, because it's obvious that Belgian styles aren't their specialty.

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Photo of Viggo
3.11/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big thanks to biegaman for bringing this one from Cali.

Pours a cloudy golden, thin white head forms, drops some decent lace spots, thin ring around the glass, looks okay. Smell is sweet, bananas, lots of fruit, some candi sugar, alcohol, some spice, decent amount of malt, pineapple, interesting. Taste is caramel, floral, some biscuit, banana, fruit smoothie, wheat and vanilla, alcohol, some spice, weird. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, significant warmth going down. Thanks Jan!

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to flexabull for this one.

A - Pours a slightly hazy golden with a soapy white head and sticky lacing.

S - Grassy herbal hops with a corn like bready maltiness. Hints of alcohol and tropical fruits.

T - Spicy herbal hops with some tropical fruit and bready corn maltiness.

M - On the thick side of medium and a bit sticky with a touch of hot alcohol.

D - Congrats to Deschutes on 19 years. I can't wait to try more of their beers.

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Photo of atigerlife
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden with a think white head that dissipates rather quickly. Spotty lacing.

Aroma has some yeast, but is dominated by sweetness.

Taste is also very sweet. Some light malts, light hops. Hints of apricot. But sweetness dominates.

Mouthfeel was light and not very cleansing.

Overall, a decent attempt, just not very interesting or complex. But, quite drinkable.

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Photo of brez8791
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of RootedFool
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours hazy straw gold, thunderous (slightly yellow) white head. Smell: faint whiff of red delicious apple, honey, tangerine rind, backed by a solid waft of funky bread notes. The nose grows in depth after a few minutes spent warming in the glass. Taste: alcohol kicks right off the bat at the back of my palate, followed by a twist of dark fruit swiftness along the sides that opens into a puckering stab of bitterness at the center. The mouthfeel is syrupy thick -- well, close to it -- and not very pleasing. Aftertaste: hop sizzle, mild echoes of yeasty funk. A good effort, but not quite there.

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Photo of KAF
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.31/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Lemony gold with a light snow shower of yeast and variously sized bubbles blip-blip-blipping their way up to a pearl colored cap that looks more American than Belgian. It's an attrative lid, though, and is beginning to deposit an unbroken blanket of finely pocked lace.

Golden Ale's nose is strangely unaromatic. With such a worldly array of hops (Czech Saaz, Slovenian Goldings, Pacific NW Liberty and Brewer's Gold), not to mention Curacao orange peel, this sucker should be bursting out of the glass. A true Belgian yeast strain might have helped, but I'm betting that a simple ale yeast was used. Other than untoasted malt, a sketchy hoppiness and stainless steel, there isn't much going on. Warming helps and subtracts the metal.

Deschutes wants us to know that 19th Anniversary is their first attempt at a Belgian-style ale. I could have guessed because it isn't exactly a rousing success. The beer tastes a lot like a higher class malt liquor due to the simplicity and the prominence of the alcohol. On second thought, a higher class Euro strong lager is closer to the mark thanks to the grassy hops. Saaz dominate.

Considerably bitter, lemongrassy hops share the spotlight with a warm white pepperiness. The orange peel is a mere afterthought. The beer could have used more 'French pilsner malt' and/or more 'Belgian white candy diamonds' (candi sugar, presumably) to give it balance. A little more cohesion would be nice as well... which makes me think that more rest will do this one some good.

The mouthfeel is better than acceptable. It's medium in a general sense, thanks to an abundance of bubbles that provide quite a bit of lift. Although it falls short of the creamy voluminousness that all good Belgian beer has, I'm fine with the way it was designed.

This offering is exhibit 'A' in why Belgian-style beer is more difficult to brew than it looks. The fact that there are only a handful of American craft brewers up to the task is further proof. In the end, Deschutes 19th Anniversary Belgian Style Golden Ale is an acceptable, if somewhat unrefined, attempt at a BSPA that no one should mistake for the real thing.

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Photo of mentor
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Half finger of off white head over a cloudy dark golden liquid. Smells earthy and wheat. Esters of oranges and pears. Rather hoppy for the style, IMO.

