BDR (2534) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - JUN 11, 2011
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
A huge thanks to cletus for this Kings ale bottle. Opening this up was like brain surgery. The massive cork was near the end of its life. I needed to decant and strain the bottle. The aroma is BIG. Lots of sherry and burnt brown sugar. A little dust in there, but not enough to detract. The body is brown and nearly still after the initial carbonation. No head. The body is very dry, with a pronounced oak character. A little vinous character and a lot of soy. Just a faint hint of chocolate towards the end. I was afraid I’d be disappointed, but this is stellar. And I"m sure I’m not just "tasting the rare" here.
MatSciGuy (907) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JUN 11, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
[1902 bottle] that is not a typo. Labeled as King’s Ale. Thanks Brad!!! Smells like a beer, so that’s encouraging. Pours flat brown, mostly clear. Aroma is a touch of soy, alcohol, not as much oxidation as you’d expect, but a touch of cardboard and sherry, some sweet caramel and a touch of burnt brown sugar. Flavor is a bit thinned out, burnt sugar, light sweetness, lightly chalky, light oakiness. Not supremely complex, but very remarkable considering the age. Thanks again, Brad.
hopscotch (9891) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - JUN 3, 2011
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle (Bass Kings Ale 1902)… Farewell to ibrew2or3… Murky burnt-caramel ale with no head. The bouquet pounds my olfactory system with esters, phenols, autolysis and oxidation galore – boatloads of dried plum, fallen apples, medium sherry, vanilla, new tire rubber and caramel. Medium to full-bodied with a milky mouthfeel and expired carbonation. The flavor is lightly tart and bursting-at-the-seams with dry to medium sherry, prune juice, fallen apples and very, very little sweetness. Finishes pruney and tangy. It’s seen better days. Probably peaked in the 1940s or 1950s – twenty to thirty years before I was born. Regardless, this was the second best drinking experience of my life. First place goes to a 1946 (bottled twenty years later in 1966) Ballentine Burton Ale I drank back in 2007. Unbelievably, that hoppy amber ale still smelled and tasted good. Not hoppy, but good nonetheless. Anyway, this piece of history was provided by Blazer06. Thanks a million, Zack!
markwise (4586) - North of Tampa, Florida, USA - JUN 2, 2011
1.9 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 7/20
Thanks to Blazer06 for sharing this OG of barleywines at IBrew2or3’s going away. Pours a chunky cola brown with a virtually still head. Nose is cherry, cardboard, some caramel, and a huge bit of yeast. Flavor is similar with a hint that it was excellent in its day.
HonusWagner (1680) - Florida, USA - MAY 29, 2011
0.9 AROMA 1/10 APPEARANCE 1/5 TASTE 1/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 5/20
Holy hell WTF 1902 bottle brought by Zack, obviously a greater piece of beer history than beer at this point. Cool as all hell.
Tasted like a beer that was born before my great-grandmother should. Soy sauce. Booze. Cardboard. Almost impossible to get down; I tried to finish my glass out of respect, but had to drainpour the last few drops. And yet it was one of the greatest beer experiences of my life.
chriso (7475) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - MAY 15, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Cask (handpump) at the White Horse, Parsons Green on 27 January 2007. Deep ruby colour. No head to speak of. Very raisiny and fruity in the aroma. I’d been so looking forward to this but ended up a little disappointed. More booze soaked fruit on the palate. But there’s a strange herbal bitterness, bordering on astringence - something like angostura bitters - and a slight acetic edge. Mouthfeel ends up relatively smooth, if a little woody. Plenty of interest here but it just felt rather unbalanced. I don’t know how long this had been in the cask but I think it could have benefit from more age for things to meld together better. Subsequently tasted at SilkTork’s wedding reception as an ancient bottle of Kings Ale that was, frankly, about 50 years past its best. The quest for a happy medium continues.
madmitch76 (16807) - , Essex, ENGLAND - JAN 5, 2011
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAR 3, 2013
8th September 2007
Ractliff Ale - Bottled 16th December 1869 Dark brown ale. Heady nose - sour, wet wood, sherry and a hint of smoke. Intense fruity tang with apple dominating. Mellow smokey notes and then some salty caramel. Complex, unique and fantastic. A pretty intense beer that is still drinkable after an incredible 138 years!
1st March 2008
Kings Ale - Bottled 22nd February 1902 Dark brown beer, zero carbonation (duh!). Amazing nose of damp wood and brandy. Very intense sour and somewhat salty malt. Very slight fruit here and then some sublte smoke. Mouth watering - another remarkable antique beer!
29th May 2011
1977 Jubilee Ale. Rich dark red beer,few tan bubbles for a head. Woody - sherry nose, very fragrant. Light dry palate, the dryness being woody. Malty background provides a canvas for Vintage Port blackberry and cherry fruits and a little sherry. Finshes dry with bitter wet wood. Mild warming afterglow. Another great Bass super aged beer!
24th January 2013
Princes Ale 23rd July 1929. THE others tasting. Bit of bitch getting the cork off. Murky brown beer, no head. Nice nose of cherry and wet wood. Palate is dry and light. Taste follows the nose. Dry wood and fresh wood and a little cherry. Touch of brandy as well. Dry finish. Pleasantly fruity and woody!
daknole (10007) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - OCT 14, 2010
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
LCBS 2010. Wow this one was fun. Watching Marc Nolan open it was entertainment for the night! It poured a still amber color. Aroma is pure sherry. Oxidation did this one just fine, thank you! Some great raisins, booze and prunes in the aroma and flavor. But it tastes like an amazingly wonderful sherry. Really delicious. Thanks Zac for this gem.
50belair (2749) - Florida, USA - OCT 9, 2010
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
1929 bottle courtesy of Zack at the LCBS 10. I can’t believe this beer is actually 81 freakin’ years old. What?? It had some oxidation, but when you consider the fact that this bottle survived six years of the Reich shelling the British Isles, the heyday of the Stones and Beatles, the birth of punk, and the turn of the millennium; it’s pretty amazing. In fact, this bottle has probably outlasted most of the people born in England that year, and certainly all of their teeth. So back to the taste, vanilla, molasses, and some dark fruit were running the show.....
JoeMcPhee (8746) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 19, 2009
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Huge thanks to puzzl for sharing this gem. The version was a 1929 Bass Princes Ale. The bottle arrived with a slightly leaking cork and was visibly disintegrated. It ended up crumbling fairly seriously when the cork was removed. Poured through a filter leaving a clear, deep amber beer with nice orange highlights. The nose is surprisingly intense. Loads of oak, damp moss and lots of cigar tobacco. In spite of all fo the age, there is still a whole lot going on in here. Lots of chewy malt, bright rye/buckwheat spiciness and a touch of dark honey. Fairly sweet dark fruit and a lot of oxidized character. Dried mushrooms, light sherry sweetness and a lot of musty character. Dusty and chewy with a kiss of acetic character as well. The malts still manage to pop up from behind all of this. There is a bit of corky flavour that comes across a bit like astringency. Really unique and amazing brew. I’m very glad to have had the chance to try it.