brewandbbq (269) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - JAN 16, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
A vertical tasting of vintages 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2008.
The 2003 and 2008 were sampled together, and the 2004 and 2006 were sampled the following evenings.
Vintage 2008 bottled on on 9/12/08.
Pours dark amber with a ruby hue. Clear body with a half inch head of off white. Some light rings of lacework after the short head fell, and a partial skim coat remained on the surface for the duration.
Aromatics lead off with jammy malt, red and tropical fruits, and warming alcohol.
Peaches, apricots and melons lead the way for shadows of red grapes, cherries, and bourbon-spiked honey.
Sweetish and quite juicy.
On the thick side of medium bodied. Sticky and chewy mouthfeel. A bit light on the carbonation.
Sweet crystle malt, ripe fruit, fresh caramel, and a resinous bitterness start the palate. Warming alcohol steps forward as well as hints of caramel-candied apple, spruce dew, and candied figs.
Finishes with a lingering warmth, sustaining bitterness, and drawn-out sweet fruit.
A classic American strong ale that dances along the lines of a Barleywine.
Next up, a mini vertical with an aged example.
Pours cloudy, dark amber, with a half inch head of off white. A slow retreat revealed some spongy lacework and a few whisps on the placid surface.
Aromatics are heavy on the malt, with lots of wet leather, rotting cedar, wet paper, and Sherry. Very earthy and oxidized. Hops are not to be found, and the nose rounds out with hints of cocoa, cardboard, and dried earth.
Medium bodied, but very syrupy and chewy. A slick, tacky mouthfeel with subdued carbonation.
Stale malt, wet and dusty boards, worn leather, and earth-dusted chipped toffee start the palate. Oxidized Sherry steps forward as well as a warming boozy note and tannic caramel.
Finishes with a lingering dried earth note, dusty leather, stale malt, and old wood tinders.
Not a fan of the five year old DB.
Side by side with the 2008 freshie:
Wow, I wouldn’t believe that they were the same beer unless I poured it myself. The freshie is cleaner, infinately hoppier all around, and much brighter. The peaches and apricots really shine though when sided with the oldster DB.
Pours clear, dark amber with a two inch head of off white. Retention is moderate and theres some decent lacing after the fall.
Aromatics lead off with ripe, red fruits, sweet malt, and alcohol. Significantly more boozy than the 2003 or 2008.
Slightly vineous with hints of bourbon fusels, cherries, figs, and sherry.
On the thick side of medium bodied. Slightly syrupy and plenty slick.
Dark fruits, cherry-infused malt, and bourbon-spiked toffee start the palate. A mild throat burn quickly steps forward as well as a peppery warmth.
Finishes with lingering alcohol, sweet malt, and fading red fruits.
Hardly a trace of oxidation in the 2004, which makes it pretty amazing how quickly this beer goes off the deep end. Looks like four years in the cellar is the max for a Double Bastard.
Pours murky dark amber, with a one inch head of off white. A partial skim coat remained on the surface for the duration, along with some spotty lacework.
Aromatics lead off with dry, papery malt, caramel, toffee, earthy cedar, and a trace of cocoa. Warming alcohol follows through along with wet cardboard.
On the thick side of medium bodied and chewy. A creamy and somewhat syrupy mouthfeel.
Drying malt, caramel dust, and hints of cocoa, nougat, and wet boards start the palate.
Dark fruits, warming alcohol, and an approachable biterness follow through.
Finishes with lingering cardboard-infused malt, stale chocolate, and a drying bitterness.
The 2004 was remarkable and somehow far superior to the 2006. Zero oxidation and was clearer in the glass.
I’d like to think that the perfect amount of time for DB in the cellar is four years if you use the 2004 as a benchmark. The 2006 disproves this though.
Vintages in order of best to worst:
Note: All were stored in the cellar on thier sides for the duration, and the 2006 was very close to the 2003 in last place.
nihtila (1734) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - JUL 24, 2015
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Keg at Ushers, at 10.5%. Pours clear deep ruby. Nose is sweet burnt toffee, malts, dried fruits. Very nice. Taste is sweet oaky caramel or burnt toffee, more oak and wood, decent bitterness, loads of maltiness. Very nice. Needless to say but this kind of beer out of keg without 30mins warming simply tastes horribly boozy.
mateuszk (860) - Poznań, POLAND - JUL 21, 2015
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle, 2013. Pours amber, clear, solid head. Aroma is mainly malt and aome druits, quite clean. In taste medium sweet, a bit boozy and fruity with very strong bitterness, which is just fantastic, not harsh, not astringent etc. Medium body, dry finish. Very nice ale, maybe worth longer cellaring for the better aroma.
youdictategood (415) - Florida, USA - JUL 12, 2015
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle to tulip. Pours copper with an off-white head and a lot of sticky lacing. A lot of malt and dried fruit in the aroma, with some almonds hanging out in the background. Taste is a little sweet - raisins and caramel - with a lot of bitterness and boozy heat. Definitely no hiding the ABV in this one.
BrewTom (452) - - JUL 11, 2015
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark amber, almost red hue with a cream coloured head. Prune, plum nose. Big caramel taste with burnt toffee & added woody, earthy bitterness.
Rated by BrewTom
tdtm82 (1213) - Essex, ENGLAND - JUL 4, 2015
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2013 Bottle - July 4th BBQ tastings.
Red appearance with thin white lacing. Aroma is oak, caramel, wood, some smoke cheese. Taste is oak, blackcurrants, smoked cheese, some Bamberg malts perhaps? If not I’d like to see some in this.
AndySnow (4846) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - JUL 1, 2015
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Appearance: Dark amber colour with an off-white head.
Aroma: Dried fruit, caramel, raisin, sweet malt.
Body: Full body, low carbonation.
Flavour: Malt, hops, dried fruit, a bit vinous, caramel.
Homer321 (2768) - Melboring, Florida, USA - JUN 28, 2015
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draft. A hugely malt forward nose, I can smell the diabetes. Moderately to aggressive hop bitterness with a full bodied chewiness. Solid barley wine kind of beer.
davidtjm (917) - Berlin, GERMANY - JUN 21, 2015
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Pour is dark amber with a thin head, aroma is fruity, malty, sweet. Taste is fruity, alcohol. Great
Beerhunter111 (10507) - Hasborn, GERMANY - JUN 21, 2015
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Leicht trübes orange goldenes Bier mit einer geringen leicht beigen Schaumkrone. Geruch sehr malzig, reifes Obst, Karamell, Vanille. Geschmack alkoholisch, sehr malzig, Vanille, leicht holzig.
VinegarStroke (343) - Napa, California, USA - JUN 20, 2015
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle (2014): clear, deep copper red with a light head and good lace. Huge malty lift. Some fruit and huge caramel. Very intense. Very clean. Only really one dimension but a great example. Off dry to slightly sweet, not sour, high bitterness that’s balanced and it is hot. The palate is very fruit and intense. Great balance and flavor. Figs, raisin, fruit cake, caramel and dry spice.
This is a massive beer but a great drink. I love the style.