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Top 104 Beers of All Time

Top 104 Beers Of All Time

With the thousands of beers that are imbibed on a daily basis around the world, let’s take a look at the best beers that have ever been reviewed by The Beer Connoisseur in our Top 104 Beers of All Time.

Beer – it’s just the best, isn’t it? Here at The Beer Connoisseur, we certainly think so, and we hope that we convey that affection we have for the greatest beverage of all time to you on a daily basis.

Our Official Review features all of the beers that we have ever had the privilege to judge, and over the years, our judges have bestowed World Class ratings of 96 or above to upwards of 100 beers.

This is an extremely high honor, as the BJCP’s grading standards are quite strict and only the finest examples of each beer’s respective style is deemed worthy of a world-class rating.

Beers that are deemed World Class are believed to be “unmissable” by the BJCP rankings, and, certainly, the 104 beers contained within this story certainly fall under that category. Each of the Top 104 Beers of All Time are jewels of liquid bliss that can augment an auspicious summer afternoon or help you while away the hours of a winter snowstorm.

Many of these beers would pair well with any occasion, though some are limited-release masterpieces that deserve a special tasting just to experience the complex wealth of flavors that they can produce.

Though 104 beers might seem like nowhere near enough to span the history of brewing, this list comes with our usual caveat: Our Top 104 Beers of All Time is only limited to beers that our judges have had the privilege to review.

Thank you for reading, and without further ado, The Beer Connoisseur’s Top 104 Beers of All Time!


#104

96
Two Tortugas

Karl Strauss Brewing Co.
Belgian Dark Strong Ale

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#103

96
Saison DuPont

Brasserie Dupont
Saison

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"Displaying a notable haze upon pouring, this beer presents in the glass as a ruddy, pale orange-yellow and produces a substantial creamy white head that is sustained by exceptionally high carbonation. The aroma evinces the trademark “farmhouse” yeast character expected of a classic saison, with earthy, newly mown hay touches and hints of mushroom. Bursting with earthy, spicy and delicate fruity flavors, this beer fits the classic saison profile to a tee."

– Judged by BC Review


#102

96
Gold Lager

Stoudt's Brewing Co.
Munich Helles

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#101

96
La Chouffe

Brasserie d'Achouffe
Belgian Golden Strong Ale

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#100

96
Harvest Ale

Southern Tier Brewing Co.
Strong Bitter

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#99

96
Hop Stoopid

Lagunitas Brewing Co.
Double IPA

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"Redolent of pine and cedar stands, the hop aromas virtually leap from the glass as the beer is poured. The dichotomy of the “enamel-stripping hops” are balanced by subtle, intriguing wafts of honeysuckle, hibiscus and orange blossom. Although the predominant flavors revolve around hops, this beer is far from one-dimensional, as it evinces treacle, honey and light caramel malt flavors in supporting roles."

– Judged by BC Review


#98

96
John Barleycorn Barleywine

Mad River Brewing Co.
American Barleywine

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#97

96
Rodenbach Vintage 2013

Brouwerij Rodenbach
Flanders Red Ale

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"The aroma is quite complex, with a bit of sour cherry, some sweet and subtle caramel malt tones, a light earthy and woody character, some low malt vinegar and a very subtle leather aroma. The flavor is very appealing and loaded with complexity. It is in no way muddled or disjointed. For a Flanders Red, this is borderline perfect."

– Judged by Jason Johnson


#96

96
Extended Play

Lakefront Brewery
Session IPA

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#95

96
Nut Brown Ale

AleSmith Brewing Co.
British Brown Ale

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#94

96
KC Bier Co. Festbier

KC Bier Co.
Vienna Lager

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"To the credit of the brewer, the intense clean malt character found here did not manifest itself via overly sweet caramel malt flavors that often accompany this style. As in the aroma, hops were gently expressed in only a complementary fashion. This is a well-conceived Vienna Lager full of malt complexity that touches on the high end of the gravity scale yet is still highly drinkable."

– Judged by James Link


#93

96
Double Bass Mocha Double Chocolate Stout

Starr Hill Brewery
Spice, Herb or Vegetable Beer/Imperial Stout

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#92

96
La Trappe Quadrupel Oak Aged

Trappist Brewery Koningshoeven
Wood Aged Beer

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#91

96
Cursed Kettles

Upland Brewing Co. & Prairie Artisan Ales
Wild Specialty Beer

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"An excellent example of a Wild Specialty Beer that puts the focus on the fruit with supporting roles from complex malt and fermentation profiles without letting the barrel character get in the way. A bit more acidity would be welcome but overall this is an exceptionally well thought-out and brewed beer."

