Brewery: New Glarus Brewing Co., New Glarus, Wisconsin
Beer: 20th Anniversary Strong Ale
Serving: 500 ml bottle
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Availability: Limited Release
Cellaring: Under proper conditions, this beer can be cellared for extended periods.
Tawny mahogany in color, New Glarus’ 20th Anniversary is dark but still clear, pouring with a dense pile of ivory foam that leaves crowded rings of lace encircling the tulip.
Belgian yeast introduces ripe dark fruit without haste, offering pleasantries of sticky Sun Maid raisins, caramelized plum, and banana with a suggestion of currents. The dark beer isn’t without some malt influence though, as toffee, molasses, and brown sugar creep in on the finish.
Replicating the aroma, New Glarus’ 20th Anniversary starts with sweet, bready malt; smooth caramel and toast flavors smeared with a dark fruit jam comprised of raisin, plum, and a finish of banana and faint clove spice.
Somewhat of an enigma, the body of this beer leaps back and fourth between extremes. It’s got a medium-full feel that’s lightened first by sparkling, throat prickling carbonation that returns to smooth, round malt sweetness only to be finished out by warming alcohol and it’s thinning quality. Overall, a bit over-carbonated for my liking as it disrupts the smoothness the beer’s flavor begs for.
Taste New Glarus’ 20th Anniversary blind and you might just imagine you’re enjoying a subtle, malty, and yeast ester-nuanced beer imported from Belgium itself. The charming congregation of flavors has come together very nicely since it’s release making it a perfect candidate for further aging!
Score: 90 / 100 - Exceptional