Great Lakes Anniversary Ale | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

very good
86 Reviews
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Great Lakes Anniversary AleGreat Lakes Anniversary Ale

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by SheepNutz on 06-07-2003

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Reviews: 86 | Ratings: 104
Photo of tmoneyba
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured hazy medium amber with large rocky off-white head that lasted longer than it took me to drink it. Aroma was very complex of malt, hop and fruit. Flavor was as complex with the same character as aroma with a long spicy finish. Medium to full body with moderate acohol finish.

Good brew.

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Photo of karengarys
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This Anniversary ale, which was cellared for about 2 years and is at about 55 degrees now slow pours a hazy amber, leaving little head, but a fluffy ring and island sit in the middle.As I watch it, super tiny bubbles are slowly emerging, creating various patterns on the top of the drink filling half of my daquari glass. Small islands of bubbles stick to the side of said daquari glass as you set it down after a drink.

Smell is very fruity and slightly sour. I pick up notes of banana, mango and mandarin orange.

Taste is quite sweet. More dark orange, banana and pears. Is this an alcoholic beverage? I cannot believe how well this hides the alcohol. On that aspect, it is rivaling, maybe surpassing the best of the real belgians (specifically, it hides the alcohol better than St. Bernardaus Triple). Amazing for an American brewed triple.

Mouthfeel is very creamy. Very very creamy. And it stays that way.

Finish is sweet. The creaminess in the mouthfeel stays through the entire finish, another amazing feat.

I wish I could throw a party serving nothing but this instead of champaign. It is one excellent beverage. It may have been a bit sweet for the style, but for my tastes it worked VERY well. I highly recommend giving this a shot... ...if you can find it...

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Photo of edmundfitzoil
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anniversary Ale poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a wine glass. The bottle's best by date is Novemeber 17, 2004. I know it's past its date, but the beer is a tripel and one I had looked forward to waiting on, for as a fresh beer it had been a tad too much in mutliple directions.

The beer poured a gold with a nice touch of orange. The head was white with a fizzyiness to it and left no head. The nose is heavy on summer time sugary fruits and sweetness. The flavor proves to be lightly sweet with a mild amount of fruitiness (apricots and oranges). The mouthfeel is light and the drinkablity and abv level are well hidden in this particular, probably overly aged, bottle.

Notes. I will return this summer for a review of this ale fresh and on tap, but found it surprisingly nice to sip in its state here from this bottle.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - clear honey gold color with flakes floating about. A dirty white head recedes fairly quickly, leaving a partial covering. Gets clouded up with the last few ounces poured in.

Aroma - sweet, yeasty, an earthy, slightly musty undertone.

Taste - very malty and sweet, candi sugar and yeast dominate the flavor. Pleasant woodiness follows the swallow along with some mild hoppiness. Warming alcohol to finish up, it shows off some peppery flavors as it warms.

Mouthfeel - thick, syrupy, big beer feel. About average carbonation.

Drinkability - delicious brew from the GL.

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Photo of merlin48
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, thanks to cmarushak for this rare, 2004 classic. Pours into a tulip glass a hazed, honey amber body with a persistent, two finger head that is a creamy vanilla. Active carbonation is very apparent through the slight haze. Patchy sheet lacing adds to the striking appearance.

Lovely aroma rivals some of the better Belgian tripels. Honeydew melon, kiwi fruit, clover honey, orangerind, pineapple, bubblegum, coriander, and white pepper. Very nice to inhale!

Mouthfeel is excellent, with a medium body and velvety medium carbonation.

Taste is dominated by a sweet tropical fruitiness comprised of pineapple, melon, and kiwi. Coriander, white pepper, and orangerind add appropriate spiciness. Alcohol presence is very muted for the style. Yeastiness is present, but not a major player.

Very well crafted Tripel by this Ohio brewery. This one has aged quite well and I love the suggestive label depicting a huge slice of cake.

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Photo of sopor
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Vibrant, clear golden-wheat color brew with a small amount of sediment swimming around. Thin creamy head leaves a small uneven and splotchy film. Smells of sweet candy and yeast with touches of honey, followed by spice and hop bittering and a hint of alcohol. Tastes reminiscent of Starfruit, bananas and grapes hit up front with flavors of yeast and candy sweet malt. Spices that I can’t quite identify and a small alcohol kick come in with the soft yet perfectly bitter hops. Moderate body is perfect for a tripel with nice delicate carbonation. Pretty drinkable for 9.5%, perhaps goes down too easy, but not ultimately drinkable. A spicy and syrupy tripel that will not be a regular, but is definitely welcome in my fridge!

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Photo of 12vUnion
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Starts as a peachy-amber color. Thin lace at the top. Barely any head at all.

