84/09 Double Alt (25th Anniversary Beer) | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

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84/09 Double Alt (25th Anniversary Beer)84/09 Double Alt (25th Anniversary Beer)
46 Ratings
84/09 Double Alt (25th Anniversary Beer)84/09 Double Alt (25th Anniversary Beer)

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: German Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ClockworkOrange on 02-11-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 46 |  Reviews: 44
Reviews by whoneeds8:
Photo of whoneeds8
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a cylindrical glass dark brown, almost black with one finger off white head. Good Lacing. Smells very strong of carmeled malts, not much of a hop scent to it. Taste equates the same, except there are alot of raisen, and carmel tastes. Leaves a sweet layer of sugar on your lips. I'm pretty sure this is my first Altbier, but I have a feeling is a good strong representation of one.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.09/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ahhh, I just got the name... call me slow. I never looked at the label real closely, and I didn't pick up on the "25th Anniversary" tag.

So let's see... it's a slightly hazy, very dark chestnut brown in color. A short head of creamy off-white rises up but then drops readily. Only spotty lacing is left about the glass.

The aroma is fruity and darkly caramelish. I get berries and a bit of almost scorched sugar. It's not sweetish like brown sugar, but just on the cusp of burning and becoming roasty.

In the mouth it's medium-full in body, and crisp. It's moderately carbonated, but it still gives a tingle. It's very fine bubbled... is this bottle conditioned? Those Widmer brothers do like their yeast ;)

The flavor follows the aroma to the T with the addition of some piney/spicy hops and a splash of alcohol. The hops and alcohol are almost minty in a way against the darkish malts, and it's kind of refreshing. I at least feel like I have clean breath! It's berry and dark fruit, and then caramel and then hops, followed by a smack of bitterness and then a sweet dollop of honey and brown sugar before it dries to become piney and minty dry in the finish. It's pretty much exactly what I'd expect of an alt, except for the piney hops. I'd be expecting more leafy, grassy, and spicy hops, but it's a nice twist.

But what about the "double" designation? It's certainly fuller than a standard alt, but not too much beyond a sticke, and it's certainly on-par with the Uerige Doppelsticke. Keep in mind, however, that a standard alt is a little less than, or just equal to Budweiser at 5% abv - this is definitely doubled that a whopping 9.8! I think it adds a bit of spiciness, but it never really shows itself as just alcohol.

So how to judge the drinkability? I guess, firstly, it's very well made. It's nicely rounded, displaying yeasty fruitiness, malt, and hops; and it's nicely balanced from start to finish. Except for the alcohol being a bit brash, there's really nothing to fault it for except the limited head retention (which is probably due, at least in part, to the alcohol).

And I love the fruitiness. I adore that note of sweet berry that glows amidst the dark-sugar maltiness and bitter edges.

But is there enough complexity to warrant drinkability? I'd say yes. I enjoyed it, and I'd gladly buy another bottle. It's a small glass tipple though. Certainly worth trying for fans of the alt style!

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Photo of ElGordo
4.02/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Body is a pretty burnt caramel color with deep orange highlights, topped by a small, light brown head. Aroma is heavy on toasted malt, with notes of brown sugar and maybe a hint of pecan. Palate is moderately sweet up front with notes of dark fruit. A hint of biscuit malt emerges at the swallow, along with a light brown sugar sweetness. Hops are muted at best, although a little bitterness comes through on the finish.
Body is full and just short of creamy, just about perfect for what I would expect from an amped-up alt. While I would suggest that this particular style may be better suited to a winter release, I suppose that was not much of a consideration when the brewery was founded 25 years ago. A solid release that celebrates a momentous occasion in Oregon brewing history. Here's hoping for another 25 great years for the Widmer brothers.

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Photo of philipquarles
2.61/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bomber. Pours burnt copper with a tall off white head that leaves nice lacing. Smells of sweet caramel malts and prunes primarily, with no real hop presence. Lots of dark fruit esters. Not very alt-like. Tastes strongly of amber/caramel malts with a hint of toastiness. Raisin notes with spices and a general heavy sweetness. Definite, strong alcohol in the finish. Medium body with stronger carbonation. Maybe this is what a 'double alt' should taste like, but why bastardize a style like this? The whole point of the altbier is to have something light and quaffable with a refreshing hop presence. In the American 'extreme craft beer' tradition, this goes way too far; it's a 'more is better' type brew rather than one with refinement and character.

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Photo of poisoneddwarf
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

2009 backlog. Bomber. Aroma of sweet malt, raisins; I’ve had barleywines which smell pretty similar to this. Pours dark brown with a decent head, decent lacing. What do ya know, it tastes like barleywine, with raisins and molasses being the dominant flavors. Hop bitterness, alcohol in the aftertaste. Not too bad.

