jarspag (601) - San Francisco, California, USA - MAY 6, 2007
UPDATED: FEB 25, 2010 Cinco de Mayo - Port Brewing - cask. One of the best beers ive ever had. Aroma is wonderful - vanilla, bourbon, oak, wood, rich malts, raisin. Unbelievable mouthfeel - very lush, creamy, silky smooth - sheer liquid heaven. . tasted very similar to its aroma, no complaints there whatsoever. Very few beers ive ever had have even been in the same league. Tomme, when will I get to drink this again??? My palate is forever ruined.....awaisanen (1304) - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 6, 2007
Bottle version is not quite as good as cask sample (somewhere in mid to low 4’s) - but I have to leave this as is...just too extraordinary!
UPDATED: SEP 1, 2008 On cask at the brewery. Tried several samples at the first anniversary party. I’m so glad I thought to bring a real tasting glass in order to gain a full appreciation of this one; it was certainly worth the extra attention. Pours a dark, semi-opaque red cedar bark brown color with a frothy layer of creamy tan head. Aroma is dripping with dark fruits - prunes, raisins, and figs, and is softened and sweetened by a silky wave of sweet caramels and lots of vanilla bean. The bourbon character is really the perfect compliment for the beer, as the slightly drier oak character of the bourbon barrel seems to work perfectly with the beer. While there is an increased oak presence compared to the brandy barrel version, the barrel character still holds itself very much in check with the overall balance of the nose, allowing the terrific, sweet malt complexities shine through on the center stage. A little bit of caramelly bourbon reveals itself to the nose, but is sufficiently subdued to leave but a gentle warming glow in the nostrils. Medium bodied, creamy mouthfeel - this beer lends itself to the cask amazingly well. Loads of freshly picked, black cherries instantly flood the tongue, backed by an aggressively flavorful blend of raisins and lightly spiced fig. Tons of heavenly malt sweetness that’s complex and far from cloying; the light creaminess of the body simply makes this one dance across the tongue. Some fresh, woody maple syrup, clover honey, and lots and lots of vanilla bean enhance the dark fruity base. A little bit of dry oakiness lingers in the finish along with some warming bourbon, although while not hot, is pretty much the only less-than-perfect trait this brew has. Honestly, was it possible for this one to be a disappointment? No. Is it possible that this one even surpasses the brandy barrel’s greatness? Hopefully someday there will be bottles to do a just side-by-side comparison. Fantastic. JohnC (3008) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - MAY 6, 2007
I had this on draft at Lost Abbey’s first Anniversary party.
The first thing that hits you with this beer is the fantastic aroma: vanilla, oak, bourbon and I don’t even have a good sense of smell.
The flavor is lush, complex & tasty