16th Anniversary Ale
Two Brothers Brewing Company

16th Anniversary Ale16th Anniversary Ale
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Belgian Strong Pale Ale
4.01 | pDev: 11.47%
Two Brothers Brewing Company
Illinois, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
16th Anniversary Ale16th Anniversary Ale
Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 110 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of TDK-Zach
4.76/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

My first craft beer. Had it in Philly at Fox & The Hound. I got it for the alcohol % and kept getting it for the taste. Heavier than I had expected, but I lacked experience. Little bitter on the back end but not overly so. Really enjoyed it. Kickstarted my desire to learn more.

Was served in an 6 oz glass.

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Photo of gollem
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is really remarkable, and it's a shame it's over. It is indeed a strong Belgian pale ale--it looks like one, it tastes and drinks like one, but it's got crazy alcohol (I should have looked at the label first). For a Belgian-style pale ale this is excellent; I do not find it one-dimensional, though it doesn't have the depth of the best of the real Belgian ones--but for a "style" ale, yeah, real, real good.

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Photo of stortore
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mellowed enough after the 19 months or so, that the 16% is pretty well hidden. Good flavor, a little bitter on the back end. Overall, a pretty good rendition of a Belgian Strong Pale for being so jacked up.

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Photo of GaryFields
4/5  rDev -0.2%

I'm with "sweemzander" on the taste review - too much sweetness & one dimensional malt backbone - but you gotta give a beer with 16% ABV some slack in the taste score.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.15/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From: Friar Tuck, Savoy, IL
Date: None on bottle, released summer 2013
Glass: Standard US pint glass

Two Brothers' 16th Anniversary Ale is a standard Belgian Strong Pale Ale, big in sweetness and ethanol, low in most other characters. Nothing wrong with the beer, but nothing particularly noteworthy, either, except that the 16% ABV is not as obvious as one might think. Generally forgettable.

Pours a smallish, 0.5cm tall head of medium and small-sized bubbles, yielding a mass of sponge-like foam atop the body of the beer. Head retention is poor, with the foam quickly subsiding to a thin ring around the perimeter of the glass and a thin cap atop the body of the beer. Lacing is moderately good, with numerous, complex dots and webs clinging to the sides of the glass. Body is a dark golden color, with light bringing out paler golden yellow hues. Carbonation is visible through the transparent body, moderate in number and activity.

Aroma is of pale candi sugar, syrupy and heavy pilsner malt sweetness, pear juice, slight butter, and warm from ethanol (but not smelling of ethanol).

Overall flavor is of ethanol, syrupy sweet pilsner malt and pale candi sugar, and slight butteriness. Front of palate is of sweet candi sugar, pils malt, pear and apple juice, ethanol. Mid-palate of more prominent ethanol, syrupy sweet pilsner malt, pale candi sugar, a mix of pear and apple juice, and slight butter. Back of palate is of warm ethanol, pear juice, syrupy sweetness, and faint bitterness. Aftertaste of ethanol, faint bitterness, and bread-like maltiness.

Beer is heavy bodied, with carbonation of medium-low intensity, resulting in a smooth (2/3) and slightly foamy (1/3) mouthfeel. Ethanol warmth is noticeable on the palate and in the nostrils as the beer warms, which is not surprising for a 16% ABV beer, though the ethanol seems less pronounced than in many wines of similar alcohol content. In total, the way that 16% is minimized in perception is fairly masterly.

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Photo of Doogermeister
3.25/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a slightly cloudy yellow appearance, nothing to write home about here.
the smell is similar to a wheat beer, and it has a rather mild odor considering the labeled 16% ABV
The taste of this beer is also nothing special when going of pure taste, but it has something special about it. This beer tastes like it has as much alcohol in it as Ebel Weiss or a budweiser but it contains 16%. It is rather hard to believe that it is this high, because it is so smooth, but for those who dont believe it, try finishing a bomber to yourself.
The mouthfeel is smooth and easy drinking.
Overall i would say this is a standard beer, but the combination of 16%ABV and smoothness place it one step above the standard.

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Photo of emerge077
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Had this when it came out and it was boozy and gross, so I didn't bother to review. Five months later I came across it again at an out of the way shop, and figured what the hell after seeing some positive reviews. 16% abv... get it? What could possibly go wrong?

Bright saturated orange, crystal clear with trails of rising carbonation. A ring of drippy lacing decorates the glass, and a thin broken skim sits on the surface.

Banana and vanilla creme wafers in the aroma, some fruity yeast.

Taste is a little less pleasant, sharp phenols and a little bit of fusel alcohol. Sweet fruit up front bleeding into boozy territory. Lemon cookies and peach with a shot of gin. Medium bodied and somewhat creamy, though overtly boozy. Admittedly it would be hard to disguise 16%... more time would surely be beneficial in this case.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

16%!!! Probably the highest ABV I have ever had in a beer...This beer poured a clear golden color with little to no head and no lace. The scent had the typical Belgium malt/yeast with dried apricot and citrus. The taste was very smooth, the Belgium twang helped to mask the high ABV quite well. The mouthfeel was full body with little carbonation. Overall this is a monster beer and I was glad to share it with my neighbor and my cousin. A pint is enough to last the night.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a tulip.

