275th Anniversary Ale
General Lafayette Inn & Brewery

275th Anniversary Ale275th Anniversary Ale
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Barleywine - English
4.37 | pDev: 8.7%
General Lafayette Inn & Brewery
Pennsylvania, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
275th Anniversary Ale275th Anniversary Ale
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Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 27 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of corby112
corby112 from Pennsylvania

3.82/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark mahogany/chestnut brown color with golden ruby edges and a very thin ring that immediately fades into nothing. No lacing.  

Sweet boozy aroma with leathery malt, zesty spice and sweet alcohol.  Hints of bourbon, cinnamon, brown sugar and charred oak.  

Medium bodied with lots of sweet, leathery malt along with hints of toasted oak, caramel, biscuit and toffee.  Lots of sweetness with a boozy burn toward the finish and some warmth in the chest.  Tastes pretty good but very hot and a bit one dimensional.  

Jul 13, 2011
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JAXSON from Pennsylvania

4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 rate.

On tap at the brewpup. $5 for a 5 oz. glass. Nice dark brown with ruby highlights, minimal head, some lacing. Nice, big aroma of cherries, molasses, figs, brown sugar. Flavor was very heavy, a lot of dark fruits, some oak, a large sense of maraschino cherries and brown sugar. Sticky and chewy. It took me like 25 minutes to finish the 5 oz. glass. This may need age to tone down the sweetness a bit. Not world class, but very good.

Jan 25, 2011
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akorsak from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

In honor of the closing of the General Lafayette (and before I can't review it), I cracked open my last 650 mL bottle of 275th Anniversary Ale. Purchased at the brewpub during the aforementioned celebration in September 2007.

A: The barleywine, of the English persuasion, is a caramel colored brown, opaque throughout the glass. After cracking through the wax cap, the ale opened with little movement. Even poured vigourously into the glass, the tan-hued head never amounts to much; it's larger bubbles adding a cola look.

S: Sweet caramel and toffee malts alongside oak alongside sherry. A real sniffer of a barleywine that can't hide its strength. The malts are quite thick, with darker fruits like raisins and grapes lurking around. A sharp nose.

T: Wow! This was good three years ago but the age has added significant depth of flavor. The caramel and toffee are in abundant supply, aided by dark fruits like raisins, plums and grapes. The richness of the malt profile and the oak aging has lent a brandy barrel flavor to the barleywine. The barleywine does have a medicinal heat that it just can't avoid at 13.1%. The brandy and sherry flavors within the barleywine accentuate oaken, woody flavors. The aftermath of each sip, a thin film on my lip, is a surprising treat to lick. The sweet malts and oak linger, a sweet wall of intensity. Hot dog!

M: Delicious. The malts, big as they are, are nicely hidden amongst the sherry and brandy flavors. Darker fruits, sweet and soothing (at least until the booze kicks in), drive a formidable body.

D: At 13.1%, an abundance of caution is necessary. I shared this bottle with ksak and I have vivid memories of getting hammered on it at the 275th Anniversary party. A fitting send-off.

Sep 28, 2010
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mikeyv35 from New York

4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Date: 07/31/2010
Vintage: 2006
Type: 12oz. Bottle
Glassware: Portsmouth Tulip

Sampled at the Epic Sweet & Sour Tasting I w/ wunderbeer(Ron), ShadesofGray(Ryan), and Dan. Great event!

Have sampled this brew on many occasions, but just now taking the time to review it. This brew is in my top 5 of all-time, and the brew I drink for all of my first daughter's special events.

Pours a ruby red in color w/ only a few bubbles that leaves absolutely no lacing on the glass. Picture perfect for an aged English Barleywine. The nose was of dark fruits(plums, dates, and raisins), and a touch of booze astringency. The taste is identical to the nose w/ the addition of light hop bite. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and clean. With the well hidden ABV and intense flavors I could drink alot of this brew in a sitting. Only problem is it is so hard to come by.

Overall, amazing brew from my home state of Pennsylvania! This one holds a special place in my heart. Congratulations to Chris and Russ at The General for producing such a fantastic anniversary brew! Keep up the great work.