It smells a touch fruity. Perhaps a light apricot and apple smell from the Belgium style yeast. Hints at hoppiness and even a bit woody. Smells a little sweet. I'd say it smells a bit reminiscent of Chimay Cinq Cents.

Again, the taste is somewhat comparable to Chimay White. But it certainly isn't anywhere near as well rounded. The taste is confused. It's got a bit of yeast at the bottom of the bottle, but it doesn't come off very yeasty in flavor. It's fruity and sort of sweet at the start, but by the time it finishes it has turned fairly bitter. It peaks in the middle with a hop and alcohol 1-2. The finish is a little hoppy, a bit apple/grape peal bitter and the rest is alcohol. I don't care for the finish. The pleasant tastes are quick to fade away into bitters. The taste is too quick to really enjoy. It leaves the sour spots on the tongue tingly and warm.

It's not the best drinking triple. Most good Belgium triples wow me. This one...doesn't hit the mark. It's nearly there, but just not yet. It's good, but not great.

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Photo of Fish113d
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass slightly chilled from a bottle.

Pours an orangish honey color with 2" of sticky, eggshell white, foamy head that starts to dissipate right as it pours but it does so slowly. Some sediment found making it a bit hazy holding into the light.

Very aromatic! I can smell it a foot away and can make out some characteristics as well. Very sugary aroma that reminds me of mandarine oranges. I get also a nice healthy dose of hops which almost seems a bit like cascade with a bit of earthy mix. The spice I smell (cloves or nutmeg) make almost an olive aroma from first whiff. However, I'm very excited to try this one!

Full body lends itself to a very citrusy flavor (oranges); very sweet; more sweet than the bottle implies. I also get a nice taste of sweet spices right up front followed by the citrus body, and a strong drying alcohol finish. It actually tingles my tongue a lot before swallowing. Some olive flavor also found in there, but as weird as that sounds it is pleasant.

Full-bodied for sure! Strong alcohol presence as well as a moderate bit of tingly bubbly carbonation throughout the sip. Alcohol is a bit much and hurts some flavor I think.

Although I happen to like it, I think there are better that represent the style. I'd have another, and I enjoyed it. I think anyone would!

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.59/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thx dogbrick for this special treat

first off, love the label. anniversary cake. excellent. nothing about the label says belgian or tripel (trippel? triple? whatthefckever). pours a golden orangey clear color with no head, some bubbles clinging to the corners. spotty lacing.

aroma is all lemony, orangey band-aids. some sugar cookie in there too, sweetens as it warms. not as bad as it sounds.. rather appealing actually. something in there is kind of piney, like a new car smell. fascinating.

tastes great!!! thick mouthfeel with a instant lemony sweet jolt, followed by a bready bitterness with alcohol and banana in the finish. some pear brandy notes in the flavor as well. boy is this a huge and freakin complex beer. the alcohol is compromised by the twirling fruitiness.. gets lost in the shuffle. this is what unibroue strives to be... think la fin du monde with less yeastiness and more raw flavor. as i drink it, it becomes lighter and lighter.. sweeter and sweeter. i love the ride this is taking me on.

a beer like this is usually burdened with butter.. this beer suffers from none of that and what a relief that is.

great lakes is consistent quality, and this beer is no exception. i need more of this now please, thank you.

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Photo of mattcrill
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to cmaruschak for giving me a chance to sample this one. There aren't many left and he was nice enough to spread the wealth.

Presentation: Bottle states that I was supposed to enjoy it by "Nov 17, '04". Oops. That means they brewed it in August so it's a year old. Still, I can only imagine that good things come to those who wait.

Appearance: Pours a slightly cloudy golden honey color with a thin bone white cap. Carbonation noted throughout the body and some yeasties floating around. Maybe some chill haze going on here but I've been suitably warned by the brewer so I won't take any points off here.

Smell: A flowery aroma with hints of honey and Belgian yeast. Nicely balanced and very complex.

Taste: Sweet honey, followed by that funky Belgian yeast, and then a clove-like, slightly peppery finish. A wheaty base is definitely noted and the sweetness, yeast, and spiciness is pleasantly balanced. No esters are noted as this is finely crafted.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a drier, crisp finish. Carbonation keeps it interesting but never dominates.

Drinkability: Not my favorite style but definitely the best one I've had yet. Could probably benefit from even more aging. I think I'll make sure all my Trippels have at least a year on them. Still, I cannot stop gushing about what a great brewery we have in Great Lakes. If you can find any of this left, make sure to grab some.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fascinating all the flavors that you look for in a traditional Thai dish. Sweet, spicy, and nutty. Good yellow - orange color. Nice head retention that fades because of the high alcohol. Aromas of those belgian candies, spices, and sweet alcohol. With a malt backbone, the sugars create a bold sweetness and big pepper flavors. Fruity pears, peaches, apples, and ripe cherries. Nutty and oak flavors transcend like soy sauce or mesquite. Big alcohol throughout. High carbonation, with the alcohol and pepper creates tremendous power in the finish and aftertaste. Candied, peppery and alcoholic throughout. A tremendous beer.

