Anniversary Ale
Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Anniversary AleAnniversary Ale
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Ranked #53
Ranked #9,562
4.01 | pDev: 10.97%
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States
Very Good
Anniversary AleAnniversary Ale
Reviews: 86 | Ratings: 104 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

3.67/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Standard 12 ounce brown glass bottle. Dark label that has a black background with white lettering. The picture on the label is of a White Chocolate Sponge Cake bedecked with lit sparklers. Blurb to the right of the label states that this a Signature Series beer brewed for the 15th Anniversary of the GLBC.
Recommended Serving Temperature of 45°F (as with all GLBC beers it seems, which is rather lame at times), as well as a listed Strength of 9.5% by volume. Enjoy By Date is Mar. 07 04.

Appearance: Golden body that is perfectly lucid and devoid of anything except the odd streamer. Average levels of carbonation support a perfect bleached forehead that lingers for a while but settles for a broken covering when it relaxes. Later top ups reveal a hazed and infused body created by disturbing the sediment in the bottle.

Nose: Lively phenolic bitterness with an orange infested hoppy pilsner malt aroma. Lusciously fruity with a freshly baked bread yeasty smell. Fruity!

Taste: Punchy alcoholic start, very Tripel-esque. Raw bitterness and unfettered alcohol really gives a young urban upstart feel to this Anniversary Ale. The middle has a very fruity dimension that is dominated by an orange zesty tang. Warming after the swallow, it leaves a fruity trail on the tongue in the afterlife.

Mouthfeel: Big! Lots of alcohol dominates the mouthfeel, but whilst the sweetness also adds to the mouthfeel it also detracts from the overall smoothness of the offering.

Drinkability: A little too much alcohol and sweetness to make this one a Tripel that can be downed in perpetuity, but one that is nice to have a glass of, once in a while.

Overall: Not a bad offering but a tad raw, sweet and alcoholic to be anything other than a sampler or taster when young. Maybe time will age this one into a better-rounded Tripel that has smoother edges like its Belgium contemparies. Perhaps 6 or 12 months will be the making of this Tripel.

A Belgium style Tripel that deserves a “Ménage a Trois Thanks” to fellow BA BigHuge for sending this Westwards.

May 09, 2004
More User Reviews:
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beerluvr from Canada (ON)

4.57/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Light yeast hazed golden liquid topped by a non-descript white head. Very lazy carbonation. Sweet cotton candy and tropical fruit nose, more banana like as it warms in the glass. Sweet fruity flavors supported by an ample malty base. Gentle but noticeable hoppiness, then warming alcohol is felt all the way down the gullet. Soothing, warm finish...bittersweet and fruity. Beautiful! Thanks once again to Craig for the bottles.

Apr 12, 2004
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pbrian from Connecticut

3.12/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best By March 7, '04. Yeah right. Poured a hazy golden with loose murkey flakes that were impossible to decant. Weak white head that left quickly without a trace of lace. Surprisingly tart, citric aroma. Taste was kind of a mess. Interesting parts, but didn't meld at all. Started very fruity sweet (melon-ey), a little tart spicyness tried to dry it out, but failed. Finished cloyingly sweet leaving alcohol vapors behind. In general, it's hard for me to find a triple/trippel/tripel I don't enjoy. This is the closest I've come to finding one.

Jan 22, 2004
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Brent from Kentucky

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

Slightly hazy gold. Big aroma of fruity yeast. Bold flavoring, yet a bit softer than most of the style. I know it is a contradiction in terms, but the yeast fruit flavors struck me as both dry (in an astringent sort of way) and at the same time juicy (in a flavorful sort of way). Alcohol adds a bit of white pepper, and is warming in the belly. Sweetness is well moderated. All in all, this hit me as being a bit softer than Belgian versions I've tried. A good, flavorful beer, but a little toned-down.

Dec 20, 2003
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marc77 from California

3.55/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Crystal clear auric hue when decented off the sediment. Lanky bubble ring leaves foam wisps, but no lace. Musty, raw honey with assertive, clove driven, nearly medicinal phenol dominates the aroma. Pronounced white pepper ethanol spice with trace solvent fusel tones. Softens as it breathes, with nectar tones along with subtle citric tartness providing depth. Somewhat raw aromawise. Ethanol soaked honeydew melon along with hazelnut crusted sweet croissants are the dominant impressions in flavor. Sweetens significantly as it warms, with simple, but pervasive light candi sugar sucrose coating, then eventually drenching the palate. Quite clean in distinct fermentation byproducts, with only trace, herbal phenol, gentle bubblegum esters, and innocuous yeast must discernible. Moderate bodied, with a dextrinous, but sluggish, undercarbonated mouthfeel. Finishes with lavender like floral, notes quickly fading and with sugary, honeycomb notes lingering. An enjoyable tripel, but a notch shy of balanced. Although the alcohol is well hidden, the residual sweetness begins to weigh heavily on the palate. Regardless, it's a tasty brew that is superior to the staple American brewpub tripel offering. Kudos to AKSmokedPorter for the delivery!