Pours a bright gold with a 2 finger white head. Thick lacing remains

Honey, caramel, banana, clove more spice and Belgian yeast.

Sweet caramel, banana, light lemon, lots of spices from the Belgian yeast.

Nice Belgian beer from two brothers. Doesn't drink like its 16% but you notice it's a high abv beer.

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Photo of mverity
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank more like a saison. Tasty and enjoyable but an interesting brew. Color was slightly cloudy and pale yellow with a nice white head. Smelled of wet grass and faintly hoppy. Tasty but odd. Really earthy and dry. I wasn't expecting the style to be so much like a saison.

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Photo of LI_PO12
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into Tulip

Appearance- deep gold, somewhat hazy, white head with good retention.

Aroma- very spicy, phenolic, honey, slight sour smell as well, some cloves, some alcohol present but its mellow considering its 16%

Flavor- Honey sweet malt, balanced by an awesome spicy phenols, slightly tart, with some pear, apple esters, finishes dry and crisp with a lingering sweetness that you notice after the sips over. Some alcohol present but is really dangerously hidden.

Mouthfeel- Medium-full, moderate carbonation, alcohol warmth

Overall- Was concerned about the abv on this thinking it would be way too boozy. I might have guessed 9-10ish. It is really well done. Not the best in the style, but worth a try for sure. Just remember to sip on it.

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Photo of Fcolle2
4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours golden In color with a 1 finger frothy white head that retains nicely.

Smells faintly of Belgian yeast with a nice malty body and not much hop presence. The Belgian gives off a slightly clove like smell and the little hops that do pull through have a spice that works nicely with the yeast.

Belgian yeast is the first to hit and has a complex mIxed spice mote that is backed by a big sweetness. This is followed closely by a big complex sweet malt body. Has a nice big bite to it that works nicely with the spice from the hops.

Carbonation is light but it has a nice light feel to it that gives this brew a crisp mouthfeel for such a big beer.

Overall this is a really great strong Belgian. Has a bite that I really enjoy but alchol is not very detectable. 16%? This is dangerous

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Photo of xmorgan
5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A beer with this 16%abv this good is rare!
This beer would replace a sparkling wine before drinking wine

Appearance: light golden almost like a sparkling wine
Smell: fruity almost. Orderly
Taste: fruity tart and a slight yeast
Overall: need champange bottles of this for news years well done!

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Photo of sweemzander
2.25/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours an amber caramel-like color. Produced a nice cap of white froth. Decent retention.

(S)- A grainy honey sweetness that meets a subtle biscuit-like yeast.

(T)- Fairly similar to the smell. A honey-like centric sweetness combined with a very subtle biscuit-like yeast. This is definitely not shy of the belgian candi sugar. This could give you diabetes it is so sweet.

(M)- A mellow carbonation level meets a very sweet honey-like sweetness overall. Just way too sugary sweet for me.

(O)- Again, extremely sweet and one dimensional for me. It does not have the balance and play on the yeast and sweetness that the style usually has.

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Photo of Vixie
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice golden color with a lot of bubbles. Forms a decent sized off white head, surprising for the strength. The head does linger for a bit.

Smell has malt, citrus, and pepper. I can also detect a hint of alcohol.

Starts out fruity, mainly citrus notes. There is some spice, mainly pepper. There is a bit of alcohol in the back, as well as a hop bite and alcohol warming.

Feel is smooth and full, with a bit of a bite from the carbonation.

An interesting take on the style. I was afraid this would be boozy, but the alcohol is a lot more subtle than expected. It is very drinkable, how they hid this high of an abv is beyond me, but I have never had a beer this strong go down so easy. I always feel an anniversary ale should be something special, and this one certainly is. Glad I gave it a try.

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Photo of sdonegan
4.26/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

First full review...here goes.

A: Clear, more golden than orange, very thin lacing up top after a thin head forms after the pour.

S: Smells ridiculously sweet: hints of apple, pear, clove, and floral, fruity, yeasty, Belgian goodness. More hints of booze as it warms.

T: Quite unlike any Belgian PA I've had...fruity, almost apple ciderish quality to it, topped off with a yeast taste which hits you way more than your average Belgian...with that much supposed alcohol in there, I can only imagine the amount of yeast needed to get this to 16%. Like a Belgian on steroids, Matilda comes to mind. Perfect carbonation for the style, fairly low...really makes you want another sip.

M: Amazingly smooth, especially considering the ABV here.

O: Really enjoyed it, would probably share a bottle with a friend next time instead of to myself. A sipper for sure, especially as it warms up a bit. Almost a wine, or barleywine-ish fruit character to it. If you enjoy the Belgian style, I think this is a must try if you see it. Use with caution.

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Photo of yamar68
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A 16% Strong Golden? Color me interested...

A surprisingly lively swell of white head fills the glass before receding to form a thin cap that leaves webs of neat lace. Beading fills the body.