– Judged by Sean Coughlin


#90

96
Expletus

Avery Brewing Co.
Specialty Wood-Aged Beer

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#89

96
Below Decks

Heavy Seas Beer
English Barleywine

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#88

96
Cali-Belgique

Stone Brewing Co.
Belgian IPA

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"The interplay of the Belgian and American markers, where each element takes turns being more prominent in the drinking progression, is excellent in this golden beer. The flavor tastes more Belgian than anything else before a very bold American IPA jumps out and starts hitting the palate."

– Judged by Phil Farrell


#87

96
30th Anniversary Keller Pils

Summit Brewing Co.
Pale Kellerbier

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#86

96
Out of Bounds Stout

Avery Brewing Co.
American Stout

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#85

96
Tavern Ale

Big Boss Brewing Co.
Specialty Wood Aged Beer

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"Overall, this was a very interesting beer with a barrel aged American twist on a beer with English qualities; it is an excellent use of the barrel while still retaining the showcase of malt. This beer is a lovely savoring and sipping beer and an interesting combination of the two cultures. I found it to be a very well balanced beer overall with a great and harmonious interplay of malt, barrel, and whiskey. This was a very enjoyable beer and could easily be enjoyed sitting in your local establishment of choice over conversation with friends."

– Judged by Sal Mortillaro II


#84

96
Goudenband

Brouwerij Liefmans​
Oud Bruin

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#83

96
Habanero Sculpin

Ballast Point Brewing Co.
Spice, Herb or Vegetable Beer/American IPA

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#82

96
Tartanium Berliner Weisse

Grist Brewing Co.
Berliner Weisse

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#81

96
Moirai

FATE Brewing Co.
American IPA

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"A prominent floral and orange citrus hop aroma leaps out of the glass as it is being poured and remains in the forefront of this delightful IPA. A light, bready maltiness and mixed berry esters help round out the aroma and add some complexity. The overall hop character is fresh and bright, and this very pintable IPA will appeal to all of those who love hops and well-made IPAs."

– Judged by Randy Scorby


#80

96
Sonoma Tart

Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Wild Specialty Beer

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#79

96
Big Guns

Fort George Brewery
Session IPA

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"Aromas of grapefruit, sea mist, peach juice, golden apricot jam and spearmint are apparent upon first whiff. Overall, this beer's aroma profile was reminiscent of a lemon curd chiffon tart. In the flavor, this beer is dominated by hop flavors of resin and lime pith, followed by clean, low milled white flour. Overall, this is an impressive example of a Session IPA that balances hop-forward IPA characteristics with a complex supporting malt profile."

– Judged by Tracy Hensley


#78

96
Mocha Porter

Rogue Ales & Spirits
Spice, Herb or Vegetable Beer/American Porter

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#77

96
Pinchy Jeek Barl

Anderson Valley Brewing Co.
Pumpkin Beer

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"Upon initial impression, the aroma exudes bourbon barrel-aging characteristics of prominent bourbon, toasted oak, and vanilla. Pumpkin spices build in intensity with each whiff, eventually matching and melding with the barrel characters along with a chocolate and caramel malt background. The flavor demonstrates considerable complexity with the pumpkin spices (nutmeg!) melding well with rich, semi-sweet chocolate/caramel malt and bourbon/toasted oak barrel character. This beer is well suited for those seeking either seasonal Halloween beers or rich, complex, barrel-aged strong ales."

– Judged by Michael Heniff


#76

96
Alaskan Smoked Porter

Alaskan Brewing Co.
Classic Style Smoked Beer

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#75

96
Four Seasons Spring '17

Mother Earth Brew Co.
Fruit Beer

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#74

96
Southside Lager

Arches Brewing
International Amber Lager

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#73

96
Two Hearted Ale

Bell's Brewery
American IPA

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"Biscuit and caramel malt flavors mesh well with the citrus and pine hops. The bitterness at the end cleanses the palate without smacking it. The finish is dry but with malt sweetness and lingering citrus and caramel. This is a deceptively drinkable beer and the alcohol is well masked."