Tastes wet sweet with esters drying woodienss and mild phenolic. Lemony and a bit of pepper. Musty earthy hops which add a mild garssiness.. A small contribution of belgian candi-sugar. Finish hangs sweet in the back of the throat, but dry on the upper palette. Heartburn in the gut makes me wonder if some non-yeast critters are living in this beer. Light body and md-lgiht mouthfeel moderate carbonation.

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Photo of brentk56
3.36/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden color with a decent head (though modest for a Belgian style); the lacing is rather good, however

Smell: Fusel alcohol is a bit too prominent for me, although I often find that to be the case in this style; there is also some fruit (melon and pear) and spice (cinnamon and allspice) that is underneath

Taste: Up front, this is the best example of a graham cracker flavor that I have encountered; the cinnamon flavor builds and turns peppery by, mid-palate, when the fusel alcohol also impacts the flavor profile; the fruit, along with some orange and honey also appears at this stage; after the swallow, the fusel flavors detract from the rest, and there is an excess bitterness that doesn't hit the BSPA style;

Mouthfeel: Medium body with prickly carbonation; warmth on the finish; not as creamy as I would like in a Belgian style

Drinkability: Just a few too many flaws to hit the nail on the head, but few American brewers do Belgians well, and the BSPA is a style that is really tricky

Thanks, JohnGalt1, for the opportunity

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a pint glass. Another from the 'Bond Street' series, introduced by Deschutes in recent years...

A: Almost perfectly clear and golden, with a faint orange-ish haze. The slightest and smallest floating sediment hovers, scattered by some steady streams of carbonation. A foamy cap of whiteness, about a finger-worth initially but fading quickly to a thin filming covering barely half the glass.

S: Sweet, pale malt smell; pleasant but bearing little resemblance to a "Belgian" PA. Grains smell of corn syrup (Light Karo?) with only a dash of spiced yeastiness, a little fruit & over-ripe banana ester, & with a trace of rubbing alcohol.

T: Zesty with spice and a fading souring. This one is full of spicy, piney hops (at 60 IBU's it's much more bitter than a typical Belgian of the style). I read 'cough syrup' in another review and I do concur. Grainy through & through, with a medicinally bitter, dry finish.

M: Gummy, syrupy-thick mouthfeel, very little of the carbonation comes through. Medium body and sticky with more than a hint of fusel burn.

D: As much as it pains me, I probably wouldn't get this again and wouldn't recommend it either. Well, maybe I'll give it one more try... After all the recent successes by this brewery, this one didn't impress me all that much. Still, congrats to Deschutes...Happy 19th!

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Photo of Stoneman78
3.47/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed at the 2007 Strong Ale Festival

A- Clear, dark orange hue, white thin layer of head , slight lacing

S- Dominant banana tones, cotton candy, citrus, green apples, subtle alcohol

T- Taste is surprisingly light and fruity, bread malts, belgian candy, cherries, banana liquer, dry finish, underwhelming for the style

M- Light-bodied, watery texture, low carbonation

D- Easy-drinking, but underwhelming and unbalanced, tastes like amped-up Hefe, the finish is a bit off-putting

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Photo of SurlyDuff
3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this one on-tap at the Public House, as well a few 22oz bottles here and there.

Clear gold, nearly white head.

Aroma is yeast and fruit, apricot, maybe banana, some other dried fruits there. Bit of spice too, perhaps clove.

After a sip or two, this one becomes more interesting. It starts a bit mild, but the middle is where i noticed all the flavors. Good maltyness, the fruit notes then come in with the spices. A bit of an alchohol pop in there, which warms you up as it goes down. Finish is pretty smooth. Not great drinkability, so expect to spend your night and take you time on this 22 bottle if you can find one.

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Photo of livingregret
3.57/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Serving Size: 1 pint

Appearance: A pale orangeish colour w/ a white like head the dissipates quickly

Smell: Nice yeast smell w/ touch of fruity ness

Taste: I actually tasted a bit of cork in my drink. Very wood feeling w/ a touch of toffee toward the end. A touch of spiciness

Mouthfeel: Medium feel w/ a bit of carbonation in it, but in a good way

Drinkability: VERY nice drink, I can't wait to go pick up another bottle

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19th Anniversary Belgian Style Golden Ale from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 3.59 out of 5 with 60 ratings
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