Aug 02, 2010
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rye726 from Colorado

4.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a rich mahogany with a thin tan head.

Nose has brandy, whiskey, oak, vanilla, sweet candy malts, dark pitted fruits and brown sugar.

Taste is a lovely blend of ripe cherries, plums, dates, figs, cognac, bourbon, wood, vanilla, molasses, caramel, toffee, nutty malts and maple.

Full, silky body has a wonderful finish. Perfectly delicate carbonation.

Simply outstanding ale.

Apr 21, 2010
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Sammy from Canada (ON)

3.9/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Captain Cougar for this rare bottle. Pours black and looks thickish. Chocolate dominates the aroma and provides the first element of taste. The oakiness builds up glass over glass. Not superbley drinakable, but a barleywine with lots of good chocolate, which took me so far.

Sep 06, 2009
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joe1510 from Illinois

3.81/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz Bomber

I have to give a thanks to jasonm for knocking this long listed "want" off the list, thanks Jason! 275th Anniversary barleywine pours heavily from the wax topped bomber into my snifter. An aggressive pour yields a nice looking beige head that peaks at one finger but unfortunately fizzles to almost nothing within seconds. There's a thin collar but that's it, nothing else at all. No wispy head, no island, nothing. The body of this big barleywine is a hazy burgundy that has the look of thickness. A swirl brings back a trace of foam but the lack of head is certainly disappointing.

The nose on this beer has some very unique characteristics. There's a lot of big bursting ripe fruit throughout. Figs, raisins, dates, Curacao, orange peel and (this is what's so unique) a refreshing lime juice citric quality. Strangely enough the lime seems to fit right in with everything else. Underneath all the fruitiness I'm hit with loads of caramel, slight toffee and a drizzling of honey. The bottle says this was aged in oak but I'm not getting much, if any, wood in the nose.

My tongue is immediately and relentlessly coated with caramel during and after each sip. All of the fruitiness from the aroma comes forward in the mouth but the sugary dates and figs play the biggest role. Some faint dried orange peel adds another layer of depth and the mellowness of it fits well. Again, that lime is but is more restrained than the aroma. Notes of leather and damp wood emerge on the finish, possibly even some tobacco. Spicy booze brings up the rear without ever getting in the way.

The body is definitely on the full side of the spectrum while there's a decent amount of stick. The carbonation is on the low end and allows this beer to work at its own pace. There's a definite heat on the swallow that warms my chest and cheeks.

The drinkability is hampered slightly by the heat on the finish but this is a joy to drink. This is a sipper without a doubt but I nice nightcap.

I've had my eye on this brew for a long time now. I'm glad I finally got the chance to give it a try. It did fall a little short of my expectations but it's an overall solid brew. Thanks again for the treat Jason!

Dec 26, 2008
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SkinnyElvis from Pennsylvania

4.12/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from the General about 6 months ago. Pours with no head. Amber with little carbonation. Smells very sweet. Taste is dominated by sweet fruits and a bit of the booze. Mouthfeel is fairly smooth but affected by the ABV. A sipper for sure but a nice example of the style. I am glad that the General has plans to expand its bottling since it is my home court brewery.


Apr 20, 2008
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WesWes from New York

4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thin offwhite head that fades to spotty lacing. The aroma is great! It has a rich, burnt toffee scent along with a mild alcohol warmth. It's quite aromatic with loads of deep caramel notes; very nice. The taste is awesome! It has a very smooth, velvety feel that goes down easy and finishes warm with some wood flavors. It has a burnt toffee taste that is out of this world. It's rich and tremendously malty. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking beer and one hell of a barleywine. This beer cost me $20 and it was worth every penny. Happy Anniversary!!!

Apr 08, 2008
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ChainGangGuy from Georgia

4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark amber body, but I fear the alcohol killed any chance of a head here. Ever onward!

Smell: Luscious aroma laden with notes of dark caramel, brown sugar, hand-picked cherries, and good ole booze.

Taste: Sharply sweet caramel maltiness with a touch of dark brown sugar. Cherries floating in simple syrup. The hops are, at best, subtle here. Slint hint from the alcohol. Candyish finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Sticky mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A good barleywine, so long as you like'm sweet.