– Judged by Phil Farrell


#72

96
Duet

Alpine Beer Co.
American IPA

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#71

96
Malefactor

Upland Brewing Co.
Specialty Wood-Aged Beer

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#70

96
Devils Backbone Vienna Lager

Devils Backbone Brewing Co.
Vienna Lager

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"The beer pours a lovely clear amber, with burnt orange highlights. Few amber lagers and ales express malt as smooth and clean as this. Not a big beer, but soft and thirst quenching. It’s refreshing to see lighter beers with this much subtle complexity."

– Judged by Tom Cannon


#69

96
Classic Saison

Blackberry Farm Brewery
Saison

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#68

96
Modus Hoperandi

Ska Brewing Co.
American IPA

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#67

96
Meyer Lemon Lager

Anchor Brewing Co.
Fruit Beer

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"The flavor starts as creamy wheat cereal, crisp mouthwatering homemade lemonade and lemon saltwater taffy that's neither cloying nor sweet. A high level of carbonation balances the moderate creaminess from the wheat and very low alcohol warming in the belly.  Overall, this is a balanced beer with a complex and evolving aroma. Easy to drink yet interesting enough to go back for a second pint."

– Judged by Tracy Hensley


#66

96
Blast!

Brooklyn Brewery
Double IPA

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#65

96
Tropicália

Creature Comforts Brewing Co.
American IPA

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#64

96
Todd the Axe Man

Surly Brewing Co.
American IPA

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#63

96
Vanilla Bean Stout

Avery Brewing Co.
Spice, Herb or Vegetable Beer/Imperial Stout

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"Even from four feet away, I could already smell the pleasing aroma of this beer – an intense mélange of milk chocolate, vanilla, marshmallow, freshly milled oats, cocoa powder and smooth, roasted coffee beans. The mouthfeel is smooth, with intense but balanced alcohol warmth. This is a complex and wonderfully constructed Imperial Stout. Highly recommended."

– Judged by Tracy Hensley


#62

96
Jewbelation 22

Shmaltz Brewing Co.
American Strong Ale

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#61

96
Mach 10

Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Double IPA

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"Overall, this Double IPA is very nicely balanced -- sure, it features a huge hop profile, but the malt provides a great counterpoint and balance. This is an amazing DIPA that's perfect for sipping (use a snifter to contain all the hop aromas), but the tropical fruitiness would also go very nicely with some dry-rubbed Memphis-style baby back ribs."

– Judged by Nelson Crowle


#60

96
Unsessionable

Revolution Brewing
Double IPA

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#59

96
Sünner Kölsch

Sünner​ Brauerei
Kölsch

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"Elegant malt flavors combine with refined noble hops, achieving a fine balance in this clear, golden-colored ale. Its crisp, clean flavors are well rounded -- an agreeable citrus/honeysuckle hop flavor is followed by a pleasant, moderately bitter finish that lingers briefly on the tongue. A flavorful, refreshing and well-constructed example of a historic, sessionable Kölsch. The classic stange glass adds to the enjoyment of this beer."

– Judged by Owen Ogletree


#58

96
Pogue's Run Porter

Flat 12 Bierwerks
American Porter

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#57

96
Tunnel Vision DDH w/ Citra

Bearded Iris Brewing
American IPA

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#56

96
20 Year Storm

Heavy Seas Beer
Specialty Wood-Aged Beer

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"This is a real treat to savor and evaluate... there is plenty of complexity to go around and it keeps your palate busy the whole glass. The beer really opens up upon warming a bit, and all the chords work well together with no single character dominating the others (which is an all too common issue in barrel-aged beers). The barrel character here complements the malt rather than overpowers it."

– Judged by Mike Castagno


#55

96
Founders Porter

Founders Brewing Co.
American Porter

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#54

96
pFriem Oud Bruin

pFriem Family Brewers
Oud Bruin

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#53

96
Nitro Irish Stout

Breckenridge Brewery
Irish Stout

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"This stout pours an opaque pitch black with a very finely beaded creamy tan head. The aroma is prominent, rich dark malts with aromas of roasted espresso, chocolate and toasted malts.  The flavor is similarly and appropriately malt-focused with a rich, flavorful blend of roasted espresso and dark chocolate malt flavors. This beer is rich and complex despite being lower in alcohol and is velvety smooth and quite quaffable."

