ARMed (573) - Garnet Valley, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 16, 2003
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
#67987: As good as the 1999. Perfect in every way. Sharp sweet aroma with a linguiring honey maple scent. Fluffy foamy white head with a champagne carbonation. Head slowly disspates, but fantastic palate still lingers. Absolutely phenonemal. Alcohol is present but subtly. Hint of apricot brandy comes to mind. Sweet but not overly so. Bitter finish that creates a warmth that is felt for minutes.
Perkeo (322) - Portland, Oregon, USA - AUG 17, 2002
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
A wonderfully balanced strong ale, starting to take on a nice brandy like aged character...superb malt backbone, all most lager-like in it’s cleanliness, but with a definite ale fruitiness and complexity. Would love to do a vertical tasting someday with all the vintages...Hope it doesn’t meet the same fate as Thomas Hardy’s vintage ale.
ericnixon (737) - Portland, Oregon, USA - OCT 6, 2004
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Bottle number 44986. Beautiful reddish color with a nice-sized head that slowly fades. Complex raisiny aroma mixed with a few other plumby fruits. Beautiful mellow earthy malty sugary flavor that is wonderfully smooth. All beers should taste like this.
creative_free (37) - Wellington, NEW ZEALAND - JAN 25, 2010
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle 2000 vintage: Huge, beautiful aroma, poached/stewed fruit, caramel, raisins, toffee. Fantastic golden amber color with a beautiful head. Still very carbonated after 10 years! Taste is incredible. Very mellow and sweet. Lovely malty, caramel flavor and very reminiscent of poached fruit. This has to be the perfect desert beer. Alcohol is undetectable. Amazingly rich and creamy. Only fault I could give is that it is a bit too mellow and sweet but this makes it all the more perfect for desert. Beautiful mellow complexity which really leaves an impression. Very drinkable. This would be sublime with poached peaches! After 10 years in the bottle this is fantastic. I bought this one already aged and obviously it was well-cellered.
beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - JAN 14, 2004
4.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle No:41773 - Pours out to a beautiful hazed copper color, gets a one inch high off-white head thats fluffy and lightly whipped, crumbles down slowly to a stocky skim and super sheets of thickly sticking lace. Aroma is very nice and softly fruity, nice peachy tones and very soft citrus of apples and oranges with a well rounded sweetened caramel malty backing. Taste is outstandingly warm and soft. Great subtlety throughtout. Opens with a great mix of fruityness that includes one of the nicest touches of peach and butterscotch I've ever encountered. Very pleasant malts, quite full and fruity with a substantial warmness to its approach. Toffee candyish alcohol. Yum, yum, yum, this is some very smooth and perfectly soft stuff. Hops are just right with added dulled citrusy things within the malted sweetness. Spectacular! I could get used to have'n this around, no prob. Great well rounded and nearly full feel throughout each sip and/or gulp, which wasn't all that hard to do I might add. But the alcoholic warmth that sneaks up upon most slurps does keep it from being a bit more drinkable, but still an absolute pleasure treasure to behold. And now I wonder if I would've splurged another $dollar for the 99' Vintage? Oh, well perhaps next time; if there ever is one?
2000 Vintage was exceptional!
cb (810) - Roeland Park, Kansas, USA - MAR 26, 2003
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Caramely-vanilla aroma. One of the best beers I've ever had...so smooth yet rich and heavy somehow. Beautiful darkened crimson. Love the strong stewed fruitiness.
Cobra (1100) - In a van, down by the river, Maryland, USA - MAY 1, 2003
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle # 38477. Packaged in a burgundy box, packed with excelsior. Pours out a deep red-mahogany color, with a buff
colored head that fades to edge lacing. Aromas are of fresh grains, caramel, candy, dried apricots, and strawberries. Very
aromatic. Tastes of caramel, slight maltiness, and a slight hops bitterness. Very smooth on the palate. Coats the tongue like a
syrup. Hides the alcohol very well. Warming to the stomach upon impact. A very well balanced beer. Almost too easy to drink.
I'm glad I found a case (12 bottles) of this to hide away for awhile.
eraserhd10 (226) - new haven, Connecticut, USA - NOV 24, 2003
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle Number 37145. What a fucking good bottle of beer! A quite serious (and serious-looking) ale! Bottle conditioned and made from Champion Optic malted barley this mellow-tasting and deliciously complex vintage Ale cheered me up and gave me the warm fuzzies all insider. After carefully pouring it into a Trappist glass- to avoid the sediment- it revealed a lacy, lingering head with a strong, sweet, caramel aroma. And such a unique taste to the tongue. I was reminded, perhaps, of a well-aged brie covered in exquisite truffles. Also hints of raisins. No matter how you slice it, a terrific beer!
legion242 (2071) - Richardson, Texas, USA - DEC 18, 2003
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
The trick with this series of beers is to wait for three years before popping them open. This year in particular was nothing special when I had a few last year and then this year they really blossomed. In fact, I have had about 8 of them in the last few weeks and only have one left for NYE! Pity me!
zen (41) - Long Beach, California, USA - MAR 22, 2004
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Pours a deep amber, dark in spots. Smells of spice, malts and bits of fruits and nut. Taste is well, very complex. To this reviewer a tinge over my head. Taste is of strong malt and spice with bits of date and almond. Alchohol singes the palate a bit, but a warming welcome for the overall experience. Mouthfeel is light, a bit airy, with little demons of flavors that bounce around the palate like a ballet on adrenaline. Something I would visit more in the colder months. As I said, a bit complex, much like trying to digest Kirkegard at the tender age of 12.