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Photo of Docer
4.21/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Snagged a bottle up @BelmontStation... Bottled Apr.1509. I'm kinda scared to try this puppy... never have even had an Alt until now. As I hear.. it's a good place to start.

- Dark Chestnut color like reviewed below... clear.. creamy tan head that leaves a nice dusting of lacing all about... cola resemblence..

- Dark roasty malt flavor.. cooked caramel... like a strong porter.. Slight sweetness.. alcohol.. and a bitter hop bite.

- Ok here we go....
Wow.. creamy smooth and sweet malt goodness... warm going down the throat.. candied caramel brew goodness.. I am very impressed with its flavor... and this is from Widmer? Glad they finally popped out a non-overplayed brew as a big bottle. Hop bitterness to compliment... like a fine porter.. but sweet and brown..

- Wonderful candy aftertaste.. bit dry.. not so chewy..

- Very drinkable and smooth... but warm as it is a very strong brew. The carbonation is just perfect on it. Overall a very great and unique brew for sure... a must try. Gonna age one too for maybe 5 years or more.

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Photo of BeanBone
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A dark and murky mahogany body with stunning ruby highlights. Up top, two fingers of off-white, creamy head that sticks around a while and leaves good lacing.

Aroma: Lots of rich malt with spices and dark fruit. Reminiscent of a Doppelbock.

Taste: Similar to the aroma. Spices, raisins, and bananas over a rich and mildly bitter malt backbone. That nearly ten percent alcohol content is present throughout, but never oversteps its bounds. The aftertaste is peppery and somewhat boozy. Once again, a very similar profile to that of a Doppelbock.

Mouthfeel: A slightly fuller than medium body with moderate carbonation and a dry finish. You can detect alcohol on the tongue, especially as the beer warms.

Drinkability: Not quite a sipper, but it's close.

Verdict: Honestly, I would have pegged this as a Doppelbock, but that's probably due to my inexperience with Alts and Stickes. Regardless, 84/09 is a tasty brew and a worthy marker for this milestone. Congratulations on 25 years Widmer!

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brenda picked this up for me today at the COOP.. Cost a bit more than $5.. Wasn't planning on having a beer tonight, but we're up late.. WTF.. 22 shared with Brenda.. Mine is poured into my shaped SA glass.

Very slow receding tan head... descent lace and great retention.. the brew is a lite walnut until I hold it to a light and deep lite orange and deep ruby highlites show up.. very clear .. the cap is pretty damn great... held for the entire glass.

Aroma is thick dark fruits mixed well with some mild caramel.. sorta leathery components arise.. pretty deep malty element that reminds me of a dopplebock with a significant amount of yeasty fruitiness..

Flavor is a rich maltiness.. with the above fruitiness.. sorta reminds me of plums and just right raisins.. floral hops? the hoppiness is making me think a bit .. nice touches of cocoa and little figgy.. the hoppy bitterness is there from the beginning... but is showing up alot more as it warms up..

The body is surprisingly lite given the ABV.. just about perfect carbonation though..

I am very torn on this one... I am enjoying this bottle, but I didn't really care for the last one.. I am thinking that it will do wonders with 6 months in the cellar.. but who wants to put unproven beer in the cellar.. uhh.. okay... sure why not?


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Photo of djeucalyptus
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a crystal clear dark dark chestnut with tinges of mahogany. A beautiful two-plus-finger head of a nice creamy khaki that slowly fades to small bergs of foam atom the surface that stay til the bottom and deposit sporadic yet striking lacing down the glass.

aroma is subtle but pleasant... toffee and malt. earthy and woody, a bit sweet, a but nutty. a hint of peat. walnut skins and toasted bread. subtle hints of floral hops prevent it from being too malt heavy. alcohol grows a bit stronger as it warms, as do spices and a hint of vanilla.

sweet malt up front. alcohol is definitely present works nicely - not overwhelming. complex malts: nutty, earthy, and woody. a touch of peat. toffee and subtle fruit - raisins, dates and figs. all of the flavors blend together smoothly.

mouth is solidly full bodied... and works well for the style, flavors, and abv. Smooth and creamy with nice ample carbonation that is relatively fine, almost soft, but with just a hint of sharpness that helps the flavors pop.

All in all, I'm fairly impressed with this one... i wasn't expecting much. It's definitely strong, and drinkability is solid considering it's nearly 10%. I have to say altbiers aren't my favorite style nor am I incredibly well-versed, but this beer definietly makes me happy as I finish it off. The "imperial altbier" confuses me a touch as well, but I'm not complaining. drinkable, complex, malty, and lacking any overwhelming bitter notes. I'm sure I'll pick up another bottle or two before they disappear. Definitely worth a shot.