Jan 07, 2004
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faernt from Illinois

3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a pretty, clear golden ale. It offers a small tight bubbled head that slowly subsides into a ring with a little skim generated by small bubbles emanating from the bottom of the glass. It has a slightly flowery aroma which predicts a Belgian style trippel. The taste is sweet then sweet then slightly tart then sweet. The mouthfeel is smooth almost silky with the smell influencing the taste and mouthfeel. It's easy to drink. I detect a puckery feeling between the back of my tongue and the top of my palette.
This beer is so true to style that it serves as a bookmark. It, however, lacks idiosyncracy which in this case is a drawback. The USA has copied so many great styles of beer from around the world so well that I now expect an individuality from an interpretation. We can do beer well and now can offer an interpretation with a contributory nuance.
I have nothing bad to say about this beer. It's loyal but not unique.

Dec 29, 2003
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jdhilt from New Hampshire

4/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Sep 24, 2004
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ZAP from Minnesota

4.77/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm shocked this is only rating a 4.o overall right now..this is an outstanding tripel....very sweet but very easy drinking and tasty as hell..

Pours a deep, yet cloudy gold..minimal head...Nose is hugely malty, with some tropical fruit notes...big Belgian malt flavor...sweet tropical fruit flavors of papaya, pinneaple, and mango....body is on the high side of medium but wow is this drinkable....not oversweet at all...there is a real nice subtle spicy (peppery) hop characteristic on the finish...

Drinkability is off the charts as I can't keep my lips off the glass....tripels should last awhile....this one is going quick...alcohol is masked very well...

Great Lakes makes soem great beers but tis one takes the cake...Man, what I wouldn't do for a case of this...I've got one bottle left I want to cellar..It may not make it...

Outstanding beer that I highly recommend particularly for those who enjoy sweet, malty beers..

Nov 21, 2003
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Bighuge from Minnesota

4.72/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a lovely golden orange color. A thin creamy ivory white head recedes to a healthy sized collar which sticks around. Lacing is sporadic, but nice. Aroma is heavenly. Very yeasty, bready, spicy and estery. The taste follows suit nicely. What a great tasting tripel. One of my favorites of all time so far. Bready yeast tones dominate quite nicely. There are also sprinklings of pepper, dough, sweetness, fruit and light alcohol. The carbonation is light and the body is light medium. Great Lakes does it again. The are literally neck and neck with Stone as my favorite breweries.

Oct 30, 2003
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jtw5877 from Ohio

4.57/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly hazey dark golden hue with a fluffy white head that does not last real long but it leaves a lacy reminder as to where it was. Clovey, Gummy, slight bananna, and a spicy aroma captures the spirit of Belgium. Aromas turn into flavours as the taste is amazing. This is one heck of a beer. Buy it and drink it if you can find it.

Sep 20, 2003
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cokes from Wisconsin

4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy amber-leaning golden with a modest white froth. Fades to an edging quickly.
Aromas of honeyed apricots, black pepper, chalkboards, and hay.
Enters fruity. Mangoes and apricots and oranges. All dripping honey and caramel. Spicy too. Coriander and ample pepper. An ever-growing, juicy lime tartness develops early and begins to dominate midway. It's somewhat strange at first, but I'm falling more and more in love with it every sip. A bit grassy and herbal later, as the hops battle to stave of the forceful white rum alcohol. This is a little hot yet, but it's young too.
Sits heavy in the mouth, and could benefit from some additional carbonation to help offset and dry the alcohol. Lightly syrupy and full.
A little time may do this wonders.
Regardless, this is a tasty, guns-blazing triple as it is.

Oct 04, 2003
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Reverand from Pennsylvania

4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours to a hazy golden ale with a nice fluffy white head. A distinct smell of banana comes to mind first. A great attempt at a tripel but it might be missing something. Maybe the drinkability aspect. For being 9.5% the alcohol really is noticeable. A good sipping beer for with your friends.

Jun 01, 2004
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jackndan from Illinois

4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Oct 23, 2004
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Wildman from Ohio

4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer even on tap is actually called Anniversary Ale. This beer came in 4 pack and is listed as 9.5 %. It poured a lovely cloudy gold color and formed a huge foamy off white head that receded very slowly leaving laticed lace. A medium amount of carbonation is present. The aroma is of malt, citrus and some corinander. The flavor is of malt, citrus, corindar and slight touch of pepper and butter. It has a medium body and a velet like finish to it. As usual, a great brew by the Great Lakes people.

