Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - NOV 3, 2004
Sometimes called English Old Ale, in some other places Olde Ale, and in this case it can be known as French Cabernet Barrel-Aged Old Ale. Sampled in a non-aged version at a fest, then several times at the anniversary party. At the moment, I sip from out of a growler.
Dusky crimson hue, shining light at the bottom, dark at the top, nestled under a thin, but lasting layer of foam.
Heavenly aroma, absolutely divine. A challenge to pin this down or pick it apart, for it seems seamless, no element bolder than the others, emerging as an ethereal whole. Fruit is first, of course, bright, but mellow, sweet, but subtle. Grape and cherry, jammy, yet smooth, lightly spicy, with gentle alcoholic notes, as well.
Uplifting on the lips, soothing, warm, melts the mouth, and relaxes the soul. Full flavor, big fruit, but not too overpowering, spreads around the palate, tingles the tastebuds, with a slight tang, a blast of juiciness, a sophisticated, sublime deliciousness. This is astonishingly good, I’m stuck trying to define it further, and nearly want to give up on that, for it’s a futile excercise, it seems. There’s something extraordinary happening in the glass, it’s a great beer made even better, the alcohol seemingly invisible. This is a beer for special occasions, or for quiet rumination, a brew to be respected, for it favors those who do so.
It does something else wonderful, as well, for my troubles, and they have vexed me this evening, have washed away, and those larger concerns seem less dangerous at the moment...it’s a wonderful illusion, and I appreciate the effect immeasurably.
Only wish this weren’t so rare an elixir to enjoy! (I have 1 of only 10 growlers in existence, and paid twice the usual price.) ztrvz (218) - st paul, Minnesota, USA - SEP 13, 2004
A mighty fine old ale. I was excited to see this at the’04 Autumn Brew Review. Super sweet, heavy palate, with notes of raisins, roastiness, and caramel. robertsreality (2460) - Minnesota, USA - SEP 13, 2004
2004 Autumn Brew Review: Brick Red Coloring. Some Warming from The Alcohol. Fruits - Raisin, Nuts...Balanced and Thick Down Your Throat. Overall, an Excellent Beer! ElGaucho (2401) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - SEP 12, 2004
UPDATED: OCT 29, 2005 10/29/05: Re-rate. Poured during TH’s week long anniversary celebration. Although the name of this brew was not originally specified as "French Oak Old Ale", a read of several of the reviews from last year indicate that it has always been a French Oak Old Ale. Not sure if this is a new batch or a left over batch from last year that has been aging for an additional year. Either way, it is exceptional now just like it was at the 2004 ABR. A definite oak aroma, although somewhat subdued. No head. Reddish brown in appearance with a small, thin, off-white layer around the inside perimeter of the glass. The flavor reveals an obvious oak aging. Very nicely done. Has some notes reminiscent of mead. I love this beer. Perfect balance and warming. I’d love to have a growler of this. Outstanding. 9/12/04: Molasses, roasted malt aroma with hints of raisins and barrel aging. Dark amber body, thin off-white head. Chocolate, caramel and raisin notes. Alcohol hidden pretty well. Good visible carbonation that slowly rises to the top due to the rich thickness and heavy alcohol. One of the best beers at this years Autumn Brew Review. AR 9, Ap 5, Fl 9, Pal 5, Ov 18. JK (6158) - St. Louis Park, Minnesota, USA - SEP 12, 2004
UPDATED: SEP 13, 2004 Town Hall’s best beer in some time. You could mistake this vey thick beer for a barleywine. Sweet and very rich, a slow sipper. Complex taste with fruits and wine. I don’t know the ABV but I am sure it is high. One of the best from Autumn Beer Review ’04.
badgerben (5178) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - SEP 12, 2004
Autumn Brew Review 2004. Dark red color with a medium head. Very malty aroma and taste. Strong nut presence in the taste as well. Seemed a little thick.