GarrettB (1599) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 19, 2015
UPDATED: FEB 6, 2015 July 9th, 2013 - Great Divide’s 19th Anniversary Ale practically crowns itself for the awkwardly numbered occasion with a great, huge cap of foam, and below it a sweeping robe of glowing, murky bronze. The smell is curious at first, with some birch wood, and a licorice and herbal scent. Molasses coats this botanical bounty, causing the first round of confusion, and then the smell of dark pipe tobacco kind of brings everything back together, since it too is a plant product often souped up with sweets and sugars for the mild-mannered pipe smoker. The beer is light and velvety on the palate, but the flavor is pungent, with more of that herbs n’ molasses combo, as well as some lighter sweeteners like honey or agave nectar. And then we get that powerful, knocking, resounding birch beer flavor that practically screams: birch, birch, birch! And pine, too, which is deep and extremely rich, almost more akin to a dark maple syrup. AndySnow (7621) - Huddinge, SWEDEN - JAN 15, 2015
How: Bottle.supershea (19) - Bella Vista, Arkansas, USA - DEC 30, 2014
Appearance: Golden colour with a white head.
Aroma: Fruit, floral, citrus, malt, pine.
Body: Medium body and carbonation.
Flavour: Fruit, floral, sweet malt, citrus.
The aroma is complex and provides hints of wood, grapes, smoke and spices. The appearance is a golden copper with very little foam. The first taste was interesting, with a funk flavor. Notes of sour maple, citrus, raisins, molasses and cinnamon. The finish reminded me of toast, warm hops and plums. A very complex beer that I want to drink again. BOSSbrewer (2705) - Arkansas, USA - DEC 29, 2014
Bottle at a tasting at Butler's place. Pours a golden yellow with thin to no head. Slightly hazy. Aroma is fruit mangoes papaya and very malty. Flavor follows with slight bitterness and dry finish. Really nice.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone chinchill (4983) - South Carolina, USA - DEC 28, 2014
22 oz bomber bottled on 14 May 2013. Poured slightly hazy copper with a decent head, but there is very little lacing.
Aroma: the high ABV is rather apparent here although hidden in both the flavor and feel.
Flavor: Not what I expected: more soft than harsh, less woody and with more subtle effects of the birch syrup. Well-balanced and easy drinking, especially for >10% ABV. More depth and complexity than expected. Best in the finish and aftertaste. Rating approaches 8.
Feel: smooth, full body with partially hidden alcohol, but ultimately warming.
O: a refined, satisfying and interesting Amer. Strong Ale worth seeking out.
Indra (2711) - Suburbia, Kansas, USA - DEC 24, 2014
22oz. bottle. Sweet, honeyish aroma, guessing some of the birch syrup is showing, lots of pale malt, some faint toast, caramel and freshly cut wood. Medium-dark golden in color with a very fine head, no lacing to speak of. Flavor profile is sweet, toasty, woody, more of the birch syrup here, herbaceous and sugary, plenty of honey and syrup flavors throughout. Not a lot of complexity here. Very low in effervescence, has a certain stickiness to it and lightly coats the palate, body is quite full. Interesting stuff, certainly not anything I would want a full bottle of, though. jandd1983 (4317) - Wentzville, Missouri, USA - DEC 18, 2014
It poured a hazy orange color with a white head. The aroma was of syrup, wood and some fruit. The taste was similar with sweet sugary syrup, leather, wood and fruity sweet malts. Good stuff. GG (2332) - NorCal, California, USA - OCT 30, 2014
22oz bottle -
I keep an open mind when it comes to American Strong Ale’s, because there’s such a huge variance between what’s good and what’s...well, not good. This falls into the "not good" catergory simply due to the strange woody aroma and taste that can only be attributed to the use of birch. The taste is very rooty...earthy, woody, wet dirt. Like squeezing the wood planks of someones root cellar that was built in the 1800’s. Strange. Unique, but strange. jsnicholas (627) - Woodinville, Washington, USA - OCT 28, 2014
Bottle (22oz $10): 18 months old when consumed. Clear orange color with thin head with a few floaters. Subtle sweet floral aroma. Light carbonation. Medium plus body. Sweet and malty. Very unique. The more I had the better I liked it. slowrunner77 (12037) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 11, 2014
"After a few years of a very similar wood aged iipa this is definitely unexpected. Birch syrup and birch chips means, you guessed it, birch is the main player. Very pleasant aroma and flavor...but while I liked it, it seemed boozier (like it was spirit barreled) and the hops were pretty much just along for the ride. Worth a shot for a Life & Limb meets iPa type strong ale."