Sep 30, 2003
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zerk from California

4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep clear gold with a persistent finger thick white head that leaves a tiny bit of lace. Aroma is a mixture of tropical fruits, honey, coriander, and musty yeast. Flavorbegins sweet, with honey and passion fruit.. then yields to a musty horseblanket flavor. Low carbonation with a medium body. This is a very good example of a Belgian triple, especially for a brewery that doesn't normally make Belgian style beers.

Nov 26, 2003
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chilidog from Ohio

4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I aged this bottle four months after purchase. I saved it for my anniversary, seemed fitting. It poured a nice bright gold with a solid, medium carbonated white head. Retention was good and lace was fair but short lived. The aroma hits you as soon as the cap is cracked. The aroma of a sweet malt and strong citrus hit the nose all glass long. The citrus as with many fruits continue in the taste. The mouthfeel is smooth and warming while left alittle tart. A good, gotta try at least once beer. A solid attempt at the tripel style.

Mar 09, 2004
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Dogbrick from Ohio

4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at From The Vine monthly beer tasting Oct 13th, 2003: Great rendition of a Tripel, you'd almost think they kidnapped some monks. Hazy light gold color with a bubbly medium white head. Aroma of clove, banana, wheat and spice. Crisp and sparkling with an eminently drinkable blend of sweet fruits, wheat, spice (coriander/pepper) and malt. The finish is sweet and clean. Very good.

Oct 14, 2003
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BitteBier from Indiana

3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden yellow pour with lots of haze and some active carbonation and sediment. Topped with an average amount of dense, white head that quickly wanes into a slightly clingy halo. Initial smell features thick, sweet malts that later part to reveal some citrus twang and a nice bite of cloves. Sugary sweet at the onset with a rich, clingy mouthfeel that suits this one well. Sweetness gives way to spicy bite and smooth alcohol warmth. This is an interesting beer that's worth further investigation.

Mar 27, 2004
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aaronh from Pennsylvania

4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This triple was served exhibiting the traditional hazy, golden yellow hue topped by a creamy, everlasting white head. Huge malt aroma, a touch of fruitiness, and a strong coriander note in the aroma all melded together wonderfully. The visual and olfactory experience invoked visions of St. Bernardus Triple. The taste is characteristically sweet, with nice spices and a touch of hops intermingled. The mouthfeel is smoooth and thick. And the drinkability is surprisingly good. Did somebody raid a small brewery in Belgium? 'Cause this tastes very close to some of the better triples, just fresher. Would be marvelous aged and bottle conditioned. A nice treat.

Nov 22, 2003
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Jon from Michigan

4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazed golden peach with very little head. What's there comes to live after some agitation, but leaves no lace. Spiced notes complement green apple, apricot, yeast, honey and melon character in the aroma. Citrus rind, lemon, spiced apple, yeast, confectioner's sugar, pepper and a distinct but subtle breadiness accentuate the flavor. While it's complex, it seems to be missing something to qualify as truly remarkable. Lively mouthfeel is appropriately carbonated, remaining quite smooth. Flavorful, drinkable and full of character for an American Tripel-style ale.

Nov 12, 2003
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bditty187 from Nebraska

3.47/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Apple cider gold in hue, there is a small amount of yeast sediment fluttering in the otherwise clear liquid, absolute no head formed. The color is absolutely lovely but the lack of a head is very disappointing. It was not surprising there was no subsequent lacing. The aromas are fruity and vaguely woody, clean maltiness underneath, candy sugar, alcohol too. For a Triple the bouquet is a little straightforward and too clean. It does say “Belgian” but I’ve smelled much better. The palate is improved over the first two aspects of this beer. The maltiness is much sweeter than the nose indicated; the extra flavors were needed, the alcohol heat is cutting and it provides a relief of the sweetness, candy sugar returns, some apples emerge, the hops bite is noticeable at the finish along with its tasty dose of earthy-spiciness. The palate is tasty but far too clean for the style. The aftertaste has a hot bite that lingers for a good while, that’s nice. Medium in body, the carbonation is modest but the mouthfeel suits this beverage well. It is very drinkable, the high alcohol content is masked enough but this beer could probably use some aging to round out the flavors and draw more to the forefront. This is the first beer from GLBC than did not impress me; at least I know they are mortal now. Regardless I am happy I tired it; a mediocre Triple is still great in comparison to many other beers! Thank you PhantomVodoo!

Mar 17, 2004
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stirgy from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer packs a knockout punch! A punch of alcohol and flavors that is. The beer poured out a cloudy pale golden color with a thin white head. Heavy yeast and spices in the nose. Nice lemon and citrus fruit flavors come through, but all are behind the alcohol in this strong beer. Despite it’s strength though, the beer is very drinkable and is a delicious Trippel. I haven't met a Great Lakes beer yet that I didn't like!