Mar 30, 2008
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barleywinebrewer from New Hampshire

4.37/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - rich deep dark reddish brown, a short lived thin tan head appears then leaves a small trickle of bubbles
S - sweet malts, toffee, raisins, dark ripe fruits.
T - similar to the nose, definitely stronger on the raisin and sweet.
M - full bodied, lightly carbonated, smooth, sweet aftertaste
D - wow, this was 13.1%? Hidden so well it's dangerous. towards the end the sweetness was a bit much. If I shared this one I'd rate it higher.

an amazing beer from a great brewpub which I am happy to have been there to experience and bring this treat home!

Mar 03, 2008
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hoppymeal from Michigan

4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber in color, mainly clear, a quick skirmish of light tan to cream colored head quickly fades away to nothing. Sweet caramel malts and toffee in the aroma along with some mild sweet fruitiness. Also a coconut aroma, and some woody booziness comes thru nicely. Taste is big and sugary maltiness up front, some toffee, prunes and plums in a rich vanilla sugar bath. Coconut and dry oaky woodiness come thru well in the taste as well. Just a bit of the alcohol in the taste. Mouthfeel is heavy in body, sweet, thick, and sticky up front, though the oakiness and alcohol cut through in the finish. Low carbonation adds to the thick feel. Great barleywine, perfect for dessert or a nice night cap. The cocnut and woodiness are in the background but help to balance the sweetness. Alcohol is evident but very well balanced for its strength. This was easily a 2 hour beer, but I would definitely drink more after these 22 ounces. Thanks to Alex and Steve for the opportunity.

Feb 05, 2008
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raven3131 from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tasted this out of the bottle, though I understand it is often on tap as a "secret beer" at the bar. Unfortunately for me not the night I was there.
Not an overly dark BW but honestly I couldn't care less what it looks like when it tastes the way this one does!! Unbelievably deep flavors that go from caramel to syrup - then jammy and sweet. I purchased two for my cellar as this will certainly gain character over the years.
Mouthfeel is smooth and at 13% surprisingly drinkable. Of all the bottles I've had in recent memory this is the most sad I have been to see the bottom. Looking forward to tasting this next to a Thomas Hardeys in a few years!

Feb 01, 2008
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LittleBreeze from New York

4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Thanks bwyker for sharing your bottle.

Appearance made me wonder if this was indeed a barleywine. As noted by other reviewers, this looked more like a brown ale. That is where my knock to appearance comes from.

The aroma was sticky sweet raisin.

Complex. Seems "aged". Good character. Leaves a little stickiness on the lips. Mild citrus taste hiding between the caramel, raisin and vanilla.

I'm glad I had an opportunity to try this one. On the other hand...odds are I won't get the opportunity to have more. :)

Jan 31, 2008
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drseamus from New York

4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to bwyker for sharing this bottle. It won the night versus Old Guardian, Mirror Mirror, and Sisyphus.

A: Nice brown body with no head. It almost looks like a brown ale.

S: Nice sweet buttery aroma. There are raisins over the top of the sweetness. Definitely a great smelling beer.

T: Very sweet with tons of raisins. It tastes much older than it is. I would have believed this had been aged a couple years or more. The balance is very impressive. There is a slight oak taste as well.

M: Outstanding body. This beer is VERY smooth, very mellow and very balanced all around.

D: Great drinkability, especially for a 13% beer. Definitely a great example of a barleywine.

Jan 28, 2008
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aerozeppl from New York

4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go out to bwyker for bringing this bottle.

A:Looked more like and English Brown ale than a barleywine in my glass.

S: Sugar covered raisins and dates. Really sweet smell on this one.

T: Incredibly complex. Tons of dark fruit and raisins with a constant sweet spine holding it all together.

M: Smooth and syrupy at the same time.

D: Very nice example of the style. The one thing I kept thinking was that this was drinking like it had been aged for a few years which it had not. Wonderfully complex beer. Too bad there were only 275 bottles or I would definitely try to get my hands on another one.

Jan 27, 2008
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Viggo from Canada (ON)

4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Biergotter Brewclub brewday tasting extravaganza, this is courtesy of my man DrJay.