– Judged by Michael Heniff


#52

96
Lupulin River

Knee Deep Brewing Co.
Double IPA

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#51

96
Hennepin

Brewery Ommegang
Saison

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"The flavor is reminiscent of the aroma, but adds subtle notes of lemon, increased breadiness, and notes of grains of paradise. You can practically see the sun hitting the fields and feel yourself sitting in the shade and leaning against the side of the barn as the French sunshine fades into dusk. This is a world-class example of its style from a brewery that makes some of the best Belgian-inspired beers in the world. Get it now, and keep it on hand as an effervescent and smooth-drinking reminder of what great beer can be."

– Judged by Josh Weikert


#50

96
Highland Pilsner

Highland Brewing Co.
German Pils

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#49

96
Maple Barrel Aged Smoked Porter

pFriem Family Brewers
Specialty Wood-Aged Beer

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#48

96
Juicy Bits

WeldWerks Brewing Co.
American IPA

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"The aroma has an abundance of bright tropical fruit, mango, and apricot citrusy hops. The IPA finishes very hop-focused with elements of mangoes, apricots and resin with just a hint of bitterness. This IPA is very well done with a beautifully blended, clean, complementing and complex hop character."

– Judged by Michael Heniff


#47

96
Barrel Aged Old Ruffian

Great Divide Brewing Co.
Specialty Wood-Aged Beer/American Barleywine

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#46

96
KBS

Founders Brewing Co.
Specialty Wood-Aged Beer/Imperial Stout

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"While wickedly complex, the aroma is balanced throughout even as the beer warms, which is an impressive feat to say the least. Strong alcohol seamlessly weaves itself into the numerous flavors throughout the beer and it would also allow the beer to age gracefully for many years to come. Founder’s KBS Stout is easily a world-class beer that deftly combines art and skill in the specialty wood-aged beer category."

– Judged by Michael Bury


#45

96
East Brother Oatmeal Stout

East Brother Beer Co.
Oatmeal Stout

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#44

96
Hopslam

Bell's Brewery
Double IPA

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#43

96
Rupture

Odell Brewing Co.
American Pale Ale

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#42

96
Rare Trait

Cerebral Brewing Co.
American IPA

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"Creamy. Velvety. Luscious. Tropical. These are the main characteristics of this beer, but it is also much more than that. With a massive citrusy nose full of grapefruit, orange and tangerine, the hop profile deepens into tropical notes of passion fruit and pineapple with a hint of mango. These tropical notes carry onward into the flavor and make for an incredibly pleasing flavor profile. The finish was clean and smooth, and it left me itching for more. The body was creamy but not heavy, making it dangerously quaffable. Pace yourself and enjoy the experience. "

– Judged by Mike Castagno


#41

96
Fruitage

Brouwerij Rodenbach
Wild Specialty Beer

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#40

97
Westmalle Dubbel

Brewery Der Trappisten Van Westmalle
Belgian Dubbel

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"Dubbels are usually a bit lighter and more complex than other Belgian dark strong ales. This Dubbel has more than enough complexity. It starts with an aroma of Belgian spicy yeast, white pepper, with maybe a touch of rum, and burnt sugar. This is a complex beer, but the integration of the flavors gives it an elegant simplicity. "

– Judged by Tom Cannon


#39

97
Fuller's London Porter

Fuller's Brewery
English Porter

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#38

97
Seedstock Dusseldorf Alt

Seedstock Brewery
Altbier

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#37

97
Hefe-Weissbier

Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
Hefeweizen/Weissbier

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"The flavor, while displaying an intense bready wheat note in the forefront, mirrored the aroma’s complexity. The deft integration of hop bitterness and flavors combined with the light banana and clove notes along with an overall effervescence and lightness on the palate made for a memorable beer. Truly a world-class beer, Weihenstephaner Hefe-Weissbier should have space reserved in every connoisseur’s cellar."

– Judged by BC Review


#36

97
Espresso Oak Aged Yeti

Great Divide Brewing Co.
Coffee Beer

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#35

97
Stone Farking Wheaton W00tstout 2016

Stone Brewing Co.
Specialty Wood Aged Beer/Imperial Stout

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"The flavor of this beer is rich and complex with dominating chocolate and roasted flavors and a background of nutty pecans, caramel, bourbon, toasted oak and a light sweetness. A light bitterness allows the semi-sweet maltiness of chocolate and roasted malt to flourish with a hint of bourbon lingering into the finish along with a pleasant alcohol warmth. A stellar barrel-aged stout with pecans adding an extra layer of complexity."

