20th Anniversary Ale by Ommegang

Rating: 7/7

20th Anniversary Ale by Ommegang is an 11.5% ABV Belgian Dark Strong Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label:

==Introduction==

This one totally came from left field. I wasn’t until I found it at QualityLiquorStore.com that I stumbled upon this one. The last time I tried and reviewed an Anniversary ale from Ommegang was the XV edition. Ommegang is one of my favorite breweries. Back when I first started beer reviews in 2010, The Three Philosophers which was introduced by my friend Chino was a beer I loved so much, that I wanted to try more of Ommegang’s beer. Fast Forward to this day and they have become one of my favorite Belgian inspired breweries out there. Their brews are just like Belgian ales its crazy. Granted, they are owned by Duvel, but just the better. The beers from them have been some of my all time favorites and to this day, of the common 3 best beers in the world, Three Philosophers is one of my favorites! So let’s take a look at their bourbon barrel aged Dark ale. This is such a great opportunity as I don’t think I have ever had a bourbon barrel aged beer from them. Let’s see, cheers!!

Aromas:
Rich bananas, clove spice, phenolics, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, Belgian chocolate, dark fruits, fruit cake, dark candi sugar, piloncillo sugar cone, marshmallow smores, ginger bread, flan, waffle cone, hone, bourbon, oak, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, apples, peppercorn, dark candi sugars and raisin bread pudding

Flavors:
Super rich dark fruit, raisins, plums, figs, cherries, blueberries, currants, burnt sugar, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, Dark candi sugar, piloncillo sugar cone, marshmallow smores, ginger bread, 
cola, molasses, anise, mint, rock candy, tiramasu coffee, dark chocolate, Belgian chocolate, milk chocolate, bananas, clove spice, phenolics, stone fruit peach, apricot, mango, port wine, raisins bread pudding, grapes, cane sugar, flan, sweetened condensed milk, butterscotch, rye bread honey, coriander hints, bourbon, oak, almond joy chocolate, toasted coconut, rocky road ice cream, peppercorn spice hints, candied apples, maple syrup hints, waffle cone, raspberry and dark cherry chocolate cake. 

Aftertaste:
Finishing with rich dark fruits, dulce de leche caramel, bourbon, oak, stone fruit, vanilla, bananas, anise, rocky road ice cream, chocolate and port wine hints. No alcohol in the taste despite the high ABV. Dark Amber brown full body, smooth, creamy, velvety and chewy mouthfeel along with a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Alot of the rating for this beer comes from the love I have for this brewery. The makers of some of the best Belgian inspired brews that even one of their commons, the Three Philosophers, is among one of my top common 3 beers in the world. This one almost feels like a throw back to Art of Darkness, a Belgian Dark Strong ale that I had so long ago and one that I still have aging hoping to one day open once again. Essentially, if they took that beer and aged it in Bourbon, it would be this. Heck if Unibroue took Trois Pistoles and aged it in bourbon, it be close to this too. It is definitely an exceptional brew that is very rich in dark phenolics I love in Belgians along with what I love from the bourbon barrel aged brews. If you love Belgians and BBA brews, you can’t go wrong with this amazing masterpiece!

Anime Corner:
Freya Crescent from Final Fantasy IX/9 was used in this pairing as I was mainly going for a somewhat medieval feel like many of the brews from Ommegang give the feel of. Since this was a special occasion, I wanted to use her just like I did one of my favorite dragon beers, the Italian Monteggioco Draco. There isn’t much in terms of colors to tribute but an awesome character to an awesome beer!

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He’Brew Jewbelation 20th Anniversary Ale by Shmaltz Brewing

Rating: 6/6
17038845_10104048592739660_7560130813169187252_oHe’Brew Jewbelation 20th Anniversary Ale by Shmaltz Brewing is a 16.8% ABV American Barleywine brewed with 10 Malts and 10 Hops.

Label:
Celebrating 20 years of Award Winning Beer & Delicious Shtick. L’Chaim!