Bright clove, wheat, and sweet yeast. Pear and green apple. Crisp. There's no discernible alcohol character on the nose.

There's a faint sense of warming booze on the palate but I would have guessed this one clocks in somewhere around 10%. There's plenty of that mellow, sweet yeast that I love in a golden ale. Clove, wheat, pale fruits... really nice.

At 16 percent alcohol, these guys are either liars or magicians.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.77/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.25

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Well, shit, looks like the Brothers can finally start learnin' how to drive... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear brushed brass topped by a finger of relatively short-lived off-white foam. The nose comprises apricot skin, light pear, mild Belgian-style yeast, light banana peel, a few bits of clove, and a hint of pineapple. There's a pervasive vein of mild, blunt booze throughout, but it never quite bubbles to the surface to greet the light of day. The taste brings in more of the same, though now the booze has found its way into the sun. Luckily, some yeast, spice, and light fruit spread out on top of it, but the combination ain't exactly what I would call pleasant, much less enjoyable or tasty. The body is a solid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, this was just too big for its own britches, a Belgian-style golden ale that probably would have been alright without the unnecessarily high infusion of straight booze. It's sad when you come across a nice beer that has been mistreated by its owners and released into the world unable to happily coexist with the populace at large...

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Photo of KFBR392
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Dark golden color, heavy orange accents. A frothy head on the pour which dissipated quickly. Highly above average carbonation active while drinking, especially for how outrageously high the ABV is.

Smell: Banana, mango, leafy greens, some very slight alcohol, yeast, and a lot of exotic tropical fruit. Some real solid complexity here, opened up much more as the beer warmed up.

Taste: Bright crisp yeast hits right away on the front of the brew. Flowing banana explodes on the palette. The alcohol provides an awesome warming sensation that makes this a real enjoyable beer to drink. One would think at 16% alcohol it would burn through but no way, solid through and through. Much more complexity here then I expected. The finish is clean and easy on the palette.

Mouthfeel: Clean, fresh, and outstanding due to what this beer is bringing. Goes down at an alarmingly awesome rate.

Overall: I expected a real awful boozy mess here, but instead I got a wonderfully balanced and complex beer. Are they lying about the 16% ABV here? Such a well done strong belgian ale, Two Brothers just keeps on making some really great beer.

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Photo of barnzy78
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, shared some with my wife (~7oz). Nice golden bodied ale topped with a larger than expected egg-shell colored head that holds good retention. Very delicate, fruity nose with apple juice, grape, chardonnay, honey, yeast. Booze comes through as it warms. Harsh hot alcohol burns a bit upon the first sip, but is more warming after the initial sip; notes of biscuit, delicate fruit, peach, grape, apple, dry chardonnay, faint grassy hop are all present. Medium body, lower carbonation. Overall, it's very white wine-ish, and with the higher ABV it's a given that it's going to be boozy, so I can look past that. I really enjoyed this one, and was glad my wife did too. I was a bit intimidated by the larger bottle and the crazy ABV of 16%.

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Photo of TTAmod
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

16th Anniversary Belgian Style Golden Ale

Poured into tulip.

A- Dark, clear gold with a two finger white head. Dissipates to a ring of lace.

S- Overly Belgian smell. Sugar, yeast, cloves, alcohol, banana

T- More of the same, but very yeasty and sweet. Cloves, banana, and a bit of cinnamon are there, but fairly underplayed. Back end is a tad alcoholic, estery, and finishes with a punch of chalky yeast.

M- Bit heavy-bodied for a BSPA, but understandable given the immense ABV. Tastes like a normal BSPA…no sign of the gigantic ABV.

O- An extremely drinkable and extremely strong BSPA. Not quite sure how they get a 16% ABV beer to be this drinkable. It’s a big BSPA in all ways. Wonder how this would be aged, although it’s not extremely hot now. Doesn’t quite match up to the big hitters in the category as this is more of a novelty beer, in my opinion.

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Photo of Duff27
3.84/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

White short lived head leaves a cap and large bubbles on the sides of the tulip. Body is a dark golden color.

Extreme Belgian yeast, sweet and boozy. Light floral, lemon zest.

Highly fruit concentrated malt, I'm mostly getting bananas ans grapes. Alcohol really starts to seep through after a few minutes, no doubt about the 16%abv claim.

Thicker mouthfeel, medium to medium-low carbonation.

Becomes a sipper as it warms, this is the onw youll want to share with a few. I think the -perfectly executed to fit the beer profile- carbonation is the star of this show. Recommended for fans of polarizing Belgians and high alcohol content beers.

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Photo of JohnnyChicago
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a very good beer.
It pours crystal clear golden, with a head that defies the head-killing effects of high-alcohol fermentation. The beer is a proper BSPA-dry and fruity. It has champagne-like qualities with clove, spice, citrus. It finishes remarkable dry and drinkable. Balance is boss here, and it drinks much easier than a 16 percent beer should. Damn good beer from two brothers and a great celebration of honed brewing skills over the course of 16 years.

Get some!

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16th Anniversary Ale from Two Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 110 ratings