herbjones (742) - Orange, California, USA - AUG 16, 2002
Bottle#38344.Aroma of sweet malt and alcohol. A little caramel in there also.First sip brings a huge creamy mouthfeel. Malt is dominant with just enough hops to balance. Sweet aftertaste.Alcohol is very evident for an 8.5 abv. fro2218 (471) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - OCT 3, 2007
Sampled in 2006. Dark red in color. Plums and sweet maltyness. Fairly oxidised. A little metallic. 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. Ofortuna (322) - Grafton, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 4, 2007
Nice head and adequate lacing. The aromas surprised me on this one as the floral character of the hops could still be detected. Good caramelization detected with a strong and not overpowering malt complexity. A couple layers in here in fact. Still a decent bitterness on the back end after all these years. Overall, one could find that this "lost a step" due to the extended aging, but really held up remarkably well considering. Very enjoyable. 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.
paiste2002 (186) - Saugus, California, USA - FEB 16, 2009
Pours hazy copper with a smallish off white head. Aroma is caramel maltiness, bread, dark fruit and a hint of alcohol. Flavor is big time caramel, malt, raisin and a hint of earthy spice. Finish is smooth rounded with hints of alcohol.
My last bottle, this one aged very nice. bigal9699 (152) - Orange County, California, USA - JUL 12, 2002
No. 37661: Beautiful deep honey amber color -hazy. Pours with large head, loosly carbonated, dissipates quickly. Medium strength nose of sweet malt, very light hop notes - also a bit metalic. Unique flavor - overall flavors dominated by bitter hops, to a lesser degree some muted/musty malt notes ... followed by a bit of metalic notes. The appreciation is realizing this is a 4-year old beer and thus an education to one’s sensory knowledge. Not at incredible beer by any means - but important nonetheless due to its age. turtlehead (111) - Nottingham, New Hampshire, USA - JAN 22, 2002
Sweet, malty aroma, deep amber color with a well balanced bitterness and alcohol content. Based on the many beers I have had in this class, I would have to guess the alcohol content to be about 9.5 to 10% by volume. lowner (19) - 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.