TheBeerLover (1027) - DC Metro Area, USA - JAN 26, 2006
2000 vintage. This beer is a very eccentric, limited release beer, that is only brewed once a year, and can only be found on draught, and in a limited bottling run, at the Eccentric Cafe in Kalamazoo. A guest brewer is brought in every year to help Larry, and the recipe changes every year. The base beer is always a strong, old ale/barleywine, but over the years it has been spiced with a melange of fruits and spices, and always comes in at a warming 11% + abv. The 2000 Vintage of Eccentric Ale, which was co-brewed by Terry Farendorf of the Steelhead Brewing Company of Eugene, OR.
Bell’s Eccentric Ale 2000 pours to a murky caramel brown color with slight tan head that fades, and a soft carbonation. The nose on this beer is wonderful with layers of complex malty, spicy, and hoppy aromas. Sweet malt, citric hops, spicy aromas, and peppery alcohol flood the nose. The palate is lush and full on the tongue with complex layers of flavors. Sweet and caramel malt flavors marry with hints of butterscotch, ripe fruit, orange, black pepper, and flavors of spice such as ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, glide over the tongue. Eccentric Ale finishes with more complex malty, fruity, and spicy flavors up front, then ends with a warming, peppery alcohol burn.
There is so much going on in this beer, it truly is eccentric, and is one to sip and savor. As stated this beer is brewed in one batch, and is available only in December for a short time at the brewery. 12oz bottles of this beer can be purchased for $5, and the bottle run of this beer is very limited. Every year this beer is released on Eccentric Day which is held in December. AlchemistZ (493) - Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA - MAR 19, 2006
2004. Dark brown in color with ruby highlights and a thin, brown head that laces the glass nicely. Aroma has more going on than could possibly be listed. But spice, brown sugar, creme, and caramel dominate. I am a big fan of Fritz Maytag and the spiced Our Special Ale, but this blows every vintage of that away. The fat sweetness of the malt foundation is perfect for all of the spicing, alcohol, and hops within. Superb. Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JUN 29, 2006
Opaque plummy appearance, dark and in-depth, slimmish foaming above...I can forgive small faults in this instance.
Aroma is amazing, and unearthly, wafts out from cracking the crown...a complex mess of flavors to smell, here, but easily epitomized as barleywinish...brandy, cognac, berries, cherries, dates, spices, ...a little sour, but not much...hard to describe..twisted prunes on a bender..how’s that?
Taste: oh, yes...ummm...whoa...doppel, no quadrupelbock, syrup, molasses, fruit, Johnson Brothers,...morass of a melange of a slick, sticky cherries and prunes, on a leather strop..grabs the tongue and rides it long and hard, kicks the sides, sets the spurs in...but gently...although I know the booze is high, here, it comes on as a cloud, and softly settles into the senses...
...gets comfortable in the mouth, but doesn’t pummel it...full flavored, but not destructive...this is astonishing, amazingly good...candyish, in the sweet, liquory effect...holy moly...
I can only complain that this ought to be readily available, at the perfect age, and in plentiful supply...of course, and pardon me while I allow the pigs to fly out of my netherside portal.
a lururious, luscious absolutely lovely ale...elegant...gorgeous...put this in a liter bottle with a fancy top and extragant bells and whistles, charge $50 a bottle, serve it to yuppies with too much money and tell them it’s cognac. I swear you’ll be successful. But be sure to invite me and give me a taste...this 12 ounce bottle left us too quickly...alas...poor Eccentric Ale, this world is not meant for one as beautiful as you...
my glass is empty...poor, poor me...ah, well, life goes on, there are other beers, but not any such as this!
Thank you, Larry!
GearHead (32) - Woodridge, Illinois, USA - MAR 5, 2003
They've got citrus, hops, spice, caramel, etc. Amazing!!! You've got to try this one. If heaven were to bless alcohol other than wine it would bless this beer. Who needs food when you got this beer. So much flavor it lives up to Bell's excellence. BigBastard (668) - L.A., California, USA - DEC 24, 2006
Thick, syrupy sweetness. Lots of spices, pumpkin, caramel, vanilla. Lots of rich flavors going on. The ABV is not really noticed, just a nice warming going down. Excellent winter brew.
