TAR (2802) - Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina, USA - JUN 16, 2003
2001: Hazy dark amber. Sticky, patchy white tiny bubbled foam. Sherry accented aroma, honey, dried peaches, candied yam, alcohol-soaked bread, pumpkin, caramel, leather, spicy alcohol, toasted coconut, fruitcake, soil, white grape, and pineapple. Underlying metallic shades, phenols, earthy hops, dates, and melon seed. Gentle velvety carbonation. Semi chewy body. Insanely rich dose of candy sugar up front. Trailing flavors of candied yam, mild toffee, vague acidity, dates, toasted coconut, brown sugar, and a decadent, honeyed, raw maris otterlike base. Finishes richly malty, medicinal, cakey, and sugary with a light leathery, citric coarseness and subtle assorted dried tropical fruit backdrop. To call this rich and complex would be an understatement. The candy sugar elements were borderline offensive, and blanketed most of the subtleties. However, the mild acidity kept it from becoming cloying. Still, a satisfying dessert sipper fit for two, with that lovely signature Southampton bottle-conditioned feel.