It’s Christmas time and with it has come the first accumulation of snow and my annual cold. I apologize for skipping a week, but everything tasted like cardboard and off-brand cough syrup. Since it is the holiday season I picked up Weyerbacher’s 20th Anniversary Ale. It is a Belgian style dark ale brewed with spices, and boy does it pack a punch.
The 20th Anniversary Ale pours with a thing tan head and has a dark, reddish amber color when held up to the light. It has a strong aroma of sour dough bread and fruity apricot esters. Belgian style ales are made with a yeast that generates fruity flavors without the addition of any real fruit. Done correctly, these flavors are sublime and complex. Done incorrectly, and it ends up tasting like band-aids and cough syrup. Weyerbacher has concocted a decent representation of what Belgian yeasts can do for a beer. The flavor starts with bold caramel malts that leads into dried fruit flavors, like raisins or apricots. There is also a subtle hint of clove and coriander that lend a holiday feel to the 20th Anniversary Ale.
Overall, I am not a fan Christmas style beers or beers that are overly sweet, and the 20th Anniversary fits that particular bill. If you are more of a hoppy beer drinker, I’d avoid this particular brew. If you’re into sweeter fare with an 11% kick then pick up a single of this beer, as this is definitely not a session beer.