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Photo of Riccymon
2.78/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours from the bottle a deep brown with garnet highlights. A quarter inch of head doesn't last long, which isn't surprising for the ABV this is packing. Smell is caramel, plums, and fusel alcohol. If not for that hot alcohol note, the appearance and smell would have been pretty spot on for an alt.

The first sip instantly confirms this isn't your ordinary alt; a silky smooth mouthfeel gives way to boozy cola and grape flavors. Finish is rather hot and hop-bitter at the same time, which is a little off-putting.

This is a real sipper; definitely not easy-drinking for me.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.02/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a delicious looking deep copper color with a big, foamy tan head that has pretty good retention but not much lacing.

Smells like fruity dark malts, somewhat like sautéed ju-ju fruits candy. Roasty, almost burnt caramel aroma. The nose is pretty delicious.

Deep, sweetly malted flavor is balanced well by a decent amount of hop grassiness. Fruits fade into the background more in the flavor and the ABV is hidden really well. Slick and oily mouthfeel with a surprising smoothness. Kinda like a brown ale on steroids and HGH at the same time. Hats off to the Widmer Bros for this one. Its a damn good beer and I believe I will have to buy one or two more of these, tastes like it could hold up for a year or two.

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Photo of Kromes
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with a thick tannish colored head. Smells like sweet crisp honey with a bit of fruit and caramel or brown sugar aroma. A nice sweet flavor at first with a bit of fruity dark honey, brown sugar and a little hop. There is a strong aftertaste that is somewhat bitter and has a strong alcohol presence. It makes you go back for another sip. At first I had trouble deciding if I liked the strong aftertaste and after a glass the alcohol kicked in I decided that I did like it after all. There is a smooth full mouthfeel to this beer, very nice. The sweetness and strong alcohol keep you in check, but it is delicious and is more of a sipper.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.31/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice 2 finger head with great retention and a clear amber color.

Smell has some caramel malts with a slight bit of roast and some german hops. However, there is a slight paint thinner aroma that really detracts from the other smells.

Taste is of big caramel malts with some alcohol. Hop bitterness is moderately hight and some hop flavor comes through is well. The flavor of the alcohol detracts from the big sweetness underneath.

This beer has great carbonation and mouthfeel that isn't too thick with all the sweetness going on. However, the alcohol really detracts from this brew.

I am a fan of big beers, but this one has some solventy issues. Bear in mind that these issues aren't overly intense. This beer could age for a while and those issues might be gone.

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Photo of Zorro
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep chestnut brown colored beer with a small tan colored head. Basically clear with a slight chill haze.

Smells like an alt on steroids. Big Munich malt scent heavy on caramel and toasted grain. Fruity scent from higher alcohol content, strong cherry scent here. A few more subtle scents here, almond and melon.

Begins malty and heavy with lots of grain and caramel taste. Very soon the hop bitterness kicks in and puts a cap on the malt. Subtle flavors of almond, cherry and that uncommon for the style melon.

Mouthfeel is heavy for the style.

Quite a nice beer with one minor complaint. Sort of thick for the style. All in all this is good. Possibly this is the foundation for a new style "Imperial Alt."

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Photo of Reidrover
3.66/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bomber from "Habits" ,Salem OR Nice looking beer, dark brown with a nice tan head..The head is small yet tight and stays around. Aroma pretty weak..brown sugar, raisins etc. Taste is quite sweet, then a nice acoholic burn in the end.Inbetween we are treated to treacle,turbino sugar,cocoa and figs. I quite enjoyed the thick mouthfeel on this. This is OK.A good drink ffor a more colder time of year! I think this is nearer dobblebock territory than altbier.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber, poured into a tall slender mug.

See-thru ruby-brown body capped by 2 fingers of creamy beige head. Vigorous visual carbonation constantly refreshes the frothy head, and it sticks around til the end. Plentiful lacing.

Smells like it's gonna be a big fruity and sweet brew. Huge toffeeish malt with overripe dark fruits, raisins, port, some spiciness and noticeable alcohol.

In the mouth, there's a surprising punch of hops up front that quickly yields to a strong boozy maltiness. Big toffee and caramel with hints of coffee and tanginess. The alcohol is a bit distracting.

Mouthfeel's a little tricky. Although visually it obviously has tons of carbonation, it's barely enough to scrub all that sticky sweetness of the palate.

Overall impression: I'm curious if a bit of aging will calm down the booze a bit and round this one out. At this price point, it was a pretty cheap experiment to throw a couple in the cellar. Will update my review in the future with any noteworthy changes.

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Photo of Spineypanda
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, like a bock. Has a head that does not start forming immediately, but seconds after you pour, kind of interesting.
Smells of sugar and roasted malts.
The taste is reminiscent of coffee, but has more than that too it. It has a strong mocha taste to it and some sweet but not much.