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Photo of SupaCelt
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden honey colour. Small head with no retension. Particulate debris hangs in place like a curtain as bubbles cut their way through to the surface.

Smell: Hugely spicy and peppery. A bit of yeasty character is notable. Sweetness is alluded to in the nose.

Taste: Wow! Spicy as hell. The olde me would have cast this beer off at this point. Somehow, the spices do not bother me at this juncture. This tastes good. Great sweetness and bite as well. Fruity flavours with a dangerous but delectable amount of spices and a nice bitter quality for good measure.

Mouthfeel: Light yet heavy with flavours and alcohol. Good tingling sensations produced. Feels just right.

Drinkability: Being heavy on the diesel, I wouldn't consume massive amounts. It tastes good enough to warrant the desire for another round though. I like this one. Shockingly so. I was not expecting something this delicious to come out of the bottle. Another point worthy of mention is that it was supposedly best by November 17 and it is now about six months past that date. Still tastes fabaliss.

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Photo of meathookjones
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy light orange with a small white foamy topping. Scatterings of lace. Aroma is a mix of apples, other light fruits and a dash of spices. The scent was really good when it was first poured out but died unusually fast. Flavor is full of sweet fruits, a backing of biscuity malt and a slight yeastiness. There was a good bit of spice in the mix and it lingered on the finish. Quite a solid taste going on that it light and crisp but still packs in plenty of taste. Medium and creamy while going down smooth. Pretty easy drinking stuff for the complexity. I would have another if I had another.

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Photo of elricorico
3.72/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This ale is a cloudy orange-brown colour with a thin layer of head on top. Plenty of tiny bubbles are flowing to the top.

The smell is strong, smells of candied sugar and black pepper. Smells nice.

The taste is sweet up front, that same sugar as the smell, then follows up with a hit of pepperry spiciness. The finish is very warm, and some of the alcohol makes it's presence known. The lingering flavour comes from a mix of the spiciness and the alcohol. That flavour fills the back half of my mouth with each swallow.

Mouthfeel is fairly nice, a bit stickier than I'd prefer, but it is comfortable to roll this brew around on your tongue for a bit. The beer is certainly not a gulper, it's high alcohol content and potent flavour make you take your time.

All in all, not bad, but I'd hoped for better. It's worth trying if you have any interest in Belgian style beers. Thanks again to my friend Praneel for the 6er of Great Lakes beers to try.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, best by Nov. 04. Ok, so only a month past freshness date. Pours a hazy golden, slight orange liquid. Thick, white foamy head, dense bubbles. Head retention was fair. Smells of spices, orange zest. Pale malt, esthery, orange zest flavor. Some spices, and a slightly sour taste. Slight hop bitterness. Full body, high carbonation, slight creamy feel as well, Coats the tongue despite higher carbonation. Alcohol noticable. Wish I would have had this fresh, however still a pretty solid beer.

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Photo of CortexBomb
3.1/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out pale, strawish yellow with a moderate white head on top. Smell is dominated by malts, pears, and a definite sweet tinge.

Huge fruity flavours mixed with malts to start it out, and then that gives way to pepper, with an accompanying hop bitter on the back of the tongue which grows to a decent stature. A certain alcohol flavour and warming is also noticeably present, and the finish is a fairly defined bitter tinge. The alcohol presence which started at the middle and stayed through to the end was just over the top in comparison to the other things going on for my preferences, and it seemed to become more and more pronounced as the brew warmed, as did the hop profile and aftertaste. Relative to the others I've had in the style this is definitely sub-average.

Body is moderate and creamy, appropriate while the drinkability is moderately above average.

A Belgian, but the fact you can taste the alcohol noticeably and the stronger hop profile (which I don't think fits this style that well) make this one of the weaker Great Lakes offerings that I've tried.

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Photo of alexgash
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy golden apricot body with a large, thick, off-white head that doesn't stay big for long.
Big, fruity aromas; apples, pears, sweet oranges, candied banana. Sugary malts, yeast, coriander, and a smidge of alcohol round out the nose. Aroma dies down a little with the head.
Taste starts off with waffle cone sugary malts and a hint of pepper. Bigger, sweeter fruity flavors take over mid-palate, as the carbonation tickles the tongue. Spicy, yeasty sweetness rounds out the palate as the mouthfeel thickens to syrup. Sweetness is constant, with a slight yeasty bitterness in the finish. Medicinal alcohol and sugary apple sauce linger. A decent tripel, but a tad sweet. Thanks to kmpitz2 again for another good beer!