ClarkVV (6708) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 13, 2003
UPDATED: JAN 13, 2006 2003 draught. Well this weekend certainly made me rethink my ratings. A bells beer to beat batch 6000?? Come on. But it did. Put it to shame. This was awesome. Pure dark brown, with some deep orange tones. Lacing, and a small head that lingered. Smells of vinegar, rich malt, alcohol, raspberries?? definitely some piney hops and some oak. Begins with a big bittersweet malt flavor with the malt and hops being wedded together well. Huge amount of hops comes through in the middle, gets quite grapefruity. The finish was my favorite. Got extremely complex. Red fruits, caramel malt, alcohol soaked in oak, maple, brown sugar, cinnamon and finally a little dose of carbonation. Very full bodied. It’s all there. This one raises the ante on batch 6000. 2003 bottle aged 6 months. Wow, this is definitely as good as I remember. Huge extra full body still. Beer has not calmed down much, huge hops bitterness, stingingly large malt flavor. Needs a long nap still. Oh and the aroma is wonderfully complex with notes of maple, dark fruits, cinnamon, chocolate, alcohol and hops resin, but not quite as full as I would like.2003 bottle aged almost 18 months The vegetables or mint or whatever the leafy, green, herbal-like stuff they brew this with is really starting to show. Still an awesome pour, slight oxidation beginning to show. I think it could be cumin seeds. About 1,000 different things going on in this beer. Full body, very low carbonation, but not syrupy or unbalanced.beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - APR 11, 2005
1997 bottle consumed 3/19/05 The spice really drives this beer now, with the body being quite oxidized and some thinning as a result. Still, the wonderful malting on this can be felt, even at this age. With much of the sediment out of solution, you can really see the dark raspberry/brown color to the body. Small, beige fizzy head. No alcohol apparency, some sugariness on the finish and plenty of complexity still exists. I find eccentric ale to be one of the most difficult beers to describe. Score reflects sort of a culmination/combination of how I feel about this beer as a whole, taking in to account the different experiences I have had with it.
Neck label states 2003 - Pours out burnt orange, no carbonation present as the last quarter of the bottle is all but thick yeast sturring the orange into a tornado of brown sludgey mud. No head, no lace. It sits like milk. Chunky flakes of yeast float around as if in space.
Hefty lush aroma with tons of chewy soft caramel, spicy claro tobacco leaves, scorched orange and pineapple, big blackened piney hops, and evocatively rich, big alcohol noting to that of a spiked milkshake.
This is dreamy. Thick, lush, warm, and palate soaking caramel malt lightly laced with chocolate alcoholic warmth. Then slipping off to a trailing sweeter tropical fruity center of shish kabobed pineapple, orange, and dates wrapped in a dark and rugged piney hop bitterness. The onslaught continues. Earthen tobacco. More chocolate laced heat, more caramel, more really dark hops. Again, more chocolate. Its a three course meal of flavor and length.
Super lush feel; thick, full, warming, returns and returns of layered chocolate, heat, caramel, and touches of earth. Finish gains a cosmicly ragged but bitterly acceptable full hop cone of dripping pine sap. Coats the back of the throat late with creamy leftover caramel, fruits, chocolate, and tobacco.
If you like Third Coast Old Ale as much as I do, you’ll like this just as much if not more. Comes across as a barleywine in my book.
Big. Burly. Strong. Loaded. Lengthy. Large. Lush. Pushy. Perfect. MAP (1133) - Lakewood, Ohio, USA - JUN 9, 2005
Many a thanks to BBB63 for the beer. This pours a thick brown color, very cloudy and almost no head. This beer has a lot going on with it. The aroma is jam packed full of hops, cider, oak, brown sugar, cinnamon, orange peel, chocolate and clove. Flavor is like a thick appley grain combo, with more of the brown sugar, caramel, and oak coming back for an attack.. Very little to no alcohol presense. Palate is smooth and round off with the slightest bitterness. This reminds me of Old Horizontal, which is about the nicest thing I can say for a beer. StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 4, 2006
2005 release (2004 bottle.) Syrupy pour to a deep ruby brown color, translucent in light, with a circular, mossy tan head that trails out with galaxy wisps to the sides of the glass. Aroma could start a fire. Alcohol is apparent, and it’s a sinus elixir. Hammering hops join maple syrup and amaretto to pump out the sweet aromatic vibes. Other forceful wafts draw out freesia masking almonds, fruit salad and caramel apples. Flavor is equally dominating. Sweet, thick, syrupy hop train takes command. Nectar nodes, apricot chews and double-indoctrinated maple syrup McGriddles buns continue the eccentric evolution. Alcohol is discernable, but it’s so hoppy that it’s merely a footnote. Nuances and character number in the hundreds. Other flavor revelations bring out scores of brandy sautéed almonds, which are then pitched into a pool of caramel that’s traditionally reserved for apple dipping. Sticky, smacking and a raucous good time on the palate. Balance favors hops, but it’s a melodious endeavor. Finish is marked by a glow at the throat while figs and apricots get pulled from a honey pool that’s now forever a part of them, and it’s currently submitting its application for acceptance as one of the seven servings of fruits a day. This was 12-ounces of sheer mayhem and delight.