– Judged by Michael Heniff


 

#34

97
Brewery Lane Series: Barrel Aged Imperial Cherry Stout

Breckenridge Brewery
Specialty Fruit Beer

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#33

97
N10 Imperial Blended Ale

Ninkasi Brewing Co.
Mixed-Style Beer

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#32

97
The Partner Ships Series: Stone Brewing Co.

Heavy Seas Beer & Stone Brewing Co.
Specialty IPA

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"It’s a stunningly beautiful, brilliant chestnut-colored beer blanketed by a two-inch rocky tan layer of foam. The palate settles in with dark chocolate, a hint of coffee and light fruit – primarily plum and a trace of cherry – and then moderately high bitterness comes forward in the middle providing balance and leading to a drying finish with bittersweet chocolate notes. A mild alcohol warming provides a perfect finish. The beer is big but well balanced with nothing harsh or out of place. "

– Judged by Pat Mulloy


#31

97
Santilli

Night Shift Brewing
American IPA

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#30

97
Hofbräu Dunkel

Staatliches Hofbräuhaus
Munich Dunkel

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"Though it is intensely malty, the beer finishes rather dry and quenching. Slightly burnt sugar and toffee flavors and deft use of bittering hops balance the sweetness. A perfectly balanced beer between malty sweetness and hop bitterness, the “silky smooth and seductive” caramel and spice flavors are excellent. Yet another demonstration of Hofbräuhaus’s artistry, Münchner Dunkel is a most satisfying beer, as well-suited to a warm spring afternoon as it is to après-ski quaffing."

– Judged by BC Review


#29

97
Ol' Oi

Jester King Brewery
Oud Bruin

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#28

97
Rodenbach Vintage 2015

Brouwerij Rodenbach
Flanders Red Ale

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#27

97
Wild Sour Series: Flanders Red

DESTIHL Brewery
Flanders Red Ale

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#26

97
Four Seasons Winter '16

Mother Earth Brew Co.
Spice, Herb or Vegetable Beer

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"The complexity is high, and the interplay on the palate is exceptionally pleasing. The mouthfeel is full and velvety up front, mildly astringent from dark malts in the middles, then a mix of alcoholic heat and lingering sweetness in the finish. Overall, this is an intense, coffee-infused Imperial Stout that begs for another quaff. I can only say that this beer should not only be for breakfast!"

– Judged by John C. Tull


#25

97
Sculpin

Ballast Point Brewing Co.
American IPA

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#24

97
Maple Tripple Ale

Lawson's Finest Liquids
Spice, Herb or Vegetable Beer

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"The aroma is intense and complex with rich vanilla & oaky liquor notes with lots of dark fruit (plums, cherries, raisins, currants) and melanoidins. There is also some light chocolate ntoes and a barrage of sweetness – toffee, deep caramel, brown sugar, maple, honey, molasses. The flavor is similar to the aroma but even more intense towards the caramel, maple and sugary notes. It is full bodied with a creamy, smooth mouthfeel despite the alcohol. Bottled in June 2015, time definitely did this one well. "

Judged by Dan Preston


#23

97
Bouket

Trillium Brewing Co. & De Proef Brouwerij
Brett Beer

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"I believe this beer to be near perfection; I have not had a commercial beer this fresh or bright. The balance between the Brett character and the hops is excellent. Normally, I find Brett to be overdone in many beers; it tends to overtake the rest of the beer, but the brewers of this were able to restrain the Brett to a perfect degree, allowing the hops to shine bright. A near-perfect beer for any occasion."

– Judged by Jason Johnson


#22

97
Boxer's Revenge

Jester King Brewery
Mixed-Fermentation Sour Beer

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#21

97
Alexander

Brouwerij Rodenbach
Flanders Red Ale

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#20

97
Porter Culture

Hops & Grain Brewery
Baltic Porter

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"This Baltic Porter has a very pleasant and complex aroma that includes floral hops, mild stone fruit aromatics, rich chocolaty malt, hints of burnt roast and a touch of vanilla. The roast and hops intermingle and linger nicely. The finish is slightly dry, despite the fullness of the body, probably from the dark grains and a very slight tannic astringency. All of this makes for a very enjoyable and incredibly well-made Baltic Porter. If you see this one, you better grab it while you can."