“Score” is an ancient word for 20. 4 score from Gettysburg, plus Psalm 90 and MLK’s “I Have a Dream”. 20 Years of Shmaltz, one helluva Score, officially complete! About the Fugees 1996 hit The Score, Lauryn Hill said, “It’s like a hip hop version of Tommy.” At age 20, Bette Midler who later played the Acid Queen in the 1st stage show of Tommy, debuted on Broadway in Fiddler on the Roof, originally considered “too Jewish” for mainstream audiences. 20 is the Biblical age of maturity, when Jewish Priests could work in the sacred Temple. 20 years after the naked Starman icon 1st appeared on 2112, Rush released their best that’s-what-he-said lyric in ‘96: “I’ve got a pantheon of animals in a pagan soul / Vishnu & Gaia, Aztec & Maya / Dance around my totem pole.” ’96: the Sex Pistols 20th anniv reunion & the final Ramones tour. Married in ‘96, Jack & Meg claimed they were siblings in the early years of the White Stripes. At 20, Woody Allen wrote scripts for Ed Sullivan & The Tonight Show. The title song for his ‘96 musical Everyone Says I Love You came from a favorite Marx Bros movie. After appearing on The Tonight Show with Groucho Marx & opening for Liberace in Vegas, at 20, Barbra Streisand’s debut album skyrocketed her to stardom. At 20, Dave Chappelle was cast by Mel Brooks as Ahchoo in Robin Hood: Men in Tights. When the crowd grumbles at a black sheriff of Rottingham, Ahchoo quips “It worked in Blazing Saddles.” Inspired by the Blazing Saddles musical score, Here’s to conquering fear & hate & taboos. A torch to light the way! To life… L’Chaim!

==Introduction==
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Every year, since the 15th anniversary of this beer, I have brought this beer to the site. In each iteration, they have added a hop, a malt and in some cases an ABV point until getting to around 17% ABV. This year only using 10 hops and 10 malt varieties. It calls for essentially a different and yet still very complex Barleywine. In fact many of the previous beers over the years have beer similar with some having different flavors due to the malt and hop use but overall, it is a beer I always go to. I really enjoy this series and hope to try more over the years, Cheers!

Aromas:
Dark fruit cherries, raisins, plums, prunes, figs, citrus, grapefruit, herbal, piney and earthy hops, licorice, molasses, dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, milk chocolate, fudge chocolate, smokey campfire notes, roasted barley, tropical notes of guava, beet juice hints, tangerine gummies, tobacco, and soy sauce.
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Flavors:
Juicy Citrus and dark fruit blend, oranges, earthy, herbal, grapefruit and piney hops, dark fruit cherries, raisins, plums, prunes, figs, currants, molasses, anise, soy sauce, oaky notes, tobacco notes, licorice, dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, milk chocolate, fudge chocolate, smokey campfire notes, roasted barley, leather, tobacco, molasses, rye bread, clove spice, maple syrup, fruit cake, toffee, butterscotch, pecan pie, sweetend condensed milk, flan notes, marshmallows, cotton candy, toasted coconut, honey, tropical notes of guava, beet juice hints, tangerine gummies, dragon fruit and passion fruit.

Aftertaste:
Finishing with dark fruits, dark chocolate, tropical notes, mixed berry blend, earthy, citrus, grapefruit, floral and herbal hop notes along with caramel, vanilla and burnt marshmallow smoke. No alcohol in the taste. Pitch black motor oil full body, Silky, smooth, creamy and syrupy mouthfeel, and a moderate to sipping drinkability.

Overall:
For being their 20th year, this one was damn supremely exceptional as its predecessors. Very complex like always showcasing the sweet dark fruits and chocolate mixed with some piney and citrucy flavors. The alcohol is subtle due to the complexity of the beer overall. Super malts with super hops makes this one a double whamy especially its multiple of x10. Level 20 insanity that I think will appeal to both hop heads and dark strong beer lovers. I highly recommend this one!
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Anime Corner:
WyldStyle from The Lego Movie was used in this pairing, as I wanted to mainly pair with the colors of the label but also a character that looks like a bad ass. She has a complex and strong attitude towards many other characters in this series and pairs well with the complexity and ABV strength of the beer. I am sure she can kick the crap out of anyone too. In the past, I have done the same choosing similar characters that I think would pair with the yellows, blues and reds.

I also added Fluttershy at the last minute as this pic of her fits really well with the beer and the punk similarities to Wyldstyle
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Sources:
http://orig12.deviantart.net/9f49/f/2014/276/4/1/lego_movie_wyldstyle_by_darkness1999th-d81g29h.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ByJSb0tCQAMIGY7.png:large
https://desu-usergeneratedcontent.xyz/co/image/1416/10/1416100294679.png
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Cikp05Rl2Lg/VxjqHQUKfjI/AAAAAAAAAwk/M65H7FyjpfcizfISZu2Yj7QMFOolLS91g/s530-p/e1728be4-72b6-4c93-8d63-15686235a52c
https://desu-usergeneratedcontent.xyz/aco/image/1460/13/1460136496861.png

20th Anniversary Ale by Weyerbacher

14567529_10103596944661030_1894206684023985654_oRating: 5/5

20th Anniversary Ale by Weyerbacher is an 11% ABV Belgian Dark Strong Ale Brewed with Coriander and Star Anise.

Description:
Weyerbacher is turning 20 this year! How do we celebrate 20 years of bold and innovative beers? With the release of our 20th Anniversary ale!