Pours a hazy reddish brown, thin tan head forms, leaves some lace spots behind, settles to a thin ring, looks pretty nice. Smell is great, sweet, toffee, figs/raisins, some light alcohol and sherry, fruits, bread, very nice. Taste is similar, very heavy raisins and rich toffee, dark fruit, bread, very coating flavour, alcohol is very well hidden, very thick flavour, amazing good. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, super smooth and drinkable. Superb barleywine, one of my favourites of the night in a stellar line up. Thanks Jay!

Jan 25, 2008
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DrJay from Texas

4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one was a little hazy, reddish brown with a thin layer of bubbles that reduced quickly to a ring. A bit of fine, spotty lace clung to the glass. Nice aroma, with some dried fruit, sweet malt, faint cocoa, mild vanilla, and mellow alcohol. Moderate bitterness with sticky sweet malt. Fairly complex, with notes of dried fruit, toffee, chocolate, port, and vanilla. Low hop presence and some warmth in the finish. Full bodied with low carbonation produced a smooth, silky texture. I really enjoyed this one. It seems like it would age well too. Recommended!

Jan 22, 2008
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jimbomill from New Jersey

4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I like English Barleywines and this was tremendous. The pour was a rich copper, maybe darker. The nose was pure barleywine. The taste was deep and mouthfeel was full. I thought the alcohol was well hidden, others with me (my sisters) thought it was a little more pronounced. This stuff is excellent. Time to hie me off to Germantown/Lafayette Hills and look for more!

Jan 12, 2008
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RblWthACoz from Pennsylvania

4.01/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark, ruby hued brown in my small snifter. Nose is sweet and thick with malts. Flavor is sweet and there is no real noticable alcohol present. Nice caramel tones. Seems to be some minor wood influence. Feel is thick and a bit sticky. Very easy to drink. I had this on a bottle about a month ago and it was nice then. I think I liked it out of the bottle just a wee bit more.

Jan 05, 2008
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grub from Canada (ON)

4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

biergotter club brew/tasting 2007. DrJay contributed this one. thanks jay!

22oz bottle topped with bronze wax.

pours deep red, nearly brown at its widest and ruby red at the edges. a small wisp of very fine tan head rises with a gentle swirl but disappears again quickly.

aroma is nice. alcohol. bit of bubblegum. lots of caramel. light tangerine. hints of toffee and vanilla.

taste is good. caramel. light bubblegum. big bread and biscuit malts. bit toasty too. great dark fruit. date, raisin, plum. bit of tangerine. huge deep malts that i could savor all night.

mouthfeel is good. low carbonation level. medium-large body.

drinkability is great. balanced and tasty. i'd happily sip on this one all night.

Nov 12, 2007
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weeare138 from Pennsylvania

3.47/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Brewery notes on bottle]:
To commemorate the 275th anniversary of our building we offer this hand-bottled, Barleywine-style ale brewed with imported English ingredients.

With time this beer should gain considerable depth and complexity. Savor it.

Brewed from malted barley, hops, water and three strains of yeast. Aged in Oak Barrels.

Much thanks to witbier for grabbing me this bottle. Thanks again, dude!

Appears a hazy, mahogany toned amber with a small, tan head that quickly fades into a mild collar. Light spots of lacing are left around the glass. CO2 levels are extremely low and at over 13 %, there aren't too many yeast strains that would remain viable enough to produce CO2 when bottle conditioned. I didn't see any yeast remnants in the bottom of the bottle, so I'm guessing that it was tank conditioned.
Smell is of caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, oak, apple, hot rum, and raisins.
Taste mimics the aromas with syrupy, sugary, molasses, & caramel sweetness up front, along with candy sugar, and ripe fruit notes. This is just way too young right now like a port that hasn't developed all of it's layers yet.
Mouthfeel is syrupy, chewy, sweet, caramel, very hot, and boozy.
This will mellow in about 4 years and I'm predicting it will be full of plenty of complexities but it's just too hot and sweet right now to fully enjoy.

Sep 11, 2007
275th Anniversary Ale from General Lafayette Inn & Brewery
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 27 ratings