Very interesting, first alt beer.

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Photo of froghop
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a clear dark brown with a red tint when held to the light, a very small beige head, and great lacing.

smell of malt, a touch of spice, and a little caramel.

taste is creamy, malt, some caramel, a touch of spice, some cocoa, and hops in the back, end is a little dry and somewhat bitter.

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Photo of natelocc787
3.82/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours, smells, and tastes like a cross between a porter and a brown ale.

Appearance is anything but special.

Nose is above average as a beer, not for the style. Malty, sugary and surprisingly hops.

I appreciate the hop character and the roastiness. Not very complex however. Malty, earthy, smokey and burnt sugars. A little caramel and chocolate.

I ended up taking 2 hours to put back the bomber. I enjoyed it but I won't buy it again unless it appears in a convenience store.

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Photo of Fnord
3.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This bottle's been sitting on the shelf for quite a while now, so its quality could go either way.

Appearance - Very dark reddish-brown with very thin lacing.

Smell - Chocolate, alcohol, molasses, caramel, and oak.

Taste - Very sweet at the start, and throughout. There's a touch of bitterness at the end, but it's barely present. The sweetness is balanced by a fair amount of dry malts, and by the alcohol. The alcohol is somewhat integrated into the overall taste, not too harsh but not subtle, either. Interestingly, as it warms up I'm starting to notice a cherry flavor cropping up at the end. The aftertaste is sweet and syrupy.

Mouthfeel - Thin with medium-low carbonation.

Notes - I have two fairly minor complaints. I wish the alcohol were more "rounded" in flavor, better integrated. Second, the mouthfeel is too thin. Also, I would like to see more dry malts, but that's really more of a personal preference. Is this beer outstanding? No. But it is good, and even better, it's interesting. Personally, I would label this beer as an English Strong Ale, and that alone makes it stand out from all the more common 'big' styles. Good job, Widmer. I recommend it if you can still find one in the store.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep garnet color, with brilliant ruby red highlights and a nice tan head. Aromas of dark fruits, rich caramel and raisins. Flavors of brown sugar, earthy malts, some subtle hopping and a little alcohol warmth. Pretty complex, and a nice effort from an average brewery.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

09/13/09- Purcahsed at Moolie Stones in Burlingame, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle, 2009 release poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Dark brown colored pour with a 1/2 inch rising head. Some light lace trails and spotting.

Smell- Strong notes for heavy roasted caramel, alcohol and some piney hops.

Taste- Huge flavor of deep super caramelzied malts. Hops are heere as well, but play second fiddle to the mostly sweet malt base. It does taste more like a traditional Sticke, rather than a Doppel, but the alcohol comes out much stronger than it should.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation level. Warms to room temp very quickly. Very viscous and quite chewy.

Drinkability- I liked this one. A bit too much of an alcohol hit, but otherwise a nice job at and double alt (which I have never had before).

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Photo of HopHead84
3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had one clean pint glass in my cabinet upstairs when I stumbled upon this beer someone left at my house. Strangely enough, it was a Widmer pint glass that rarely sees the light of day. The beer pours dark amber with a one finger beige head and okay retention.

The aroma is sweet and malt dominated, with toasted and caramel character. Hops are barely noticeable beneath the malt, but they manage impart floral notes. There's a hint of dark fruits and spiciness.

The first thing I taste is booze. Beneath the booze is rich toasted grain with caramel malt. There's some earthiness as well. The alcohol is distracting and detracts from the other flavors. The finish is rich caramel with alcohol heat that lingers.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.99/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Brown ale, off white sticky head reduces quick to almost nothing. Some sticky lace remains.

S - Slightly fruity, mild juicy fruit, undertow of malt.

T - Cola, fruit, middle ground malt, snappy bitter carb finish.

M - Medium body, good carb and coat. Maybe a little cloy at end.

D - Leaves massive aftertaste. I couldn't do much. One is enough and I would need a palate cleanser.

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Photo of elniko
3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from bottle into Stella glass. Bottle marked with 4/15/2009 but does not specify if that is brewed or best by date.

A: Deep, rich coloring. Darker than I would have expected. Tan head quickly dissipated with thin rather bubbly lacing. Solid looking brew.

S: Major caramel on the nose is the main note that I pick up. Again solid.

T & M: I have to say the Altbier style is one I have encountered infrequently. Caramel notes are apparent in the up front taste, finish is quite medicinal. There is also bitterness but it is far from pleasant and really takes away from the mouthfeel.

D: The best thing I can say about this beer is that it is different but I will not be seeking again.

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84/09 Double Alt (25th Anniversary Beer) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.71 out of 5 with 46 ratings