The ABV of this beer is 9.5%.

Jun 08, 2003
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UnionMade from New York

4.87/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a bright, sunny gold, glowing with a hazy, healthy suspension, the light reflecting off the yeast and producing an almost flourescent vividness. A mild pour generates a short, squat foam, quickly settling into a cirrus mist and a bubbly collar. The head maintains at least a thin, tight collar throughout, although little in the way of lace. A bit of agitation reforms a thick mist, allowing adequate aroma to waft up.
The aroma is huge, billowing out of the glass with a sweet fruitiness apparent from a couple feet away. Huge amounts of candi sugar and caramel malt sweetness, mingling with solvent-like esters and a bit of fusel alcohol. Heavy pineapple fruitiness, with banana, green apple, honeydew melon, white grape, and some tropical fruit, perhaps mango or papaya. Spicy clove phenols, with a bit of a newly molded plastic aroma, similar to that of an action figure you just extracted from the blister pack when you were nine years old. A bit of belgian yeasty spice, with a moderate unripened fruit sourness. Just enough to check the sugary sweetness and keep it in line. A faint trace of floral/herbal hopping is buried alive in the malt. The alcohol is well hidden, but it's feet are sticking out from behind the curtain.
The flavor starts out with an urgent, immediate pineapple fruitiness. It is absolutely luscious, almost sleazy in it's appeal, but still very much enticing. Gilded caramel malt frames the beer like a victorian era pictureframe, carrying all the way through, with a gaudy, saccharine candi sugar sweetness dripping with richness. Buxom estery fruit sprawls itself out, a higher alcohol solvency breezing up your nose with a mild burn. Seductive mango and banana, with noticable melon(s), white grape and pear. An assertive green apple tartness ushers in some spicy belgian yeast flavor. Mild clove phenols break out the handcuffs, with a bit of plastic-like flavor urging you to just relax. A slight tinniness adds a touch of astringency with well hidden alcohol in the swallow. (I'm not going there) A mild caramel sweetness lingers like perfume on the pillow. Playful, bouyant carbonation adds an innocent twinkle to the lusty, slightly syrupy mouthfeel. The body is, well, fat in all the right places. You almost feel guilty after drinking this. I wonder if I should send flowers?
If I were to wish for the perfect belgian tripel, this is what I'd want it to taste like. Intensely fruity, with enough spicy sourness to balance things out. Almost slutty in it's richness, but I think that's the appeal. The flavors are right up front, straightforward and pronounced, with layers upon layers of complexity. As much as I like this beer, I couldn't drink it every night. I wouldn't call it a one night stand, maybe a mistress. In this case, the beer might be fond memories of a wild girl you used to see in college, because I doubt I'll have the opportunity to try it again. Great stuff. It's great to have a good beer like this, so I can write a fun description.
Thanks so much to drweizen for the bottle!

Feb 16, 2004
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WVbeergeek from West Virginia

3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a glowing amber orange tone with a vibrant white head forms well but short lived not much retention going on lacing is sparse and scatterd in little bundles. Aroma: Deep rich honey sweetness some fruit edges and spiciness tie it altogether great aromatics with a slightly citrus finish I really dig the smell of this one. Taste: Wow, alcohol definitely comes through but the 9.5% abv is tamed by a syrupy rich sweetness with a spiced undertow of flavors, doesn't completely hold up to some of the Belgian tripels I have had but they do a great job of bastardizing the tripel and making it drinkable rich and flavorful so I tip my hat takes some ganas (desire or heart) to attempt such a difficult style. Mouthfeel: Is medium seems light but this syrupy texture grabs your palate and takes it for a ride well done GLBC. Drinkability: Though this one can't touch Bornem or Gouden Carolous it is a great American brewed Belgian style tripel I am enjoying it and I am glad I had the opportunity to sample a bottle. By the way to anybody searching for it it's on tap at D's I took the last couple bottles from the cooler but they may have some left in the back.

Sep 28, 2003
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Gusler from Arizona

4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer after disemboguing from the bottle is a somewhat bemused golden amber color with the head modest in size, spumescent in texture and a brilliant white color, the lace forms a sating sheet to lie upon the glass. Nose is citrus crisp, lemon like, under laid by an earthy yeastiness, fresh and pleasing to the senses, start is cotton candy sweet, rich in malt with the top fair to middling in feel to the palate. Finish is docile in its acidity, the hops savourous, quite dry aftertaste with a hint of alcohol bitterness, and a definite warming in the abdominal area, quite nice this beer, from a great brewery, my thanks to Atlagerheads for a chance to sample this beer.

Mar 12, 2004
Anniversary Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 104 ratings