Our 20th Anniversary brew is a Belgian-Style Dark Ale weighing in at 11% ABV. It’s malty with notes of caramel, raisins and berries, as well as subtle hints of coriander and star anise.
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==Introduction==

Weyerbacher is a brewery I wish I had more beers to try from. We do not get these beers in the west coast but for the brews I have been able to get from them have all been phenomenal. My favorite of the brews is the Blasphemy. One of the best Quadrupel ales that I would consider as one of my top beers. This brew was like a Dark Fruit and pecan pie in a bottle. So since I had the opportunity to bring more Weyerbacher beers, I decided to bring their 20th anniversary ale. In the theme of Belgian beers which I see they like to take, it would be a great honor and addition to review it. Let’s have a look.

Aromas:
Dark fruits like black cherries, currants, raisins, plums, figs, dates, raspberries, butter pecan ice cream, sweetened condensed milk, flan, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, butterscotch, toffee, chocolate, pecan pie, buttery Mexican pan dulce, Danish cream, rock candy, bananas, clove spice, port wine, raspberry chambord, apples, rye bread, cinnamon and fruit cake.

Flavors:
Dulce de leche caramel, dark fruits like black cherries, currants, raisins, plums, figs, dates, raspberries, leather hints, cinnamon hints, coriander spice hints, bananas, clove spice, stone fruit peaches, pears, vanilla, butterscotch, toffee, chocolate, pecan pie, buttery Mexican pan dulce, Danish cream, rock candy, Belgian candi sugar, port wine, raspberry chambord, apples, rye bread, anise, molasses, blackberry preserves, dragon fruit hints, brown sugar and butter pecan ice cream, sweetened condensed milk and flan.

Aftertaste:
Rich dark fruits and dulce de leche caramel linger with a slight sweet port wine and earthyness. No alcohol in the taste. Dark crimson body, moderate to sipping drinkability, velvety, syrupy and bold mouthfeel with a very rich and smoothness.

Overall:
A perfect Belgian Dark strong. So much of what I love from Belgian beers. Bananas, dark fruit, candi sugars and more! They even managed to have some of those pecan pie flavors that I loved from the Blasphemy. I can only assume it is the special yeast strain that they are using. Either way, this is the stuff of great beers and I highly recommend you to look for this one!
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Anime Corner:
Selvaria Bles from Valkyria: Azure Revolution was used in this pairing mainly for the colors of label but also fits with the somewhat dark theme of beers presented by Weyerbacher. The colors just caught my eye and seems it would work overall.
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Sources:
http://cdn3.dualshockers.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Valkyria-4-2.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CUPVDTIUwAEdWYo.jpg:large
http://www.51modo.cc/upload/kindeditor/image/20151120/20151120165055_66986.jpg

 

20th Anniversary Higher Math by Dogfish Head

12615322_10103031731971790_5500334912958599512_oRating: 6/6

20th Anniversary Higher Math by Dogfish Head is a 17% ABV Belgian Golden Ale brewed with Chocolate and Sour Cherry Juice.

Label:
Celebrating 20 off-centered years with our luscious chocolate-cherry birthday cake in liquid form.

==Introduction==

Holy Shit! It’s been a long time since Dogfish Head released a super gravity beer. Perfect along with Fort. The last time I tried a high gravity brew that was up in the 16% to 18% ABV from them was Dogfish Head 120 IPA. A crazy insane IPA that I wish I could find again. With the release of this beer, my need to the high gravity (Aside from the Bruery stuff) can be satisfied once again. These are the beers that you definitely cellar for a long time and see how it evolves. Since I don’t wanna wait and bring this to the site to see if you should cash for this one, I will be trying this one and let you know hot it is, like I always do. Cheers!

Aromas:
Dark fruit raisins, figs, grapes, currants, plums, dark cherries, cranberries, raspberries, Chocolate Orange Creamcicle, grilled bananas, dulce de leche caramel, banana cream pie, cinnamon, flan, double fudge cherry cake, honey, maple syrup, cherry cordials, port wine hints, milk chocolate, hazelnut nectar, orange peel, coriander, toffee, rye bread, tangerine preserves on toasted bread, butterscotch and tres leches cake.

Flavors:
Chocolate Orange Creamcicle, grilled bananas, dulce de leche caramel, banana cream pie, cinnamon, flan, milk chocolate, hazelnut nectar, orange peel, coriander, dark fruit raisins, figs, grapes, currants, plums, dark cherries, cranberries, raspberries, toffee, rye bread, tangerine preserves on toasted bread, butterscotch, tres leches cake, Stone fruit apricots, peaches in cream, apple pie, pecan pie, rocky road ice cream, double fudge cherry cake, honey, maple syrup, cherry cordials, port wine hints, grape must, capirotada raisin bread pudding, fruit cake and piloncillo sugar cone.

