fly (1487) - austin, Tejas, Texas, USA - MAR 19, 2004
Since it winds up being the case - just putting in a repitition of my rating for the 1997 - I'm sure that I haven't done anything to be noted here for my intelligence and now to add to it all I have to say that I could have put more of these away rather than having had most of them when they came off the shelf. I suppose there was a slight reason - One, that I liked it despite being able to tell that it could easily improve with age, and the other was simply the price - I spent money that I really didn't have at he time and wanted immediate satisfaction. Now I'm paying for it in another way by seeing how this has improved. Yes, all the comments about plums, dates, figs ... there's just so much there. Damn! YogiBeera (2569) - New Jersey, USA - FEB 28, 2004
Bottle No. 12993: Hazy orange color, medium foamy head, soft carbonation. Banana tone in the nose first, than apples, raisons alsonice malt and intens hops flavors to follow. Taste almost like a Bigfoot. Coffebean flavor, that last long. Berry aftertaste, also tones of dates. Not thick - long lasting bitterness. Your tonogue stick to the roof of the mouth cause the first initial kick of bitterness. Nice. pivo (2689) - GERMANY - FEB 24, 2004
Sampled in 2004: Big, fat nose with wild berry aromas - slightly perfumy after warming up. Muted ruby red color with some brown hues. Foamy lathery head. Lucious think malt base with dark fruit flavors in the malt (raisins, figs, dates). Powerful crisp bitter hoppiness with a clear resolution in the corners of the mouth. A little grassy in the finish. Like a barleywine for sure. Great great balance - this has aged extremely well. Better than the 1999 and 2000 cquiroga (371) - Tujunga, California, USA - JAN 2, 2004
11/12/03. Poured out of 16 oz. bottle, enjoyed in a tasting at Hi-Time Wine Cellars 11/12/03. Very thin, cream-colored head. Lightly hazy amber body with beautiful lacing; terrific appearance on this beast. Nose follows with more of the same-- very rich with malts, oak, almost a bourbon or cognac maltiness, some sweetness of fresh honeycomb, and a little dustiness from the aging. Very elegant. Flavor is then a bit of a letdown, bitterly woody and a little off-putting with its muted sweetness-- it seems like the malts haven't aged as elegantly as we'd have liked, giving off sort of a candy corn sweetness with a bit of an alcohol undercurrent. Finish is dry and very long, leathery and nicely mellow, once again very pleasant but just like the initial flavor, it's not as elegant or delicious as the nose and appearance promise. A mild disappointment for me. JPDIPSO (6296) - Wauwatosa, USA - MAR 20, 2003
To start, I would encourage you to drink this now. I've had this one when it first came out and I believe that last prior to now would have been in 2000. It seems to be losing some of its nuances. Amber color with a smaller light tan head. Oak, mild floral and light malt and fruit aroma. Fruity, alcoholic and very warming. Alcohol seems to have taken over a bit more then when sampled in the past. Still a nice night cap, but lacks tha smoothness I remember.
Oakes (19341) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAR 18, 2003
Powerful ale with huge malt, a yeasty fruitiness with pear and peach notes, giving way to a powerful,
warming, lingering finish. The aroma is woody, malty, and herbal. Verne (263) - Enumclaw, Washington, USA - JAN 26, 2003
Sampled on the night of the supper bowl 2003 bottle # 30995 reading the ratings I was surprised by a very nice long lasting head with zero lacing, oh what a year can do. Medium dark, red brown in color, sweet flowery aroma, the hops are still dominant. Flavor is sweet, alcoholic, with a nice balance of hop bitterness. It finishes sweet, hoppy, the alcohol starts to stand out. I just love it. PhillyBeer2112 (2919) - Oviedo, Florida, USA - JAN 15, 2003
Sampled 2000: Possibly the best of the Vintages, although sampled at 2 years of age, the 2000 sampled in 2002 reminds me of this one: dark amber, full head, rich raisiny and fruity notes, and dark earthy hopping. Creamy and smooth palate. Such a beautiful beer. lowner (18) - astoria, New York, USA - DEC 6, 2002
Just bought 3 bottles of Vintage 98. Trust me I am not an easy reviewer....it's just this beer ages sooooo well.I've drank one and must say that it is absolutely exquisitie. The malt profile has the magic flavor that only a strong ale that has aged well attains. Its exactly like those times when you drink a an aged wine that is so perfect when it hits your mouth something chemically happens that it implores you to take another sip. Beautiful beer and a definitional beer to age. Nuffield (4245) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - OCT 28, 2002
Bottle No: 19570, drunk 28 October 2002 to celebrate the birth of my second child (and first boy). Happy Birthday Aidan John Edward Schmidt! This was a fabulous beer--better than my recollection of the famed 1999 vintage. Pours with the kind of head that I generally don't like--a little bit loosely constructed and quick to diminish. Enchanting aroma, with raisins, caramel, and woody notes, with some slightly fresher fruitiness anticipated in a hint of grape. The flavor is the great unifier: something to put an end to squabbles over "hops vs. malts"--malts are obviously apparent, but the fuggles(?) come out clearly and cleanly. Sweet aftertaste, but firmly in balance. I just can't wait to take my next creamy, full-bodied mouthful and as a result I'm drinking it too fast! My warning to slow down is the alcohol which keeps rising through. It is a warmingly alcoholic flavor, however, quite unlike the ugliness found in some alcoholic flavors. There are complexities all over the place to take one's mind off the alcohol, including the sense that there are some autumnal fruits in here (grapes, and black currants) not to mention the caramel, like some strange concoction (caramel-dipped currants soaked in port wine) that you might find on offer at a century-old fall festival in some out-of-the-way New England town. It all works so well. I'm over the moon about this beer and my son. A toast, to Aidan!