– Judged by John C. Tull


#19

97
Parabola

Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Specialty Wood-Aged Beer/Imperial Stout

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"The full body and creamy, velvety mouthfeel rounds out a very complex beer. Overall, this is an impressive, near-perfect Barrel-aged Imperial Stout. Don’t miss out on trying this one now, but grab a few extra to cellar, as this beer should only get better with age."

– Judged by Randy Scorby


#18

97
Mexican Empire

Arches Brewing
Vienna Lager

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"A truly remarkable example of the style that showcases high-quality malt and doesn’t seem to sacrifice flavor by using adjuncts like many modern interpretations. If European Lager styles are truly making a comeback, this beer should stand out as one of the reasons why. A world-class Vienna Lager that should be sought out wherever possible."

– Judged by Sean Coughlin


#17

97
pFriem Wit

pFriem Family Brewers
Witbier

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"All told, this is a wonderful example of a Witbier that delivers surprising complexity in a very quaffable package. If you seek a beer that delivers a lot without blowing out your palate with hops, make a bee line for this Witbier. It truly exemplifies the wonderful qualities of this uniquely Belgian beer style."

– Judged by John C. Tull


#16

97
Haze

Tree House Brewing Co.
Double IPA

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"Strong aromas of fresh grapefruit and orange juice dominate the nose, with underlying notes of mango, pineapple, and stone fruit. As it warms, tropical fruit aromas of kiwi and paw paw emerge and mix with a strong citrus zest or pith-type smell. Despite its obviously large hop content, the bitterness of this beer is restrained with intense hop aromas and flavors in the spotlight and malt simply performing a supporting role. Highly drinkable and highly recommended."

– Judged by Graham L. Barron


#15

98
Wookey Jack

Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Specialty IPA

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"The flavor is as good as the hop aroma. Following a hop appetizer, there’s a complex roast infusion with chocolate notes and a spicy rye-like tang. The finish is dry and crisp with a firm bitterness that lingers with a nuance of coffee and a full dose of resin, grapefruit and pine. This is an amped up IPA with a few special surprises. The brewer’s true genius was not overdoing the sharp roast and rye – a symphony rather than a jam session."

– Judged by Phil Farrell


#14

98
Aecht Shclenkerla Rauchbier

Brauerei Heller-Trum
Rauchbier

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"The interplay between flavors of luscious malt and profound smokiness is truly world-class and is comparably to the overall experience of spending a day in a smokehouse. While rauchbiers may not be every beer drinker’s choice for a session beer and are somewhat of an acquired taste, this is the stuff of liters for beer connoisseurs. Schlenkerla is a world-class beer and a perfect complement to any evening meal."

– Judged by BC Review


#13

98
Sorachi Ace

Brooklyn Brewery
Saison

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"Riding somewhere between the peppery spice and lightly honeyish malt, a layer of dried thyme and lemon zest emerges, not unlike a soothing herbal tea. Across the board, the judges were effusive in their praise of this eminently quaffable brew. Experimental or not, it would appear that Brooklyn Brewery has a monster on its hands with Sorachi Ace.

– Judged by BC Review


#12

98
Forces Unseen

The Rare Barrel
Specialty Wood-Aged Beer

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"Bright mouthwatering acidity tasting of lemon juice supported by slightly salty savory pie crust that dances on the palate due to the pleasing high carbonation. Dry, lingering aftertaste with hints of fresh rubber band and warming ethanol. Outstanding. Impressed by its complexity a balance of finesse, evolving layers and drinkability."

– Judged by Tracy Hensley


#11

98
Rare Vos

Brewery Ommegang
Biere de Garde

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"Just about as close to perfection as you’ll find on Earth, Rare Vos is a singular drinking experience. A sultry amber, slightly hazy brew topped by a velvety, creamy and tawny head, this is as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the palate. Bold aromas of cinnamon, cardamom, licorice, plums, cherrystones and papaya leap from the glass."

– Judged by BC Review


#10

98
Oude Geuze Boon

Brouwerij Boon
Gueuze

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"It is difficult not to drink this Gueuze too quickly; to truly enjoy it is to witness it evolve over time. The aroma becomes more floral and distinctly lactic as it warms, with notes of grapefruit and honey. Its flavor settles into a sweet, fruity maltiness that retains its acidity, but at the expense of carbonation. Typifying both art and craft, this Gueuze is wonderful."