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice straw colored beer. Slightly cloudy. No head to speak of. Nice aroma-somewhat spicy,very malty. Great flavor-big malt upfront. Good residual sweetness-theres a real "earthy" flavor to it-has to be off the yeast but its really got a great taste. Slight alcohol in the backround. Very nice body-the sweetness gives it an almost syrupy feel. A damn fine triple-real close to Belgium!!!

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Photo of jackndan
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Great Lakes Anniversary Ale: Damn this is one fine Belgian Style triple. Not brewed exactly to style, but I for one do not care. Somewhat thick, filling and warming mouthfeel, feels nice going down. Not much head, but a rich golden color, and a bit of haze. As already noted the taste is rich, sweet malty flavors, leading to a yeasty, and banana flavor at the end. Nice.

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Photo of Ahhdball
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the one beer I've been hesitant to try. I don't have a reason and am questioning myself as to why I steered south of this.
Poured a cloudy orange with a small beige head that left little lacing. The smell was; coriander, clove, and citrus with small hints of malt. Taste is heavy carbonation, thick fruit and malt, and heavy alcohol. It has a nice warming effect (I'm glad I'm on the couch 'cause after 3 of these I ain't moving) and a crisp citrus. Thick and effervescent this is a fantastic Tripel and I'll anticipating the day till another!

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Photo of ken3c
4.29/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Orange hazy full head reduces to a thin layer. Lacing doesn't have a chance.

A pleasant malt fruit and alcohol smell. A hint of citrus. This is getting better.

Spicy, sweet, orange, tart. A long finish...really long. There's a banana taste in there and a firm bitterness.

Feels bubbly and warming.

This tastes a lot like their Holy Moses but with more taste and more alcohol. I really like this a lot.

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Photo of marburg
2.9/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Light honey yellow in color. Apricot maybe? Looks a bit Karo-like. Fairly appetizing aroma, though perhaps a bit funky. Spicy phenols. Then the dream just dies like a moth next to a lamp -- nay, a supernova.

The flavors start interesting -- briefly. Lots of melon and honey. But this gets very alcoholic and very sweet very quickly. Corn syrup and fruit in water, really. All honey, nothing to dry this out in the finish. I drank half the bottle and dumped the rest.

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Photo of diamonddave
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Tasted on tap at the Great Lakes pub in Cleveland. $4.50 for a brandy snifter, so it better be good...

And damn, it is. The only time I've disliked a Great Lakes brew is if it just wasn't my style. And while this would never replace the Dort or Burning River on my faves list, it sure is a damn fine (and goddamn strong) beer.

Pours hazy yellow with a nice fluffy head. Smells a little sweet, a bit oak/bourbony and hella boozy. The aroma gives a good idea of what to expect from the taste.

The initial taste is crisp, highly carbonated and sweet. Reminds me a whole lot of Unibroue's La Fin Du Monde, which I consider a high compliment. Finishes with a heavy alcohol bite, balanced by malt. As this gets warmer, the alcohol becomes more pronounced. Lovely tingly/warm sensation as it glides down the throat into the belly.

I drank two (8 oz.?) snifters and got a nice little buzz. I give it a low drinkablity score not because you couldn't drink a lot of it, but because you shouldn't. Especially if you have to drive home from Cleveland to PA.

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Photo of jdhilt
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a two-fingered white head that goes slowly and leaves a good lace. Cloudy light amber color. Medium carbonation. Malty/hoppy nose. Medium-heavy bodied. Starts malty with hints of yeast but there are hops in the background, finishes smooth with some alcohol overtones. $2.29 for a 12oz bottle from Liquor Barn Lexington, KY.

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Photo of soper2000
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a couple of these as a part of my 5 buck mixed six pack deal (thank you village bottle shoppe). Best before date of 11/04. It pours that beautiful golden orange tripel color that I absolutely love. The only problem is that the head didn't bother sticking around for too long. It's a pain because I really enjoy the looks of tripels. Smell is immensely yeasty with hints of clove, orange, and vanilla. Decent nose if you ask me. Taste seemed a little harsh to me. A little more clove flavor than I would have liked. A lot of spiciness in here. This is one of the more assertive tripels I've had. A light fruitiness is present but I would've liked for these flavors to step forward a little bit. Mouthfeel is standard as is drinkability. For less than a buck a bottle this is a great deal for me and I will be getting more. Overall I think this is a decent offering with some room for improvement. I look forward to more Belgian style ales from GLBC.

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Great Lakes Anniversary Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
3.98 out of 5 based on 104 ratings.
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