awaisanen (1304) - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 2, 2007
From a 12oz Bottle, Brewed in 2002, Bottled in 2003. Mostly transparent, coppery tobacco color with shades of rust and an impressively sustaining head of ivory foam, considering the age. Rich, juicy dark fruit aroma that has a welcome oxidized sweet sherry quality. Green raisins and vanilla caramels abound with a touch of honeydew sweetness. Luscious bouquet. Medium bodied, with a soft, yet full carbonation level thatís enough to give it a bit of creaminess. Lots of tart, acidic vinous qualities instantly great the tongue, although it has more of a grapeskin tannic taste than a funky one. A bit of tobacco and broken in leather add some more acidic complexity, but the oxidized fruits from the nose never really arrive on the palate. The oxidation has clearly taken itís toll, as the flavors tend to fall apart rather quickly in a papery thinness. Finish is quite dry with an almost young American oak-like dryness that lingers in the final smack. A big thanks to Dr. BIll for generously providing this special treat at the PP Real Ale fest. ClarkVV (6642) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 8, 2006
Bottle, in a trade from Notalush, brewed in 2002, bottled in 2003, consumed on 10/6/06Dickinsonbeer (5074) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - NOV 8, 2006
Small beige head loosely clings to the liquid, though it forms quite a pile of froth on the edges. Moderate to poor retention on the head. The body is a dark brown-black with deep purple and magenta tints on the edges. Sediment left in bottle, though it still had only a medium to medium-low clarity.
Heavily vinous, oily nose suggests all manners of dark berries. Currants, plums (prunes), concord grapes, elderberries and what have you, with a sweet note of oxidation and light hints of toffee and butterscotch on the finish. Tartness collects on the front of the aroma, with some braised cacao and light licorice notes emerging as it warms. Never does it get very sweet, but just seems, well...old. Mossy/moldy and lightly dirty, it certainly seems like it might be true to the original. Some alcohol esters are perceived upon warming
Grapey oxidation and tart berry notes are somewhat softened by light chocolate and caramel suggestions that dry out significantly on the finish. Very low carbonation by now, but the beer is well-attenuated so at to prevent it from getting syrupy/overly thick. Notes of vanilla, acrid roast and tart vinousness are dominant. Very unexpected as an American-made beer, though Phil certainly aims for authentic. I think the grapiness is a bit overt by now, but I do like the tartness, bordering on sourness. And there really wasnt any heavy soy. Malt seems a little too attenuated for an old ale and thus some thinning occurs on the palate, combined with light alcohol dryness. Much more interesting than the new 10th anniversary old ale, however, as the lactic qualities abound but do not dominate.
Big Thanks to Clark for sharing this at the blind tasting at Ericís last month. According to my notes, this wasnt really the best in the lineup. This was an aged bottle- 2002 I think, so there was some light funk and oxidation to the aroma- some funky cheese notes- also hints of sour cherry. Flavor is oxidized, woody, light residual sweetness, with a tart and an astringent finish. My last notes said that I really thought this was a flemish sour ale. Way past its prime apparently, but it was still nice and enjoyable, and something I thought Id never get to try, so it was nice. goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - OCT 5, 2005
Poured a dark brown color with a small light tan head. Complex aroma of toffee, brown sugar, and dark fruits. Flavor continues the same elements. Sweet and lightly tart finish. wnhay (722) - Princeton, New Jersey, USA - MAY 28, 2005
Sampled on tap. Aroma was quite strong consisting of fruits and alcohol. Taste had a nique tartness to it. Interesting beer.
Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - SEP 5, 2004
Deep reddish/brown color, moderate beige foam atop, looks good.
Nose: airy at first, then tart all over the place, with fruity notes aplenty, green apple, orange rind, twists of lemon. Unusual for an old ale, or maybe they were going in a different direction that Iíd have thought...anyway, on to...
Taste: Ooooo! Tastness resounds again, brisk, yet bold, and brash, boom!, wince, pucker...ooo, again!
(But not a happy "Oooo!") Sourness dominates, and there are little other flavors that I enjoy. Medium body, just a hint of alcohol felt, sour finish.
This may be appreciated by some, itís entirely possible, but these flavors just donít please me at all. Reminds me of some British old ales Iíve tried, like George Galeís, but i didnít like those, either.
I look forward to being more fond of jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - AUG 14, 2004
Brewed in 2002 - Murky burgundy topped by a rocky tan head. Huge malty aroma, caramel, toffee, and raisins. The flavor is much the same. Fairly straight forwad really. No hops detectable. The body is medium with a surprising amount of carbonation. Thanks to goldtwins for the bottle. Probiere (992) - Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 2, 2004
Deep plummy brown, little head. Smell berries, pears, alcohol. Smells sweet but dark like toasted caramel. Some raisiny port notes as it warms. Taste: like toffee popcorn at the beach. Unabashedly sweet, mouthcoating, bit overbalanced but the fruitiness somewhat cuts the cloying tendencies. Bit addicting in small sips but not a quaffer. Too much butter flavor. Volgon (2763) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - JUN 24, 2004
Brewtopia í04: Hazy dark orange, sweet brown sugar nose. Full bodied and lively. Peaty taste in the middle. Fresh tasting and a nice ale. Oakes (17274) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JUN 22, 2004
Muddy amber colour. Very malty aroma, with some cherry. Strong alcohol presence interferes with the palate. Rich toffeeish malts abound, but without form nor complexity. Vague fruity notes are pleasant, but for a beer so reliant on the malts, I needed those to be better-extracted. It almost tasted like it was too old.