– Judged by Jim Koebel


#9

98
Speedway Stout

AleSmith Brewing Co.
Imperial Stout

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"Speedway Stout is a monster of a Russian Imperial Stout. Speedway Stout’s aroma washes over the room in waves redolent of anise seed, dark chocolate, and French roast coffee. Crowned by a dense, creamy off-white head, this deep, ebony brew seems to drain the light from the room, yet displays garnet and ruby flashes at its edges. In the classic Russian Imperial Stout style, Speedway throws off fistfuls of coffee, toffee, and dark fruit flavors."

– Judged by BC Review


#8

98
The Topsail

Cape May Brewing Co.
Mixed-Fermentation Sour Beer

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"The medium-light body and high carbonation accentuate this beer's refreshing character. The astringent character from the sour/tartness Brettanomyces strain may at times come across as warming, it makes it hard to imagine that you're drinking a 9.9% ABV beer. This beer drinks more like a 4% beer in that it's very light, which is a difficult task given the actual ABV."

– Judged by Dan Martich


#7

98
Privat

Brauhaus Riegele
Festbier

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"You won’t be disappointed in the very least with Brauhaus Riegele’s Privat. It’s a nigh-perfect interpretation of a Festbier that demands to be imbibed  by the boot or the liter.  The clean fermentation allows both the malt and hops to shine. Slight grassiness from hops and a very low carbonic bite appear in the end, but these are only minor quibbles in what is a beer masterpiece. You’ll be disappointed if you only picked up a 6-pack, since you'll want many, many more. This highly flavorful yet easy-to-drink beer can be appreciated by the beer connoisseur and the less devoted beer drinker alike."

– Judged by Michael Bury


#6

98
Bomb!

Prairie Artisan Ales
Spice, Herb or Vegetable Beer/Imperial Stout

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"Prairie Bomb! is a very aptly named concoction. The quite amazing complexity exhibited in this specialty Imperial Stout delivers a massive explosion of delicious flavors and aromas that linger in the memory well after the drinking is done. This deep black-colored opaque brew with a moderately lingering tan head has a cappuccino-like aroma of coffee and chocolate with a peppery, fruity flavor in the background. This is an incredibly complex and well-made beer that would be a fantastic choice for finishing off a hearty meal, or for just lounging around by the fire. This massive brew is definitely “Da Bomb!" Highly recommended!"

– Judged by Joseph Formanek


#5

98
Gonzo Imperial Porter

Flying Dog Brewery
Baltic Porter

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"This beer looks perfect in a glass and the grapefruit, pine and resin are evident from arm’s length. Beneath the layer of intense hop aroma is an enticing dark chocolate and nutty roast. The flavor doesn’t disappoint with the same hop flavors complementing a much more complex array of cooked caramel, dark chocolate, coffee and even a little licorice. As it warms, there are more subtle surprises, especially from the malt. The bitterness is rather mild with both roast and hop components lingering in a complex semi-dry finish. The body is fairly full, creamy with a little bit of alcohol warming. This is an outstanding, continually intriguing beer."

– Judged by Phil Farrell


#4

99
Hanssens Oude Kriek

Hanssens Artisanaal
Fruit Lambic

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"In the interest of full disclosure, this was a sample from my cellar that had roughly two years of age on it, in addition to the three-plus years it already matured prior to shipping. Still, this is truly a world-class beer, irrespective of its provenance. Hanssens has been producing some of the most widely acclaimed lambic, especially kriek and gueuze, in recent memory. This beer hits the glass with a deep, rusty, reddish-brown color and throws a very small, rather lacy head. The aromas that waft from the glass are rich with hints of almond, ripe cherry and a gentle sourness. All of the judges picked up on the beer’s age and offered comments on the depth and complexity that it lent the beer’s aromas and flavors."