Aftertaste:
Finishing with rich cherry, orange, hints of chocolate, dark fruits, stone fruits, rye bread, tangerine preserves on toasted bread and rich honey. Slight alcohol in the taste but not detracting from the already rich flavors. Bloody Crimson hazy body, silky, creamy and syrupy mouthfeel and sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Exceptionally luscious high gravity goodness. Warms up the tummy on those late fall/ early winter days. There was so much going in this beer. For being high gravity, you could still taste the complex flavors even if the alcohol was slight. My only regret was that I could not get any more of these bottles. Now I will have to track them down so I can try it again. That or the other high gravity brews from Dogfish Head for sure. Any of them would be awesome. But seriously, if you like these types of beers, this one is king!

Anime Corner:
Android 18 (Lazuli) from Dragon Ball Z was paired with this one mainly for the colors of the beer and label but mainly the whole ABV and numbers relative to the name, Higher Math. The strength is a major as well seeing that Android 18 coming from Dragon Ball Z would be one of the strongest females in Anime History and one hot looking one at that. Next to Goku or Vegeta, Lazuli is my favorite since growing up with DBZ.

Sources:
http://1.media.dorkly.cvcdn.com/34/86/f4c98b05a6528bfc1f784dd84235a951.jpg

20th Anniversary by Saint Arnold Brewery

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Rating: 5.35/5

20th Anniversary by Saint Arnold Brewery is an 11.2% ABV English Barleywine.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Our 20th Anniversary Ale is pure, with no additives or preservatives. In order to maintain the freshest flavor possible, we do not pasteurize our beer. Many of its subtle flavors are delicate and would not stand up to the heat of pasteurization. We recommend that this product be stored cold to avoid any degradation in flavor. Malt: This beer is brewed with Maris Otter, pale two row, Munich and Chocolate malted barley. Maris Otter accounts for 60% of the grist. Hops: We bittered the beer with Centennials, finished it in the kettle with Cascades and dry hopped with Simcoe. Yeast: We use our house Saint Arnold yeast.
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An awesome thanks to Aaron at www.beermetaldude.com for obtaining this beer for me. This beer is the main aspect of celebration for the good people at Saint Arnold Brewery in their 20 years of making awesome craft beer. From the few beers I have tried from Saint Arnold, thanks to Aaron, I have come to realize how delicious their work is. I know definitely have more to try from them but they also have even more new projects as the years go buy ever increasing the greatness that is Saint Arnold. Hopefully one day we get to see their beers in California. Until then, Cheers to the anniversary, cheers to my friend Aaron and cheers to you, the readers!!

Aromas:
Citrus, mild grapefruit, dulce de leche caramel, dark fruit raisins, figs, plums, chocolate, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, pecan pie, raisin bread pudding, hints of oak, hazelnut, oak, cherry, earthy hop notes, bananas, dragon fruit, pineapple, old mango, butterscotch, rye bread, green tea, honey, clove spice, peach, guava hints and papaya.

Flavors:
Grapefuit sugar, mild citrus, tangerine, orange gummy bears, dulce de leche caramel, dark fruit, crème brulee, tropical fruit notes like pineapple, dragon fruit, mango, papaya, butterscotch, leather, green tea, rye bread, clove spice, banana hints, peach, guava, raisin bread hints, dark fruit raisins, figs, plums, chocolate hints, brown sugar, earthy and floral hops, oak, hazelnut, pecan pie, honey and pears .

Aftertaste:
Grapefruit hops linger in the end but are faded by the sweet caramel, raisins and rye bread with sweet tropical fruit cake notes. No alcohol in the taste, a sipping beer, full mouth feel with a medium body.

Overall:
Damn, goes to prove why I like this style so much. Not everyone makes a barleywine so good, but this one is definitely formidable. The balance of hops and sweetness comes together really awesome exposing a good variety of hoppy citrus flavors moving toward exotic fruits and getting into the caramel and dark fruit goodness. It seems well in tact and well maintained. At 11.2%, this is definitely ageable and I really wanna see what happens after another 20 years. Either way, great work on the anniversary beer to Saint Arnold and for sure, this beer should not be missed if you can get it.

Anime Corner:
Dizzy from Guilty Gear was used in this beer to represent not only the colors but the whole aspect of saint. Even if Dizzy is an artificial magical creature, she well looks like an angel which fits with the whole aspect of the saint. The green wing is your hoppy side, Dizzy in the center is the tropical flavors while the white lady wing is the utter bliss and seduction into the realm of sugar. They pretty much are a part of her and how balanced and complex and almost heavenly this barleywine is, so is Dizzy. She is the representative of the Saint in Saint Arnold.

Sources:
http://www.fightersgeneration.com/characters/dizzy-wallpp.jpg