– Judged by BC Review


#3

99
Prima Pils

Victory Brewing Co.
German Pils

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"Since first firing up the brewhouse in 1996, the good people at Victory Brewing have continually delivered some of the finest beers in America, displaying their considerable skills in every bottle and keg that reaches their devoted public. Prima Pils, one of Victory’s flagship beers, is nothing less than the quintessential German-style pilsner, rivaling anything that Germany has to offer. The aroma, overflowing with flowery, spicy Saaz hop notes, permeates the room as the beer slips into the glass. Holding true to its Germanic antecedents, Prima Pils is topped by a pillowy, pure white head and fairly glows in the glass, bathing the room in a suffused golden wash of light. As expected, a pleasantly stinging hop bitterness dominates the flavor, but there are gobs of flowery, faintly resinous hop flavors as well. Riding underneath the prodigious hop presence is a refined, somewhat biscuity malt character. The panel members were effusive in their praise of this brilliantly executed, world-class pilsner, agreeing that this is one of very few beers that is perfectly suited for anything, anytime, anywhere."

– Judged by BC Review


#2

99
Frambozen

pFriem Family Brewers
Fruit Lambic

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"The aroma of this fruit lambic is a menagerie of olfactory delights: dominating raspberry, woody pith, hints of tartness, sweetness, and a little barnyard for good measure.  The flavor is strongly raspberry fruit and pithy/woody extractions from the seeds. Beyond the fruit, which is by no means overbearing, some interesting wild yeast funk can be found that has a lot more going on than your basic Brettanomyces strain. All told, this is an amazing beer that has no problem expressing the raspberry fruit along with the wild side of yeast that makes for an incredible explosion of flavors and aromas. Do you like anything sour? How about fruit? Or are you not sure? If you said yes on any of those, find this beer and give it a try. This one is a world class fruit lambic!"

– Judged by John C. Tull


#1

99
King JJJuliusss

Tree House Brewing Co.
Double IPA

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"Wow! From the moment the can pops, hop aromas completely fill the air. Grapefruit, orange, mango, passion fruit, melon, citrus, pineapple – basically every juicy fruit you can think of is there plus a little bit of pine. The flavor is more of the same too -- just wave after wave of complex hops, which are wicked juicy and tropical. A massive amount of hops is packed into this beer, and it even shows in its appearance; this beer is a murky deep orange with a big white head that clings to the sides of the glass until the very last drop, which, admittedly, was much sooner than a beer of this ABV should be. This immensely drinkable beer featured a soft, velvety smooth mouthfeel that served as a plush throne for the huge amount of hops to sit atop. Unlike most DIPAs, there's not an ounce of sweetness to the malt, but rather a light, airy, doughy presence. This beer is aptly named as it just might be the new "King" when it comes to Double IPAs. An amazing beer that's incredibly well done."

– Judged by Dan Preston


So there you have it! The Beer Connoisseur's Top 104 Beers of All Time features a myriad of styles and breweries. What did we miss? Let us know in the comments and share this article to let others offer up their opinion. As always, thanks for reading.

Comments

LonC's picture
“Of all time”? A little pretentious don’t you think? “As reviewed by Beer Connisseur” maybe, since you don’t review all beers brewed during your history.
Editorial Dept.'s picture
Hello LonC, To clarify, we do state in the first sentence of the article that these are the highest scoring beers that we have reviewed in the history of our publication. Therefore, the title of the article is accurate in the context our Official Review and our publication. We appreciate your thoughts!
clarydave63's picture
Some great classics on your list but you guys need to get out more, nothing from the Veil, Triple crossing, the Answer Brewpub, Trillium, Equalibrium, Other Half, Mortalis, etc.etc.etc. If King Julius is your #1 (A worthy choice by the way) then IPA's from all the breweries I listed should have cracked your top 20 and as far as Stouts go you guys need a trip to Richmond VA, the Answer, Veil, and Hardywood will blow you away. Cheers and happy tasting.

Comments

LonC's picture
“Of all time”? A little pretentious don’t you think? “As reviewed by Beer Connisseur” maybe, since you don’t review all beers brewed during your history.
Editorial Dept.'s picture
Hello LonC, To clarify, we do state in the first sentence of the article that these are the highest scoring beers that we have reviewed in the history of our publication. Therefore, the title of the article is accurate in the context our Official Review and our publication. We appreciate your thoughts!
clarydave63's picture
Some great classics on your list but you guys need to get out more, nothing from the Veil, Triple crossing, the Answer Brewpub, Trillium, Equalibrium, Other Half, Mortalis, etc.etc.etc. If King Julius is your #1 (A worthy choice by the way) then IPA's from all the breweries I listed should have cracked your top 20 and as far as Stouts go you guys need a trip to Richmond VA, the Answer, Veil, and Hardywood will blow you away. Cheers and happy tasting.

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